Politics or Ethics?

South Dakota’s legislators are trying to pass a law to ban abortions.

Is this politics or ethics? I don’t mean this as a question of individual people’s consciences. I mean as a larger effort, as something that gets signed into a law. Politics or ethics?

Well…I’d say that if this law were driven by ethics, some of the hallmarks we would see would be concern that putting this law into effect wouldn’t in inself cause harm, that the negative effects of this law would be counterbalanced in some way, and that perspective and farsighted thinking would be valued.


“Opponents of the bill argued that abortion should at least be allowed in cases involving rape, incest and a threat to a women’s health.

‘If a woman who is raped becomes pregnant, the rapist would have the same rights to the child as the mother,’ said Krista Heeren-Graber, executive director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.”

Nope, nope, and nope. Politics it is. Ethical people don’t force agreement; ethical people anticipate the consequences of their actions; ethical people don’t see the world in black and white, because they see things from other people’s points of view.

Political people push for disagreement and dissent; they make for “us” vs. “them” games. Nobody wants to see dead fetuses. But by passing this law without changing any of the causes that drive women to seek abortions, we’re just going to see more of the negative effects that not having abortions brings.

What if you (or your daughter or sister) were raped and got pregnant? What if that person were then forced to marry their rapist, because the rapist didn’t want to allow the baby to be adopted and you didn’t want your child solely raised by a rapist? What if more babies of drug addicts were born? What if more babies were born that killed their mothers? What if you were born into a family where you weren’t wanted? Yah. Twenty years down the road the anti-abortionists are going to be shocked and appalled over the terrible state of education, child abuse, drug use, crime, etc., and they’re going to say…”But it’s not my fault!”

But it is. Abortion is a bad solution to women who have unwanted pregnancies in a society that looks down on unmarried women who have sex, or at least who get pregnant. But getting rid of what solution exists without coming up with something better means that you’re responsible for the consequences.

The ends don’t justify the means–that works ways in this situation. The next time you hear about a woman who left her newborn to die in a dumpster, understand where that leads back to, because you fought to end abortion, not to change society to make it a place where all children are welcome, whether or not their mothers wanted them.