Reproductive Rights – Morality and Ethics
While I recognize and fully appreciate the position taken by those who would see an end to abortion, I believe that this is a decision that must remain with the mother (and in some cases, her immediate family).
When a government seeks to legislate acceptable reproductive activities for its citizens, there is a danger that morality and ethics will become blurred. And I draw a distinction between the two.
Morality is derived from one’s own religious beliefs and is highly personal, and should not dictate legislation. Ethics has to do with the rules we have developed to govern our behavior in society, and while our ethical code may overlap with our moral bearings, they are not the same. Ethics keeps us united under a standard set of rules for living, codified into law, while morals may provide personal guidance, which might not be universal.
I feel strongly that our reproductive rights should not fall under the directive of one moral opinion or another, regardless of who puts it forward. That would set a precarious precedent whereby a “Moral Majority” could impose it’s views on the minority and create belief-driven legislation.
That is why I am convinced that our reproductive rights must remain a choice within our broader ethical base.
Within this emotionally charged and complex set of issues there appears to be one point of consensus. Most would agree that in a more perfect world, fewer women should have to face the decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. To that end, I would support federally funded community-based programs designed to educate women regarding their reproductive health, as well as provide post-natal services, including adoption services.