Vox Populi 4 – Pro-Choice or Pro-Life
Welcome to the fourth in the series of “Vox Populi” articles on my blog, where I ask for your feedback and thoughts on a given topic. Hope you enjoy these short topical pieces, and please leave your feedback in the comments.
Topic 4: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life
I had a discussion on Twitter this past week asking me why I am “pro-choice”. The person on the other end had quite a few things to say to me, the topics of which I will enter into below. I’m not going to name him in case he doesn’t want to be identified.
But let me just say this from the outset. People should have the right to abortion, and especially if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. You may remember when Angie Jackson had a chemically induced abortion earlier this year and live-tweeted the process. She had the abortion because the baby was threatening her life. This is a perfect example of a needed abortion, and one I support whole-heartedly. I also agree with the idea that it is a woman’s choice to do what they want with their own bodies, and since I see no evidence for a soul in humans, this makes the decision less of a question about killing a baby, and more about not bringing an unwanted baby into the world.
Now let’s get into the conversation I had earlier this week. The person on the other side of the debate is a Protestant. The whole argument stemmed from the idea that the pro-choice movement was akin to modern day eugenics and Nazism. The argument started in response to this article from the Herald Sun in which Bishop Peter Elliot made this claim.
A lot of this person’s arguments stem back to his belief in soul and that each soul is sacred, as according to God’s laws. I cannot reconcile this position, as I’ve said, because I see no evidence to support this idea.
That aside, I found a major sticking point, and one I have trouble reconciling. He asked me if it would be acceptable to abort a baby if it was a girl when the parents wanted a boy. He presumed to think that I would find this acceptable. I said, no this would not be acceptable, because this comes down to an abortion of convenience, rather than a matter of life and death for the mother. He then went on to ask if it would be OK to abort the fetus of a baby that may be genetically inferior. And this is where it gets interesting. Should people be allowed to abort their babies if the child will not be the super-baby the parents wish for?
I think it is wrong to say that it’s an argument about eugenics, but more an argument about where we draw the line on what is an acceptable behaviour. How do we reconcile this idea? I’m really interested in your ideas on this one. What do you think are the other issues that need to be addressed around this topic?