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Piece of Mind: 'No' On Abortion Ban

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Abortion battle heats up in Texas Legislature

If I were to declare my opposition to a strict anti-abortion bill headed for approval in the Texas Legislature, would you consider me to be “pro-abortion”?

If you say “yes,” you would be wrong.

Still, I do oppose legislators’ effort to enact a strict law that makes it illegal for a woman to terminate a pregnancy just six weeks after conception.

Does that mean I favor abortion? That I would counsel a woman to get an abortion if she asked for my opinion on this intensely personal matter? That I oppose the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings that have declared abortion to be perfectly legal in this country?

No on all three counts.

What troubles me about the Texas legislation is the idea that a woman cannot make this decision for herself. That she cannot consult with her spiritual counselor, her partner, other members of her family, that she cannot pray to God for strength and guidance as she ponders what to do.

No, that a group of equally fallible human beings is going to declare that any effort to end a pregnancy after six weeks — when, as I have understood, women often don’t even know they are pregnant — is just plain wrong.

Human beings should not be left to pass judgment on other humans’ most wrenching decision. To my way of thinking, a woman who chooses to end a pregnancy stands alone. There can be no other decision that comes to my mind that is more wrenching than that.

The Texas Tribune reports: Abortion rights advocates say the legislation is among the most “extreme” measures nationwide and does not exempt people pregnant because of rape or incest. Beyond the limitations on abortion access, the bill would let nearly anyone — including people with no connection to the doctor or the woman — sue abortion providers, and those who help others get an abortion in violation of the proposed law. People who support abortion funds and clinics could also be hit with lawsuits, and lawyers warn those sued would not be able to recover some of the money they spent on their legal defense.

Texas House passes fetal “heartbeat” bill banning abortion at six weeks | The Texas Tribune

If only government officials could adopt a concept uttered by President Bill Clinton who once declared his intention to make abortion “rare … but still legal.”

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.

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