The Heartland War, also known as The Second Civil War, was a long and bloody conflict fought over a single issue: life and choice. To end the war, a set of constitutional amendments known as The Bill of Life was passed, satisfying both the Pro-life and the Pro-choice armies. The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, later lowered to seventeen, a parent may choose to retroactively "abort" a child on the condition that the child's life doesn't "technically" end. The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called unwinding, now a common and accepted practice in society.
After the Heartland War, other things that went against choice was made illegal, including same-sex marriage.
The were three sides in the war: the Life Army, the Choice Brigade, and the remains of the American military, whose job it was to keep the other two sides from killing each other, which The Admiral was a part of.
Unfortunately, the military wasn't very successful. On one side, people were murdering abortion doctors to protect the right to life, while on the other side people were getting pregnant just to sell their fetal tissue. And everyone was selecting their leaders not by their ability to lead, but by where they stood on this single issue. Then the military fractured, both sides got hold of weapons of war, and two opinions became two armies determined to destroy each other. And then came the Bill of Life.
Apparently, at first, the concept of 'Unwinding', which is to retoractively terminate a pregnancy once a child reaches the age of reason, was joke not intended to be taken seriously. But that same year, the Nobel Prize went to a scientist, later revealed to be Janson Rheinschild, who perfected neurografting—the technique that allows every part of a donor to be used in transplant.
With the war getting worse, the military brokered a peace by bringing both sides to the table. Then when they proposed the idea of unwinding, which would terminate unwanteds without actually ending their lives, they thought it would shock both sides into seeing reason—but the plan backfired. Instead, both sides saw that this satisfied their demands and needs. The Bill of Life was signed, the Unwind Accord went into effect, and the war was over. Everyone was so happy to end the war, no one cared about the consequences. Unwinding became big business, and people let it happen.