Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, because basically tonight's topic is a minefield - Abortion. I couldn't be anymore on tiptoes if the show was being produced by George Balanchine. This is the Big Debate, and I'm talking bigger than who was the better Darren on Bewitched. Abortion is our nation's "Final Jeopardy," and I'll wager, Alex, that if our nation fights another Civil War, it will be about this. And I would remind you that this all from my perspective, the male perspective, a one-step-removed perspective, because I will obviously never have to decide on whether or not I should have an abortion. And by the way, my belief is that if men were the ones getting pregnant, abortions would be easier to get than food poisoning in Moscow. Having men decide the fate of a woman's reproductive system makes about as much sense as asking Quentin Crisp to coach the Raiders. All right, enough qualifying, let's get on with it. There's no doubt that passions run high on both sides, and this issue has created a divide in this country not seen since Carly Simon last yawned in public. The prevailing opinions on a woman's freedom to choose are going further to the right than a Greg Norman tee shot.

Pro-life activists attempt to paint anyone pro-choice as having no morals. On the other side of the ledger, pro-choicers are tagging pro-lifers as crazed and backward bible-thumpers bent on running the lives of the people who disagree with them. The truth, as always, is, the case of human endeavors lies somewhere in between. As much as the advance scouts on either side of this issue might not want to admit it, good people do get abortions and other good people are pained by their decision to get one.

Where do I stand? Well, I'm like most of you, I presume, I think there are far too many abortions performed in this country. And I also believe that at the end of the day, as much as I might disapprove, none of them are really any of my business. Look, there are always going to be arguments on this issue. The debate will rage until the end of time no matter what the whim of the Papal infallibility or the politics of the decade. But the simple truth is, that such a passionate and personal decision dictates that the choice be left to the individual. And you know, that's really all we can do, because we're just human beings, stumbling around in the dark, trying to get to the bathroom and kicking the shit out of our shins on the way there.

Now there's some things all right-minded human beings should agree on. We should all agree that abortions should be legal in the case of rape, incest and when the mother's life is at risk -- that's just common sense. But excluding that obvious assumption, everything else in the abortion arena is "in play." There are many quagmires complicating this issue. Religion. Now it seems that religion is most often the backboard for every bank shot put up by someone making it their business to get into your business. Roman Catholic doctrine forbids abortion. Fine. Take that into consideration when you make your decision. Right-to-life proponents contend that abortion is immoral. Fine. Take that into consideration when you make your decision. Another pothole on the road to a sensible resolution to abortion is "when does life begin?" At conception? When a heartbeat is detected? At the first drawn breath? You know, for me it wasn't until last Tuesday. Until then I was just a sperm with an accountant! Okay, so those are the variables, and there are obviously millions more variables that make each individual case unique. But the more you think about it, and the more it makes your head spin, and the more confused you get trying to figure out someone else's life for them, it becomes increasingly apparent that it has to be the call of the individual who is pregnant, because the collective, one way or another, won't have to suffer the consequences of that most personal of all decisions.

My fellow Americans, it is time to suck it up. Look deep into your immortal soul (if you believe you have one) and do the right thing. Have the courage and strength to live your own life, by your own standards, and stop trying to call the shots for everyone else. We all live with glaring inconsistencies, and sometimes, when you see something going on right in front of you that offends you to the very core of your being, sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away, because you know that's exactly what you would want them to do for you. There's only one judge on all this and that's God. And you don't get to meet him until you go backstage after the play is over. And believe me, you do not want to get a "thumbs down" from the guy who created thumbs, all right? In the interim, everybody has got to tend their own garden vis-a-vis abortion. And remember, when it comes to your body, only you wear the robes, and only you carry the gavel.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


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