Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Right to Choose

It amuses me to no end to watch anti-abortion protesters, especially the men. A man who demands that we outlaw abortions and “save the children” is a man who does not know what the fuck he is about. An old saying is “ walk a mile in another’s shoes” is certainly appropriate. Until a man is forced to bear an unwanted child to term he cannot in good conscience prevent a termination. If a man is in a relationship with a woman and she wants to terminate the birth then the man has only one thing to say “Yes Dear”. If he was so keen on having offspring then he should be with a like-minded woman and stay the hell out of other women’s business. That being said a woman shouldn’t take precedence over a man if the man doesn’t want the child and never intended to have one. Women from time memorial have used the “baby” trap to ensnare a man. A woman, who wants to have a kid, should find a like-minded man, or be willing to give up claim on that man’s earnings. I think both a man and a woman should have the right to choose an abortion.

There is little basis to argue against the morality of abortion. The bible is mostly silent on the issue. The passages that are present regard the fetus as less than a full human. “Consecrate your firstborn unto me…” ring a bell? Remarkably, the most virulent opponents of abortion are the churches themselves. But the church has a history of opposing the wrong things. Like for instance, evolution, the heliocentric view of the solar system, the fact that the earth is round. It is more about control than about saving lives.

I’ve adopted a term for the pro-life group; I refer to them as pro-birth. The reason I refer to them as such is because they only care that the fetus makes it out of the woman’s body and after that it is no longer their problem. They seek to take away a woman’s options and offer no viable alternatives themselves. If they have their way, women will once again be at the mercy of men and all of the equalities they’ve fought for will vanish one by one. Why? The only reason women can sustain the freedoms they’ve gained is because they can compete on the same scale as a man can. They don’t have to become a mother if they do not choose, they don’t have to take maternity leave and cripple their career. Taking away abortion (and birth control in general, as most pro-birthers are opposed to anything that interferes with fertilization) takes away that choice. It wouldn’t be long until woman were once again viewed as second class citizens that are only working till they get a husband and can remain at home to be barefoot and pregnant. It would be a step backwards.

So what viable alternative exists for abortion? A popular idea I like to espouse is force all pro-birthers to adopt two unwanted children each. To make them take responsibility for the children that they are forcing women to bear into this world. Of course they would say that the pregnant women weren’t taking responsibility by having sex. I say to them, that these women are taking responsibility by having abortions. The alternative is to become a single mother and draw upon state welfare to supplement her income, or to give her child up for adoption after bearing it for 9 months, hardly a fulfilling prospect. Abortion isn’t an easy choice, not by any stretch of the imagination. To think otherwise is just ignorant.

So to return to my point, what is a viable option to abortion? Perhaps we should force the man and woman to take responsibility? Hardly makes for good parenting, does it? An unwanted child doesn’t just ruin one life, it ruins three lives. In fact I wouldn’t think it would be to far a stretch that people should be licensed to have children. If you’re not emotionally, mentally and financially ready to have kids you should be chemically sterilized (temporarily, fully reversible) until you are. That would solve the abortion debate once and for all. It wouldn’t take much, the government could offer some tax incentives to encourage undergoing the process and when you do have kids you get the child tax breaks. Would people consider that an infringement on their rights? I think it would be freeing. The religious right could no longer proselytize about the promiscuousness of the younger generation (ok I lied they’ll always bitch about that), but the issue of irresponsibility would be forever put to rest. You don’t have a kid until you get licensed.

No comments: