Daniel Suddeath

Daniel Suddeath

The word abortion should make any of us cringe.

No matter how you feel about the legality of abortion, the act is taking away the potential life of what, without complications during pregnancy, would be a baby boy or girl. It's always been hard for me to view abortion as a women's rights issue because it involves another life, though some don't view it that way because they believe life begins at birth.

That said, it's also difficult for me to believe some are concerned as much about the lives of our kids as they are with forcing women to birth a child.

Alabama passed a law Tuesday similar to what Kentucky approved recently — legislation that was later struck down by a judge as being unconstitutional. That judge's decision was correct based on current U.S. laws. I would anticipate Alabama's law will meet a similar fate.

Here in the Bible belt, abortion will likely never be accepted as OK, and I understand the religious reasoning for such a belief. But what's interesting, if not hypocritical, is that we southerners continue to vote people into office who don't really seem to be that concerned about life after birth based on the stances they take on issues like immigration, gun control and welfare.

A study by Florida Atlantic University, according to media reports, found that more than 2,400 school-aged children died in 2017 from gunfire. That's more than double, according to the study, of the number of active U.S. military servicemen and police officers who were killed in the line of duty that year.

Kids are being shot by each other, shot by strangers entering their schools and shot by accident because adults aren't responsible about where they leave their guns. All the while, our southern states cry out about the deaths of the unborn, but they turn a deaf ear to just about any call for meaningful gun law reform.

Laws don't change anything. Criminals will still be criminals. If someone wants to kill you, they'll find a way to kill you. We need more education, mental illness treatment and protection to stop mass shootings, the pro-gun crowd says.

But can't those same arguments be made in a different context for keeping abortions legal?

We need more sex education and better access to contraception. If a woman doesn't want a child, she will still find a way to abort the fetus whether it's legal or not. We shouldn't tell another person what they have to do with their body.

Shouldn't those points be valid ones for allowing abortion to remain legal if we're essentially saying the same about guns?

This week, painful images of migrant children sleeping on the ground near a Texas border patrol station were released. If we were really as pro-life as we claim to be, wouldn't we open our arms up to help these kids instead of chanting "build that wall" and turning a blind eye to their suffering because they weren't born here? If we are using religious arguments to oppose abortion, please tell me a religion that doesn't want us to help children who are using rocks as pillows because they're being denied entrance to the richest country in the world? How does that make any sense?

And of course, we don't like welfare either. We want poor mothers to have their children, but don't ask us to help support them after they're born. Have the child, at all costs, even if you were raped, but you're lazy and an abuser of the system if you dare ask for government aid to help provide those kids with food, clothing and shelter.

Yes, there are people who truly do take advantage of government subsidies, but they are not the norm. Just like there are women who choose to have abortions because they were raped, or because the pregnancy threatens their life, or because they've been told the child will be severely deformed or disabled. There's exceptions to every rule.

The point is, if you feel strongly that women should carry through with their pregnancies, I can see your point. But you're not being consistent with your logic if you also don't support ways to keep the living, breathing children of our world safe and sound. There's a difference between being pro-birth and pro-life.

Suddeath is the editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. His column appears in the Thursday edition and at various times throughout the week. Reach him at 270-678-5171, or by email at dsuddeath@glasgowdailytimes.com. Follow him on Twitter @DsuddeathGDT.

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