There is likely no subject more touchy or contentious today than abortion. Those who oppose abortion under any circumstance are passionate and zealous in their religious beliefs. Those who believe it a woman’s right to end a pregnancy even to the point of partial birth abortion near or at the end of nine months are just as passionate about preserving a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, regardless.

The truth: no one likes abortion. One would have to be a little crazy to do so. What the issue comes down to is who is in charge. Is the state or a religion in charge or is a woman in charge. Can she decide what she will do with her body or is that choice to be one made by a law or religious beliefs of others.

Then we have complicating circumstances. What should be the case if a young girl is raped and becomes pregnant? I have read cases of girls as young as 12 being raped and becoming pregnant. Should she be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if that is not what she wants to do? Should she be forced to be an unwilling incubator? Oh, I know, many will not like that language, but that is the medical fact. And what about a 13, 14, or 15 year old or failed contraception or a time of temporary bad judgment?

Then we have the case of fertility clinics where hundreds of thousands of fertilized eggs, now embryos, are held in suspended animation in liquid nitrogen containers. They are frozen solid awaiting only implantation into the womb of a willing woman. What about these embryos that are each the size of a grain of sand? Conception has taken place, so how are these to be regarded? Does incinerating or otherwise disposing of these embryos when a couple does not want them constitute abortion? Seems it would if “life begins at conception”, as many contend.

And what about the 2/3rds to 3/4ths of all conceptions that are spontaneously aborted due to some genetic mishap? Who is responsible for these: God? What about the case of a major genetic mistake that does continue in the womb? What to do about that? These are circumstances people do not want to think about, but should.

There are no absolutes. The current law of the land says women have the right to make the decisions. Some of the most vocal of those who oppose this and say women do not have this right are, ironically, men. I wonder about that. They have absolutely no risk. I would be more inclined to listen to men if they, at the same time, would sign up to be responsible for the care of an unwanted baby from birth to adulthood. I don’t see that happening. It is all mouth.

I believe the anti-abortion and pro-choice sides could find common ground if they would. I believe agreement could be reached on legally allowing an abortion choice up to a limited time from conception; say a matter of days or weeks, not months, unless the life of the woman is at risk. This would be a position not liked by either side but one that moves from the absolutes than now exist and one I believe many would accept. Think about it.

About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As one of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest for 85 years, I have a deep belief in a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent, truthful, and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I also hold three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science, the environment, government, and politics. I have very little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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