Re March 8 column by Issac Bailey, “Jesus and the new abortion debate”
Bailey asks interesting and thought-provoking questions about the modern religious debate about the morality of abortion. With all the talk of “sanctity of life” in this debate, it seems that little attention is paid to the sanctity of the lives of the women and girls for whom the abortion issue is directly relevant.
What about the life of that 16-year-old girl Bailey mentioned in the article? Being forced to carry an unintended pregnancy to term could be a devastating event in a young woman’s life. This debate is all too present here in South Carolina, where the Statehouse every year files multiple bills that threaten women’s health based on religious principles. These bills do nothing to address the real issue: preventing unintended and teen pregnancy through increasing access to affordable contraception and implementing medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education in S.C. public schools. Furthermore, these bills do not accurately represent the views of the American people.
According to a 2012 Quinnipiac poll, 64 percent of American voters agree that abortion should be safe and legal. It is clear that the majority in this country agree that the complicated and personal decision of whether to end a pregnancy, consider adoption, or raise a child should be left to a woman, her family, and her own faith, with the counsel of her doctor, not her government representatives. Instead of making assumptions about a person’s morality based on oversimplified labels like pro-life and pro-choice, we should respect the real-life decisions women and their families make according to their own faith.