Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is a candidate’s point of view on abortion rights enough for me to vote, or not vote, for him or her?

I was looking through my Facebook comments this morning and read one comment directed toward Tom Campbell, my choice for California governor in 2010. This person wrote, “Tom, I’m disappointed to hear you condone abortion.”

My pro-choice beliefs are where I draw the line with the Republican party. I have been pro-choice forever, but I also believe there is a higher power at work who will ultimately let each of us know if our individual abortion beliefs are enough to keep us out of Heaven.

Still, I have more in common with the Republican party (or libertarian, if only it were a major force politically, because that is really where I am at) so that’s not enough to drive me over to the other side!

I have had to use this option twice, the first time with an ectopic pregnancy, the second when I had pelvic inflammatory disease bad enough that I was hospitalized for 10 days, treated with some nasty antibiotics that are known to cause major birth defects. Did I take each decision lightly? No. Do I think about those lost children 30 years later? Yes. And yes, I think of them as children, not as tissue, though had I been asked, I would have donated the contents of my uterus for stem cell research.

Just because I am pro-choice doesn’t mean that I take abortion lightly. Far from it. There are times I wish that government could be more intrusive when it comes to women who use abortion in lieu of birth control, and make that decision as lightly as a decision as to what to eat for lunch. I have no problem whatsoever with involuntary sterilization for repeat offenders, let’s say for a woman who has three or more abortions in a 12-month period, or women who have more than two children whose births were paid for by public funds, or men who have multiple baby mamas and kids they do not pay for.

But, we live in the United States and one could argue this is something that China would do, and we like to think we are far more civilized than China.

Let me also say I am against any sort of abortion later than 12 weeks into a pregnancy. I suppose there are rare instances where a pregnancy needs to be terminated to save a woman’s life, but that should not be the first treatment offered, for example, a woman with preeclampsia at 18 weeks has an abortion instead of a trial of medication and bedrest. If I were currently back at bedside nursing, I would not take care of this patient if another nurse was available. You can bet I’d be working most of my shift in silent prayer, asking for His forgiveness, if I had to provide care for her.

Is a political candidate’s view on abortion enough for me to vote or not vote for him or her? For me the answer is no—there are far more pressing things an elected official should be worrying about. And with our form of government, I don’t believe any one person would be able to ramrod his or her opinion about abortion into the law of the land in this day and age.

With the availability of so many birth control methods today, there is little reason for a woman to not be using some method of contraception (not to mention HIV hasn’t gone anywhere and condoms are still the second-best method to minimize risk [the first method being abstention], so I am not letting males off the hook as far as pregnancy prevention is concerned). Yes, birth control can and does fail, but using something is certainly better than using nothing at all.

I also have no problem with government funds being used for abortions, with a caveat that I hinted to above. Repeat offenders need to have an IUD placed or their tubes tied or an endometrial ablation that will render them unable to carry a baby. Period. No more trusting these women to seek birth control or act responsibly. Two babies on welfare and a subsequent abortion=sterilization. Two or three abortions in a calendar year=involuntary birth control, including sterilization. (I admit it’s harder to chase down baby daddies and give ‘em a clip and snip, which would be far more economical.)

I appreciate Tom Campbell’s view on a woman’s ability to choose. I suspect he feels it’s not a decision to be used lightly, and I suspect he’d prefer pregnancy prevention to pregnancy termination. Is it the only reason I will vote for him? Not at all. And if he were against a woman’s right to choose, I’d still vote for him, knowing there are checks and balances in government and that right now the political climate overall and the law of the land leans toward a woman’s right to choose.

Right now politicians need to concentrate on things that affect everyone currently living in this nation—curbing government spending, securing borders, repairing infrastructure, and giving our troops the support they need to be successful in whatever mission the federal government sends them into. Once every single problem that we have in this country is solved (haha!), politicians can revisit stuff like this.


Sprocket said...

This is such a volatile issue. I appreciate you discussing your point of view on the topic.

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