As the level of vitriol rises surrounding the abortion debate it is interesting to note the similarities with another debate in our country’s history — slavery.
It will allow us to understand why there will be no acceptable compromise from either side. The Southern Democrats viewed the Negro as property so from their perspective this was a property rights issue and believed the government had no right to interfere with private property. Lincoln’s Republicans viewed the negro as a free, independent person and not as property. The two sides viewed the issue from such different perspectives that there was no common ground, no place to begin a constructive solution. The result was the bloodiest war in our country’s history with the victor forcing its perspective on the vanquished. Although forced to change the South did not change its view that a slave was property. In the abortion debate we have one side that believes the fetus is part of the female body, her private property so to speak, and that the government has no right to interfere with her decisions regarding her body. On the other side we have the view that the fetus is an independent being where the mother has the same responsibilities for its health and safety regardless of whether it is inside or outside of her body. Here again, the two sides view the issue from such different perspectives that there is no common ground.
The battlefield this time will be in the courtroom with this Gettysburg being the Supreme Court. In the end there can be no acceptable solution that will satisfy both sides because there is no middle ground.