Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Ginger is feeling hopeful

Thank you America.


Anonymous said...

Surely you jest. The first thing Pres. Obama has promised to do is pass the Freedom of Choice Act, enshrining abortion federally as a right, no cut-off point. If abortion is made a constitutional right, then even Catholic hospitals, doctors and nurses could be forced to perform them.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ginger,

This is interesting.



Ginger said...

"Surely you jest. The first thing Pres. Obama has promised to do is pass the Freedom of Choice Act..."

I did not know that. It rather puts a dampener on things.

Some thoughts though. Firstly, I'm increasingly coming to the view that abortion legislation is very hard to successfully campaign against. Which isn't to say that one shouldn't argue against successive moves towards ever more relaxed access. But the realist in me has doubts about what can be achieved.

So to my mind, the most effective thing to do is to create a society where opting for abortion is considered a last resort, not the first thing that springs to mind in certain situations. Sure, there are some who will pursue it regardless of any other factors. But how many women seek an abortion because the are worried how they will cope financially with a child? Because the pregnancy is unplanned and their partner is likely to reject them? Because mothers are undervalued in some workforces? I’ve never understood the mentality that proposes that widespread and easy access to abortion is a sign of a healthy modern society, when so many of the reasons that precipitate that choice are symptomatic of societal malaise. Is it really a ‘choice’ if you ‘choose’ to have an abortion because people’s perceptions of single mums are so scathing, and you’re not convinced you will receive the emotional, practical and financial support that you need to raise a child? These are the things that need to change if we want abortion to become less common. The church is not innocent of having contributed to some of these problems. Going back to the politics, it seems to me most likely that a Democrat presidency might foster a more equitable society in which some of the burdens that contribute to such choices may be ameliorated. For example, there are currently 8 million children in the US who don’t have health insurance – the Obama campaign seemed far more committed to improving equal access to health care than did the McCain campaign.

Secondly, I think the positive changes to things like international and environmental policies that will be needed to prevent an increasing number of global problems which would affect not only health and wellbeing but, in some cases, survival, are far more likely to come from Obama. Not that this cancels out other things, but it is no small concern.

Finally, one of the things I found most heartening about the US election, was not the success of a non-white candidate; fantastic though that is, I hope that Obama gets to carry out his presidency with no further focus on his race - he has a job to do and I hope the media keep their attention on that. The thing that really stood out for me, even though it was secondary in the media, was the amazing turnout. That so many people bothered to vote, regardless of who they voted for, is something that really made me feel optimistic. Change won't happen unless people engage in the process. I hope that potential UK voters might be similarly inspired when the time comes.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ginger! Good to hear from you! I see your point that social factors play into abortion figures. However, our experience in New Zealand seems to show that increasing tolerance for and support of out-of-wedlock pregnancy does nothing to decrease abortion rates. These rates have increased hand-in-hand, along with rates of child abuse that are a scandal.

(I should do some research and get back to you on this. We're quite the little social laboratory here.)

The intention was that abortion be "safe, legal and rare." I have many friends who've said "I'd never do it myself - but it should be there for others." To which I reply, "What's so special about your baby that isn't special about a disabled baby or a baby of an inconvenient gender or race?" Because those are the groups being hit by abortion. As you probably know, nine out of ten Downs Syndrome babies are now aborted in the United States, and something like forty-five percent of African-American pregnancies. In India and China, gender imbalances are approaching dangerous levels.

So you'd think that pro-lifers would have natural allies in the left, wouldn't you? But it seems not.

I believe that abortion should be made illegal again, as soon as possible, as an expression of deep confidence that human rights are not granted by a mother or doctor, but are inherent to the baby from conception. After all, we have laws against theft and murder. We don't just hope that people will choose not to do them!

Obviously much to discuss here,



Ginger said...

Just a quick comment to pick up on what you were saying about the rate of abortions in the US of babies with Down's Syndrome. It would seem that in the UK, abortions are becoming less common despite positive test results:

I find that encouraging on many levels.

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