South Carolina conservatives have advanced a bill that would eliminate most abortions in the state by assigning "personhood" to a fetus at the moment of fertilization. The bill titled S.217, known as the "Personhood Act," is relatively simple and addresses the heart of the abortion issue instead of swimming incredulously in the waters of propaganda. The Personhood Act states that fetuses are a "person" under the law which eliminates the legality of abortions except when the mother's life and physical well-being are at risk.
In the United States, the abortion debate gets sullied very quickly. This is partially due to our tendency to divide moral issues along party lines in the same way we pick sides for dodgeball. It's a trivializing of the term "morality" which creates misunderstanding.
To address abortion, we must address morality. However, there can be no singular, pure morality without spirituality in a very basic sense. Otherwise, it is arbitrary and political.
Abortion skirts the realm of spirituality. Including those who recognize deism, there are many people who simply recognize a spiritual nature to humanity; something that cannot be distilled in a beaker. This incomprehensible light which sanctifies humanity gives us value beyond future compost. The inability to know when that light begins to shine is part of what makes abortion such a terrifying concept for those who recognize spirituality. At least, it should.
Without spirituality, there is no moral reason not to kill anyone. There are logical reasons, legal reasons, and even philosophical reasons. There is no purely moral reason, however.
Ironically, basic spirituality is shared among many conservatives and liberals alike. However, the fear we harbor over potentially finding something in common with another human being whom we've been programmed to see as a political enemy overpowers sensibility.
Our inability to recognize a moral center for all of humanity is why we will continue to debate abortion forever. Humans have pondered their own consciousness since the beginning. We wonder what it truly means to be human. We've no way of determining this with absolute certainty, though. Outside of wild philosophy, we know we exist. But when do we begin to exist?
The political logic has been reduced to two-syllable phrases: Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. The conservative stance is clear, especially in S.217. A fetus is a person and, therefore, worthy of protection. Where a parent cannot kill their five-year old child, they cannot have an abortion barring extreme circumstances.
The Pro-Choice philosophy is, generally speaking, a matter of a woman's right to do what she wants with her body and refusing the "personhood" of an unborn child. If the issue is truly about women's rights, though, then being Pro-Choice means a woman should be able to have an abortion at any point of pregnancy. As long as it is being fed by an umbilical cord and inside the womb, a mother should be allowed to terminate that unborn human (however you want to term it) regardless of its level of development in the name of "choice." A woman in her ninth month of pregnancy could abort a fully developed child the day before it would naturally be born because a woman has the right to do what she wants with her body.
If you cannot take this stance as a Pro-Choice advocate, then you admit that abortion is not a matter of women's rights but, instead, a matter of where the line is drawn between abortion and murder because you acknowledge those rights cease at some point. When we can get to this place, we can debate the matter. The Pro-Choice banner holds the same level of propaganda and purposeful confusion as the "All Lives Matter" banner which exists only to counter "Black Lives Matter."
S.217 actually addresses the issue by saying the line is drawn at the moment of conception. Whether you agree or not should be the point of discussion. Furthermore, you cannot hide behind the rape and incest outliers as reasons to support abortion or fight Pro-Life legislation. Those are nothing more than simple addendums to any abortion legislation if, and only if, we can admit the abortion debate is about what defines "personhood" instead of choice.
Which brings us back to the sanctifying light. Until we can definitively identify when that light begins to shine or that it doesn't exist at all, wisdom should value the potential for light as early as possible. Conversely, an abortion potentially extinguishes that light of "personhood" and there is no accommodation we can make for a murdered child.
Consider the wisdom of Sister Joan Chittister: "Your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born, but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed ... We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
This is what makes Pro-Life conservatives hypocrites who are as guilty as those they call murderers. Let's have that conversation instead of grandstanding on "Pro-Birth" legislation. Let's truly value life. Otherwise, you're just making a habit of aborting logic.