- 3 months ago
While I think that it is natural as a society to debate things such as when life or personhood begin, centering policy on such issues is far less productive, for reasons that others here such as Sansa85 have mentioned and because large swaths of society will probably always disagree philosophically with one another on such issues. I propose instead that policy efforts focus on more common ground that those who are focused on protection of the unborn and those who are focused on the well-being of women can come together on, agree on, and work on. I posted the following on another thread here:
I think that the only really productive way as a society to deal with this issue is to focus on the DUAL welfare of children and women.
Given that sexuality is one of the most fundamental human drives as well as a crucial component of healthy and vital intimate partnerships, this means education that allows boys and girls to have a solid grasp of how their bodies work, good knowledge of contraception (including accurate info on reliability and risks) that encompasses both pregnancy and STD risk, wide availability of safe contraception to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, and meaningful legal investigation, prosecution, and sentencing for rape, all of which will reduce in a major way the number of women having to make such terrible decisions in the first place.
It means an equal level of concern for children’s development throughout their time in the womb by provision of adequate medical care for all pregnant women, regardless of socioeconomic status.
It means an equal level of concern for children after they’re born by provision of medical care, education, and a safe, nurturing place to grow up for each and every one of them, regardless of socioeconomic status. (After all, a child is in no way responsible for the socioeconomic status of his or her parents.) It also means family-friendly policies in the workplace that allow parents to actually bond with and take care of their children. It means creating a foster care system and an approach to adoption that actually works in the best interests of children. Then women who are open to carrying a child to term, but feel that they don’t have the financial, logistical, or other means to adequately parent can either attain the means or lovingly give the child over for adoption without such fear of what the child’s future will look like.
THAT is how a society severely reduces the rates of abortion, and there is real-world data to support it.
Now, what I’m proposing will of course be rejected by those with more oppressive agendas – those who actively want to reduce women’s ability to participate in society in education, career goals, economic stability, and political power, those who wish to use governmental power to control and punish women for having sex (which we all surely must understand is unconstitutional if motivated by religion and is misogynistic), and those who really don’t personally care all that much about abortion in particular but seek to use it (and therefore real women’s and children’s lives) as issues to manipulate the voting public in their personal pursuit of political power. I honestly believe, however, that if those of us who are honestly and more purely motivated out of respect for life – of children in or out of the womb and of women – would resist seeing each other as enemies but instead band together, we can be the force needed to advance the welfare of humanity AND overcome those who seek to oppress.