So the question becomes, who is going to make that determination about the health of the woman? Or for that matter, who is going to make the other determinations as to whether the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest? What if the fetus growing in the womb is determined by a doctor not to survive birth or have a chance to be live long after birth because of serious physical deficiencies?
Democrats generally believe that these decisions should be made between the woman and her doctor. The woman has the choice to involve her family (or not, especially if the relationships can be dangerous to her life or health), any religious figure or friend for advice, and her own conscience. These are decisions that powerfully impact core beliefs on life and death of all involved. The question remains, who should have the responsibility to decide?
The Democratic Party and I personally believe that these powerfully challenging decisions should not be imposed on a woman by the government. She should be free to make such a serious decision according to the dictates of her own conscience.
I am morally opposed to elective abortion as a means for birth control. However, I am not a woman and do not feel qualified to impose my beliefs on their decisions. I am a married male and my wife and I have six children, all planned, no surprises, no accidents, and no abortions.
I also believe, like the Democratic Party, that the best way to reduce the number of and any need for abortions is by providing competent sex education in schools along with the moral values children learn (if they have such an opportunity) at home and in religious organizations. Abortions are also reduced by competent and readily available medical care to women through all stages of their lives including possible pregnancies.
With regard to the official position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is a strong, moral opposition to abortion. That was reiterated in our last general conference by President Dallin H. Oaks. However, the published position of the Church, approved at the highest levels is a bit more nuanced allowing for abortion is some rare circumstances after consultation with ecclesiastical leaders and confirmation through prayer. These are, not surprisingly, for circumstances of:
"....incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth."
"The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion."
Let me express a deep hurt that I will not be persuaded by those who have accused me and my political party of being "baby killers" or supporting those who "cut up babies and sell them for parts." These are cruel and unholy accusations.
For additional consideration, here are some facts and figures from other countries similar to but outside of the political debates of the United States for reference:
England and Wales and the UK National Health Service
Australia (News article: "It's Complicated")