Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pro-Choice: Common Ground Edition

I don't like the idea of abortion. Honestly, who does, anyway. I'm staunchly pro-choice on the matter. Could be that part of it is my upbringing - I'm privileged enough that if I'd gotten pregnant when younger, my mother would probably have found some doctor to perform an abortion, hush hush.

I had a... disagreement with a friend the other day on the matter. She's fine with it being legal. She's not fine with it being "paid out of taxpayer pockets" (as is the case here in fine old Nova Scotia, apparently). Her position sort of boils down to "if you have sex and get pregnant, pay for it. If you have sex and can't pay for an abortion, don't have sex."

Technically pro-choice. Principles-wise? Not much. It doesn't allow for choices. It basically shuts down sex as a privilege, not a natural need.

I once had a discussion with a pro-life friend about it. She seriously believes that abortion is murder. Which is fine, if there's something we moderates can't agree on, it's definitely that "where does life start" question. But she also believes that "BC should be handed out like candy" and comprehensive sex education starting at home are key to the abortion issue, because people are probably going to have sex anyway. That sexual activity shouldn't be stigmatized to the point where people are scared to ask for information.

Technically pro-life. Principles-wise? We're on the same page.

There's a lot of common ground between those who identify as "pro-life" and "pro-choice". Just because we disagree on one issue regarding abortion doesn't mean anything. That's a deeply personal issue that, due to circumstances bigger than individual women, is politically fraught.

The problem?

On a higher level where policies are made which will affect women's lives are anti-choice people who will gladly make abortion illegal and completely ignore the need for comprehensive sex education, access to various birth control methods, freedom of sexual information, childcare options, and a radical change in the way we see sex.

And not enough public pro-life people vocally, loudly, strongly, calling for those things which would bring abortion rates down.

There lies the rub.

We do have common ground. It just doesn't happen to be about abortion.

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