Sunday, November 21, 2010

Missing the point of the pro choice position

Going around the part of the internet I peruse is the truly ridiculous internet poll about the "pregnancy of Pete and Alisha Arnold". The feeling in my part of the blogsphere is that it's a scam designed to promote the anti-abortion position since no real people would get pregnant in order to have strangers decide on their personal life. That seems very probably, PZ's post may not be the best (no person *yet*? There will never be a person in her belly) but as always there are some awesome comments and those are what I'll be rifting off.

MY pro-choice position. I have no right to input into any pregnancy but my own. If I were to be asked what I would do in their position I would try to help them clarify what medical terms meant for end result of the pregnancy. Then it's their decision. Government has no right to input into pregnancies either. Whether it's US states denying abortions to women or the Chinese government dictating the one child/mandatory abortion policy. I agree with the motivation for the China policy much more than the US position (population explosion vs. women are stupid) but in the end, I feel both are wrong and would be better served with a education and medical intervention to prevent pregnancies in the first place. Pregnancy is a health condition that starts changing women's bodies soon after conception; it should be avoided if a child is not desired. If it helps, think of it as workplace safety.

People seem to be confused about the terminating the pregnancy part. All too often you get someone saying that there must be restrictions against late term abortions. Why? First, if a woman did decide on a late term termination is legality really going to be an issue? Do some major damage to yourself and the pregnancy is likely to be terminated. Second, late term terminations are done all the time. C-sections - late term termination. Any labour inducing actions are, in effect, late term terminations. The pregnancy is terminated not the product.

An expression of the lagging of science is often stated as where's my flying car. I would ask, where is my artificial womb. If it was truly accepted that life began at conception and human life is sacred there would be a concerted effort to ensure that any embryos removed from women would have an opportunity to develop as far as possible. This would be a boon to infertile couples and overly fertile women alike. The embryo/fetus only dies because of the inability to survive the new environment - see all those terminated pregnancies walking around?

It's very important to me that abortion is legal. Pregnancies can and do go wrong and doctors must be able to communicate options that will be in the best health interests of the woman and/or help prepare the parent(s) for birth. Just like any life changing event, the patient may need counselling. I am very glad that Canada doesn't have an abortion law. Pregnancy is treated as any other medical condition. I don't get to vote whether a smoker gets a lung transplant so why should I get to vote if other women keep a pregnancy. What is the difference between women miscarrying and needing a D&C and women choosing early in a pregnancy to get a D&C? Why do anti-abortionists assume the doctors that are there to help women hate humanity?

When you really think about it, it seems that the anti abortion lobby can only be primarily a pro-"punish/control women for being able to grow cells that can become life" group. That's a topic for another post though.