Life, Liberty,…

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Above is Section One of the 14th Amendment (source).  Pretty cool stuff.  I think so because it protects the rights of ALL American citizens, and does not make any exclusions based off of any character trait, lifestyle choice, skin color, religion practiced or not practiced.  Nope, not a single exclusion.  As citizens of this country, we all have the same rights.

Which brings me to the decision that new Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring made regarding his state’s ban on gay marriage and the fact that it is a violation of the Constitution (article).  I applaud his decision to fight the ban and bring the Commonwealth into the 21st century and into compliance with the United States Constitution.

As some commenters in the article linked to above have pointed out, marriage is a civil right, and thus not subject to being voted on by any electorate, and also is subject to adherence to the Constitution.  Since we are not a theocracy, arguments pointing to a religious definition of marriage really do not stand up too well; Iran is a theocracy, so they can go ahead and define marriage how they want, but here in America, that is not the case.  Pretty simple if you ask me.

What If?

My friend Ryan wrote on one of his blogs yesterday a post with his view on abortion, and the science of pregnancy.  It was well-written with a scientific timeline of pregnancy from implantation of the sperm in the egg forward.  The purpose of his entry, at least from what I learned from it, was to show his displeasure regarding the responses of Joe Biden and Paul Ryan at last week’s VP debate, to offer his view, and to offer the science; I think he was successful at doing all three.  I very much respect Ryan as a writer and as a friend, and I know his view on abortion differs from mine, but I respect his view.

I guess maybe the point of this entry is to share with people who do not read his entries the comment I posted (or at least I think I posted it, as long as the computer gremlins did not catch it first).  Basically, my comment was as follows:

What about in the case of rape, incest, or health of the mother?

To me, that is a question, or series of circumstances, that should be addressed and reconciled by people on both sides of the issue.  In no way do I believe that abortion should be the answer for making an irresponsible choice, but there is, in my opinion, a place for the procedure in our society.  It is not a pretty procedure, let’s not fool anybody here.  But it is also not pretty to ask a woman to carry the child of her assailant to term, to care for her body and the child for 9 months.  It is not right to ask a little girl who was raped by her father, uncle, or brother to carry the child to term.  It is not fair to sacrifice the life of a mother in order to successfully bring a child into the world.

I provided an example in my comment as well:

If my wife were to be raped and become pregnant, would we as a family be reasonably expected to ensure that she takes care of herself and the child during the term?  What if, during the term or delivery, my wife died and the child lived?  Then what?  I am a widower and a single parent to the daughter we had together.

I cannot wrap my mind around that concept.  Losing my wife, my daughter losing her mother, all to protect the child of a rapist.  That is wrong on so many levels to me.  To carry it further, how could I possibly live with having to tell my daughter that she no longer has her mother to bond with because she did not have the choice to save her own life?  But at least my daughter would have a step-sibling who was the spawn of a rapist/animal.  I guess there is that.

To me, the issue of abortion is not cut-and-dry, black or white.  There is a lot of gray area.  No amount of science will convince me that a woman who is raped should not have the choice to carry that child to term or not.  If we, as a country, start down the path of restricting the rights of any of our citizens, where does that path end?  It is a slippery slope, and I don’t think anybody can say with certainty that there would be plenty of unintended consequences.  Restrict who can vote?  Restrict our free speech?  Establish a national religion and ostracize those who choose not to practice any religion?

I would love to know your thoughts on the issue.  If you choose to comment, please keep the comments civil and refrain from personal attacks (yeah, I can do that, it is my blog after all, and any debates on here will be respectful and civil).