There is absolutely no chance at all that public opinion will shift to making abortion illegal in the first trimester!  It does not make a difference which party the President is in as no President can change this.  Neither will the representatives in Congress change this, as they cannot oppose the will of the people.  See below, current polls, consistent with other past polls, say only 29% would favor making abortion illegal in the first trimester.  (See public opinion discussion, below.)

This is, other than huffing and puffing on the issue, not really an issue at all.  It cannot be changed.  Pro-choice will prevail forever (at least throughout this century). 

Oh, and the courts would not allow it, as it opposes all legal precedent on rights. (See legislative opinions, below.)

The specific answer to this question in a 2011 Gallup poll was, during the first trimester,

        62% should be legal
        29% should be illegal

There is no contest between the two and no possibility of the 29% rising to even 40%.  It has always been between 29% and 35%.  (See at the bottom what the requirements are for an amendment to the US Constitution - there is zero chance such a thing would occur on this issue!)  If you wonder about the candidates on this issue and whether it would affect any outcome, scroll to the bottom.


No religion or belief group has the right to impose their beliefs on another group, whether it be abortion or gay rights.  This is why this is called the "right to choose" - according to the person's belief and needs not according to another's beliefs - for who can be sure that they are right beyond a shadow of a doubt in their faith (which is called "faith" because it is based on not actually knowing or being able to prove).


The pro-choice has logic to it, to give a benefit to the mother and/or father of the child.
If having a baby would ruin/harm someone's life and cause problems, then that is the "owner's choice", not that of someone else - and it is up to that person to decide, not another.

All choices have a trade-off.  And it can certainly be reasonably argued that the value of the life of a person who is already alive (and impacting that life unfavorably) is greater than the value of the loss of an unconscious group of cells.  (And this is presented with due respect to the beliefs of the pro-life proponents.  They, as discussed above, will have no ability to change public opinion in their favor.)

It is logical that abortion be the choice to be made by the woman.  I support that.


The pro-life argument has logic to it, if their belief that a fetus is actually a live person from the beginning is correct.  However, that is a belief or an opinion - and there is no way to determine who is actually right.  

And, right or wrong, no one has the right to impose that on others. 

If a woman and/or the father believe in the pro-life position, then they have the right to act according to that belief (of course.)


Who is right?  Only Solomon knows.  (As with many religions, no single religion can be proven to be the only 'right' one.  Likewise, we do not know when there is sufficient sentient awareness for a pre-born to be considered a 'human being', so we are only guessing.  So far, the guess is that a fully conscious being [adult] can make a choice that is priority over a developing fetus, arguably not fully conscious or aware yet.)

Of course, Roe Vs. Wade is essentially the King Solomon choice, cutting the difference in half.  It shall be adhered to and not repealed by the minority of pro-lifers.

Otherwise, there is no provable right choice and only unprovable conjecture is what is left.

The central affecting issue:

So pro-life people can make the choice they want to, but cannot force pro-choice people to give up their rights. 

It seems logical to leave it at that.  Even if pro-life people were the majority, they still do not have the right to impose their beliefs on others. 

Who is wrong, bad, or evil?

A moral belief is simply a moral belief.  To believe someone else is wrong for a moral belief is an "anti" (against) position - and such a position is what creates hostility and not having the world work.  Righteousness can be a form of make-wrongousness - neither works, no one person has moral superiority in an area that has no provability to it.  I hope that people stop being divided and that they absolutely stop being mean to opposite believers and that they consider other human beings as fellow human beings to work with as partners in this world who simply have a disagreement in this area.  There is no need for "upset" here, not at the other side - though, of course, the "upset" is justified internally about the situation not the other side. 

Requiring someone to have a baby could, for some, and to varying degrees, result in ruining their lives.  Do other humans have the right to impose that on anyone?

Who "owns" the right to the baby's life and at what stage?  Virtually all humans, it seems, believe that it is murder if the baby has left the womb.  And then it varies before that.  The "consciousness" or "fully formed human yet" seems to be the criteria for permission to terminate, especially in the first trimester, as it may be arguable after that. 

Although I disagree, personally, I can see the argument of the pro-life belief also, so I respect their choice.  They seem to see it as an absolute rather than the "relative" view discussed above - it is a human life from the very start.  It is hard to argue against that.  There is nothing to prove it either way.

What I think I know for sure is that it is unethical to intrude on the rights of others in such an important decision.  By unethical, as discussed elsewhere, I mean "not for the greater good of all concerned". 

I would hope this stops being an issue and is just allowed to stay as is, but, alas, because it is so personal I think a number of people will remain quite emotional about it - justifiably so as it is a threat to something held dear.  But I would hope that we make it about the issue and not about the other people.  Let us respect the other human beings for their sincere beliefs.  Maybe we can convince them of our view, but on a factual, create-understanding basis not on a (false) fight basis.

What do you think?

(See also the piece below going deeper into philosophy and criteria.)

For those who care to go a little deeper:


As is logical and right, no one group can force another to pay for the first group's benefits.

No moneys should be provided by taking from others to provide a benefit that is not agreed by those who give. 

Accordingly, moneys would be supplied for abortion by those who choose to contribute to a national charity, but not provided by the government.   Such a centralized charity should be set up, for clarity of where to make one's donations. 

(At the margin, it may be appropriate for the government to set up an option in paying income taxes, where a percentage is specified or an amount to be sent to the charitable organization.  Of course, the costs for doing so would be deducted from the donations in total, in order to avoid transferring any costs to the non-consenting.)

Even if a person is too poor to pay and no benefit is paid for by a charity, the government shall not pay.  The person must seek help from the national charity instead.



When does life begin?  Some say it is at inception.  Some say it is when the collection of cells meets the criteria for personhood.

Philosopher Mary Anne Warren has proposed the criteria for "person-hood":

1) consciousness (of objects and events external and or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain.

2) reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems)

3) self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control)

4) the capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics. 5) the presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness, either individual or social, or both. 

I, personally, hold consciousness above just physiological awareness of functions.  This probably happens at some level in the early months of gestation, but it also is at a pretty low level even slightly before birth. 

I suspect that after birth a human life is at risk, but I don't know if it is "murder" before that.  I do respect the concern for human life of those people with opinions further along on the scale.

(You can skip over the legislation section, though fairly brief, to the part on imposing opinion on others.)


Important cases:

1965 - Griswold v. Connecticut - upheld the right to privacy and ended the ban on birth control.

Eight years later, the Supreme Court ruled the right to privacy included abortions. Roe v. Wade was based upon this case.

1973 - Roe v. Wade: - The state of Texas had outlawed abortions. The Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional, but refused to order an injunction against the state. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court voted the right to privacy included abortions.
They based this on the ability of the fetus to survive outside the body, and then set a criteria of saying it is not viable during the first trimester.  (Though the time period could be judgmentally changed, this definition means there would be some ability to abort a pregnancy up to some point.) 

In 1976, Planned Parenthood v. Danforth (Missouri) ruled that requiring consent by the husband and the consent from a parent if a person was under 18 was unconstitutional. This case supported a woman's control over her own body and reproductive system. Justice William Brennan stated: "If the right to privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwanted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision to bear or beget a child."  It adopted the standard of undue burden for evaluating state abortion restrictions, but reemphasized the right to abortion as grounded in the general sense of liberty and privacy protected under the constitution.   


I believe a person can be "pro-life" and still support the law of the land if he/she is hired by the people to be in the executive branch, at whatever level.  This is not a conflict, as it is an ethical obligation to follow the law.  AND it is also ok to put forth a reasoned attempt at persuading people to come over to the "pro-life" side, though I think it is a waste of time.  The Americans will never move over to the "life begins at inception (impregnation)" idea.

The Supreme Court has spoken and, accordingly, the government should not be involved in any way that opposes that decision - and the governement should, therefore, let people make their own decision, according to the law of the land.


The terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" do not always reflect a political view or fall along a binary choice; in one Public Religion Research Institute poll, seven in ten Americans described themselves as "pro-choice" while almost two-thirds described themselves as "pro-life."   (So, it is necessary to be sure the question to be answered is very specific.)

When defined more definitively:  A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll in January 2003 asked about the legality of abortion by trimester, using the question, "Do you think abortion should generally be legal or generally illegal during each of the following stages of pregnancy?"  This same question was also asked by Gallup in March 2000 and July 1996.  Polls indicates general support of abortion during the first trimester although support drops dramatically for abortion during the second and third trimester.

The specific answer to this question in a 2011 Gallup poll was, during the first trimester,

        62% should be legal
        29% should be illegal

There is no contest between the two and no possibility of the 29% rising to even 40%.  It has always been between 29% and 35%. 

Another earlier poll came to the conclusion that most Americans say abortion should be legal during the first trimester (source).   

A good discriminating question which I think lays the issue of changeability to rest is:

A constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all circumstances, except when necessary to save the life of the mother:

                              %      %
2005 Nov 11-13             37     61

(prior polls closely consistent)

"Before an amendment can take effect, it must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by two-thirds of the states, and ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of conventions thereof, the method of ratification being determined by Congress at the time of proposal."

I submit that this lays the issue to rest, as there is no way our citizens would possibly change so much that they would come even close to this.  It is a dead issue.


Even this can be an emotional issue, so I hope no one will take offense at the rationale below.

Although some are emotional and feel threatened by the “informed consent” or waiting periods to consider it more carefully, as they feel someone is trying to impose on their rights, I wonder if that is really true ?  

It seems to make sense to push for someone being very careful and very thoughtful and very knowledgeable about such a major decision. 

So, if it is “no harm” but of some possible (and perhaps high, for some) benefit with minor inconvenience, it would seem a rational trade-off, ethical decision would be to have informed-consent on this perhaps greatest of importance issue. 

Other than non-thinking emotional responses, what do you think?


Clearly Obama is very much pro-choice, but what affect does someone who believes in the sanctity of life at an earlier stage have?  

The answer is none.

Romney is a man of very high moral character and is pro-life in this issue - personally! 
He would approve anything involving a majority decision or to no longer have it in under federal jurisdiction (but under each state's).  But his principal stand is for, whether by state or in federal hands, the people to decide.  And a President has no ability to control the outcome, only to approve it if it happens - and it never will happen.

Romney says this appropriately and rationally, in a way that should not threaten anyone on any side of the issue:  “And by the way, if the people say it should be in the federal Constitution, then instead of having unelected judges stuff it in there when it’s not there, we should allow the people to express their own views through amendment and add it to the Constitution.”

[So, I'll duplicate the relevant comment from above:

"Before an amendment can take effect, it must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by two-thirds of the states, and ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of conventions thereof, the method of ratification being determined by Congress at the time of proposal."

I submit that this lays the issue to rest, as there is no way our citizens would possibly change so much that they would come even close to this.  It is a dead issue. ]

Because there will be no affect either way, abortion rights are not a factor in this election, so one should consider what is best for the nation's future prosperity and well-being - and there appears to be only one candidate with a significant advantage in that area.