The abortion debate is always constructed around the notion that the issue is polarized between conservative and liberal, republican and democrat, right and left. Each side has a traditional stance on the matter and when anyone is opinionated on abortion, they are pegged as representing the right or the left. The truth of this matter is that it is not black and white the way it is often represented. Republicans can be pro-choice and democrats can be pro-life. Abortion is a complex matter.
The traditional conservative view of abortion is that it is murder. Republicans are known to disparage the legality of abortion and work to undo its passage into law. Their argument cites all the ways an unborn fetus is similar enough to a human to qualify as one, including behavior such as dreaming, observing, thumb sucking and clapping. They cite how a fetus’ nervous system is developed enough that it can feel pain. And they cite the fetus’ behavior that resembles terror during the act of abortion.
The liberal view of abortion is that it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not she keeps a fetus or terminates it. This view was adopted in response to the tradition of patriarchy that has dictated control over women’s bodies through most of history. This tradition has commonly demanded that a woman comply with her “duty” of bearing children, which came to be enormously resented during the rise of feminism.
What many people do not realize is that, all politics aside, abortion is not a black and white issue that falls neatly on one side of a debate or another. There are many republicans who passionately stand for abortion, as well as many liberals who are against it. The freedom to abort a fetus represents a right to protect the interests of the self, where as the protection of an unborn fetus protects the fetus’ human right to life. It is not traditionally liberal or conservative to protect the interests of the self or of another. It is both and neither in equal measure.