Thursday, March 02, 2006

Abortion rant

Some days I look at the world around me, and I am honestly frightened. Where are we going? Where will we be in a few years? Sometimes I feel like we're moving backwards. All those civil liberties that we fought for over the last century seem to be disappearing one by one. It's enough to make you cry.

Mississippi is about to pass a law banning abortions. "The measure would prohibit all abortions except in very rare cases when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. It does not allow exceptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest."

Oh. My. God. And don't think we're safe up here in Canada. South Dakota just passed a similar law. This trend seems to be creeping northward. Don't forget we just elected a conservative government with a socially conservative agenda.

Personally, if I had an unplanned pregnancy, I would not have an abortion. I'm done school, I have a job, and even if the guy didn't stick around, I have a really supportive family who would help me out. Unfortunately, there are many women out there who just don't have this option.

Often people will say they are for/against abortion based on when they think the fetus becomes a person. Is it the point where the egg is fertilized by the sperm? Is it when the baby starts to look like a baby? Or is it only after the baby is born? I personally believe that all of this theorizing is beside the point.

Let's say that the baby becomes a person as soon as the egg and sperm become one. Therefore, when you have an abortion, a person dies.

Theoretical scenario: Let's say that one day you get a phone call. A relative of yours, who you have never met or heard of, is dying in the hospital. The only way they can be saved is if you go to the hospital and become hooked up to them for nine months. They need to use your body for that time until they can get an organ transplant. You are their only hope. Without you they will surely die.

So, do you go? You might say that you have a moral obligation to go and help them out. After all, even though you have never met them before and have no feelings toward them, they are another human being.

But a legal obligation? I don't think so.

The point is that one person's rights shouldn't supercede the rights of another person. I am a person, and I have the right to do with my body as I wish. And if I do not wish to be a life support system for another person for nine months, than I should not have to be.

Women should not have the rights of their person violated simply because we are in the unique position of being the sex that gives birth. And do not give me the bullshit of, "You had sex. You took the risk, now face the consequences." Yes, you should be using birth control, but nothing's fool proof. Women should be able to have a sex life and not have to worry about "What if I get pregnant?"

Men do not have to worry about this. They never get pregnant, so they can have consequence-free sex (although I do realize that responsible guys don't look at it this way). They never have to be pregnant for nine months, throw up every morning, get stretch marks on their tummies and then go through the pain of giving birth.

Gee, I wonder how many women were consulted on that decision in Mississippi?


Anonymous said...

good points, but i disagree with the analogy. Getting pregnant and considering an abortion is not the same as having a relative that could only survive if they were hooked up to you for nine months to prepare for transplant. The relative is an adult with their own responsibilities, their own choices and their own life. Assuming that you were not the reason this relative is now a vegetable (whatever the condition is), then there should absolutely be no reason that you are legally responsible for that person. HOwever, if you were the one that caused his condition, then you should be responsible for taking care of him until the transplant.

Same thing with the baby:it wasn't the baby's choice (as an individual with his or her own rights) to be created. That was due to the parents. So the parents (BOTH) are responsible for the life they created, whether they planned it or not. That is having responsiblity for any action and decision we take in life. It is NOT about equal rights to sex lives between men and women. Women are as entitled as men to have sex as often (or not) as they want to.

The baby's life, and rights, are as important as its parents, and if the parents don't want the baby, then give it up for adoption. There are plenty of wonderful people who want kids but can't have them, and organizations that would take care of a mom-to-be if she couldn't afford to take care of herself while pregnant.

just another point of view

Violette said...

I do realize that parents can give their children up for adoption. That's why I didn't include in my analogy that after being hooked up to the relative for nine months you would have to care for them for another 18 years. But I don't think that a mother should be forced to carry an unwanted child for nine months.

And I do think the analogy stands. Yes, babies don't ask to be created. But if you didn't intend to get pregnant then I say you're not responsible. In keeping with the analogy, let's say that you caused the relative's condition. Let's say you hit the relative with a car. It was an accident, and you were not driving too fast, or being negligent, it just happened. Sometimes, no matter how good a driver you are, and how many precautions you take, these things just happen. I still say you should have no legal obligation to be hooked up to someone for nine months.

I realize this is not an ideal solution. I would really like to see a time when people who had unwanted pregnancies could transplant the fetus into an artificial womb. Then neither the mother or the fetus has their rights violated and everybody's happy. However, until that time comes, I say that no matter what a woman must have total sovereignty over her body. It is a fact of life that women get pregnant, and we cannot separate ourselves from our biology. But we cannot violate a women't right to do what she wants with her body just because she is pregnant.

P.S. Who is anonymous? Please sign your name. I promise I won't hate you forever just because we disagree about something. Unless of course I don't know you. Then anonymous is fine.

Puddleglum said...

I would like to add that in Canadian and North American culture we frequently and without question allow our governments to violate the rights of individuals in other societies; ones which are not burdening us at all. For instance, let me site poor trade regulations with developing nations and bombing civilian population in Iraq. The sole purpose of many of these activities is to ensure control and economic dominance of western nations. Surely in a society that can condone this action, aborting an unwanted fetus, when this abortion can be accomplished 100% safely, is also acceptable. Without legal abortions, I fear backstreet abortion clinics will prevail, as they always do in nations without this legal right. Backstreet is dangerous to the expectant mother and often crookedly expensive, entitling the rich to rid themselves of their unwanted children, while the poor spiral into and increasing current of zero control over future prospects. What kind of a society do you want?

Puddleglum said...

In addition, this is a big question of body soveriegnty. WOMEN MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE DECISIONS REGARDING THEIR OWN BODS and MEN CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING THOSE DECISIONS FOR THEM. Abortion is an available option; it is safe and it is quite obviously desired by some women; therefore it should be an option. "Backstreets no more! Abortion rights for rich and poor!"