Solomon would probably have been driven to drink trying to resolve the abortion debate. Even the Supreme Court is not dipping its toes into the issue. It is merely deciding whether the federal government has the constitutional right to override state laws regarding abortion.
On one side of the issue are those who believe the fetus is part of the woman’s anatomy and only she should have the right to make decisions about her body. On the other extreme are those who believe life begins at conception and the mother has the same responsibility for its welfare whether it be inside or outside her body. Between these two groups is an unbridgeable chasm. Middle ground does not exist.
Society is looking for a legal solution so let’s present a legal case.
A pregnant woman is attacked in which the fetus is terminated. Has a crime been committed beyond that of the attack on the woman? If you said no then you hold a strong belief that the fetus is part of the woman’s anatomy.
If you said yes, then you believe a new life has been extinguished. However, if you asked “how far along was the pregnancy,” then you have opened the door for the existence of a mythical point when the fetus goes from being part of the female anatomy to a sentient being.
Surveys would seem to indicate that this is the opinion of most Americans. The majority favors allowing abortions during the first trimester but not so in the second or third. The real debate should be about determining that mythical moment. Any such decision will likely be unacceptable to the two extremes, but such is the case in most debates.
Steven Howard, MD