One of the first things that you learn in law school is that success hinges on asking the right questions. Should abortion be legal is the wrong question altogether. First, abortion is already legal. Second, this is unlikely to change. Third, it is equating religion with morality.
The people that believe that the right to have an abortion is a justifiable right are called pro-choice. They believe that a women should have the right to choose. This is an understandable name, term, label, or whatever semantic phrase one wishes to use.
The people that believe that the right to have an abortion is not the choice of the woman are called pro-life. They believe that the woman does not have the right to choose. This is a somewhat more ambigious term. It is understandable when one realizes that they believe life to be sacred, life at any stage, thus, they are pro-life.
This is where the whole argument breaks down, at the very beginning. In the nomenclature. Can't a pro-choice person also be a pro-life person? Not by the afore mentioned terms. This is the very crux of the problem.
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A pro-choice person can make the choice to carry that little life to fruition, thus, they are also pro-life, but they believe that the choice was theirs to make. A pro-life person may chose to terminate the pregnancy (life) if the life of the mother is in danger, or if it is a case of rape or incest, thus, they are really pro-choice as well.
I think the real issue here is who's choice is it. Obviously, it is a choice, whether a baby remains in the womb or is expunged by artifical means, it is a conscious choice. What begs the question is should the individual be responsible for the choice or should the state/church be responsible for the choice?
One may begin by asking who is responsible once the choice becomes a child? If a woman is forced to have a child against her will is she also responsible for raising that child? If that child is born with a serious medical condition, who is responsible for the payment for medical care? Who is responsible for making the medical decisions? If a woman aborts a child, is the same test of responsiblity applied? This is where I believe what began as a gap becomes a great divide.
Both sides of this argument agree that abortion is a last resort and should not be treated casually. Having said this, it is on this very ground where both sides must agree to come to the table, in a civil manner and sort through the issues. What is it that makes a woman want to choose an abortion in the first place? Is it money? Can she not afford the child? Is she not ready to have a child? (According to Planned Parenthood it is usually one of the above mentioned reasons that most women seek abortions) If it is a case of the woman not being able to afford the child, is there a way that the 'pro-life' folks can help? Is there something that can be done to lessen the cost for the woman? If the problem is that the woman is not ready to have a child, then can the 'pro-life' people assist the woman, to be ready? Can consuling be offered (affordably) to the woman? Can the woman be made to feel that her life is worth saving as well?
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I do not think that screaming at someone will ever get them on your side of the fence, unless it's on fire. When both sides can speak civily and respect themselves and each other, then there will be progress, but not until such time. Perhaps, if as a country, we believed more in our future (children) we would not be having this discussion. In Sweden, where women have the right to choose, the state believes that women will make correct choices. The state also provides free health care to all. Free child care to all. The state believes in womens abilities to make choices and it believes in its future, the result of the choices made by those same women. Sweden, should be a model to the US how both sides are able to sit at the same table and drink from the same cup and neither side is any worse when they leave the table.
So the conservatives that are against any choice, they are pro-life, but yet they are against government intervention in their lives. How do they balance that? Is governement only justified when we agree with them? If their is less government intervention then women would be making their own choices. How can you be for both? It can not be and not be at the same time. To all my conservative friends who espouse this sentiment, might I suggest a simple philosophy course, examining self.