Where to even begin…
This election had been above and beyond crazy. Every issue seems more polarized than ever. Even simple things have been blown up and made into quite the media spectacle. As if there weren’t enough big revelations that were spectacles in and of themselves.
Last night’s debate was no different than the rest of the campaign though. It is just now the topic because we have fresh quotes from each of the candidates. Lets talk about the abortion part of that debate. Here is the transcript of the debate: (This portions is taken from: http://www.politico.com please visit the link for the full transcript of the debate)
Wallace: Well, let’s pick up on another issue which divides you, and the justices that, whoever ends up winning this election appoints, could have a dramatic effect there. That’s the issue of abortion. Mr. Trump, you’re pro-life. And I want to ask you specifically. Do you want the court, including the justices that you will name, to overturn Roe v. Wade, which includes, in fact, states a woman’s right to abortion.
Trump: Well, if that would happen, because I am pro-life and I will be appointing pro-life judges, I would think that would go back to the individual states.
Wallace: I’m asking you specifically would you-
Trump: If they overturned it, it would go back to the states.
Wallace: But what I’m asking you, do you want to see the court overturn it? You just said you want to see the court protect the second amendment, do you want to see the court overturn-
Trump: If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that is really what will happen. That will happen automatically in my opinion. Because I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this. It will go back to the states and the states will then make a determination.
Clinton: Well, I strongly support Roe v. Wade which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult in many cases, decisions about her health care that one can imagine. And in this case, it is not only about Roe v. Wade. It is about what is happening right now in America. So many states are putting very stringent regulations on women that block them from exercising that choice to the extent that they are defunding planned parenthood which, of course provides all kinds of cancer screenings and other benefits for women in our country. Donald has said he is in favor of defunding planned parenthood. He even supported shutting the government down to defund planned parenthood. I will defend planned parenthood. I will defend Roe v. Wade and I will defend women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions. We have come too far to have that turn back now. And indeed, he said women should be punished. There should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions. And I could just not be more opposed to that kind of thinking.
Wallace: I’m going to give you a chance to respond. But I wanted to ask you secretary Clinton, I want to explore how far you think the right to abortion goes. You have been quoted as saying that the fetus has no constitutional rights. You also voted against a ban on late term partial birth abortions. Why?
Clinton: Because Roe v. Wade very clearly sets out that there can be regulations on abortion so long as the life and the health of the mother are taken into account. And when I voted as a senator, I did not think that that was the case. The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who have, toward the end of their pregnancy, get the worst news one could get. That their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term. Or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.
Wallace: Mr. Trump, your reaction. Particularly on this issue of late term partial birth abortions.
Trump: Well I think it is terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that is okay and Hillary can say that that is okay, but it’s not okay with me. Because based on what she is saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take baby and rip the baby out of the womb. In the ninth month. On the final day. And that’s not acceptable.
Clinton: Well that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate. You should meet with some of the women I’ve met with. Women I’ve known over the course of my life. This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make. And I do not believe the government should be making it. You know, I’ve had the great honor of traveling across the world on behalf of our country. I’ve been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear children like they used to do in Romania. And I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice. And I will stand up for that right.
Trump: And honestly, nobody has business doing what I just said. Doing that as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth. Nobody has that.
The transcript is so important because then you can’t misquote the candidates. To generalize this discussion is too simple. The fact of the matter is that this issue is far more complex than most of us give thought to on a regular basis. Abortion is an emotional decision, and can be made for so many different reasons. This story by Karen Agatone is circulating giving life to a less often heard side of the abortion debate. The side where the baby is not going to live, and even in the womb, the baby could be suffering. For those that are pro-life, would you really say this woman had to carry to term? Would you sentence this baby in the womb to suffering only to die shortly after birth?
Trump in this segment really only said that he is pro-life, does not support late term abortions, and would appoint supreme court justices and this issue ” will go back to the states and the states will then make a determination”. There is no depth. There is no discussion on what the states should do. There is no discussion of instances of rape or incest. There was nothing more he had to offer on the subject other than to very simply state that he is pro-life. Also, the way he described a late term abortion, is not how it works. Look it up!
Clinton on the other hand, really dug much deeper in her defense of Roe v. Wade. She is the one who mentioned medical conditions and the health of both the mother and the baby. That there were so many factors someone who makes the choice to have an abortion considers. She pointed out what the world looked like when other countries either banned or forced abortions. It makes us think back to before Roe v. Wade when women would have coat hanger or back alley abortions. Those were not safe, and many women died because of them.
Roe v. Wade is not just about the right to an abortion, but the right to make an informed decision with your care provider. Please stop having simple discussions about abortion, because it is not a simple issue, and the solution is not an easy one. This issue flows into other topics so fluidly that is becomes even more complex for our county. Those topics include miscarriage, adoption, the foster care system, and more. This one topic bleeds into so many facets of our lives, that it deserves to be discussed in depth, and with the facts.
In just a few days, we have the responsibility to elect our next leader, as well as the local officials who represent us. Do not take this decision lightly, because like this issue, it may start with one issue, but it could bleed into many other parts of our daily lives. Who do you want to represent you on this issue? How deep of a discussion do you want this to be? I know this discussion is not simple, and I don’t want simple discussion.
This portion of the debate last night only scratched the surface of whats really at stake on this issue, and in this election. It’s not even close to the real ramifications of overturning Roe v. Wade. It’s not even close to a fully informed discussion of this hot button issue. It’s not even close to long enough to really understand the debate of either side on this issue. I wish you all luck with your vote. It’s going to count.