Tahlequah Daily Press

February 7, 2014

Abortion a political football


TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

The abortion issue is an ideal political football for plutocrats and politicians. It unites and inspires permanently polarized blocks of committed people to contribute large sums of money and volunteer effort and votes in behalf of a holy war that can never actually be “won.”

For such a cause, people on both sides will pour into the streets to mindlessly fan the flames of dissension and throw themselves against an equally determined wall of opposition. No strategy is too extreme except rational thinking and respectful discussion. Better to be cannon fodder for the puppet masters who keep the conflict going, it seems. Isn’t it time we conclude the matter? Must we demand unconditional surrender of the other side, realizing that such a settlement would be as ephemeral as smoke?

“They are killing babies!” is the hysterical cry from one camp. From the opposite camp comes the challenging reply, “You are destroying the world ecology and trying to cram your beliefs down our throats!”

“The lives of our most defenseless citizens, our unborn children, must be protected!” the first side insists. Comes the answering charge, “The anti-abortion crowd only love children in the womb and is indifferent to their existence thereafter!”

Those who oppose it say that abortion amounts to rational suicide. Pro-abortion advocates respond with the reminder that every twelve years the world population increases by one billion people, and that will eventually lead to terrible consequences.

Nowhere do we hear a respectful discussion of such questions as the following: What would be the effect on the number of people who vote if such controversial questions were resolved? As the time in which the world population doubles becomes shorter, at what point might the ecology of the earth become overwhelmed? What are the advantages and disadvantages of increasing populations? Without abortion, at what point would ethnic Orientals overwhelm all other populations? What planning should we be doing to cope with increasing air, land, and sea pollution problems? What preparation should we be making to deal with the problems of feeding, clothing, sheltering, educating, and governing the increasing population? What about job requirements and growing infrastructure demands? What about health care? Are we willing to accommodate the cultural and social changes that growing populations always demand? Might overcrowding result in brutal wars over national “growing space” demands? Complications mount with each passing year.

Almost everyone seems to assume that we will somehow “muddle through” as we always have, but that may not be possible if some unknown “tipping point” is exceeded. Denial and self-delusion is rampant.

Anti-abortion advocates assure us that populations will stabilize in the next thirty or forty years, but justification for their optimism is questionable. Still, showing respect for legitimate concerns on both sides and being willing to discuss the issues respectfully will go farther toward resolution of the problem than all the marches, street demonstrations, political maneuvering, preaching, and moralizing can ever produce.

What if they had a war and nobody showed up?

Fred Gibson