Last Tuesday, Ohio voters made Reproductive Rights an official part of their state constitution. This development has prompted Dr. Timothy Johnson, a Protestant Minister and former emergency room doctor and medical editor for ABC News, to share his thoughts on the deeply divisive issue of abortion. Having witnessed firsthand the impact of abortion on individual lives and families in his various roles, Dr.
Johnson has come to the conclusion that the best approach towards this issue is to be both anti-abortion and pro-choice. Dr. Johnson points out that most people instinctively oppose abortion and he personally has never encountered anyone who considers it a trivial matter. Therefore, he suggests that, since the majority of abortions result from unwanted pregnancies, the most logical solution is to make contraceptive birth control measures widely available and affordable. For those who are anti-abortion, supporting birth control is essential.
Being pro-choice, on the other hand, is more complex as it involves weighing the emotional issue of when life begins and what choices are morally acceptable. Dr. Johnson believes that the stage when abortion should be seen as murder or evil is when the developing fetus can survive independent of the womb.
However, he supports women who decide before reaching this stage that continuing with the pregnancy would be detrimental to themselves and their families. For example, he mentions a mother overwhelmed by poverty as a classic example.
If states insist on compelling women to carry the pregnancy to term, they must also provide resources for adoption or child support after birth. Otherwise, they are merely promoting birth rather than supporting actual life. Additionally, Dr. Johnson strongly disagrees with those who would force a woman to go through a pregnancy resulting from incest or rape. He firmly believes that the decision of whether to have an abortion should be made by the woman and her family, not by a group of strangers, often men, making legislative or legal decisions.
He emphasizes the importance of the separation of church and state and asserts that individuals should not impose their own religious beliefs on others through laws. In summary, Dr. Johnson proposes a potential compromise to the abortion debate: uniting in support of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies while also respecting the rights of women to make difficult choices that affect them and their families. This strategy, he believes, is one that should be embraced by individuals who hold both anti-abortion and pro-choice viewpoints..