‘Beyond Choice’ examines
morality of reproductive issues
Alexander Sanger to appear at
By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer
Alexander Sanger has written a
book titled "Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom in the 21st Century"
that proclaims abortion as "a necessary and moral option."
Sanger will discuss the book at
Iconoclast Books in Ketchum Friday, April 2, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
If his name seems familiar, given
the context, it’s because his grandmother was Margaret Sanger, the
foremost proponent of reproductive rights in the early 1900s, and a
founder of Planned Parenthood.
Sanger currently chairs the
International Planned Parenthood Council and serves as a Goodwill
Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund.
Abortion continues to be a hot
button issue on the political front, with renewed emphasis this election
Beyond Choice by Alexander
Sanger, $26, Public Affairs, 303 pp.
Dismayed by the issue’s stalemate,
Sanger explains in the book that advocates of pro-choice and pro-life
are simply not on the same page. He says it’s crucial to shape a
conversation about the morality and immorality of reproductive freedoms.
He argues for "open access to
abortion based upon the demands and benefits of evolutionary biology."
Sanger makes his claim that abortion is moral and needed because it
helps ensure human survival, guaranteeing that wanted children have a
chance to be raised to adulthood.
Sanger maintains that all children
should be wanted children, and all mothers should have made the decision
"I am trying to reframe the issue,
to look at it in a new way," he told the Palm Beach Post. "Abortion is
part of the human condition."
In reframing the issue, Sanger
uses compelling antidotes and thoughtful analysis while re-thinking the
positions of the last 30 years since Roe v. Wade. Importantly, he begins
by citing his grandmother’s legacy.
"Margaret Sanger … argued that the
foundation of a women’s liberty was her right to decide whether or not
to become a mother," he writes.
"She elevated the individual
desire to control one’s reproduction from being a crime to be a
fundamental component of the constitutional right to privacy," he adds.
"It didn’t matter to her that the word ‘privacy’ did not appear in the
Bill of Rights. The word ‘liberty’ did. She brought common sense,
fairness and human dignity into constitutional law in a new way."
So, what does biology have to do
Sanger explains that moral laws
can shift depending on changes in religion and science. Human experience
can change moral laws as well.
"If a moral law helps community
survival, the rule will last. If it does not, it will whither away."
Think of human sacrifices, beheadings, arranged marriages, miscegenation
"Such is the case against birth
control and abortion," he continues. "These practices help humanity
survive and reproduce successfully and many humans use them. Moral rules
forbidding them will not stand."
The book is not a one trick pony.
Instead, Sanger works both sides, whittling away at arguments, political
and otherwise. It’s a highly intelligent and well-written piece of work
and one worth perusing, no matter on which side of the fence one stands.