We recently asked our followers on social media: “If an organization opposed abortion after 21 weeks but supported earlier abortions, would you be willing to work with them publicly to outlaw the later abortions? Why or why not?” (The question was purely hypothetical; to the best of our knowledge, no such organization exists.) A lively, civil discussion ensued. In no particular order, here are a few of the top responses:
Mikalea B.: Yes, basically. Politics is like public transportation. If there isn’t a bus going directly to where you want to be, you take the one going the closest…
Rachel M.: No. What’s the difference between killing a 6 week old child and a 22 week old child? None. A younger human is not less valuable or less worth saving than an older human.
Chris S.: Tough call. I would feel bad aligning with such an organization since they fundamentally differ in the most important way. Also only around 2% of abortions happen after 20 weeks. But of course it would be good to save even those few lives.
|Ultrasounds of a 20-week-old baby|
Rafael G.: I’d be more inclined to ask them why they would support the choice to have an abortion at 20 weeks, 23 hours, and 59 seconds, but not one second after.
Tess S.: If we had to trade giving up attempts to restrict earlier abortion in order to work with them to restrict later abortion, then no. If there was no expectation for a trade off then yes.
Devonie B.: No. I’m not willing to compromise on the fact that abortion kills a unique human being at whatever stage it occurs. Also, if their 20 week cut off is based on pain perception, more recent research suggests that its possible to feel pain at around 13 weeks.
Lisa R.: Yes for sure. No qualms. However when I’ve talked with pro-choice friends about this, they are playing defense. They say “I’ll agree to banning late term abortions if you’ll agree to allow and stop fighting to end earlier abortions.” So we agree late term abortions are bad, but they don’t want to work with me to ban them because they perceive it as giving me something I want and getting nothing in return from me.
sweetwonderbear: Only if there was no better option. Drawing the line anywhere other than conception is still based on their own personal feelings rather than science. It’s better than nothing but we should instead be supporting organizations that aim to educate people and outlaw abortions as close as we can get to conception.
Rebecca D.: I personally would. Especially because so many people in my life are pro-choice, I strive to find common ground wherever I can. This is true when this position is reflective of what the American public thinks on abortion, which I think is helpful for pointing out on the abortion issue in this country; people might be more easy to convince if they’re on the fence about late-term abortions if they understand how most people feel on the issue. When the United States has some of the most relaxed abortion laws in the entire world, this is absolutely a necessary initial step when it comes to our laws.
Michael S.: I wouldn’t work with them, because I wouldn’t want to be interpreted in any way as condoning abortion during any stage. By working with them, anyone can come back at you later and say “but you worked with an organization that supported legalized abortion during part of the pregnancy”.
Kyle T.: Working with an organization isn’t equivalent to supporting it. I wouldn’t be averse to working with any organization actively campaigning for some legislation akin to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act or a late-term abortion ban. Of course, this would be while simultaneously working with other organizations like the National Pro-Life Alliance on legislation like the Life at Conception Act which bans all abortions with no exceptions. There wouldn’t be any public doubt as to my own position, and yet I’d be doing all I can in regards to coalition-building to get any legislation that saves any lives passed. Incremental legislation is only problematic if we forget to focus our energies on non-incremental legislation like the Life at Conception Act. But if we work on such legislation simultaneously, we are keeping both goods of working to save any lives possible and working to establish the right to life for all embryonic and fetal people.
Ryan N.: Yes. While all abortions should be outlawed, if progress can be made to outlaw abortion and save lives (even if they may be few) it should be pursued. The lives of the preborn lost by abortion should outweigh any animosity held against those who may think differently than us.
Shae-Lynn K.: I would, simply because it is a start. That’s usually how you should begin with addressing the pro-life movement with those who are pro-choice. Reasoning with them on late term abortions makes it easier for them to eventually see all abortions as wrong. Just my experience.
Keena Y.: Yes. But I would also continue to work with groups that ban abortion after the first trimester. And groups that want heartbeat laws. And groups that want the practice outlawed entirely. Let’s save some babies even if we can’t save all the babies.