Abortion is a curious sort of political issue now. In one sense I think it’s dead in that there seems to be no objective way of stating at what stage a human being acquires rights. These things are “simply true” to whichever side of this debate holds these truths. In this sense it’s a dead issue I feel. People have one sort of presupposition about it or another and it must take a hell of a lot to have someone come around on it.
At the same time, abortion is very much alive, because people still want to act on these presuppositions, they want to secure rights for fetuses or for women or for whatever balance they see appropriate. Those who have strong feelings about this topic will push one way or the other. But never too hard, because there is a risk of mobilizing your opponents on this topic. I know that there are people out there who want this to turn into a knock-down drag-out sort of fight – but I can’t help feeling as though it would only end with the status quo though with a lot of ill-will and ruined dinner parties thrown in. In other words, if you aren’t strongly invested in this one, you probably don’t want to touch and it probably wouldn’t do any good if you did.
So there it is, the abortion issue, undead, staggering on the political horizon.