Debate takes logical look at emotional issue

By Debbie Kosinski

Pro-Life versus pro-choice – does it really mean anti-woman versus pro-murder?

The debate between pro-life and pro-choice last night stirred many emotions through three major questions that ultimately surfaced: Does any individual have the right to kill another individual? Is a fetus an individual? Does any individual have the right to take away the freedom of choice from another individual?

Schlafly is an attorney, prolific writer, experienced public speaker and mother of six. When asked if she had personal reasons for choosing to champion the pro-life cause, Schlafly responded that she would feel negligent if she didn’t speak against something she clearly sees as a social evil.

Schlafly views abortion as an infringement on the unborn child’s rights, because pro-choice is “a lie—babies never choose to die.”

Sarah Weddington made her reputation in law by winning the famous Roe vs. Wade case as the defense attorney for Jane Roe. When asked why she feels it important to preserve this right, she responded that by growing up in a society that limited the rights of women, she said that everyone has a responsibility to widen the world to ensure all persons power over the course of their own lives.

In Weddington’s opening statement, she made the point that the government does not consider the fetus a person. Making abortion illegal, would essentially push back the age of opportunity and choices by forbidding women the right to make their own decisions, she said.

Schlafly opened by saying that the decision of Roe vs. Wade was the worst decision in Supreme Court history. She said she believes the state’s belief a baby is not human until birth defies common sense. Roe vs. Wade gave a woman the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy “for any reason and no reason,” she said. “This is a scar on the fabric of America.”

Schlafly also equated Abraham Lincoln’s abolitionist views with today’s pro-life movement.

Weddington renounced Schlafly’s comments saying that not once does pro-life take the woman into account. She expressed that she is not opposed to life, but it should be the woman’s choice and not the decision of strangers.

Schlafly noted that by saying one has a right to a choice is ambiguous. “It’s a choice to do what, to kill,” she said. “It’s the unique American philosophy of government that states that individuals shouldn’t have right to kill other individuals,” she said.

Pro-choice wants no restrictions in allowing abortions, Schlafly commented. “It’s a policy that cannot endure in a civilized land.”

Audience questions brought about other viewpoints of the pro-life and pro-choice philosophies.

One viewer asked if making abortion illegal would add to the problem of child homelessness and neglect for children of parents who would not care for them.

Schlafly answered that this is all too often the attitude of people engaging in pre-marital affairs, to have their possible consequences taken care of by someone else. “If they are going to engage in sex, they need to accept the consequences.”

Weddington said she holds respect for any woman that says she “will not have children until she can give the child what it deserves.”

Other statements deriving from audience questioning paralleled the debaters philosophies.

Schlafly repeatedly said, “The main point is whether one person can kill another person at any time.

Weddington used a quote by Sandra Day O’Connor to further support her feelings, that expresses the fear that if someday the abolition of the right of privacy for a woman to choose not to have a child, who is to say that future government won’t tell women to have babies at its command.

Weddington, who had an illegal abortion prior to Roe vs. Wade, concluded that she will strive to preserve the choice for women to have a safe abortion.

Schlafly concluded that she believes certain government decisions are leaning toward pro-life doctrine, and she encourages all people to unite against abortion.

Viewer Elena Cutri, pro-choice, commented that the overall debate educated people more on the logical issues since it appeared geared away from the emotional struggles with the issue.

Dan Lynch, pro-life, explained that he didn’t think pro-choice activists are murderers, nor that pro-life activists are anti-woman. “By looking at it from a realist point of view, I can’t see how you can’t say it’s not murder,” he declared. “I believe that people just assume that since it’s legal, then it must be all right … but, then again they all thought that about slavery, too.”

“Making abortion illegal would essentially push back the age of opportunity and choices by forbidding women the right to make their own decisions.”

Sarah Weddington

Pro-choice advocate

“Roe vs. Wade was the worst decision in Supreme Court history. The state’s belief a baby is not human until birth defies common sense.”