When it was learned that the Supreme Court would soon hear at least two cases involving new state laws restricting abortion, citizens on both sides of the abortion debate thought that Roe v. Wade would soon be overturned. For those who believe that the Court is hesitant to overturn settled law, remember that Brown v. Board of Education reversed Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal) that was settled law for 58 years.

Before examining the abortion debate, consider a story that can reveal one’s actual opinion of the life vs. choice argument. A young man has a life-threatening kidney disease. Without a replacement kidney, he will die in six months. A search of potential donors and family members reveals that only one individual is a proper match for the kidney donation. That person is the man’s father, who has two healthy kidneys, yet refuses to save his son’s life. The two have been estranged for more than ten years, and the father is unwilling to give up a kidney.

The question is, “Should the government force the father to donate a kidney to save his son’s life?” If you answer “yes” you are pro-life since you believe that a human life is more important than a parent’s decision. If your response is “no” you are pro-choice as you feel that the parent should have control of his body. What makes this scenario interesting is that the human life is an adult and not a fetus, and the parent is a man not a woman.

Those who are troubled by abortions should realize that the real problem is too many unwanted pregnancies. How do we minimize these? There are three steps. First, provide quality sex education so that young people know what causes pregnancy and how to avoid it. A second step is to provide low-cost, high quality birth control. Finally, the morning-after pill would be available over-the-counter. This is NOT an abortion pill, but an after-the-event birth control method.

Those religions that prohibit “artificial” means of birth control cannot influence these three methods since that would violate the First Amendment’s prohibition of a state-established religion. By minimizing unwanted pregnancies, abortion would become a very rare medical procedure and Roe v. Wade would become irrelevant, which should be pleasing to both sides of the abortion issue.

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