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Woman's right to choose

 
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Jackie



Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 20
Location: Canada

Post Post subject: Woman's right to choose Reply with quote

I ask those who believe that women should not be permitted to terminate a pregnancy:

1. What are you personally doing to help prevent unwanted pregnancies?

2. What are you doing to to assist with the support of children who are already born until they become self sufficient adults?

3. What should the punishment be for doctors who perform abortions and women who have them?
Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:38 pm
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dereklane



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 248
Location: UK

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jackie,

Maybe this topic doesn't apply to me since I don't agree with the premise anyway 'those who believe that women should not be permitted to terminate a pregnancy', but I thought I should show willing and post a response since the topic has potentially been banned from the main board..

So, working through your questions:
I don't believe women should not be permitted to terminate a pregnancy. I'd like to see a paradigm shift (like with the treatment of Aborigines, women's rights, war) that allows people to think about the issue of abortion not as a problem to be dealt with, but a life (same as any). I've no doubt that many women already think this way, and probably most do that have *been through* termination (personal experience can be an eye opener), but the men who chatter about this do not - of that I am certain (it is a selfish motivation for many that approve abortion because it *removes* responsibility for themselves) and I would guess many *young* women haven't given it proper thought, having never been close enough to the grisly reality of death to know what it means.

I'm not into punitive measures. I don't think punishment via state works for murder, rape,paedophilia, or lesser crimes of theft and vandalism, except to heighten concerns for the perpetrators that they don't get caught. Much more effective would be to concentrate on what drives some people to commit such crimes and work at prevention.

I believe the anarchist approach is best; we haven't internalised the notion that murder and rape are bad because we have been told to do so by the state, but because we have developed our compassion for others to an extent that we know it is wrong. Rape is different again in that it is only as an abuse of power that it occurs at all. Morality, for example, is not the only thing holding a man back from rape. It (for the most of us) can serve no purpose in well adjusted individuals.
So how can incarceration/punishment help?

I think what I'm looking for then is a paradigm shift. 50 years ago, many thought that black people should be labourers and slaves. A few did not. Some of that few thought they were just like the rest of us whiteys, others thought the world would be better off without any of them.

I think that's kind of a similiar division on the abortion issue. Those who think its a bad option aren't all bible bashing pyschos, but simply concerned from a compassionate perspective for the *other* life (too!). Piling the whole opposition into one group is as wrong as me saying all pro-abortionists are selfish males who want sex without responsibility. Some of that group are those people (maybe, subconsciously, a bulk of men, though they might never openly say or think it. Its nice to know there's a back up plan for me to keep my free life).

With all this in mind, here's my, hopefully quick answer to your three questions.
1. What are you personally doing to help prevent unwanted pregnancies?
Me? I don't have as much sex as I wish (and use 'protection').

2. What are you doing to to assist with the support of children who are already born until they become self sufficient adults?
I started my adult life with no desire for kids. We were discussing this the other day, and my wife seems to think that no matter the good intentions of men, the women still do (and probably always will) the lion's share of bringing up kids (even if via organisation and direction). She is probably right. I need constant reminding to participate (and I do) and direction (to do things in the right way). I wonder if we sometimes forget (or ignore) the fact we humans are animals, and have certain instinctual behaviours? It does amaze me that so many women (who listen to themselves rather than their parents) know so intuitively what is best for their kids, when I can ponder a problem for hours on such issues and have no solution at the end (that makes sense or can't be shot down in flames in seconds by her). But, I do what I can, I spend most of my time at home, and take my share of looking after the children, albeit blunderously. Men's instinctual behaviours seem to be largely superceded in modern countries, perhaps the reason why men have overcompensated in such societies to keep the more practical women under control? Just a thought; not much (non destructive) use for quick adrenalin boosts in response to danger nowadays. Or whatever it is men are good at..

3. What should the punishment be for doctors who perform abortions and women who have them?

None. Like I said, I hope for a paradigm shift that affords the unborn life notice enough that people stop treating it as a non life rather than a non-viable life. We don't see too many people beating their dogs round here with pieces of 4 x 2 any more, but so far as I know, there's no direct law against it. Similiarly, as it goes, with battery hens. Its still perfectly legal but less and less people are buying eggs from battery hens, because the welfare of them has become a thinking point. That's what I hope to see regarding abortion.

With respect,
Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:58 pm
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Rhisiart Gwilym



Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 14
Location: CYMRU and ENGLAND, variously.

Post Post subject: Woman's right to choose Reply with quote

Good luck with this topic, J! You already know my sympathetic and supportive stance, so I won't go on. It does seem to have an extraordinary capacity to goad men -- who by definition are NEVER on the sharp end of this particular decision -- to waffle and opinionise with positively crazy vehemence, though; when they're not actually persecuting women for having the nerve to claim this right. I guess you'll get the usual measure of verbal persecution right here. Hence my good luck wishes. What IS wrong with us, I wonder?
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Rhisiart Gwilym
Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:05 am
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Jackie



Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 20
Location: Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks RG. I do now your position and appreciate your support.

Derek, I see nothing to criticise in your position. I wish that first, there would be no unwanted pregnancies; secondly, there would be more support for families who need it; and thirdly, no one would ever feel that abortion was the best option. But safe legal abortions must be available for those who choose to terminate a pregnancy. And there do seem to be assaults from many fronts these days on a woman's right to choose.

Recently in Canada an MP put forward a motion that was seen by many as an attempt to reopen the abortion debate. In response to a letter I wrote, I received this response from a Green Party MP, and I agree with this position:

Quote:
Thank you for your letter regarding the debate of the legal status of abortion in Canada, which has been re-opened by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth in a motion called M-312. I am very disturbed by Mr. Woodworth`s back-door attempt to re-open an abortion debate in Canada.

The Green Party opposes any possible move by the Harper Conservatives to diminish the right of a woman to a safe, legal abortion. We fully support a woman’s right to choose.

Through our “pro-life, pro-choice” position, we are also committed to expanding programs in reproductive rights and education to avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place and thus reduce the number of abortions in Canada. We have also advocated the expansion of supports for low-income mothers who wish to have a child, but may consider abortion due to lack of resources.

It is vital that safe, legal abortions be available to the women of Canada – and the world. We support federally-funded maternal health programmes to ensure access to family planning and primary health care, including access to safe, legal abortions.


By the way Derek, I don't think most of us can fully understand the complexities in a family. It's true that in most cases a majority share of child rearing is taken by the mother (and from what I see, most mothers welcome the opportunity to put that energy into child rearing but many also want to have a presence in the larger world outside the family). It's hard to get the balance exactly right, and in most families I think the balance slides around depending on circumstances and the ages of the children. But whether the parents stay together or live separately, what I have observed is that fathers bring a certain something to the process that kids want and need.
Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:29 pm
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Jackie



Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 20
Location: Canada

Post Post subject: Dr Henry Morgentaler, fearless fighter for women Reply with quote

I posted this 25 minute audio documentary on the message board a few months ago but will post it again here. This remarkable man, both of whose parents were killed by the Nazis, and who survived Auschwitz, went to jail to defend women's right to choose and to provide safe abortions.

His opponents said he did it for the money, but I expect he could have made as much or more money as a general practitioner and much more money as a specialist.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/Audio/ID/2239430566/?page=13
Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:42 pm
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dereklane



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 248
Location: UK

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Rhisiart's contribution to this thread, I think, was a little vaccuous, not to mention a sideways swipe at me, which is generally uncharacteristic of Rhisiart (who normally is happy to take the bull directly by the horns). Disappointing, unless I misread his post..

"I wish that first, there would be no unwanted pregnancies; secondly, there would be more support for families who need it; and thirdly, no one would ever feel that abortion was the best option. But safe legal abortions must be available for those who choose to terminate a pregnancy."

I suppose I agree, except for the important but subtle fact that the last point tends to be the *main* point seized upon by pro-abortionists, at the expense of the former ones (which in reality don't factor in that heavily in my experience). Like so much of our western society, the focus is on 'cures' rather than prevention (think of our attitudes to cancer).

Also, as I've mentioned before family planning (as a euphemism for termination) is a definitive part of most western govts as a means of population control. Immigration and emmigration are finely controlled, and the potential excess of the unknown from births must be calculated also for the pragmatic govt minister. I believe that part of the paradigm shift *away* from responsibility for unplanned pregnancies (by society) has been as a direct result of govt initiatives (in some places the need to do this is balanced with the perception that conservative/liberal govts find the whole thing vaguely distasteful so as to please all of the electorate a little), which translates to the ground (gps and other consultants raising 'family planning' options freely and quickly for young pregnant women at the height of the emotional turmoil that exists within the first 3 months of pregnancy and well before any other avenues have been explored. I suspect they cite time as a factor in this push, but with willing, there could be serious exploration of other options too, which should, of course, start well before the pregnancy occurs in an ideal world).

It is these things I take most issue with; it is manipulative, it is dismissive of the women involved and it is consciously controlling. Worst of all is that many men can hide behind sanctimonious notions of 'rights' for women to promote this relatively uncaring attitude, and normalise it as *right* rather than merely pragmatic. The easiest path for the average male is definitely pro-abortion. Think, for a minute, of all those philandering male politicians...

But yes, I agree with your summary (and mine, of course). I simply wish that the last point wasn't treated as the pivotal one, and, instead, the first 3 took precedence of importance in our society.

Unfortunately, it seems there are too many men content to leave the case at 'it is a woman's right' which effectively absolves their own responsibility. The effective manipulative aspect of that ('You choose, woman, but I'm walking *that* way'--points at door--) makes me a little mad..

I suspect that population control as well as absolution from personal responsibility (for men as well as women) are the reasons (governmentally and personally in that order) why the last point is considered more important to 'progressives' than the first three. It sounds, to me, like more of the same; care, community and humanitarian responsibilitys, inc compassion take a back seat to economic efficiencies.

If the pro-choice organisations were able to present their case as three tiered as you have done (and no tier were left out) I suspect there'd be a lot of borderliners that would hop over and support that cause. As it is, there is too much eugenic policy making involved to sit comfortably with many folk (from a govt perspective, which trickles down), because the case seems all about the choice in the final decision (life or death for baby) rather than a more wholistic paradigm shift.

Maybe it is the case that the law needed changing first before these other tiers could be implemented (noone reacts well in panic or mortal fear), but if that were so, places where abortion has been legal for a number of decades would have had the chance to begin implementation of more wholistic approaches of which we would be seeing evidence now.

I suspect this may be the case in parts of Europe (where despite old abortion laws the numbers of terminations are comparatively very low to the UK, US, Australia and Canada). But why not in these latter countries? As I said, my best guess is that it is a policy decision of govt (that wish to guarantee a percentage of terminations rather than prevent the need for such terminations).

cheers,
Derek
Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:03 am
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Jackie



Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 20
Location: Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Derek.

You said "...family planning (as a euphemism for termination) is a definitive part of most western govts as a means of population control."

I don't see this, except in the case of China's one child policy. I feel there is a huge stigma against abortion. To informally measure that, I'm going to start asking young women that I know how they feel about it. In my experience, it is pretty much a taboo subject.

You think that women are encouraged by the fathers and the medical system to choose abortion. I don't know if you're right about that or not. I know that in my case, when I realized that things were getting serious between me and my future life partner, I told him that I had had an abortion. He said it didn't matter to him what happened before but he wouldn't want that to happen in our case. But that's just one sample. I have heard about men trying to prevent their partners from having abortions. But without data, it's all speculation.

You say "Unfortunately, it seems there are too many men content to leave the case at 'it is a woman's right' which effectively absolves their own responsibility." I hope that's true because it is the woman's right to choose, and her responsibility.

I appreciate the effort you put into your posts.

Best wishes, Jackie
Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:07 pm
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dereklane



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 248
Location: UK

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

"You think that women are encouraged by the fathers and the medical system to choose abortion."

I didn't actually say that. I suggested it was systemic, which includes everyone the woman comes into contact with once pregnant. Family planning has been suggested without request to people I know as a first step (part of a prescribed set of questions). Its pretty normal. Western countries, like with other propaganda, realise you don't need to force people into specific viewpoints; humans are suggestable enough as it is to guarantee a certain percentage of sway in decision making (and more so in the early stages of pregnancy, particular if very young). You don't need (and wouldn't want) the whole population readily convincable, just enough.

In other places, I think I've mentioned that men (I was thinking partners) are often *too* happy with a woman's right to decide (meaning to decide to have an abortion). If you get support for one decision and tail-turning for another, particularly when you're feeling vulnerable, well, subtle manipulation is still manipulation.

""Unfortunately, it seems there are too many men content to leave the case at 'it is a woman's right' which effectively absolves their own responsibility." I hope that's true because it is the woman's right to choose, and her responsibility."

Seems like backtracking here. Either men can and should (as functioning members of society) be partly responsible for the wholistic solutions you outlined in the second post you made, or they should be wholly excluded. If wholly excluded, wishing for societal responses to ensuring that

[there would be no unwanted pregnancies; secondly, there would be more support for families who need it; and thirdly, no one would ever feel that abortion was the best option. ]

is a pointless exercise. Either men (as half the population) are included in sharing potential responsibilities to shift destructive paradigms (I'm not just talking abortion) or women resign themselves wholly to plasters (abortion) rather than paradigmatic change (req for men, mostly).

Its pretty simple from my perspective. Views like Rhisiarts' *look* beautiful in print, but (from a male perspective) they scream pontius pilate (hand washing). If you and I are serious about the ideas in your three hopes above, you need men to take *more* not less responsibility. That's not lip service to pro or anti-abortion, but the whole system which has abortion as a final cure (and then leaves the woman to work through the emotional turmoil herself afterwards!). We've discussed before the fact that the *reason* so many women choose abortion is that children, pregnancy and related factors mean they must bow out of the lives they hitherto led. In other words, our society has structured itself to punish women for having children. (there are other ones, but this is the one we are taught most frequently, if by implication; life ends with children). I'd rather address that issue (made by men/power) *first* rather than making do with next best 'my choice'... I hope you can see what I mean here. Feminism should be about more than settling for concessions.

cheers,
Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:41 pm
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Jackie



Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 20
Location: Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Derek.

Sorry, I do not have time right now to respond to your thoughtful post.

But wanted to share this, an interesting interview with an author regarding her novel The Selector of Souls about, among other things, the pro choice-pro life dilemma. I intend to read the book.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/As+It+Happens/ID/2292068144/
Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:31 pm
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