I'm agnostic about the abortion debate. I don't like abortion and think it should be avoided at all costs, but it's not for me to say whether a woman should have to carry her pregnancy through*. Partly this comes from the fact that if abortion were illegal, abortions would still happen and become very dangerous. Also, the question becomes whom do you punish? If you punish the doctors, then doctors won't provide them and then they become all the more dangerous. Punishing the woman seems silly and is politically and practically unfeasible.
The advocates on both sides of the issue are passionate, which can be a good thing, but are off the mark in their stridency and, more often than not, off-putting.
Case in point, the otherwise irritating Focus on the Family produced a commercial to be aired during the upcoming Super Bowl featuring University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother (n.b.-the Tebows are devout Christians). While on a mission trip in the Philippines while pregnant with Tim, Pam Tebow took sick. Her doctors recommended that she abort what would be her fifth child. Mrs. Tebow decided to have the baby, who then went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy.
That's the gist of the commercial. No hellfire and brimstone brickbats about the evils of abortion. No condemnation. In fact, if looked at in a certain light, this celebrates a woman exercising her free will and choosing her own course of action. What could be wrong with that?
Plenty, according to the Women's Media Center. According to their petition site, "The Women’s Media Center, and organizations dedicated to reproductive rights, tolerance, and social justice, are urging the network to immediately cancel this ad."
And doesn't "reproductive rights" include the option to reproduce?
*-I will say that I believe Roe v Wade is a terribly reasoned and written opinion and the federal government has no dog in the abortion fight. That doesn't mean I think it should be illegal, but that it should be left to the states. Also, since I don't think the federal government should be funding healthcare at all, I agree entirely that no federal funds should be used for abortions. The ethical quagmire is significant and is best to be avoided.
There is also the issue of personal responsibility. If you are doing the one thing that history has shown to cause pregnancy, then you get pregnant, then you decide you don't want to be pregnant, why should someone else have to pay for the procedure to make you unpregnant?