When asked about my stance on abortion as a Progressive Christian, my general response is that I’m an anti-abortion/pro-choicer. Perhaps that’s cheating a little, but I think it’s a crucial distinction that too often gets disregarded in the heated political arguments about the subject. I hate abortion. I don’t know anyone who likes abortion. I think we all wish nobody ever had to face that decision. But we can’t change the real world. The matter comes down to whether we have the right to force a woman carry an unwanted pregnancy to full term. When that becomes the question, my answer is no, we don’t have that right. That decision is between a woman, her healthcare provider, and, if applicable, her god. I should have no say in it whatsoever.
That said, there is a small part of me as a Progressive Christian that would actually like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Before you start preparing me for a good tar and feathering, please hear me out.
If Roe v. Wade were overturned, there would be massive fall out–much of it negative. Obviously, many women would still seek out an illegal abortion if they had the financial means to do so. Others would, unfortunately, take matters into their own hands and attempt to abort their own pregnancy–a potentially life-threatening decision. And, perhaps most disturbingly of all, millions upon millions of unwanted pregnancies would be carried to full term and completely overwhelm our already overwhelmed child welfare system. In a nation with untold millions of children growing up without proper love, attention, and care in squalid conditions–in hellish neighborhoods raging with crime and trauma–we would add exponentially to that number. The prospects are absolutely horrifying.
However, there would be at least one potentially positive side effect of overturning Roe v. Wade. Abortion is the single biggest issue for millions of conservative Christians. I find this to be particularly true of women. I personally know a good number of women who vote exclusively for Republicans based solely on the abortion issue. Their hearts are in the right place, but their heads are perpetually clouded by this one topic. They simply can’t see abortion as anything short of the murder of a baby. I feel for these people, I really do. Because of their heartfelt convictions, they are held hostage by a political party that is currently sponsoring some of the most un-Christian policies our nation has ever seen. How might things change if that huge abortion poker chip were removed from their stack? A part of me believes that if the Democratic Party were to give up on the abortion issue (please understand I am not suggesting that they do, I’m just noodling here) it might result in a host of people suddenly willing to vote Blue. Could it be that giving up on one issue could pay huge dividends for many other issues?
I don’t know that answer but the thought has been bouncing around in my head. My job as a political columnist is to share my thoughts. This crazy idea was eating away at me, so I shared it. I’d love to know what your reaction to it is. Please share your thoughts.