Tuesday, March 27, 2007

mississippi passes 'what-if' abortion bill

The governor signed a bill Thursday that would criminalize abortion in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 decision that legalized the procedure. The measure, signed by Gov. Haley Barbour, would ban nearly all abortions in the state if the court were to overturn Roe v. Wade. In that event, anyone performing an illegal abortion in Mississippi would face one to 10 years in prison. . . . Proponents of the bill say the ultimate goal is to one day challenge Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortion activists and some lawmakers believe that with the recent appointments of new, conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade could be overturned.

Read the entire AP story, and a write up from NARAL, an abortion-rights group, that reads thus, in part:

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called Gov. Haley Barbour's (R-MS) decision to sign a statewide abortion ban into law an egregious attack on women's freedom and privacy. . . Keenan continued that Barbour's action makes him the latest example of anti-choice politicians who continue to attack safe, legal abortion, while they refuse to support commonsense policies, like better access to birth control, that would prevent unintended pregnancies. "The hypocrisy is blatant," Keenan said. "In the Bush tradition, Gov. Barbour won't support or promote a different vision for Mississippi—one that allows families to make personal, private decisions without political interference. Mississippians are tired of divisive attacks on women's freedom and privacy."

The abortion debate is a perfect example of the kind of apples-to-oranges conflict that constitutes the American culture wars; of which TEC's crises are a part. One side wants human rights and privacy, the other wants to stop the murder of innocents. These two perspectives differ so fundamentally that the issue at the root of the debate seldom sees the light of day; that is, I believe, the same issue that's at the core of TEC's crises -- the authority of Scripture in our lives and culture. What we need is a campaign for good, grass-roots philosophical analysis that can point out where people's values differ and what it is they're believing about the world and themselves that necessitates those values. We need to have widespread local discussions about what is true, real, and valuable - it's the only way a culture like ours will ever reach homogeneity and relative peace.
It's interesting, too, that this post follows one about the annunciation. Talk about your unwanted pregnancy.

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