As an avid spectator of the presidential elections that are going on in the USA these days; intrigued by the conferences, the debates, and the spectacular campaigns, I am utterly amazed by the how dumb people can be when it comes to “serious” debating issues like abortions. Don’t get me wrong! I personally feel that the debate around abortions is legitimate and especially one that is tough to beat in terms of the arguments for both sides. That said, let’s just put a few things into perspective…
So I turn to the ignorant hipster liberals voting for Obama and the war-mongering redneck apocalypse disciples of Romney, and ask what do the ideologies of both candidates regarding abortions really have to do with the presidential elections? A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y NOTHING.
But just one second before I elaborate a bit more on why the whole abortions debate is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and borderline wacko in terms of being a major factor for voters choosing who will be the next president of the great United States of America, I would like to (in a sentence) make a short note on what the whole debate is generally about (and I will generalize). The conservatives (overall) harbor the ideology that aborting a fetus/embryo is equal to murder because from the moment of inception, there is a living human being that is simply growing in the womb and the discontinuation of its life is like killing a baby. There are many legitimate stances that come to explain this stance, some of which are based in faith, and others based in relevant social concerns. On the other hand, the liberals (overall) boast a more individualistic understanding of the issue and argue that every person is entitled to make his/her own decisions in their life, over their own body, and that no-one (and especially government) will dictate what we decide to do within the borders of our own body. When looking at the arguments objectively, I must say that both are extremely strong and the chasm that is created between both sides of the argument cliff, is deep and uncomfortable. This causes the issue to always be “hot” because most people are not willing to cross the gap or to simply be indifferent to it (they might fall into the chasm). Almost everyone who is in on the debate picks a side, digs in, and fights like a jedi samurai to defend their position about it. What propels the debate even further is that although I was rude enough to generalize and say that liberals think like this, and that conservatives think like that, it’s difficult to really put a finger upon who thinks how. The different stances on the subject change from time to time quite often and understanding what brings people to make their conclusions is hard to tell (see diagram below). That’s the deal in an extreme nutshell, but if you are interested in understanding how elaborate and heavy this debate really can be, here is a really great BBC video article about it that will summarize it and get your brain cells working a bit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17709398
Women are the big deal in the upcoming presidential elections. Women in fact are a big deal in all elections, not to mention that women are a big deal in life itself! But on a serious note, women are very much the reason for the tipping point towards Obama who is on the Pro-choice side of the abortion discussions. Women naturally experience the abortions debate very emotionally relative to men and naturally take towards the pro-choice side, thus (among other issues) giving President Obama an edge in the current elections. Being that women are approx 50.8% of the population, the effect of this single super-sensitive issue has great repercussions on who may be the next president of the USA. The question that lays in front of voters is whether or not Americans are supposed to be voting for who their Commander and Chief is going to be based on his outlook on abortions. Will we choose to go to war, withdraw the troops from afghanistan, get the economy back on track, support Israel, stop oil drilling in US territory, strengthen our diplomatic ties with the arab countries, invest in renewable energy, lower gasoline prices, tackle healthcare and more just because the candidate has a certain ideology regarding abortions?! There are one hundred reasons that factor in to choosing a president, and while thinking to myself quite innocently one day whether it’s a legit point to choose a president over, my intuition told me that there is something totally irrational about this whole thing… well… it’s just freaking crazy.
After returning 2 weeks ago from the US and hearing a couple of conversations going on about the issue (by pro-choice women by the way), I was intrigued to see how riled up and emotional they got because of it. Truthfully, I can completely understand why this would be a naturally very close-to-the-heart thing for women (and rightly so!). It always had the potential to get really ugly really fast if there was a clash of beliefs, however I was happy to be a sideline spectator to people with common stances, though unfortunately missing out on some cat-fights. The great deal of emotional engagement seemed like these women either had an abortion in the past, are planning to have an abortion one day, or are keeping their options open to have an abortion in case anyone does anything “unexpected.” The narrative of “it can happen to any girl…” isn’t all that true, because all of the moms that I heard talking about it will almost certainly not be getting any abortions, and if I extrapolate my thinking a bit, then I can say that their daughters will probably not either. TRULY Responsible people should have no reason to get an abortion, unless they’re in that .0001% of condom malfunction, or horrible cases of rape which count for less than 2% of the abortions being done. BUT!!! I am not interested in throwing points about my beliefs back and forth because believe it or not, I am quite indifferent about the issue. I’m on the fence. I have no concrete stance on it at the moment because both arguments are very strong and the issue doesn’t interest me enough to make a final, well-thought-out ruling.
Many of you may think that I’m generalizing WAY too much and that I’m a bumbling idiot (which may most definitely be correct although you’ll have to fight my mom). So if that thought did cross your mind for a moment or two, then I’ll tell you that it crossed mine as well. “Maybe I’m just being this judgmental over-confident, pompous know-it-all that’s throwing baseless thoughts in the air and living my own little radical dream…” I thought to myself… and so I decided to look up some stats and prove myself wrong hoping that the world is a better place than what I had thought it to be. How many people does this abortions thing REALLY affect?
The population of the United States of America according to the U.S. Census Bureau is: 311,591,900 humanoids
The number of of abortions that there are every year according to The Alan Guttmacher Institute are approx: 1,212,400 abortions/year (see graph below)***May I say that I was actually surprised to see that there were more abortions than what I had expected!
Simple 3rd grade mathematics provides us with the following equation in order to decipher the percentage of the population that goes through an abortion procedure every year:
1,212,400 / 311,591,900 = 0.0039 –> .3 of 1%
The number of people that have to go through abortions every year are .3 of 1% of the American population. To be realistic and to try and understand the scope of this thing, I went further and cut that down to see how many women it effects. Women are 50.8% of the US population leading us to see that abortions effect approx .6 of 1% of American women every year. And just to make these numbers easier to imagine… This means that if we would line up 600 women randomly in one really long row, one of all those 600 women will get an abortion next year. Try and imagine that and think if that’s a lot, or a bit in your perspective… All in the eye of the beholder.
Now the biggest question after I took a good look and a thought at it, is whether this issue is in ANY way relevant to who my president is going to be. The issue of healthcare for example has an insurmountable, enormously and spectacularly bigger affect on the American people than does abortion, and yet for too many perhaps, the weight given to it is disproportionate to the actual ramifications that it shall bring to our lives. I am in no way trying to judge whether its morally correct to be pro-life or pro-choice, nor am I in any way siding with either President Obama nor Governor Romney. I am in no way (God forbid) trying to delegitimize young ladies or older ladies who for whatever reason had to abort a pregnancy. I can honestly say that on this one, I have chosen to remain neutral and indifferent…
And the reason is because what I CAN say, is that in my point of view, the issue and it’s strength in people’s decision-making when it comes to choosing the President of the United States of America, is completely and utterly blown out of proportion. I dare not to let flimsy non-important factors partake in my decision-making process, and as long as I see myself as a “rational” thinking human being (highly unlikely), I have to apply some critical thinking to my beliefs. Yet if you consciously choose to make your vote based on pure emotion, then forget everything you just read. And as a citizen of the free western world, I can only hope that we make a good rational decisions (yeah right). All it takes is just a bit of critical thinking to see it.
See you at the inauguration!
Peace – Health – and Love <3
P.S. – if you’re interested in the subject of irratoinality of human thinking, check out an incredible professor named Dan Ariely that deeply studies and researches the science of it. I read 2 of his books and enjoyed every minute of it!
***PLEASE – Do not think for a single moment that I am in any way cynical about the incredible burden of a woman getting unexpectedly pregnant and/or the great deal of trauma and emotional hardship that comes along with it. I know. People make mistakes in life, and if they can make up for it – I support it with every cell in my body! If I’ve offended anyone – I deeply apologize and know that these words have no intention of ever hurting anyone. – GOD BLESS YOU