Friday, February 17, 2006
I’m not allowed to have an opinion on abortion
“We never think about the results of our actions because we can’t, being so dim as we are. We love washing machines, running water and frozen food because they make our lives so much easier – therefore it follows that we will all be racing to the doctor the minute we know we are pregnant, and taking a pill to cure the problem… We used to head off in the mornings to our girly, waiting-to-get-married jobs – as business managers, lawyers, doctors, airline pilots – work out we were pregnant, file our nails until lunch, and then pop into casualty to have an abortion. And we got back to work in time to have a cup of tea and a biscuit before going home.”
Obviously, Harriet Veitch is being facetious. She’s misguidedly complaining, here in her op-ed for the SMH, about what she thinks the abortion debate is all about. She seems to think its about men keeping women at home. I’ve been told this personally: I have no say on this issue, because I’m a man.
She’s not alone either. Liberal Senator Judith Troeth: “…if women don’t go out and fight for the rights they have, we will regress backwards.” And Democrats Senator (they still have them?) Lyn Allison: “It is galling listening to the men, and it is mostly men, who have such contempt for women who terminate unwanted pregnancies…”
And that seems to be the defined debate for the pro-abortion case. What?
Clearly the defined debate should be that Australia is “aborting ourselves almost out of existence” and we’ll become “a Muslim nation in 50 years’ time.” I’m just kidding, but former Minister Danna Vale’s comments have to be repeated at every opportunity.
But seriously, the case of the pro-abortion case is about “women’s liberty.” They argue, that they are no pro-abortion per se, but will defend to the tooth and nail, the choice of having the option. Any one who disagrees with this “right” is an oppressor of women everywhere and a dinosaur from the 1950s.
Wrong. It’s about relative values. 100 per cent, I agree, this debate involves the restriction of a woman’s personal liberty. What the pro-abortion case fails to acknowledge is the infringement of the rights of the unborn child when it’s killed. And that’s the fight right there. Whose liberty should be more highly valued: mother or child? This incidentally is the grounds of the secular opposition to abortion. And neither the secular or religious objection to abortion is sourced from a misogynistic bigotry against women.
Lyn Allison touches on this issue inadvertently: “…we will act on our own set of values and can be trusted to make reproductive health decisions for ourselves…” Act on our own set of values. That can be read: we will allow individuals to decide whose liberties are more important.
If the question at hand were the infringement of one person’s liberty by another (tax, censorship, regulation, racism) then as a general rule I’m obviously opposed to it. But abortion is not analogous to slavery. In the case of abortion we must engage in a form of moral relativism, and consequently as a society we must choose between which is more important: a woman’s choice and baby’s life.
The decision to have an abortion, for 90 per cent of women is economics. And that’s probably a conservative estimate. “I’m too young,” “I’m too old,” “not at this point in my career,” “the father has run off,” “I just am not ready.” These are all economic decisions, they are choices between future outcomes. And personally, I think the “convenience” argument certainly does not cut it. We must live with the choices we make, and if that means we can’t realize all of our goals and dreams, then so be it too bad, its not enough to impose the greatest infringement of liberty: life.
Posted by #12 TBONE at 11:48 AM