One of the more interesting aspects of getting older is you learn your beliefs are more fluid than you imagined. For many reasons, you sometimes question the ideas and philosophies that you had formed in an earlier era.
A famous misquote (with unlimited variations) attributed to Churchill describes this: If you are 20 and not a socialist you don’t have a heart, if you are 35 and not a conservative you don’t have a brain.
I have been on the political right from day one. From the early discussions around the dinner table when I was a kid through the attempted leftwing indoctrination of the public school system (which was bad enough then - now it’s outright blatant), and into my adulthood I have always nested within the classification of a socially moderate fiscal conservative.
Truly, the epitome of a ‘progressive conservative’.
To my surprise, I have realized that, at least on one issue, my position has changed.
During the provincial election campaign in the spring of 1989, I recall a conversation I had with former P.C. star Jim Dinning during a door-knocking afternoon. Prompted by a previous chat with a resident, I asked the party line on abortion.
“That is between a woman, her partner, her doctor, and her God.”
For years, I believed that this was the right position for a modern conservative to take. Wonderfully on the fence. The perfect libertarian stance.
After all, that’s where I stood on other social issues. Hands-off, but better: this one was ‘not my problem.’
And that’s where it stayed until last week when I heard someone else throw out that line in response to the abortion question.
Unexpectedly, my reaction thought was ‘what a cop-out.’
I have come to realize that is exactly what that is. A duck. An avoidance of taking a side.
With age and experience, I have taken a side.
My position is not determined by religious beliefs. On the contrary, it is because no one can be completely sure what awaits us after the end - if anything - that contributed to the shift.
We might only have one shot at living. To eliminate that opportunity for selfish, non-threatening reasons is inexcusable.
It's one thing if the well-being of the mother is at risk, but to use abortion as birth control is wrong.
Whether life begins or not at conception is not the point. The point is, at the very least, the process of beginning life begins at conception.
To abort that process is to abort life itself.
Society as blurred the issue. They have created a false debate. By definition, most everyone is 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice', aren't they?
I am safe in the knowledge that my libertarianism remains solid on social issues. What I have come to learn is that abortion is not a social issue.
It’s a matter of life and death.
I choose life.