So I'm saying up front that when candidates talk about abortion, I listen on the small scale. I think of myself, of my medical termination for trisomy 18, and of all that I went through almost three years ago. Then I try to relate whatever they said to me.
I'm having a really frustrating time this fall. A lot of extra stomach bile and swearing. Too much teeth grinding, too.
Just once, I want to hear a candidate -- any candidate -- acknowledge that not every abortion is for an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Each year thousands of people terminate beloved, sought-after pregnancies for fatal or extremely serious problems. But since most people seem unable to imagine these sorts of problems until they touch their own life, the stories must be pointed out. They must be proven true, lest they be shrugged off as fictitious, or as an excuse for something else. (Hellooo, McCain, hellooo? I'm talking to YOU here, mister.)
I would also like anyone who utters the phrase "late term abortion" to immediately add, "of course, the vast majority of these are done for very serious medical problems I know nothing about, so I won't presume to try to moralize or legislate about that." Oh, and before anyone laughs at the idea of mental distress being a genuine reason for abortion, how about having them live through clinical depression for a day and then decide afterwards? (Hey, a woman can dream.)
And Palin -- I've got a huge list of disappointments and issues for Palin. But for starters, it would have been so nice to hear her say, "Regardless of my personal choice when it came to carrying my youngest son to term, I want women to know that I understand the anguish of receiving hard news after amniocentesis. A lot of women go through that, and it's just heart breaking."
Maybe that's slim common ground with Palin ... but it's something. And it would be the start of a genuine conversation that otherwise isn't happening today.