The coming abortion debate

Apparently the Supreme Court is going to hear arguments related to abortion. I’m not looking forward to this – and not because of any particular outcome. Rather I’m not looking forward to hearing the one-liners, rhetoric, labeling, simplistic arguments, and focus on the issue with no regard for actual people.

I don’t want to be part of the debate. I don’t fear debate or even conflict. I don’t seek it out either. For as long as I can remember abortion has been one of those issues that is completely divisive. Everyone has an opinion about it. And those opinions are pretty firm in nature. Abortion is one of those issues that becomes compartmentalized – it is debated as if this one issue stands all by itself and has no relation to anything else in the world. I just don’t buy into that notion. I just don’t see it as an issue by itself apart from everything else. I wish it was that simple. But life is complex and messy.

I don’t look forward to an abortion debate because the arguments will be simple in nature, will focus on an abstract issue, and will rise (or rather devolve) into attacks against other people, which will include labeling enemies and dehumanizing people who disagree. Count me out of that “debate.” I’m not interested. Mostly because it’s not a debate – it’s just name calling.

Debate requires some level of health.  And we as a society are unhealthy.  We have a virus of toxic and destructive polarization.  And we think adding in a “conversation” and “debate” about abortion is a good idea?  That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, regardless of what the court decides. It sounds more like further ammunition in a war of words that continues to move toward physical violence. It sounds like anger being stoked. It sounds like throwing gasoline on a raging fire.

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