Abortion is an issue like no other. And because it is like no other, comparisons with other issues are simply misapplications of analogy.
The way I answer the question of whether I am anti abortion or pro choice is that I'm both anti-abortion and pro choice. I think every woman is anti abortion. Nobody wants to destroy their baby, nobody wants their body invaded and messed with. But, I'm wise enough, as are a growing number of both women and men, to recognize that criminalizing abortion, providing no choice to women, is not the solution to the abortion problem. Simplistic solutions do not solve complex problems.
Making abortion unnecessary is the answer. Abortions cannot be eliminated, they will always be required. But, rather than try to limit them arbitrarily by law, we need to put our efforts toward making them unnecessary even though we can never completely succeed. We need to change the way we educate our children, equipping them to make better choices both before and after pregnancy begins.
Not long ago I wrote a post on my blog Noodling about replacing sex education courses with courses on responsible reproduction. We have it wrong, as a society/culture, regarding sex and its results. Reproductive problems need to be faced as the complex and intricate problems they are, not shoved aside with slam bam thank you ma'am laws.
I consider the "make it illegal" attempt at a solution an insult to women and children, a typical male-dominant trivialization of women's reality. Women need to recognize that making abortion illegal is an inadequate and discriminatory dismissal of their true needs.
If I were running for office here in the USA, I'd tell questioners that I'm anti abortion and pro choice because it's not a clear choice between pro or anti. I'd say that I would make decisions based on fairness and respect for life, the life of the mother and the life of the child, and the lives of future mothers and children, and that there are many tasks to be done and changes to be made before abortion will diminish without harm. I'd tell them what some of those necessary tasks and changes are.
Then I'd list several changes I'd be able initiate and expedite if elected. And, I'd be sure to challenge them to do what they can do, not just elect me, but begin laying the groundwork for changes that need to take place in their own environments. I think it's important to enlist citizens to act, not just vote. John Kennedy did that very well in his "Ask not what your country can do for you..." speech.
So many women know what it's like to be faced with unwanted pregnancy. We need to hear their stories, learn what compelled them to make their decisions to continue or abort. From their experiences we can determine what we need to do, what we need to change, so that the absolute minimum number of women will have to make the painful and sorrowful choice to abort.
Women are well equipped and positioned to set change in motion and carry it forward. We need individual women, and women in groups to provide education, support, innovation, and practical solutions that do not create victims.
This is our country, our home, our shelter, our protection. The Bible says a wise woman builds her house, and a foolish one pulls it down with her hands. Let's take the abortion issue out of the streets, out of the political tug-o'-war game and get to work.