Friday, July 26, 2002

Is Abortion Right? Right on!

There are people in India who will kill you if you admit to eating beef, because it conflicts with their religious beliefs that cows are sacred. Is it their right to impose their beliefs on you? After all, they are just imposing "God's will."

And don't give me that, "you had sex so you have to take the consequences" nonsense. Does that mean if you go skiing and break your leg, you should be refused medical treatment because you knew the risks? Having sex is not consenting to pregnancy any more than swimming is consenting to spend the rest of your life in the water. Let's apply the same principles to sexually active women that we apply to citizens in general. If women are moral beings, they have to be able to make these decisions themselves. It doesn't matter if the fetus is "innocent" — it hasn't actually had a chance to go out and rob a bank. In fact, it has no higher cerebral functions and no consciousness. Legal abortion means early abortions.

No one suggests that people in general should be forced to lend their bodies as life support systems for other people. It's recognized that the person who owns the body has a choice about how it's used. Therefore, it doesn't matter if the fertilized egg (blueprint), or embryo, or fetus has a brain, or is developed, or aware, or if it feels pain. The guy in the bus beside me doesn't have the right to use my body. Neither does a fetus. Everything else is irrelevant.

What is it about women having sex that gets people so uptight, anyway? Anti-choice people always seem to be picturing some all-purpose slut—not their mother or their sister or wife or daughter or the gal next to you in your church choir. Over 40% of women have abortions in their lifetime. They are your sister, your co-workers, your friends, your wife, and often, your mother.

And if anyone is looking for God's plan: 940 out of every 1000 eggs fertilized fail to develop, most of them before the woman knows she's pregnant. Even when the pregnancy is noted, 30 - 40% miscarry naturally. So what was the plan for them? If there's a message, it's "There's more where that came from."

And as a final thought: When abortion is illegal, WOMEN DIE. Women die, women are maimed, infected, and sterilized by unsafe abortions. So here's the choice: a fetus or your sister?

Put it into perspective: legal abortion is 11 times less likely to kill a woman than childbirth (WHO statistics). By insisting on the childbirth, you are forcing them to run a risk they don't want to run. How ethical is that?

Think about it. It's her business, her body — her decision!

I'll believe that the fertilized egg is a person when someone saws up an acorn and builds a house. We can't apply the rights of one stage of life to an earlier stange. Or are there unborn drivers? unborn voters? unborn senior citizens? If so, I want my old-age pension now!

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