One of the great cartoonists for “MAD Magazine” was Dave Berg. More than 40 years ago, he did a cartoon where two fellows were walking down a street when they come across two demonstrations by violent militant groups that the police were trying to keep separate.
“What’s going on?” the first guy asked.
“The police are trying to separate two militant groups,” the second one responded. “One wants abortion on demand, the other says abortion is murder.”
“Who do you agree with?” the first guy asked.
“I agree with the side that says it’s murder,” the second one said. “Those poor cops are getting killed!”
I wrote that because, when dealing with a subject like abortion, it’s best to start with a little humor to lighten the mood. It’s also helpful to remember abortion has been controversial for decades.
Abortion is as controversial today as it ever was. Some states have passed restrictive laws in the hope of getting Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, overturned. Other states have passed laws making abortion legal almost up to the moment of birth.
How you stand on abortion likely hinges on how you answer this simple question: when a woman is pregnant, is it one life or two? Is it one body or two? Obviously, if you think the woman’s life and body are all that matter, you’re going to see abortion very differently from someone who thinks the woman and the fetus are both living things.
The rhetoric has always been bad. The anti-abortion side accuses the other side of murdering babies and practicing infanticide. The pro-abortion side accuses the other side of wanting to control women’s bodies, denying them their freedom and making them little more than breeders for the state, like in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
The rhetoric doesn’t take into account how complex the issue can be. You may recall the case of Dr. George Tiller, a doctor in Kansas who performed late-term abortions. He was murdered some years ago by an anti-abortion fanatic. This was after he’d been called “Tiller the Baby Killer.” One of the lines said about him was that there was a special place in Hell set aside for him.
Consider this: Tiller was never accused of violating Kansas state law. Women who sought a late-term abortion had to be referred to him by at least two other doctors. Under Kansas law, a late-term abortion was only legal if the life and health of the mother were at risk.
In other words, every one of the women who were referred to him had already had something go terribly wrong in their pregnancies. I suspect many of these women actually wanted to have a child. They may already have begun making preparations for a new arrival in their families. Then, they got the devastating news that the pregnancy could not be carried to term.
That puts things in a different perspective, doesn’t it?
If we really want to cut down the number of abortions, we need to cut down the number of unwanted pregnancies. In that regard, I’m going to address a group that hasn’t been addressed yet: men.
That’s right, men. Men are as responsible for unwanted pregnancies as women. However, traditionally, they have not had to pay the price that women have. There are far too many men in this country who take advantage of women, and that’s one of the reasons we have so many unwanted pregnancies.
Guys, you need to take responsibility for your actions. I don’t often agree with Jesse Jackson, but I agree with what he said about men and unwanted pregnancies: “It doesn’t take a man to make a baby. It takes a man to raise a baby!”
I’ll be blunt. Guys, if you are unwilling or unable to care for a child, you have no business having sex with a woman. Either practice contraception or keep your pants on.
I believe there are far too many abortions in this country, and that’s because there are too many unwanted pregnancies. Men are at least 50 percent responsible for that.
Men will also be a big part of the solution.