How to make everyone hate you: the abortion post!
As a pastor, a Baptist pastor no less, the main problem I have with this issue is that to enter the fray, you have to label yourself with a lie. (note that I am excluding those who justify killings to prevent abortions in the form of killing doctors, bombing clinics, etc. These folks are just idiots, and I refer to non-idiots only in this post).
My response to Mlah was semantic and refers to the first lie: The term pro-choice. People who say they are pro-choice don't really support your choice to vote against legalizing abortion, do they? They don't (usually) support drug use and prostitution, which both go straight to their argument that a woman should be free to do whatever she wants with her own body. Pro-choice as a term means "free to make the choice we want, not the one you want."
And, just so I make sure that EVERYONE hates me after this, let me point out also that the term "pro-life" is as equally insidious a lie. People who are pro-life are (generally speaking) usually also in favor of the death penalty, which similarly takes away a person's right to live. They favor invasions and wars. They favor guns, which, well, you know, kill people, except that they don't and people kill people and yadda yadda.
The point is that the terms are masks to gain unfair moral advantage. Suddenly we're not arguing about abortion, we're arguing about abstract terms like choice and life.
The bad news is that, as usual, the truth is somewhere in the grey areas in-between.
For instance, my own evolving views are firmly in the grey.
I believe that if you can't decide if a fetus is alive or dead, give it the benefit of the doubt. The logic here is that if you see me fallen in the street and bleeding, call an ambulance, not a mortitian. Please assume I'm alive if you don't know for sure.
It is clear, as Ann Coulter (the very mention of whose name just made about 1/3 of you immediately discount whatever comes next) says, that SOMETHING dies in an abortion. I'm just saying let's hang out on the abortions until we decide what that is, exactly.
I am also "pro-choice." That is, I believe a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body and she makes that choice when she has sex, yes? When sperm and egg make fetus, THAT is someone else's body. The act of sex is, historically, the way we make babies, so if you don't want the babies, don't do the sex (or do it very carefully, or in other ways, or.. well, never mind).
So that also clears up the cases of rape and incest/abuse. In those cases the choice to have sex was taken away from the woman, so abortion is justified, especially since her life as she knows (and wants) it is over if she is forced to bring the child to term. If she chooses to do so anyway, God love her - the rapist/abusive uncle/whoever should pay the kid's way in the world.
This only leaves the issue of medical difficulty, where the doctor must choose between woman and child. Here, I turn uncharacteristically to French philosophy, which prefers actuality to potentiality. The woman on the table is a fully-realized human; not so the baby. Therefore, the choice to save the woman is justified and the woman's choice to give her life to save the baby is also justified.
Interestingly, and not at all related, this also solves the chicken or the egg riddle. The actual line is "actuality preceeds potentiality." So the chicken is an actual chicken while the egg is a potential chicken, meaning, of course, that you no longer care anymore and I've gone completely loony. Actually loony, that is.
Anyway, the correct answer, as is so often true in life, is "chicken."