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There is only one way to end the abortion debate

Policy is, or at least should be, based on public opinion. Public opinion has always been like a pendulum – constantly swinging. It swings to the far left and then slowly to the far right. The period of time the pendulum spends in the balanced middle, where common sense thrives, is very short. There are many out there who try to control the narrative of events you hear in order to swing your opinion toward policies they support and would like to see put into effect. Perhaps no other issue illustrates this as well as the debate over abortion in America. The majority of us value the sanctity of God-given life but children are a life-long commitment. Some are just not ready for that commitment. Others are just not cut out to be parents and, as those who work in child services will tell you, there are homes in which children should not be allowed to live. There are countless other circumstances that factor into the decision of whether or not to give birth. For generations, abortion was considered an abomination in this country and in many others. Many women who had been raped or found themselves expecting an unwanted child sought out illegal abortionists, many of whom plied their illicit trade with little or no medical training and in conditions that were less than ideal. Often the women died in the process. At that point, the pendulum had swung pretty much all the way to one side. With the dawn of the so-called sexual revolution (some would have you think there was no pre-marital sex prior to the 1960s), the number of unwanted pregnancies soared and so did the demand for abortions. As a result, abortions and abortionists lost some stigma. Then came the Roe v. Wade decision and abortions on demand became a reality. Soon thereafter, the pendulum had swung to the limits of the other side and the CDC conservatively estimates 3000 abortions per day are now performed in the United States alone. Now, the pendulum is swinging back and many states, including Georgia, are passing so-called ‘˜heartbeat bills’ which ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This is seen by many as a total ban on abortions. They argue many women have irregular menstruation and could easily be carrying a fetus with a detectable pulse by the time they realize they are pregnant. It is unlikely prosecutors in Georgia will rush into court to prosecute abortion providers charged with violating the ‘˜heartbeat’ statute. Additionally, court challenges will delay implementation of the law for years as legal challenges run up the ladder toward the supreme court. That venue is exactly where those who write these laws want the legal battle to go. They know ‘˜heartbeat bills’ are not universally popular and are likely to go largely unenforced. Their goal is to force a supreme court review of Roe v. Wade with the current, more conservative collection of justices which, itself, is only a heartbeat from becoming even more conservative. Many of those involved in this debate genuinely care deeply about women with unwanted pregnancies and the unborn children they are carrying. Some do not. They care only about swaying public opinion and driving policy toward their position – whichever position it may be. The debate is endless. No state or local law will halt it. The supreme court affirming or overriding Roe v. Wade won’t either. Endless energy and expense will be wasted in the continued battle to swing the pendulum with far less attention focused where it should be – on the women facing a tough, life-altering, emotional decision and the unborn children they are carrying. The only way to end this long, hopeless battle is to remove government and the long arm of its laws from the situation entirely and that won’t suit activists on either side. Whether or not to have an abortion is a decision that should be made only after much prayerful consideration by the woman involved, her family, her doctor and perhaps the sperm donor in certain situations and only with the woman’s approval. They should be trusted to make a decision early enough in the pregnancy to avoid complications for the mother and suffering by the unborn child. In the vast majority of cases, government, the judiciary and law enforcement at all levels should have no input whatsoever into what should be an intensely private matter. For the most part, those entities offer only endless rhetoric devoid of solutions. Removing them from the picture entirely is the only option that has the potential to put an end to this debate which has divided our nation for far too long.

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