So, up front, let's deal with the "moral" aspects of this issue. It is NOT my job, your job, or the government's job to dictate what is moral and what is not for everyone else. Pure and simple! This country's greatness is based on LAWS - not specific beliefs.
The Republicans, right now, are drafting their 2012 platform. Drafters of their party’s platform reaffirmed support for a constitutional amendment banning abortion that would allow no exception for terminating pregnancies caused by rape. This position, I feel, is definitely not correct. And my opinion has NOTHING to do with any moral considerations. It has to do with US law not supporting such a position. I believe any such intended Constitutional Amendment has ZERO chance of succeeding. Therefore, such an attempt is a total waste of time and energy and does nothing to benefit the Nation.
All that aside, right now "Roe" is the law and should be followed. But, does "Roe" have to be the "law"?
The real issue is that the federal government has NOT taken the difficult "POLITICAL" step of defining WHEN life begins. Once such a definition is made, agreed to, and added to our Constitution then all other laws become null and void and unnecessary. This would save millions of dollars in administering all the current laws on the books and obviate the ongoing discussions on "late term abortions", child vs. parent notification of abortions, and the responsibility for decisions, as well as many other such discussions.
Not to minimize the political difficulty with defining when life begins, it will be extremely difficult; but, it should be done.
Most people have defined beliefs on when life begins - ranging from "conception" to "birth". These beliefs seem to stem from "religious background" to "what's convenient". Any political decision that is between these beliefs would alienate both sides to some degree, large to small. Or, it would be considered "political suicide". This, most likely, is why no such definition has been attempted by congress. And, I do understand.
But, from a pure fiduciary look and what the government has "rights" to do, it should be done. From ensuring a woman's right to choose it should be done without her having to worry about "where she lives" (i.e., varying state laws). If such a definition (i.e., "Life begins at ...) is made part of our Constitution and one still disagrees with it, learn to deal with it or leave the country. It would be part of our "Law of the Land"! If you, personally, don't agree with abortion don't have one - as is your right now! If, as a doctor, you have moral objections to abortions you would not be required to perform them. This would be true for hospitals (and the like) as well. Remember, one should not force upon another their personal moral befief. (Research "obamacare" and its limitations on doctors and hospitals right to "choose".)
I, as well as you, can (and probably would) come up with such a life's beginning definition - but not without varying degrees of difficulty. And, when the moral aspects are removed from consideration it becomes both easier and more difficult at the same time. No surprise here!
OK. So what would this Constitutional amendment be?
A fairly simple statement actually. Something on the order of "Life begins at _ _ _" - fill in the blanks. Additionally, wording would be included to deal with rational exceptions - for example, "not applicable in cases of rape, incest, danger to the woman's life or health, etc." Of course, depending on the "date" defined, such exceptions may have significant OR irrelevant applicability.
After such an amendment is enacted into law, the following would apply:
- All existing laws allowing or restricting abortion would be obviated.
- The act of an abortion shall be at the "moral" discretion of both the doctor and the mother of the unborn child.
- Any abortion occurring after the defined date shall be consided murder (subject to the "exceptions" above) with the defendants being the woman, the performing doctor, and the facility at which the abortion occured. All existing laws against murder would apply.
- No doctor, hospital, or other medical support agency will be required to perform abortions.
- Finances for all abortions will be born by the individual seeking the abortion, her insurance company, or whatever welfare system may be in place - as applicable.
While such an amendment, indeed, might be found onerous to many, all further discussions would be moot.