Democrats.com believes abortion is a difficult moral and legal issue that was thoughtfully resolved by the Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe v. Wade.
Morally, different faiths have different beliefs about abortion. Moreover, some faiths that prohibit abortion - like the Roman Catholic Church - have significant numbers of believers who support legal abortion.
Legally, laws prohibiting abortion have never stopped abortion, either in the U.S. or abroad. Instead, they foster underground abortions which are unsafe and even life-threatening, thus harming women and their families. They also send doctors, lay abortion providers, and even women to jail at great cost to society.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court sought the appropriate legal balance between the rights of women and the rights of developing fetuses. They concluded:
- Before a fetus can live outside the womb (1st and 2nd trimester, or 6 months), women have a right to choose
- After a fetus is viable, states may prohibit all abortions, as long as they make exceptions where a woman's life or health are in danger
In most nations where Christians (Catholics and Protestants) predominate, early abortion is legal.
The Republican Party rejects Roe v. Wade and wants to outlaw all abortions - just like fundamentalist regimes around the world (e.g. Saudi Arabia). The Republican Party makes no exceptions for the life or health of the woman - which is why their so-called "partial birth abortion" bans have repeatedly been ruled unconstitutional by the Republican-controlled Supreme Court.
(Note: the term "partial birth abortion" does not exist in medicine and has no precise meaning. It was invented by the anti-abortion movement in the 1990's to blur the line between pre-viability and post-viability abortion, as a political weapon to attack Democrats and overturn Roe v. Wade).
At Democrats.com, we respect the views of those who believe abortion is immoral. While we would normally welcome debate on this issue, anti-abortion leaders have poisoned the debate by advocating or tolerating murder, bombings, arson, and other unacceptable forms of violence. We therefore do not offer Democrats.com as a forum for this debate.
If you believe all abortions should be outlawed - and millions of women and/or their doctors should be sent to jail - we invite you to debate this issue in other forums, such as Belief.net.