Monday, September 15, 2008

National Abortion Amendment

We require an amendment to the constitution describing precisely our national abortion policy.

Currently, we have left the issue up to the courts to decide, but that is insufficient. It's beyond the scope and design of the court to make these decisions.

Likewise, the issue is too sensitive and contains too many human rights' issues to govern on a state-to-state basis.

The reason we don't already have a constitutional amendment on abortion is because both extremes know they don't have the votes to get everything they want out of an amendment so they're satisfied trying to manipulate the courts instead.

This is not good government. The onus of good government is that we consciously decide what we think is best and right and proceed with it, not allowing ourselves to be controlled by special interest groups of either extreme.

The obvious solution is a compromise between both extremes.

Here is what I propose: A normal pregnancy can be divided into three trimesters.

For the first trimester: allow no state to enact a law that prohibits or limits a woman's right to a safe abortion for any reason. This way, the state doesn't force anyone to be pregnant who doesn't wish to be. Women may decide to abort and the state has no say in their decision.

There is some pressure for women to make their decision quickly, but that pressure exists anyway. This also prohibits states from trying to eliminate abortions by putting unreasonable restrictions on abortion providers.

For the second trimester: abortions are only allowed on the recommendation of a licensed physician based only on the mother's physical health. This addresses those cases where abortion is more of an issue of health than one of choice--and it puts the decision in the hand of those we entrust to make those health decisions in other matters.

At this stage, we begin to give the fetus some human rights, but the focus remains on the health of the mother if not her preferences. There will be some physicians who "rubber stamp" all abortion requests, but medical ethics is really more an issue of peer evaluation and licensing than one of statutory law.

For the third trimester: every effort must be made to deliver the fetus alive. No state may allow an abortion during this period unless proscribed by both a physician and a judge.

During the third trimester, the fetus has a growing chance of surviving premature birth, therefore the full focus of the law is on the civil rights of the fetus.

Certainly there is room for discussion on each of these stages, but with my proposal, neither side gets everything they want but we get everything we need to know we did our best to govern wisely.

2 comments:

Nicole Bradshaw said...

I'm on board with this plan. Who do we write to?

A. Boyd C. said...

First, tell people. Tell them you want this to end and you want a compromise.