Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Redefining the Abortion Debate

Nassau County, NY executive Thomas R. Suozzi is a pro-choice/anti-abortion politician who is earnestly pushing his party to embrace a more thoughtful and caring position on abortion. As reported by E.J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post, Suozzi has a position on abortion we hear too rarely: Suozzi says:
As a Democrat, I do not often find it easy to talk with other Democrats about our need to affirm our commitment to the respect for life and how we need to emphasize our party's firm belief in the worth of every human being. As a Catholic, I do not often find it easy to talk with other Catholics about my feeling that abortion should and will remain safe and legal, and that we should instead focus our efforts on creating a better world where there are fewer unplanned pregnancies and where women who face unplanned pregnancies receive greater support and where men take more responsibility for their actions…

Anyone who really wishes to reduce the number of abortions has an obligation to help those women who choose not to have an abortion yet find themselves alone.

I have long felt we’ve been having the wrong debate on abortion. This isn’t about some noble exercise of civil rights or some damnable act of evil. This is about ensuring the vitality of life—both for the babies and for the mothers. Simply banning abortion would just drive the practice underground. We need new, more realistic ideas.

What we should be doing is affirming our respect for life by working to reduce abortions through programs that help mothers and through initiatives that inspire fathers to stay involved. Suozzi should be commended for his willingness to find real solutions to the abortion issue.


At 3:59 PM, Blogger Tom - doubts and all said...

We may hear it too rarely, but I happen to share his position.

That said I'll soon have to say it myself. Not that anyone's listening mind you.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger ~Mark said...

While I fully agree with you abou tour need to address all the other issues srrounding abortion that have wrongly been ignored by many inside and outside the church, I don't see anyone actually coming up with any.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Jonathan C said...

Unfortunately, those with a vested interest in this debate have no intention of actually discussing possible compromises and resolutions. The Life / Choice rallying cry is simply too much of a base-energizer.

I agree with everyone who has spoken so far, and join with you in commending Mr. Suozzi. I believe that his views reflect that of the plurality of the American public. Unfortunately, it's this same cross-section of middle-ground Americans would just as well sit on the sideline of the Abortion debate and let the extremists muddy themselves with poisonous rhetoric.

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

One of the really obvious underlying issues here is our fundamental lack of comprehensive sex education in our schools. I know some people believe sex ed should occur in the home, but it isn't happening reliably and this is an issue of public health. I don't think you can truly discuss ways to reduce abortions without giving people the tools to know how to do that! The combined stance of anti-abortion and pro-abstinence only sex ed baffles me. Couple all this with cumbersome adoption laws and an inefficient foster care system and you have one hell of a mess!

At 11:25 AM, Blogger ~Mark said...

A major problem with sex ed in public schools is that it far too often turns into sex "suggestion" rather than merely a fact based explanation.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

Mark -- I'd love to hear some examples of how sex ed in schools becomes "sex suggestion". I dont' really want to respond until I better understand what you mean.


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