Wednesday, April 4, 2012

On abortion and absolute rights

With parliament preparing to discuss Canada's position on abortion I wrote about the topic this past Monday, daring to express the opinion that I am not opposed to extending some rights to viable late term fetuses or pre-born babies, excepting cases where there's a threat to maternal health. 

I've waded into this debate before and wasn't surprised at the reaction: the anger, the name calling and the sheer venom and insults hurled at me  It started with a suggestion that I 'sit down and shut the f*** up'.  I'm apparently woefully uninformed, ignorant, and a woman hater...and I'm also a Bible thumping creationist apparently, because I view the evolutionary theory to which I ascribe as a theory.  For some labeling something as a "scientific" theory gives it enough credence that is should be automatically accepted as fact.  Thankfully real scientists don't operate this way...but I digress.

This is the way it is with polarizing issues.  Extremists engaged in any debate will use any and all rhetoric at their disposal to diminish the arguments of those who don't share their 'absolutely' right point of view.

I'll be double checking all my spelling and grammar after writing this, because if I were to slip up and spell abortion as aboution, well some bright bulb would likely start screaming...HE CAN'T EVEN SPELL THE WORD, OBVIOUSLY THIS GUY AND HIS VIEWS ARE MORONIC!!!

Again, that's how polarizing issues and the extreme elements engaged in debate often operate. 
Its all about what I'll call 'absolutism'. 

For Pro-Life extremists, the rights of the fetus from conception onward should be absolute.  For extremists in the Pro-Choice camp, it is the right of a woman to security of the person and reproductive choice that is absolute. 

You can't discuss or even debate an issue with an extremist, it is utterly pointless.  If you disagree with them, well you're obviously an idiot because their view is absolutely right and any deviation from their line of thinking is absolutely wrong.

No wonder almost half of Canadians (Poll results here, thanks Dawg) believe this debate shouldn't be taking place.  And the extreme element of the Pro-Choice lobby concurs, of that I am certain. 

Why would Pro-Choice advocates want debate when they've achieved total victory?   As things now stand a woman has complete and absolute security of her person with respect to reproductive choice. She can exercise that right legally even if it means terminating a fully developed fetus or pre-born baby, because the pre-born child has zero rights and no standing in law.

There is perhaps a justification for wanting to squelch any and all debate, and that justification comes from looking at the other extreme.  There are some in this country who advocate taking away all options when it comes to reproductive choice.  For extremist Pro-Lifers a woman should have no right to an abortion, ever.

And so it seems Canada has been forced into a corner where we must choose one extreme or the other.  The complete right to an abortion, even up to the time before birth, with a pre-born child having zero rights.  Or a pregnant woman having no choice whatsoever, with a fetus from conception onward having precedence when it comes to security of the 'person'.

But does Canada have to pick one extreme the other?  Maybe we do.  The coming debate in our House of Commons may help answer that question. 

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