In this charged election year, no matter who claims the White House in 2009, we will be electing at least one person with restrictive views on abortion to the White House.
John McCain proclaims that he is “proudly pro-life” (although in the 2000 election, he stated just the opposite). His running mate, Sarah Palin, is far more credible and consistent in her stance against abortion, and even belongs to a group called “Feminists for Life.” As for Barack Obama, he has veered away from the traditional Democratic framing of “safe, legal and rare,” and has been talking about how women shouldn’t get third-trimester abortions just because we’re feeling blue; indeed, we gals are such frivolous creatures that we, as a matter of course, must consult a committee before making such a momentous decision. At least Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s running mate, is unwavering in his pro-choice stance, and drafted the Violence Against Women Act in 1994; however, many of us will never forget his role in casting doubt upon Anita Hill’s story, which helped confirm the arch-conservative Clarence Thomas – another anti-choice Justice – to the Supreme Court.
35 years after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in America, why is that decision such a controversial and emotional one in our political and personal lives? I believe it is because the choice to terminate a pregnancy is perceived as a choice of one life over another. And how can one make such a choice without agony and conflict? How can a just and lawful nation allow the murder of a child by its mother?
Except that’s not really what happens, is it? What happens in an abortion is that a mother trades a potential life for an actual life. But that simple idea has become lost in a fog of pseudo-science, emotional manipulation by both parties, religious interference and deep-seated societal misogyny.