I'm One of the 30% of Democrats Who's Pro-Life. I'm Torn Over Ending Roe v. Wade | Opinion

I'm a pro-life Democrat. That combination might surprise you, but I'm not alone; I'm one of the 30 percent of Democrats who is pro-life, who votes for the Democrats not because of abortion rights but despite them. For us, neither party represents our views on abortion.

So I'm conflicted about the news of a SCOTUS opinion that seems to show the Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, which enshrined access to abortion as a constitutional right.

The truth is, the question of being pro-life vs. pro-choice is complicated even for many who support Roe v. Wade. As the New York Times' David Leonhardt pointed out, though most Americans support keeping Roe v. Wade, they oppose some of what it stands for. For example, less than 30 percent of Americans think abortions should be generally legal in the second trimester, something Roe made legal. Many people also oppose aborting a fetus because of Down syndrome, something Roe also allows.

And for pro-life Democrats like me, it's even more complicated. I'm pro-life because of my Christian faith. And I'm a Democrat because of my liberal commitment to the value of human equality. This makes politics a complex conundrum even at the best of times, and even more so when thinking about abortion.

Abortion to me is at the very least a morally troubling practice which, in an ideal world, people would only consider to save the life of the mother. And yet, the liberal in me knows we don't live in that world; we live in a world in which desperate women will choose abortion whether it's legal or not. We live in a world in which the "pro-life" party will move Heaven and Earth to protect the unborn but will not life a finger once that baby is out of the womb.

But we also live in a world in which the pro-choice party seems to push back on any restrictions on abortion at all.

This leaves me torn: The possibility of the Supreme Court ending Roe is problematic for reasons of legal precedent and because doing so will lead to more laws and policies that will lead desperate women to more abortions, not to mention the baggage that is often attached to these laws (the bounty system in Texas, for example).

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Pro-life activists counter-demonstrate as pro-choice activists participate in a "flash-mob" demonstration outside of the US Supreme Court on January 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. - January 22 marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that established the constitutional right to abortion care in the United States. ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Yet if we accept the premise that the unborn child is a life worth protecting, then ending that pregnancy is the termination of that life, and to put it bluntly, it's wrong. Still, I know it is not that simple; most Democrats don't want to kill babies but want to preserve women's bodily autonomy.

Ultimately, until we create a culture in which human life is seen as an intrinsic value, we will never solve the abortion issue.

That cultural shift will take time. In the meanwhile, I spend my efforts trying to understand how a lot of women feel right now as best I can; I can feel their pain and distress, just as I can understand many pro-life conservatives have waited their whole lives for this moment, and they are not all cynical hypocrites.

I think many of my fellow Americans are appropriately troubled by abortion, but they are also appropriately concerned about women's rights, and women's health.

The only way out of this is to have the nuanced, complicated conversations that we seem loathe to have; our discourse is staggeringly lacking in nuance, yet people—all of us—are nuanced. For all our tribalism and partisanship, most of us do not fit neatly into the boxes created for us. Our political and cultural experiences are more complicated than we are willing to admit.

I don't want to be vapid: There are certain things that ought to be settled and fixed, like the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the value of democracy; the evil of racism. But even how we approach those issues does not always fit neatly into the boxes we create.

The more willing we are to engage each other as nuanced beings, the better our chances will be that we will see our values reflected in the legislation that protects us.

For now, neither side of the political aisle seems willing to do what the American people need, which is to meet us where we are at. So it's up to us to find room in our hearts to pick up their slack.

Rafique Tucker is an aspiring English professor and pharmacy technician who lives in Baltimore.

The views in this article are the writer's own.