Keeping the cross out of the cabbage patch
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2012 23:10
Abortion is arguably the most contentious political topic in this election, and it should be. We as the American people are deciding whether we will or will not allow the artificial termination of pregnancies and as such we should look at all points of view involved, except one: religion.
Religion has no place in the abortion debate because it cannot be reasoned with or persuaded. It is not interested in facts and statistics. Rather, religion is concerned with faith in the words of deities, which by nature cannot be questioned or discussed in a critical light. Religion has no factual basis for its assertions regarding abortion aside from the claim that it “goes against God’s will.” In the end, religion’s dualistic nature simply does not allow for the open and reasoned debate needed to settle the abortion issue.
This is not to say that the religious are not allowed to have an opinion on the topic of abortion; that is a freedom of all Americans. But if we are to decide what women are and are not allowed to do with their bodies, we better have damn good scientific reasons for our decision. The founding fathers created our country with a division between church and state for a reason. Individuals have a right to their own religion, but they do not have a right to impose their religion on others; that is precisely what religious arguments in the abortion debate attempt to do.
If we are to settle the abortion debate, we must look at how we define personhood and whether or not abortion violates the rights of unborn children. We must closely examine claims that abortion is disproportionately used by minorities, resulting in a sort of willing genocide. We must consider the rights of the mother in cases of rape or terminal pregnancies. We must predict possible social consequences of banning abortion, such as the increases in genital mutilation alleyway abortionists might inflict upon scared and desperate women. We must consider preventative measures such as providing better funding to sex education programs and contraceptive disbursement programs at institutions such as Planned Parenthood. All of these factors provide evidence and logical, scientific reasons for supporting or opposing abortion that can help shape our decision. We must look at all of these possible issues in a scientific light because abortion is a grey issue; it is too complex to fit into the narrow, black-and-white dichotomies put forth by religion.
Individuals may oppose abortion because they want to protect the potential lives of unborn children that have basic rights, or they may support abortion because they want to protect rights of women instead of infringing upon them for the sake of a cluster of cells that cannot feel or think. People may put forth these arguments because of personal experience, unbiased statistics, or logical reasoning, but they cannot use religion to support their views if we are to have a just and agreeable resolution to the issue of abortion.