With controversial laws being passed in states like Rhode Island and Georgia, both sides of the abortion debate seem to be gearing up for a national clash. Under most circumstances, I would recommend that more conversation is the best method to combat the inevitable whirlwind of belligerence, but I can no longer in good conscience do the same when it comes to abortion.
In recent years, there has been increasing public support for having more fruitful and open discourse on matters of public policy. By and large, I believe this development has been a net positive towards society, opening us up to a plethora of new and innovative ideas whilst helping us understand our fellow citizen better. However, every rule seems to have an exception, and, in this case, discussing abortion has become a problematic issue in American politics.
The reason why more conversation is not necessarily better when it comes to abortion is the verbiage used during the debate. Both sides of the issue have usurped terms like “choice” and “life”, making those engaged in the debate choose which they supposedly value more.
It’s no secret why words such as “choice” and “life” are picked in the national conversation. Both the protection of life, as well as the freedom to guide your own destiny through choice, are deeply ingrained in western culture. The manipulative fringes of this debate have pinned Americans against one another by using provocative language as opposed to conducting a fact-based dialogue.
A Binary Choice?
Another narrative pushed forward by extremists is a false dilemma of choosing one side: pro-choice or pro-life. The obvious lie of a binary choice is a tactic used to control and mobilize people as pawns for a particular belief.
After taking part in the initial false dilemma, participates are greeted with another logical fallacy. If you are for one side, it must mean you’re against the other. Pro-life activists are labeled as anti-woman, while pro-choice activists are labeled as anti-children (along with a slew of other ad hominem).
While in a perfect world welcoming a discussion on the merits and drawbacks of having abortion legal during certain points of a pregnancy would be valuable, we are instead bombarded with all or nothing scenarios. Abortion is an extremely complicated issue and trying to prescribe a solution as one-size-fits-all is incredibly naive.
While biased scientific reports are not exclusively used on the topic of abortion, they are definitely the hardest to uncover. All it takes is a quick internet search in order to find countless scientific studies arguing in completely different directions on abortion.
There is no clear consensus on when life begins because every report published has different levels of subjective input. Over the years, doctors have sprung up on both sides of the issue to make their case on the news, in congressional hearings or in their own books.
The largest problem with searching for science as the answer to this debate is that abortion for many is not a scientific issue, it’s a philosophical one.
Despite the insanity of figures on both sides of politics, it looks as if the Supreme Court will refuse to engage in future debate on the topic. Since the law of the land remains secure and there is little evidence that it will change even with a majority Republican court, outrage is clearly pointless.
To me, it’s evident that for a healthier and more prosperous tomorrow, we need to move beyond issues like abortion that go nowhere and only continue to divide us. It is only then that we can actually start to fix some of the systemic problems associated with the United States.