Abortion

Over on one of my fave blogs, Misplaced Grace, George has provided some interesting thoughts on the abortion choice public debate: Part 1 and Part 2.

What I enjoy most about George W’s posts is that he is emerging with a new abortion position, pro-choice with moral limits – which is a refreshing change from absolute no to choice. My own position is total choice without restriction and without interference.

I think it’s appalling that there is even a public debate – this is not anything that is anyone’s business other than the people who are directly involved.

At a minimum, the pregnant woman and at most, her and the father – unless she’s a minor, in which case, her parents get added to the mix.

There is simply no one else who as the authority – legally or morally speaking – who should have any say and especially not decision capability.

In a society where the individual is the social unit of consequence – as opposed to cultures where it is the family or tribal unit – there is simply no way for an unconnected person to make such personal sovereignty decisions for other people – and this should not remotely be tolerated – no matter which side of the debate

Wait, there is no one demanding abortions be had so the debate isn’t a zero sum either side – it is between no and your choice – there is no strictly yes side to the arguments.

So, really, it’s the people who would deny the option are the ones who need the smack down to shut up and realize that they can choose for themselves and influence those they are connected to – but they have no place deciding what strangers and people who do not take their views into account get to do.

Legally speaking, the unborn are not persons under the law and are not protected under the law – to do so puts the unborn’s “rights” in direct conflict with the woman/mother’s rights – and since she is the one to make The Decision, to grant legal rights to the unborn is to put the mother in the conflict of interest position of having her rights clash with the rights of the unborn for whom she is the guardian.

Legalized abortion is the mechanism to avoid pitting those rights against each other as the lesser of the evils and harms of illegal abortion. The legal, safe and rare argument.

It comes down to are you prepared to tell a woman that she can’t have an abortion because she is not the legal guardian of her unborn offspring?

If her rights in that arena are removed, then the case can be made to remove more and more rights; and, as a woman who lost all her civil rights when she came out as a lesbian in 1992 and did not have them all restored back to her until 2003, that’s a dangerous precedent to head down.

In Canada, gender equality is the supreme right above all other charter rights – being treated equally under the law means that no one else is entitled to limit your access to law – meaning that our own personal sovereignty is the biggest right.

Our own personal sovereignty does not include forcing our beliefs and opinions onto other people or into law. Other people get to determine for themselves at the age of majority.

Aside: Curious that expression – age of majority – is that intended to be a particular age as defined in law or the age at which one finally becomes a member of the majority of society? In which case, in a sense, members of minority groups would never reach it, until their group(s) were no longer minorities – or perhaps there’s degrees of majority – so you could be in the majority on some matters but not others.

The legal guarantee of freedom of religion, beliefs, opinions and creeds does not entitle the holder to impose those beliefs on others or into law – especially when they are at odds with the foundational documents – such as a bill of rights or charter of rights.

In many ways, I expect that it is religion that is still  why in the US, gender equality or the Equal Rights Amendment remains unratified since, religion is a major driver of inequality between the genders – and having lost the major battle of denying women the ability to vote and limiting their direct participation in society by allowing women only the access determined by fathers and male spouses – even into the 1970’s, women were restricted in clothing options (dresses and skits, no pants at school) that are of little significant difference in the current Burka Debate going on in Western countries, women weren’t able to obtain bank loans without a male co-signer and the glass ceiling is still a reality in many industries.

Abortion is just a last gasp effort to continue to assert religious – read: male – dominance over women’s bodies and usurp who has control. Moreover, the other driving of the anti-abortion debate is racism – some white people are just afraid of being out-bred by non-whites – if you push many anti-abortionists, you discover that they object more to women from their own ethnic background having abortions than other women….

It’s not really enough to understand the debate, but to understand what’s driving the debate and judge the arguments from there – and the reasons for opposing abortion stem primarily from usurping women’s personal sovereignty and controlling their lives (subtext: religion), and reinforced by religious thinking which is purity as expressed by xenophobia/racism and terror of contagion – which explains resistance to interracial and mixed faith relationships/marriage.

Once you understand the motives, it becomes easier to dismiss the arguments, which are really just justifications for the motives and are based in cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias and magical thinking.