Friday, 25 January 2013

Abortion rights are becoming less controversial

Following the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade, Pew Research Forum published a survey on what the US thinks about abortion.


Rather than consider abortions as a right of privacy or a right to choose, it’s another question to consider if they are the morally acceptable. The latest report by the Pew Forum asked people just that. Almost half of respondents said abortions are not morally acceptable, while 13% said they are morally acceptable and 27% stated that "it depends on the situation". In fact, this is a powerful answer. The 47% who said abortions are not morally acceptable might change their minds when they see a woman who will die if she gives birth to a child. Whereas the 13% might change their minds when they see a woman who engages in wanton, unprotected sex and has abortions a few times a year. After all, abortion is not a form of protection.

Some call for the use of common sense. This makes sense because both parties need to take responsibilities for their actions. Sex's utility is reproduction. If a woman engages in sex with a man not committed to maintaining a relationship with her and the man engages in sex with no regard for the potential consequences, then both parties are at fault. These are the same reasons we see religions emphasize their followers to not engage in pre-marital sex and why they have such an interest in the family unit. 

Abstinence and a nuclear family unit - two rapidly deteriorating societal standards - are more important to religious Americans, according to Pew. On average, 34% of Protestants were in favor of overturning Roe v Wade. On the other hand, only 9% of those unaffiliated with religion were in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Pew reports that abortion’s importance has faded. During the 2012 Presidential Campaign, the issue of abortion only came up once and that was in a vice presidential debate. Annually, there are about 1.2 million abortions in America. Abortions are generally seen as acceptable and so it simply isn’t a big issue anymore. 

Only one in five Americans believe abortion to be morally unacceptable, but even then they are mostly against overturning Roe. They believe that their thoughts should not be made compulsory for all people. For them, their way, and for others, their way. The right to choose has been established, it’s not going away, so let’s go fix the economy, which is affecting everybody. 
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