TN Amendment 1: The Irony of It All

This whole abortion issue is quite ironic. I was driving into work this morning and heard an advertisement about TN Amendment 1 on the radio. (Yes I’m a millennial and still listen to the radio. Call me old-fashioned.) As I listened to the ad, the irony of this abortion issue and where varying sides fall in the debate came at me fast. Let me explain.

First, let me get my bias out of the way. I’m a Christian. I believe the Bible and it guides my decisions and undergirds my morality. I believe the Bible is clear about life in the womb, and that life begins at conception. I believe abortion is legalized murder and I wish that it would be eradicated, just as I do all murders.

I don’t like being labeled outside of Christian. That is the most accurate label you can esteem to me. I also live in North MS and will not be voting in TN on Amendment 1. My understanding of TN Amendment 1 is that it does nothing to stop or end abortions, but it allows the legislature (predominantly pro-life GOP at the moment) to regulate abortion clinics and the situations surrounding abortions. I will not try to persuade you one way or the other on how to vote. I am sharing with you how the debate and positions taken by the two sides seems at odds.

Conservatives, Republicans, and Tea Party members usually hold to some form of religious, if not evangelical, belief system. There are studies that show the relationship, but I’m lazy and don’t want to find them. This group of people often talk about independence, deregulation of business and uses the motto “Don’t Tread on Me,” to refer to government interference. Usually they stand up for the right of the individual to make his or her choice and lean libertarian in their policy stances when it comes to the government’s involvement into life.

Liberals and Democrats usually hold to a more strict involvement of government in the lives of people, strict regulations on businesses and enterprise and believe it is better for everyone to have equal access to necessities, regardless of the what those individuals desire for themselves.

Admittedly, these are vast majorities of the sides, and are neither exclusive nor nuanced descriptions. Both sides, in fact, have religious beliefs that influence their policy decisions. The difference is in which components of the religious belief system weighs more heavily in regards to government’s role. Often, religion gets involved in political policy making and then both sides begin legislating their prioritized morality rather than legislating that which is best for society. (But what really is “best” is a matter of opinion.)

When it comes to abortion and the policies surrounding it, however, the sides are reversed. Democrats suddenly want to protect a woman’s right to kill her baby. Republicans want to regulate every abortion clinic and doctor, removing or delaying the woman’s right to kill her baby. It’s incredibly strange to me.

Democrats are prioritizing the woman’s right to individual freedom, over the baby’s right to live. Republicans are removing the woman’s right to choose a legal action and demanding more regulations of someone’s right to earn a legal living.

Clearly, I realize the moral implications that come into play here, but the inconsistency of the situation is odd. When gun rights, taxes, immigration, business, or a number of other policies are in play, the two sides operate as I mentioned above. However, throw abortion into the mix, and immediately each side hops across the stream to the other side and adopts the other’s tactics.

I’ve been around politics for nearly 25 years, and I’m only 30, so on the whole, I know what to expect when it comes to these issues. Yet, this one I’ve never really had a good explanation for the ironic flip in policy. It would seem that liberals and Democrats (based upon their policy) would be on the regulation side of Amendment 1, but they aren’t, and vice-versa.

I understand a liberal’s side that a woman has a right to choose, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to the individual’s right to choose to own a gun, or the individual’s right to work without joining a labor union.

I understand a conservatives side that the practice of murdering an innocent baby inside the womb with a heart beat that brings severe emotional, physical and psychological scars should have regulations, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to regulating the banking industry or wall street, or oil companies. It doesn’t matter when you toss out the right of an individual to pursue happiness, and throw them to the side on your way up the millionaire’s ladder.

Even though the issue puts many at odds with their core values, an exception is made.

Is it just me or do you see the irony of it? What is your understanding of the issue?

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