TCU Daily Skiff Friday, January 23, 2004
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Abortion debate has shades of gray

Brian Chatman

“You’re either with us, or against us.” Humans have always limited the possibilities of choice by creating a two-sided argument. Fear and Love. Good and Evil. Peacetime and Wartime. Pro-life and pro-choice. The fact of the matter is that there exists a myriad of positions one can take in any argument, but we as humans like our issues black and white with no gray. The trouble is that most arguments occur in the uncertainty of the gray.

Our generation’s most divisive issue is abortion. At times the issue becomes more important than the principle behind it. Pro-lifers bombing abortion clinics is the paradigm case, but there are radicals on either side of the debate which make the rest of the groups they belong to look evil. So let’s cast aside the radicals and look at the different issues that make an already polarized issue even more heated.

What if the mother’s life is in jeopardy? They may not want a child aborted, but would they want someone taken off life-support? It’s easy to say you are pro-life, but how many people actually think about the principle behind that and apply it to the plethora of other cases?

Pro-choice runs into problems as well. Should we allow third or second trimester abortions? What if the woman uses it as a form of birth control because she just can’t be bothered by other methods? Where does the right to choose your own life end and murder begin?

What is life? How do you justify eating an animal? Eating a plant? Going to war? Most people don’t even care. They would rather leave it to someone else, because it doesn’t affect them. If the government outlaws abortion again, it would be as if the government was dictating what women can and cannot do with their own bodies yet again. Is that right? Is it fair that a woman gets stuck with a baby, yet a guy can skip out as long as he can avoid a paternity test?

With a burgeoning world population, should we be putting unwanted children in overcrowded orphanages, or should we simply end the pregnancy to keep the population down? And then the extreme point of view, should we issue pro-creation licenses?

With all of the positions, something has to give if we are to ever find a solution. Let me pose a compromise for you to consider. Abortion is allowed in the first three months of pregnancy if the mother has used another method of birth control to avoid pregnancy. In return, schools should teach all forms of safe sex, and make birth control available for all those who choose to have sex. Now you are probably saying “Children shouldn’t be having sex. They aren’t ready.” Well at what point is anyone ready? It is ultimately up to the individual.

Some say wait until marriage, but laws stop people from doing that until they are 18 (16 in some states). It’s much easier to wait until marriage when you don’t have hormones telling you to go for it. Sure, sex out of wedlock is more common now, but until very recently good Christian countries had people married at 13. So is it that more teenagers are having sex, or rather we as a society created the problem of premarital sex?

So what position is the right one? That’s a question you must answer for yourself. Consider the issue for on your own terms. Do what feels right to you, and respect the views of others.

Brian Chatman is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Fort Worth.

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