No doubt about it, abortion can be a grisly business. But it is a fact of life. Sometimes the mother’s health – even her life – is at risk. Sometimes the fetus is damaged beyond repair. Sometimes the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. And sometimes a woman simply does not want to give birth for reasons of her own.
And nothing is going to stop her from having an abortion.
So should she have to rely on a back-alley quack? Or should she have access to safe and sanitary facilities?
As a young reporter back in the days before abortion was legal, I was horrified by the tragedies I encountered as girls and women submitted to the butchery of coat-hanger wielding abortionists.
This alone justifies legalization of abortion as far as I am concerned.
But it does not answer the underlying question. Should the termination of a pregnancy be a matter for government regulation?
Or should it be up to the woman, her doctor and her conscience?
In Wednesday’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton made the most forthright defense of a woman’s right to choose that I have ever heard.
Here’s the punch line:
I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith and with medical advice, and I will stand up for that right.
When you think about it, that’s the real line in the sand.
As I watched Hillary sitting next to Cardinal Timothy Dolan at last night’s Al Smith memorial banquet (photo above), I wondered what the Catholic priest must be thinking. And it occurred to me that his views should matter to Catholics but they should not be imposed on non-Catholics by government edict.
It is totally understandable for your religion to dictate what you do with your body, but it is not reasonable for your religion to dictate what some other person does with their body.
Under the Constitution every American has the right to liberty. And to the privacy they need to enjoy that liberty. That’s the bottom line.