Vail Valley Voices: Abortion bill is unconscionable |

Vail Valley Voices: Abortion bill is unconscionable

Randy Schroeder
Vail, CO, Colorado

In six weeks as I write this, I will have a granddaughter. She doesn’t have a name yet. I’ve never seen her. But I love her already. I’ve heard her heartbeat, and I’ve felt her kick in response to my hand on her mother’s belly.

I have a sonogram showing her mouth, fingers, eyes and ears. She’s my first grandchild.

Abortion is a difficult and emotional subject. It delves into the realm of ethics, whether founded in a faith, or in the simple belief that human life has worth.

Religious or not, most of us value human life. Whether pro or anti-abortion, people generally take one of three positions regarding the beginning of life. Life begins: 1) at conception; 2) when the baby becomes viable; or 3) when the birth is complete.

I’m a “conception” guy myself, and while I don’t agree with the “viable” folks, at least I can understand how they choose to think about a fetus in terms of its survivability outside the womb.

What I cannot fathom are those who relegate a late-term unborn to the status of non-entity, a meaningless lump of cells that can be swept away moments before it enters the world.

One month ago as I write,my granddaughter became viable, according to doctors. If she were born prematurely today, the odds are she would survive. To me she is already a person: one I will soon meet, hold, play with, and watch grow into her full potential. I could never let her be swept away.

Legislation now before Congress will radically expand abortion rights in ways that demand our attention. The bill is called the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) and in typical political doublespeak it hides the reality of its effect behind an innocuous title.

The reality is that abortion is legal in the United States. But it has largely been limited to the first and second trimester, with exceptions made into the third trimester when health of the mother is concerned.

There is an uneasy stand-off between the “conception-equals-life” and the “birth-equals-life” folks. That balance has teetered back and forth over thorny specifics like rape, incest, health of the mother, etc.

Until now, those of you who hold the “viability-equals-life” position have been the force that maintains a centered compromise.

FOCA, unless changed, will expand abortion rights to allow the termination of a viable baby for any reason the mother deems appropriate, even up to the moment of birth.

We might as well legalize the abandonment of unwanted babies in Dumpsters. It’s unconscionable.

Too many couples are wanting, and waiting to adopt. Too many lives will never be lived if we, as a nation, value convenience over human life.

If you’ve never thought much about abortion, spend a little time and educate yourself. Research the FOCA bill. Look into what it proposes and how that fits with your values.

You will find some startling new rules being promoted. For instance, medical professionals who have an ethical objection to abortion will be forced to comply. No “conscientious objector” status for them.

Inform yourself about the specifics of FOCA and decide where you stand. If you believe conception is the beginning of life, do not let this legislation pass without a fight.

Write to your representatives. Help them understand how important this issue is to you and the thousands of children who are ‘abandoned’ through abortion each year.

If you believe viability is the beginning of life, do not let this legislation pass as it is written. Tell your representatives to restore language in the FOCA bill to ensure late-term unborns are protected.

If you support exceptions, specify which ones (rape, incest, etc.) Don’t let the extreme stance of the far left override your desire for a position that protects the basic rights of the viable unborn.

If you believe that abortion should be available on-demand for whatever reason, paid for by tax dollars, that an unborn child is merely a lump of cells, then let the FOCA bill continue on its way as proposed.

For my part, my choice is to fight for my soon-to-be grandchild and the hundreds of thousands like her who cannot yet speak for themselves.

Randy Schroeder is a Gypsum resident.

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