Today I shall turn my typical levity toward a topic of much public consideration, the fact that abortions are not illegal in the United States, and why I believe this is a positive state. To do this I must explain my hopes for the government, which is that their interference in private life be constricted to that necessary to foster a civil society, in order to illuminate why they should stay out of the abortion issue. I shall then proceed to illustrate why this metric is a more natural measure of our government's action by than the popular moral metric, used by most advocates of outlawing abortion.
If I were to sum up my position on abortion with a catchphrase it would be, "I support a woman's right to choose not to have an abortion." Firstly, it sounds like something Stephen Colbert might say, which is intrinsically worthwhile. Secondly, it accurately encapsulates what I want to emphasize, that I, like most people I know, do not consider an abortion the ideal choice. That said, for a woman to choose not to have one she must have the choice to have one. Why ought we legally leave the choice up to her? Having an abortion may not be the ideal choice, but sometimes birth is less ideal, either for the mother, or the future child, or both, and the mother seems the most qualified individual to discern the least objectionable path. If compassion for a woman in an overwhelming situation is insufficient reason in our rights and rationality driven society, how about the reason that it is none of our business.
It is my opinion that the state should exist to impose such conditions necessary to foster a civil society, no more, no less. To that end, we have laws governing the methods of transportation to try to keep it safe and reliable, we have laws protecting members of society so they can carry out their business in the public sphere, protecting property so we feel comfortable leaving it unattended, and so on. Gestating masses should be protected in the same manner as property, albeit irreplaceable property, in order for pregnant women to feel safe and welcome in society. However, since they have neither business in nor conception of the public sphere, gestating masses have no reason to need the protection afforded to members of society, that is, statutes prohibiting their harm or elimination by anyone. Thus, to reiterate what I have stated above, it is not the state's business whether a woman chooses to undergo an abortion.
As a Christian, this position puts me at odds with the political positions of many who share my goal. However, arguing against legal abortions on moral grounds seems to be hijacking the debate. The state is not, and I would assume most Christians would agree should not be, a moral entity. Though I believe there is great benefit to be had in a relationship with Jesus, I would be horrified if the government were to attempt to enforce such a relationship upon public society. Verily, such a thing is intrinsically impossible, as the concept of forcing someone into a healthy religious relationship contains two antithetical concepts, namely a healthy relationship and forcing someone into it. Similarly, to take any matter of personal moral belief and make it a matter of public policy both reduces it's moral significance, as now refraining from it is no longer purely an act of worship but also a civic obligation, and tarnishes the credibility of the government, as obliging the moral beliefs of all citizens is also intrinsically impossible, so to arbitrarily favor some code over another seems patently unjust.
If this reasoning seems insufficient to warrant the divorce of morality and governance, consider this summation of the situation. There is a large population of living entities that some, but certainly not all, citizens believe deserve full ethical treatment of citizens, physical protection as autonomous agents, but are currently being legally killed without due process. Members of this population have no effective means to protect their interests, assuming that they have any, for they lack even the communication ability to outline what those interests would be. Because they are non-members of society, I would argue, drawing from social contract theory, that society has no direct obligation to them, only indirect obligation through their caretaker. Putting philosophy into practice I eat them all the time. I am of course speaking of animals, they are tasty. If we are to prohibit abortions due to almost identical conditions, it would be a gross injustice to refrain from obliging the faction advocating for animals without a sound, factual difference in the arguments.
Note that it would be intellectual sabotage to, at this point, attempt to frame the argument as a debate on different moral weight that humans inherently have. This is not a practical matter for public policy, but rather a precept of personal belief, similar to whether gestating masses deserve human status. I espouse an organization of government not to enforce one morality or another, but to preserve the context of a civil society within which we can grow and share our morality with one another. When held to these standards outlawing abortion fails to have supporting cause.