With ever increasing political polarization in recent years, more and more Utahns are feeling politically unrepresented and forced to choose the lesser of two evils representing opposite ideological extremes. Although the two major parties like to think they have a monopoly on political thought, the numbers of self-identified independents, largely from the middle of the political spectrum, are increasing. Issues only become political because they are complicated, nuanced, and not easily reduced to good vs. evil as the two sides would have us think. There has to be a better way to approach difficult issues.
Abortion is the single most polarizing issue in politics today, and yet one that has seen very little political movement in decades. It simply shouldn’t be a false choice between a total ban or anything goes. Most people can agree that ending a pregnancy during week 1 is very different from ending it in week 40. There’s plenty of evidence to show that total bans on abortion do not prevent them from happening, and legalizing early-term abortions saves women’s lives as well as causes abortions to happen earlier in the pregnancy. Furthermore, improving sex education and access to contraception have been shown to be far more effective at reducing abortions than outright bans. From there, most would agree that abortion should be increasingly restricted as the fetus develops, to the point that viable fetuses should be treated no differently than premature infants.
The second amendment is a valuable check against the power of government, and the use of firearms is deeply ingrained in Utah’s culture. The goal should be to ensure reasonable access to firearms by those who are educated in their use and responsible for their misuse. Red flag laws, as well as those regarding safe storage and universal background checks, do not infringe on these core goals and should be part of common sense gun reforms.