A Touch of Alyricism

Dedicated to the equally fascinating topics of autistic advocacy and the 'sisterly sophistries' of radical gender feminism. Other topics may occasionally crop up. Contactable at alyric@gmail.com


Polemicist since Grade 8

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Abortion Myopia

In the weirdest apologia yet for the pro abortion camp, Emily Maguire puts up the argument that if the wimpy pro lifers had the strength of their convictions, they would:

“say what they really mean. Premeditated, cold-blooded child murder is not a matter for debate. If abortion is equivalent to infanticide, shouldn't the women who have authorised this killing and the doctors who have carried it out be prosecuted and incarcerated?”

On which planet has Emily been residing? Is she not aware that a sizeable portion of the community out there from His Holiness, the Pope on down have indeed been yelling, loudly, “This is murder”? And yes, if they can get abortion made illegal again, the practitioners will certainly have their day in criminal court. Unlike Emily, they don’t see the first trimester foetus as:

“a mass of relatively undifferentiated cells that exist as a part of a woman's body.”

Neither does anyone else with a memory of very basic high school biology. That undifferentiated mass has a heartbeat at eight weeks. The same mass including the placenta is in no way a part of the maternal body, merely resident for a time. One of life’s fascinating mysteries is why the mother’s immune system does not reject this histological interloper.

Legalised abortion exists because in a rare twist of events, the law isn’t a complete ass and recognises that there are many shades of grey in this issue. Is it right to abort a foetus with anencephaly or some other fatal or even merely severely disabling condition? Can anyone say for certain when life starts? If it’s a toss-up between the mother’s health and that of the foetus, who wins? There are a multitude of reasons why abortion is not a black and white issue. But, here comes Emily Maguire with a dare to the fence sitters to put up or shut up. It’s murder or it isn’t.

It was Clinton, I think, who said that abortion should be safe, private and rare. A part of this abortion debate revolves around the disquieting realisation that while abortion is now safe because it is legal, and it is seen as a private decision, not one for the courts to decide, it is anything but rare. Figures flying around this country lately have been quoted at 2000 a week. Is this an epidemic of disability, lifestyle choice or default contraceptive choice?

So far, reasonable people have tempered their own views in deference to this being private to the person who is primarily affected. They assume and given the abortion figures perhaps wrongly, that abortion is such a difficult decision that there must be good reasons for it. Emily, myopically, chooses to see this as supportive of a pro-abortion stance. Quoting Emily, given that “an embryo is not a child. If left alone, it may develop into one”, those temperate folk may very well hop off the fence and start demanding that the embryo be given a chance. Further, those pro-lifers would be only too happy to oblige you in making this a black and white issue.



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