Kokomo residents are divided when it comes to abortion. Although I am not aware of local polling, it is safe to say that pro-life forces in Kokomo are certainly more vocal than pro-choice voices. But the actual practice of Kokomo residents is unknown.

It is difficult to discuss matters surrounding abortion with pure reason because it is such an emotional issue. I do not try to hide that I am unashamedly pro-life, but I do try to discuss this issue reasonably and logically. Readers can judge whether I succeed. Yet the majority opinion in America confuses me.

Take the recent (March 13) AP article about a recent abortion poll; it was carried in the Kokomo Tribune: “A solid majority long have felt that Roe v. Wade should be upheld. Yet most support at least some restrictions on when abortions can be performed. Most think having an abortion should be a personal choice. But they also think it is murder.”

As I pondered that, I wondered how it is that most Americans can think abortion is murder, yet believe it should remain a legal option. To my way of thinking, if abortion is murder, and if the government’s job is to prevent murder, then the government should prevent abortion. (I recognize that abortion advocates do not usually concede that abortion is murder. I am not discussing their views in this column, and my reasoning does not apply to their arguments).

While the majority of Americans have either been convinced that abortion is murder (or — more likely — know it intuitively), they sense no obligation on the part of the government to prevent what they concede to be murder. At this point, I developed several explanations for what sounds absurd: (1) maybe they do not hold the government accountable for preventing murder, thus negating the logical conclusion that murder by abortion should be illegal; (2) maybe they believe that murder is the better option — since it quickly solves a problem — than forcing a mother to raise or adopt out a baby; this is the “it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” way of thinking; (3) maybe they are tired of government meddling in private affairs to the extent that they feel this type of murder is preferable to intervention; or (4) maybe they see the inconsistency and do not feel bound by logic (my best guess).

Whatever the cause, most Americans do think that abortion is murder but should be legal. I would suggest that it is often only in retrospect that people see their inconsistent application of beliefs.

For example, our nation was founded on the concept that all men are created equal. Yet some who signed the Declaration of Independence owned slaves and advocated grabbing land from the Indians. We look back and say, “How logically inconsistent.” If all men (and I assume they meant men in the generic sense of human) are created equal, and if Africans and Indians are men (something that most people believed, though some, no doubt, considered them less than human), then African men and Native American men have been given rights by their Creator, too.

We look back and say, “Why couldn’t they see it?” I would suggest that the answer to that question might be the same as the answer to the question, “Why do most Americans believe that abortion is murder, while, at the same time, maintaining that abortion should be a legal option?” If abortion does become illegal some day (and that’s a big “if”), in time future Americans would look back at us and marvel at our inconsistencies.

Isn’t there something wrong with saying that abortion is murder but should nonetheless be legal? And if abortion is morally right, why restrict it? Is something wrong with this picture, or is it just me?

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