Abortion’s not a black or white issue 

11
995

Trey Hoffman’s anti-abortion letter was very literate. However, as is all of his writing, it was very right-wing, extremist and one sided. 

Although it was illegal in a minority of states and done in back alleys (https://www.guttmacher.org/perspectives50/abortion-and-after-legalization, there have always been abortions in all US states. Abortions were viewed as “socially unacceptable” in some, but not illegal (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10297561/).  

In 1973, the Supreme Court came to a commonsense compromise on abortions, a middle ground based on the history of abortion in the US (https://www.americanprogress.org/article/scarlet-letters-getting-the-history-of-abortion-and-contraception-right/ ). The Supreme Court found that it’s not an “either/or” situation- i.e., a. all abortions are permitted or b. none are. Per the SCOTUS decision in Roe v Wade, a pregnancy must not be terminated if the fetus is viable. Therefore, the only relevant discussion that should be taking place currently is “when is the fetus viable”. 

A clear majority of the US public agrees with SCOTUS’ reasonable compromise position, as shown in numerous surveys (https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/05/06/americas-abortion-quandary/ ). Only 8%-10% believe abortion should always be illegal and another 27% that it should be illegal in most cases.  

The 1973 Roe v Wade SCOTUS decision was exactly the sort of compromise that is supported by the majority of US citizens. Neither side got exactly what it wanted (i.e., neither a complete ban or a total “government hands off” policy) So, why did SCOTUS even agree to take up the current abortion case and potentially ignore precedent? The answer has a lot more to do with religion, politics and who is on the court than the law. 

Right-wingers have been trying to get this decision overturned ever since 1973 (https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/06/abortion-laws-in-the-us-10-things-you-need-to-know/). Their position is that aborting a fetus is equivalent to murdering a child. And they are willing to do anything to stop it, including having murdered at least one physician. 

So, red states have severely limited abortion access over the past 50 years which has had the effect of limiting abortions for lower-income people unable to travel easily to other states for abortions. Wealthier women simply went to another state for the procedure. 

Politically, we have the most right-wing, politicized court in a century, unrepresentative of the views of most Americans on cultural issues. Wily old Mitch McConnell made sure of that by- a. refusing to consider Obama’s well qualified nominee (Merritt Garland), b. pushing through Barrett with only weeks left in Trump’s term and c. conveniently doing away with the filibuster rile when it comes to SCOTUS nominations. 

Finally, we have the misleading statements made by the three most recent Justices when they appeared before Congress as nominees. All indicated that they were not activist who would ignore “stare decisis.” Precedent is a key cornerstone of SCOTUS and supposedly one that they would adhere to. It appears that they either outright lied (my opinion) or were at least confusingly vague (for those of you who are naïve) (https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/abortion-susan-collins-brett-kavanaugh-trump-roe-1357183/ ). 

Trey talks about “pro-life foes, who can be found praying the Rosary.”  

My mother was a religious Italian Catholic. And for decades I worked closely with the executives of many large national Catholic hospital systems. The nuns running them were very good people — and were almost all very progressive in their views on social issues. But I made sure to never discuss one subject with them: abortion. 

For what may be the only time in its history, 7 out of the 9 justices on SCOTUS are very religious Catholics. The official anti-abortion position of the Catholic Church is clear. So much so that the Catholic Church has refused to give Speaker Pelosi communion because she will not actively disavow a woman’s right to an abortion. 

The draft decision, written by Justice Alito, indicates that overturning Roe v Wade will be helpful in that it will decrease the conflict around abortion. He’s a highly intelligent man but clearly has his religious blinders on… or simply is lying to us (my opinion). He must know that the situation before 1973 was anything but copesetic https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2003/03/lessons-roe-will-past-be-prologue ).  

In fact, overturning Roe will have several unintended consequences. As Trey points out, there will be pro-choice violence (just as there has been from the anti-abortion crowd for decades). But middle-class women will still get abortions, although it will be more cumbersome and expensive. It’s the lower income women that will not 

(https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/abortion-central-history-reproductive-health-care-america ).  

And that will lead to more welfare kids… children that conservatives like Trey will pretend that they do not see. Conservatives prefer to ignore the plight of these families, blaming the mothers for their situation and not wanting to assist these poor families financially. How does that right-wing position fit with Judeo-Christian teachings? 

Jack Bernard

Peachtree City, Ga.

11 COMMENTS

  1. “…“when is the fetus viable”. : And science since then has proven the a fetus can be viable far earlier than ever though. And yet Dems want abortion all the way up to leaving the womb.

    Mitch McConnell:
    a. He followed the Biden Rule (when Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the senate…Biden made the same argument in 1992 that in a political season)…Biden said, “It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. That is what is fair to the nominee,”. Bidens argument was that the country was divided between Democrat Congress and Republican President. McConnell refusal of SCOTUS nominee said the Senate is not expected to confirm Supreme Court nominees during an election year, especially when the president is of the OPPOSING party.

    b. Barrett was sworn in when Congress and President both controlled by Republicans.

    c. The filibuster was done away with for judges by Senate Democrats in 2017, and then Republicans used that same rule to get Barrett

    SCOTUS lied: Obamas and Bidens nominees also were vague about their beliefs.

    Pelosi Communion: She just received communion 5 days ago.

    Fact of the matter, abortion is still legal in liberal states. All this did was send the issue back to the states where the local population can decide for itself and the legislators of those states have to actually make decisions based on the majority of that state.

    No one is forcing woman to have babies. With sex education, and many many birth control methods, girls/men should know how to prevent a pregnancy. Its not a light decision to make. Abortion should be a last resort, not a first as our society as pushed and TikTok teens laugh over.

    Woman (not birthing people) have been given a great power by God, nature or whatever you believe…and todays society has abused and diminished that power…the power to give life. Many believe that life begins at conception. Many believe it does not. There needs to be a middle ground that perhaps at 6weeks a woman/man should know if they want to keep a baby or not. Incest/mothers health should also be factors. But beyond that..life is sacred and our morality should reflect that.

    If not, babies are just another commodity…..

    • Dear ISTANDFORTHEFLAG–

      You may have overplayed your hand with, “Pelosi Communion: She just received communion 5 days ago.”
      Yes, Nancy Pelosi did receive communion…at a Papal Mass in Rome after meeting with the Pope Francis. Her home archbishop in San Francisco, however, continues to exclude her from the Sacrament because of her views on abortion rights.

      To ignore these pertinent details in one statement causes me to wonder what other details you are willing to omit in order to make your point in others.

      Kudos to the Holy Father, though! May we all be as gracious.

        • Me again, ISTAND…

          Once again, details that you leave out turn your statements into half-truths, at best.

          According to a NPR report, Pope Francis did not “himself” distribute Holy Communion to Nancy Pelosi. Since being the archbishop in Buenos Aires, he rarely does, “precisely to prevent the Sacrament from becoming politicalized.”
          He blessed her.

          Francis is “liberal” in the very best sense of the word!

    • What does viability mean to you and what are the factors that influence viability? Show me a 25 week fetus that is delivered and taken home in a few days. Show me a 34 week fetus that doesn’t need care beyond what a mother can provide in order for its survival. Neonatal ICU costs per day START at $3500 and can be as much as $9000 depending on the needs of the “viable” child.

      Full term abortions are extremely rare and almost all are due to medical complications for either the mother or the fetus. Spouting the line “Democrats want to kill babies at full term, including at the time of birth!” is disingenuous.

      Abortion is not taken lightly. Even your peers, right here, at The Citizen have mentioned the difficulties a woman goes through, before and after they’ve decided to have an abortion. I’m curious, why do you just blame the woman? More than half that have had an abortion were using contraception and it failed. Is that being careless?

      Has abortion been used for convenience? I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t, but to hear you and the other pro-lifers talk, you’d think all women used abortion as a form of birth control.

      The six-week rule is too early. Some may not even know they are pregnant, let alone get an appointment to see if there’s a fetal heart beat. It’s a rule made by politicians (mostly male) to force the women to stay pregnant.

      I’m not asking you to change your feelings about abortion, so please stop asking others to change how they feel about it. Besides, I’m fairly certain you’re a guy and last I heard, you’ve never been pregnant.

  2. Great points Jack. Trey is a radical and radicals’ views never get the level of respect (or success) that he/she desires. Trey doesn’t really want to delve into the problems surrounding abortion. We see this by his lack of engagement after he vomits his “Letter to Editor” periodically. Maybe his radicalism is due to his inability in producing his own children and now his crusade is to pass along judgement of others. Who knows?

    Trey, we know you read the comments, even though you proclaim otherwise. Take some humble advice – you get more bees with honey. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, you’ve got to find solutions to the problems. You’ll see much greater success in your endeavor and possibly reduce your status as a complete d-bag.

    • Hiya Dawn H–
      Although I disagree with him routinely, I can’t find it in me to think too harshly toward Trey Hoffman.

      I grew up with people like him. Devout folk who sincerely believe God has appointed them to speak on His behalf. In Trey’s case, condemning abortion and seeing that the procedure is banned.

      Barry Goldwater (of all people!) warned of them–“Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

      But take heart–There are other believers of all faiths (including Christians) and of none at all, that live happily with diversity. We are not concerned with converting our neighbors nor incorporating our beliefs into law. We are fine with personal freedom and choice.

      As an Orthodox Christian myself (and a follower of the Universal Christ), the only word I have ever dared to speak on behalf of God is “Love”. Frankly, it is all I have ever heard from Her.

      To compound the hardship and heartache of a woman in an already difficult situation diminishes love. Perhaps one day Trey will remember the first and greatest commandment given to all Christians and end his crusade against women’s rights. I’d welcome his voice.