I’ve been a Democrat since I started paying attention to politics in high school, but I was brought up in a moderately liberal family. I am pro-choice and against the death penalty.
I’m writing in response to an editorial piece that was written expressing the exact opposite views from mine. While I fully respect the writer and her opinions, I’m speaking on behalf of myself, a Democrat with serious concern for woman’s health issues, my college organization and my party.
I’ll start with the death penalty. Fundamentally I do not think it is logical to kill another human being to prove that murder is wrong. I understand that if we kept everyone alive in the jails for lifetime sentences then it would be exorbitantly expensive to feed and take care of them, as well as incredibly difficult to find space for all of them in our prisons. It’s a logistics issue. However, in many cases it is more expensive to sentence people to death because of the appeal process. I also think that in legalizing marijuana we would free tons of space in the jails by freeing people who don’t need to be in jail anyway, but that’s a topic for a different day.
I believe that no person should be permitted by the government or any other group to kill another human being. It’s still murder, even if the society or a governing group says it’s OK. Killing to show that killing is wrong just doesn’t make sense, especially with the risk of putting someone to death who hasn’t committed a crime. Troy Davis, anyone?
Personally, I believe abortion should only be used as a last resort—if the woman’s life is in danger by carrying the pregnancy or in labor—or in cases of incest or rape. I don’t believe I could ever have an abortion myself, but the key to that whole statement is “personally.” No, I don’t think abortion should be used when it doesn’t have to, but that’s my opinion.
I still believe it is a woman’s health issue because it is something that’s going on inside of her body. I don’t have the right to put my opinions on her and control her with them, nor does the government or anyone else. No one but the woman herself should be making decisions for her health and her body.
On the point of the fetus, the only place where it is “proven” that the child is alive at the point of conception is in a religious document. I’m not trying to disrespect anyone; I’m an Episcopalian and I have a very strong faith, but in a country where freedom of religion is a founding law, we should not have laws that are even vaguely based on something from the Bible, or from a text of any other religion. Our Deist Founding Fathers made very certain to protect the freedom to believe or not believe as the individual sees fit. I think that this is a very important point because we do not know when the life begins in a fetus.
We do know that absolutely, the woman who is pregnant is very much alive. We should protect her rights as our first priority.
As an individual, I would not choose to have an abortion. As a woman, I support all women in making their own decisions regarding that issue. But it should be theirs to make and no one else’s. As for the death penalty, there are much better ways to protect society from a murderer than for someone to take that person’s life as well.