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Friday, September 29, 2006


I don't vote, and one of the big reasons is the abortion debate. Not specifically because I am pro-life or pro-choice or pro-stem-cell-smoothies or anything, but just because I think it's emblematic of how removed from reality politics is.

Personally, I think it's reasonable to say that a person over the age of 18 should be able to legally acquire a safe abortion, and that the government can reasonably restrict someone under 18 from having one. From all accounts, an abortion is a procedure that can trigger depression, hormonal swings, and other serious psychological effects. Someone who is legally an adult should be able to make those decisions, someone who is not legally an adult can reasonably be said to not have the faculties to make an informed choice.

And do you really want parents able to pressure their children into sometimes dangerous medical procedures, if those procedures are unnecessary? On the one hand, the child might not have the greatest life. On the other hand, the new mother might be pressured into an abortion to preserve the parents' social standing.

Not that this is certainly the position I think the US should take: frankly, I know very little about this issue (which, unlike most people, means that I feel uncomfortable taking a definite stance) but from what I do know, this would be a reasonable law.

Yet moderation is totally lacking from the dialogue. The only two really viable positions in the US right now are: a) Abortion is murder, God will smite you. and b) Abortion is a right granted by any precepts of a liberal society, and without access to abortion, we may as well enslave blacks. The "Partial Birth Abortion" ban is just a thinly veiled attempt to illegalize abortion. Yet that's what we get.

A group of five people just talking and trying, absent campaigns and emotional vitriol, could probably fix the country faster than the entire political system we have in place. We don't need a Secretary of Homeland Security, we need a Secretary of Common Sense. Should we torture people? SoCS says no, since torture is ineffective and will result in US troops being tortured. Should we invade Iraq? SoCS says no, since you can't create democracy overnight, but we should probably stop with all the embargos that keep bad people in power, too.

cranked out at 9:02 AM | |

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