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.

4 thoughts on “Abortion

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  3. First, let me say I am humbled to be one of your favorite blogs. I suppose my habit of the bi-weekly post leaves you a little wanting though.
    Rest assured that I read every comment you leave, and that I wish I could respond with something more than “Yep, you get it!”. Maybe I should start doing that.
    Reading this post is like reading my own position. There is nothing much I disagree with. My blog post was trying to lay forth a philosophical and not a practical position. I’m known among my friends for constantly insisting that we ought to be “guided by ideals, and live in reality”. I have said that I think it is a battle of competing moral imperatives, where an unborn child has value but the mother’s life has value too. There is more to life than merely existing, and if society is not interested in community or collectively valuing something than I don’t think we can expect or impel women to have to carry a weight alone that we refuse to carry as a community.
    Your post- this post- restates exactly the same values I stated in my own post- only grounded in reality instead of idealism. I think we are saying the same thing, only you choose to couch your position with superfluous pro-choice rhetoric.

    • I don’t really have a sense of time, I have been very much moment to moment, so that you blog bi-weekly isn’t a consequence, since I don’t read on a regular schedule, it’s either revisiting or discovering and either is good, since I get something different each time that I read or experience or watch the same thing.

      I am not sure that I am including superfluous, perhaps to the substance, but the rhetoric is what I am drawing on for the content conclusion, it’s coding the conclusion so that people know what to expect – something that they will agree with, something that will take them a step farther, or, something to reject without consideration. We all commit confirmation bias, regardless of what side of an issue we’re on.

      although, I am developing a different understanding of confirmation bias that’s not a willful or negative thing – it’s just that some points of data jump out at a person who has a larger understanding (which is not a measure of correctness or right/wrong, just what each of us understands), so we can make leaps to conclusions that others are lagged or haven’t arrived at yet – so adding the rhetoric is like priming the pump – it’s the subtext that reveals what those in the know are going to see and a code for people who disagree to be prepared.

      I agree that we need to be guided by ideals which cannot exist in reality, so “practical” is that method of folding the ideals into pill form so they are less bitter when swallowed and made into reality – I think that is the ability of idealistic pessimists – we see the potential and dead with the facts on the ground.

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