On Samuel Alito, and the Truth about Abortion

by Sidra M.S. Vitale

There a few things more contentious right now in D.C. than the nomination of Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice. For two primary reasons:

  1. His unclear interpretation of the Unitary Executive Theory, which, at its most extreme, demands the President, as Executive, be allowed to behave like a king.
  2. His less than equivocal support of a woman's right to protect her health and welfare via an abortion.

The Unitary Executive Theory, depending on your interpretation, would require that "independent agencies" such as the FDIC, Federal Reserve, currently somewhat removed from direct political control, in an attempt to provide some neutrality from the buffeting winds of public opinion, be brought under that direct political control, i.e., the President.

In an age where the Executive has already argued that anything he does is legal because he's doing it in his capacity as commander in chief -- even torturing people -- this is an unsettling idea at best. Even more power centralized in the hands of one incompetent? Are you kidding? You can't trust the guy to ride a bike without falling on his face, and you want him to run the Federal Reserve?

And then there's the issue of abortion.

OurWord.org links to The War Between Heart and Mind, where the Religious Right gets asked to do some real thinking, not just imagining a perfect world, about abortion.

In a perfect world, there would be no abortions. All mothers and fathers would be fit to be so, physically, emotionally, with the financial and familial support network necessary to raise a strong, beautiful child to adulthood. All families and communities would welcome new children with open arms.

We do not live in a perfect world.

In our world, women die.

Rev. Tom Davis, PPFA Clergy Advisory Board, suggests that any good Christian, who is ardently pro-life, may be shocked and appalled, sickened to their soul, by the consequences of denying a woman an abortion.

If, God forbid, the "right to life" people actually get what they say they want the criminalization of abortion millions of them may be stunned at their reactions when they see or read about:

* Women forced to testify at the trial of doctors accused of doing abortions. Refusal to testify could result in charges of contempt.
* Hospitals required to report suspected illegal abortions.
* A startling increase in teen births on the part of women who cannot afford to travel to a state where abortion is still allowed.
* Police coming to the emergency room to question women who are suffering infections or other damage due to an illegal abortion.

This is the truth of banning abortion: women dying. What people forget about in their desperate clamor to save the fetus, is that there is a woman standing in front of them, too. A woman who wants to live, a woman who wants to be mother to her other children, a woman of faith, a woman of fear, a woman who is deeply loved, a woman struggling to get by, a woman beautiful, a woman strong, a woman just as much a citizen, just as much worth saving as you are, and when you deny her care, you kill her.

Banning abortion turns devout Christians -- people of faith -- into murderers. That is the truth about abortion.

Copyright © 2006 by Sidra M.S. Vitale

02/10/07 at 5:15