What bothers me about the debate on abortion.
Off all the things we debate, I can't think of anything that causes more of an argument then the word abortion. Both sides can be very strong on this.And the very fact that you might disagree with someone seems to cause an instant argument. Some might respond and say I understand, we are talking about a life here.Who speaks for the unborn if we won't? Or,how dare we tell a woman what to do with their body?
It seems that your very view on this topic says a lot about your nature and your character. We immediately put people in a box depending on the stance. And we have names for them too. Pro-Life/Pro-Choice, Abortion/Anti-Abortion. That's just the basic names, some have been called much worse.
I remember walking in the park one day with a friend of mine,. We happened to see someone who I know that was wearing a shirt that said "Abortion is Murder". My friend I was with was not comfortable with this shirt. She tried to explain this and he responded with the question "Are you a Christian?"
"Yes" She said.
"Well if you stand for abortion, how can you call your self a Christian and support abortion?"
I also have a friend who spoke in universities about the Pro-Life movement.He was preparing to speak at a class he was invited at in a university. The moment he started speaking, some people walked in and interrupted his talk and shut him down.
These incidents are some of the reasons I have been hesitant to open the door on a debate on abortion.
From a political perspective, it seems to me that both sides of the abortion debate have been guilty of a few things. The first being that whatever side you are on, you take the other side personally.
It also seems that each position has the appearance of being extreme. And t's tended to be expressed, particularly from the Pro-Life side, aggressively. Images of aborted-fetuses, t-shirts and bumper stickers declaring abortion is murder, have actually not helped, but quite frankly hurt the conversation.
Of course this week, the statements of Todd Akin about "legitimate rape" has done nothing to further the conversation. This is actually not the first time, someone has said that. I've heard this discussion in other groups as well. More then a few Pro-Lifers, I personally know have believed this.
And that is not to let the Pro-Choice or Pro-Abortion group off on thisone either because they have been guilty as well. There is a campaign by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada that is talking about Motion 312 which is a motion to reopen the debate this in Parliament. It is called "/Crush Motion 312". I would ask why? If you are comfortable with what is happening, any discussion should not change the law should it?
The biggest things both sides have done too me is make this political and not personal. My birth mother was 16 when she had me. She made a decision to give me up for adoption. Those decisions are not easy to make An "unwanted or an unexpected birth, effects everyone involved. Fetus, baby, mother,father and family. And as much as we want to discuss if we should have a law protecting someones rights, there is a deeply personal side on this decision. Yes, some women have felt condemned for making a decision to have an abortion. Or even feel guilty giving up a child for adoption. Or question keeping the child. But it is a personal decision that goes far beyond a law.
If we want to reopen this debate again, I would hope we can start at a more intelligent level then this debate has been before. The fact is in Canada,a high majority generally oppose abortion specifically as a use of birth control..In 2011, 77% of people opposed abortion in the last three months of pregnancy.And at the same time, when it comes to if the mother is having a baby causing health risks to the mother, the opinions change. Also the same for people when the question of rape is involved.Proving that this is not a black and white issue.
For example, where is the discussion or the encouragement for that matter on adoption and or foster children? Did you know there is a groups that support adopting kids older then 2? And are willing to support issues like adjustment or abandonment? It's called Sunrise Adoption.
What about after support? What do either side do after a choice to abort or to give birth is made? Are there after care counselling for parents and children?
These are the issues we really should be talking about and bringing to the forefront. If you want rights, you get responsibilities that are attached to those rights. We must take these issues seriously to have a real conversation.
And a real conversation will educate people on the right decision.