Difference in abortion views overlooked in this campaign

One critical point that isn’t getting the coverage it deserves in the presidential campaign, and that Democrats seem to be either unwilling or unable to emphasize, is the difference between their views on reproductive rights and those of the Republicans. For me, the bottom line is that it would be evangelicals who’d be driving the nation’s policy on a woman’s right to biological self determination from behind the scenes of a Romney administration. Evangelicals believe that their opinions and principles are informed by God’s will and that any compromise would constitute a heretical rejection of same.

What Americans aren’t hearing often enough is that evangelicals and people like Ryan and Romney all believe in “personhood.” They believe that an egg becomes a person at the moment of fertilization, that it has the same (or more) constitutional rights as the woman in whose womb it resides and that from the micro second after fertilization, the government has the sacred duty to oversee a woman’s pregnancy with an Orwellian authoritarianism that should be frightening to all.

This completely eliminates the concept of personal control over the womb, even in the case of young girls impregnated by rape or incest, and even if the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. Romney claims to be more moderate, but he has been on record for years as saying he wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade and that he supports personhood legislation at the state level. This has been the national, anti-choice evangelical strategy for 40 years in the U.S.: kill Roe v Wade and pass personhood laws state by state until all abortions are criminal acts under any/all circumstances, everywhere in America.

I understand that our economy is foremost in the minds of most, and that we’re at war. But this open assault on reproductive rights by the Republican party and the religious right should be of equal concern to everybody, because if it succeeds, it will create a sea change in the concepts of constitutional rights and the separation of church and state in America. The fact that the total elimination of a woman’s reproductive rights is enshrined in the platform of the “party of less government,” is ironic in the extreme.

Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio

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