I'm going to open up by saying that I'm not going to chime in with my personal feelings about this subject yet, of which i have clear ones. I have had the same feelings about this subject since I first heard of it as a young child, and every statistic or news article about it seems to strengthen them. However, i don't want to go on public record about them until people know me a bit better, as people tend to throw you in one of two, very lame, groups based on which side you supposedly pick. I'm going to give devil's-advocacy to both sides of the debate here, so please read with a grain of salt, so that way i don't have to respond to 700 different people arguing against a side i may or may not even be on, with the same cliche two arguments (abortion is murder, period or its a womans body and noone has a right to tell her what to do with it). because, bottom line, i feel like both arguments are essentially bullshit gut reaction emotional puppet responses to two big teams with agendas they don't show you.
The biggest problem in this debate, is that politicizing it has caused the two sides to argue about completely different things.
On one side, pro-life, the very name, implies that people who are on this side are for the protection of life. Some people under this banner have committed terror attacks that have ended lives. Also, for them to make the debate so pronouncedly about the protection of life, they immediately alienate a certain humongous population. People who have had abortions. I'll get to this later. Essentially, this requires that everyone who is not on their side be labeled anti-life. Intentionally divisive moves like that, although attempting to show their side of the debate, alienate the opposite side. Obviously noone who is pro-choice considers themselves pro-death or anti life.
On the other side, pro-choice, implies that the whole debate is about civil liberties. This, too, is intentionally divisive and misleading. Obviously people who are pro-life are not anti-civil liberties. They don't see abortion as a civil liberties restriction, and assuming that if they get their way they are going to continue to pursue more reduction of civil liberty is just spin and totally imflammatory.
Now onto point one, and the facts about how civil liberties debate is affected by abortion. It is difficult to find good studies and facts about the abortion debate, as most are funded by two sides who are not trying to find a fair analysis, they are just trying to prove their own points. There are more civil liberties implications than most people know about this. One, this one is often the point of someone who is concerned about euthanasia and the death penalty. People who have little trust for government or social killing in any case, fear that when you are considering authorizing deaths caused by a person, that it is a sliding scale down which some really heinous atrocities have occurred in past societies. One, scientists and studies that have attempted to prove the beginning point of life being after a point at which a common pregnancy test can become positive (which generally takes a good couple weeks for an affordable and reliable test to give you that outcome) are not at a consensus. That means, that there are people on both sides of the debate, so it can not be stated that it is the ACCEPTED CONSENSUS that human life begins at birth. It can only be taken as a theory. Both sides have many different points at which they feel that life starts, being it two weeks into pregnancy, the third trimester, or whatever, but there is absolutely no consensus to this. Therefor basing legislation on that kind of science at this point is a bit too hasty. There is more research to be done. Obviously, there are points in a pregnancy, where if you watch an ultrasound video of an abortion being done, where the fetus is desperately avoiding the vacuum tube and moving wildly when it penetrates the surface, this is something that is not necessarily widely known, but easily viewable online or what have you. With facts on both sides, and a variety of takes on the issue, it is divisive. People who fear government allowance of deaths, euthanasia, or death penalties, are people who fear that sometimes people will die in a form of injustice, and that this should not be a power of government, as one bad apple (unjust death) spoils the whole damned bunch(makes the government into a murderer). The problem with arguing over what is, or what isn't humanity, and then offering a penalty of death to whatever isn't considered humanity, is that down the line, 100 years for now, this piece of common law could be used to sentence senior citizens to death. People on the opposing side of this debate generally don't feel this type of governmental injustice isn't realistic, but to be honest, stranger things have happened. (Look at Nazi Germany or the Roman empire to see government sponsored euthanasia campaigns authorized by citizens just like me or you unknowingly). This type of debate could start saying that, well, if a certain quality of life is what we decide is humanity, then some things we consider alive now, may someday not be considered alive by the same argument.
on the more pro-choice aspect of it, there is a fear that if government steps in on a womans reproductive issues, that this could slide further. Next thing you know women who are victims of rape, or to whom a tubular pregnancy might cause death, would be forced to bear children of rapes or through damaged reproductive organs. This one i have to say is the victim of heavy spin, as legalizing abortion itself, which is not the right of women to do anything to their bodies, it is the right for doctors to go into a womans body and terminate a pregnancy, seems to be a bit of a crazy solution. If pro-choice is a proper label, and if civil liberties are the issue, then it would make sense that the community would put more effort into funding research to transfer fetuses from an unwanted host to a wanted host, or to author legislation that allowed rape victims or women who are at risk for a tubular pregnancy to seek abortion. However, the abortion statistics aren't consistent with this kind of use, they are more consistent with use for post coital birth control. If the Pro-choice contingency argued that they think its important that post coital birth control be protected via abortion, it is possible quite a lot of people would reevaluate their acceptance of that label. If pro-choice can't begin to support legislation that specifically prevents this type of birth control usage of abortion, then they will NEVER get the pro-lifers to believe the rhetoric that they look at this as an issue that civil liberties effort. If civil liberties advocacy on the behalf of the fetus is accepted by pro-choice, then a REAL future which involved reevaluating abortion as a viable option to prevent womens deaths or carrying babies to term via rape, then there could be a solution that both sides could live with. But the bottom line is 20-30% of pregnancies are being aborted these days, and there are not rape statistics, or death statistics for women carrying out pregnancies that come within 1% of those cases. that is spin.
Pro-life wants to call women who abort babies murderers. However, there is little sensible education to women these days to make them believe that this accepted medical practice is a murder. Generally, they are told its a bundle of cells, its a totally healthy procedure, and the only downside is a slight possibility of Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. They go to a doctors office, the same type of office that they are told from birth will extend their lifespan, and the action is done under some degree of anaesthesia, and essentially they are doing nothing themselves other than having coitus, signing forms, and being on drugs and taking a nap. Anyone who calls a person who does this a murderer, is obviously not concerned with solving this debate, or slowing down the rate of abortion. You want to know why? Because 1 out of every 2.5 women now has an abortion by age 50. This means a massive percentage of the people they want to convince, are going to have to face the fact that they are a murderer, forever.
Calling the abortionists murderers also doesn't do much for their argument. These are medical professionals, and the world they live in is arm deep in blood and gore. Its a very tricky and confusing world to understand what is or isn't supporting or promoting life or death, because its all mind-numbingly gross if your not in that field. These people take life into their hands regularly, and are making the best judgement they can considering what studies are available, and many studies abortionists are given show statistics about how many illegal abortions are performed, and how great the health benefits are. (although, to be fair, these are not provided by unbiased sources, as this is a contentious part of the debate also). The most important thing, is they are upholding the law, and the standards of the health care the community wants. You can't just call that person a murderer. If you want to call the legislation murderous, then you can make that allegation without hurting anyones feelings and make your points from there, but the current procedure of attacking people for a piece of legislation they don't understand is unfair and alienating.
some day.. ill explain my beliefs on this issue, and show some stats and facts that most people don't know about that pertain to this debate. but not until both sides show they care one way or the other who wins, and stop smearing people for having certain beliefs.
the bottom line: pro choicers do not believe that they advocate death, and pro lifers are not ignorant rednecks who want to control women's wombs from afar.
this is much more complex of a debate than the spin scam will make you think.