When you are a “commentator” or “journalist,” you know some subjects are, professionally speaking, “losers.” No matter where you come down, you’re automatically going to make somebody mad. Very mad. That’s when the anonymous phone calls and nasty emails begin.

Several subjects fit the category: right-to-work, religion, guns. Most of all, abortion. It’s a subject I’ve avoided writing about for decades. Until now. I’m opening Pandora’s Box on this because, as I scan legislative stories from various states, I see the word oozing to the surface in far too many capitols. Congress, too. It should not be. The subject was never meant to be political – shouldn’t be political – will never be solved politically. Never.

I have three daughters and six grandkids with religious affiliations all over the map: freestyle to Roman Catholic. Their family decisions are theirs and theirs alone. We trust their judgment and respect their choices. Whatever they are. If they ask for help, we try. If not, we stand aside. Just as politicians – all politicians everywhere – should stand aside on abortion.

For those who don’t want to read further, I’ll make my two main points right here. Number one: abortion is a personal matter; for the woman and for members of the family involved. Period. Second, that most personal subject is not now … should not have been … and should never be … a matter for government legislation or involvement. It’s nobody else’s damned business. Period.

The most strident voices repeatedly forcing the subject of abortion to the political arena represent to me, in many cases, the most contradictory aspect in American politics. More often than not, they’re people who want less government in their lives. While they wouldn’t stand for a government official in their bedrooms and would take to the streets to stop it, they want one in a doctor’s office during pregnancy counseling. They wouldn’t tolerate government interference in their religious choices but want it in everyone else’s medical care. Am I alone in seeing the contradiction?

Government has a lousy track record in issues of morality. Likely the most famous was prohibition. But there have been others when zealots pushed lawmakers into trying to legislate our personal behavior. Didn’t work then. Won’t work now. Never will.

Our nation was founded on principles involving freedoms. The basic documents enumerated freedoms on one hand while authorizing government certain deliberately narrow responsibilities on the other. A lot of people who want to make abortion a political issue forget that. They’ll fight to the death to make their own decisions … free of government oversight … while trying to make criminals out of women and their doctors who need to make critical choices of this most personal nature.

We live in a nice home surrounded by good neighbors. Nice people, all of them. Though different in many ways, we respect each other’s privacy and each other’s values. They don’t ask us what color to paint their houses; we’re not allowed choices of the vehicles they drive; they plant lawns and landscape without our advice.

And not one of them… not one … has come to our door asking about what sorts of medical procedures we’d recommend for their adult children whom we’ve never met. Not one! Nor have we gone to their door, warning to call the cops if one of those offspring makes a personal decision we don’t agree with. None of our damned business!

The non-political-issue of abortion … and all other individual issues of morality … to me, are that simple. Where your family is concerned, where your personal choices are concerned, whatever those choices turn out to be, on whatever personal subject … it’s none of anyone else’s business.

It’s easy to blame the zealots who keep shoving proposed abortion legislation under the noses of politicians. Too easy. The fault lies not just with them but with those elected. The ones from state capital to Congress who cling to the demented thinking that they must remain in office or the country will go to Hell. Preservation of political self. It’s the most cancerous element in our politics today. It’s strangling the nation as self-preservation-at-any-cost keeps new blood and new thinking from taking on our issues.

If the people in office … and there are many … who are presented with this non-political paperwork, had the plain old guts to hand it back to the supplicant, we would accomplish two really important things.

First, we’d send yet another matter of personal choice back where it belongs and keep government at all levels from wasting time, talent and treasure on something that’ll never be enforceable. Any more than any other personal morality issue has ever been enforceable at the hands of government.

Second, the divisiveness of the subject would be absent from politics. We are a nation in the throes of so many critically important issues. We need comity. We need cooperation. We need compromise. We need focus on matters of national survival. We do not need another dead end run at something that is none of government’s business and which serves only to divide decision makers. And it does do that.

Well, enough said. In a few minutes the emails will pop up and the phone calls will start. That’s O.K. When it comes to acknowledging ‘em, I’m pro-choice. And my choice is to ignore ‘em.

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