By Nathan Barton
We see more and more evidence of growing divides in American society, on multiple issues.
Not only are the factions more separated and more entrenched than ever, but rhetoric and actions are ramping up on nearly a daily basis. Despite attempts to reduce some of the stress on the body politic, it may be at the point where compromise is impossible. So stronger actions may soon result.
Including violence – either to force compliance with certain requirements, or in defense against your opponents who force compliance.
The result? Another conflict, not just between the States but within many States. Not just a person beaten or killed or silenced, but with many casualties, including deaths. Not unlike Syria, Libya, the various Balkan states, or Columbia and Mexico.
There are many issues to fight over, but let us now concentrate on just one. Abortion.
The two positions cannot be reconciled. Either the fetus is human or it is not. Either it is a parasitical blob or a living person.
Yes, there have been many attempts to compromise, or at least finesse the different positions. But all those attempts have or are now failing.
As a result, this may be a complete shattering of society, not just at a national level but locally as well. For more than 40 years, the Roe v. Wade decision has been in effect, but constantly argued over.
We have seen this sort of thing more than once in American history. As a compromise, Roe v. Wade has survived for a very long time: much longer than the Compromises of 1820 and 1850, for example. The second of those lasted only a bit more than a decade and broke down in a tragic election and then a general war.
But we may be nearing a similar point in the America of 2019. Just in recent weeks, three events have further driven wedges between the factions. First the New York abortion law, followed by the (failed, for now) abortion bill in Virginia, and then the failed (for now) attempt to strengthen protections for those born as a result of an abortion, in the US Senate.
The merits or downside of these bills as actually written are moot points. It is the perception that counts.
Blood has already been shed over this particular issue, regardless of your viewpoint. But the blood has been spilled on a retail basis. One abortion provider at a time. One fetus at a time. (Except that to one side, the blood of a fetus is of no consequence, and less to be concerned about than the blood of a cow or a pig.) Is there more to come?
The “pro-life” (anti-abortion) side, even those not very radical, consider these three events to be indications that the other side is becoming more extreme. More willing to push for abortion to the point of infanticide, if not beyond. They see little difference between what the NY law and the VA bill would allow and the actions of mass murderer Gosnell of Philadelphia. They see the 60-million+ abortions since 1973 in the US to be nothing more than 60-million + murders. To them, the unborn are human and deserving of every right that any other human has.
The “pro-choice” (pro-abortion) side, again not just the radicals, see more states pushing for more and more restrictions and everything done by their opponents as being nothing more than steps to overturn Roe v. Wade. They see every attempt to limit or prevent abortions, by whatever means (law or information or persuasion) to be a direct attack on the rights of women with the ultimate goal being to enslave women in the kitchen or breeding pens. To them, the fetus is a parasite and part of a woman’s body, and she can decide that part’s fate at any time. A human does not exist until the fetus leaves the womb and is viable outside it.
I do not see any possible reconciliation between these two positions. And I see, constantly, those who do attempt to compromise and reconcile condemned and attacked by their own or both sides. And again, that makes sense. The anti-abortion person is nothing but a hypocrite if they allow a child to be killed if it can at all be avoided. To the pro-life side, it is treating the unborn child as nothing more than property to be kept or disposed of at will (if abortion is available). The pro-abortion person, well… The comparison to slavery is not an offhand one. Both sides compare it to slavery prior to 1861. But to the pro-choice supporter, the slavery is that of women (if abortion not always available). Those who deny abortion to any woman enslave her.
And slavery is just as evil, as wrong, as murder. There is no compromise.
Which brings us to the point – are we indeed at the stage of war between the states, or civil war? We could indeed be just there.
Although I agree (with many others) that slavery was not the only or even major reason for the South’s secession in 1861, I DO believe that slavery was a major cause for the war that followed secession, and a major reason that the Confederacy lost that war. Why? Because of the perception in many Northern States that they were fighting against slavery (not tariffs or state’s rights) and that ending slavery was worth the killing and the dying. In States (Maine and Wisconsin in particular come to mind), the sentiment was clear. Any action necessary to end slavery (and preserve the Union) would be taken, including shedding of any amount of blood by both sides.
It appears that we are now very near that point with abortion. As with slavery, both sides believe themselves right, and are getting to the point of taking any action necessary to see their position win.
Which side will start it? How will it start? That is hard to say, and a discussion for later.