It happens every Congress (by that, I mean the two years of the convening of a new U.S. Congress starting in January following a November election). Some Republican on the further right side of the spectrum introduces a bill, or an amendment that would prohibit federal funding of abortion.
In the 112th Congress (the one that began this January), it was once again Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) who introduced an amendment to the 2011 budget bill that would strip the organization known as Planned Parenthood of federal funding, as well as prohibiting the federal government from providing money to any organization that carries out abortion.
It is without question that abortion is maybe the single most hot-buttoned issue in the country. Just about everyone knows where they stand on the issue, and for clarification, here is where I stand:
I believe abortion should be illegal with the sole exception of instances in which the health (life) of the mother would be brought into question should the pregnancy continue.
I will clarify however, that I do not believe abortion should be outlawed federally. I believe Roe v. Wade was possibly one of the greatest examples of overreach of delineated powers the Supreme Court has ever partaken in, and I believe the law has been wrong since 1973.
I believe that States should ultimately decide whether or not the practice is outlawed.
Regardless on where you stand, Gallup polling data shows that more Americans are pro-life than pro-choice, and as such, when a company or organization is receiving federal dollars into a general fund, and at the same time performing abortions, legislators have the right to call into questions those practices.
As a taxpayer, I certainly don't want a penny of my tax money spent on a single syllable of abortion counseling, let a lone an abortion procedure.
Yet this view, while very modest, has roundly been dissed by a largely pro-abortion media.
During the debate of the Pence amendment to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, the pro-abortion crows from each of the coasts started cawing.
The word use is always the same. "They are assaulting womens' rights!" "They want to take us back to the days of the coat hangers!"
Now the left uses this sort of absolutism on every hot button issue, but no where is it more prevalent than in the abortion debate.
To understand why they use such absolutism is really easily explained. Organizations like the National Organization for Women (NOW), Planned Parenthood, et al campaign on the necessity of the right for women to abort their babies if they so choose.
We never hear Planned Parenthood or NOW marching for the right to preserve health screenings for women, or access to cheap contraception.
Instead, they only march to the pro-abortion beat. Now I must clarify.
When I say the phrase "pro-abortion" I am specifically referring to those institutions and individuals whether publicly known or unknown, who actively campaign, or vote for the right of women to have abortions at any time during a pregnancy, for no age restrictions on the decision to end a baby's life, for no parental consent to end a child's life, or those who put late term abortion doctors on a pedestal.
One of these people is Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who in 1999 on the Senate floor defines life, as existing only when a newborn baby is at home, in the loving arms of his or her family.
She also goes on, in the same colloquy to say that she does not believe the fetal stage of pregnancy constitutes life. (For those of you not familiar with human gestation, the fetal stage (when the unborn child becomes a fetus) is classified as Week 9 and onwards in a pregnancy).
I'd also define pro-abortion as providing an abortion to a patient for essentially any reason a patient may give.
In light of the now infamous undercover videos that record multiple Planned Parenthood clinics schooling prospective patients on how to by pass the (seemingly) next-to-unrestricted process of getting an abortion for young illegal alien girls, it's fair to say that at least some elements of Planned Parenthood are prepared to offer abortions no matter what the circumstance.
Now, what separates pro-choice from pro-abortion? One simple thing. Responsibility.
What is responsible about letting 11 year-old girls get abortions without parental consent?
What is responsible about asking next to no questions when a woman who has carried a fetus to near the end of a term, and all of a sudden decides to see the likes of a Dr. Tiller?
While I never agree with those who are pro-choice (which includes most of the women in my life), they don't think it is responsible to make late term abortions available to anyone who decides they want one.
They don't think it's responsible to have taxpayers pay for a procedure that involves one of the hardest decisions in someone else's life.
Now I don't think Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned, and there is absolutely no way a Constitutional Amendment would ever get past both branches of government and a president, let a lone be ratified by two thirds of the states.
While every tale of abortion saddens me, I understand that there are extenuating circumstances in womens' lives and that all instances are different.
What we have to get away from however, is the inclination that somehow, when someone speaks out against federal funding going to those who provide abortions, or that late term abortions should be outlawed because of their gruesome nature, that they are anti-woman, or anti-choice.
If we are supposedly entering into a new era of civility in the political arena following the tragic shootings in Arizona, there is no better place to start than calming down the absolutist rhetoric being espoused by both fringe sides of the abortion debate.