Is it just me, or are many pro-choicers (i.e. the dedicated activists, rather than your average kiwi punter who sits on the fence on this issue) starting to sound more and more like the anti-choicers that they accuse pro-lifers of being?
In the last fortnight several different campus rags around NZ have run articles focused on attacking the pro-life position, to the point of absurdity, and even angry hate-fueled ranting – see last week’s blog post about the CRACCUM article.
Tangent: the author of that CRACCUM article, which was published in print edition without any name attached, has since been revealed – he’s a young socialist/atheist who wears a cardboard beer box on his head (no, I will not be inserting any witticisms about the symbolic nature of wearing alcohol product packaging on your head). He actually took the time to post a brief comment on this blog last week, accusing me of engaging in “strawman” arguments – but everyone knows that I don’t believe in strawman arguments, being a good feminist I only accept the existence of ‘strawperson’, or even better, ‘straw subjective gender construct’ arguments. I digress, back to the pro-choice crusade that has begun around the country.
More and more, and this is by no means a NZ-only phenomenon, we are seeing pro-choicers who are becoming decidedly anti-choice in their approach to the issue of abortion.
There seems to be no willingness to actually discuss this issue in a reasoned, open and honest fashion, instead they would prefer to silence even the slightest whiff of dissent from their pro-choice ideology (yep, cause that’s exactly what it is; an ideology that was invented to try and evade the serious ethical challenges to the legitimacy of the act of abortion) with all manner of attacks.
Having said that, I can kind of understand where they’re coming from though, it must be hard to remain steadfastly committed to an ideology whose popular support is waning on a yearly basis, and whose most diehard adherents are now referring to being prop-choice as being part of a shrinking “post-menopausal militia“.
You see, the landscape is changing, and I’m not sure if the pro-choicer’s can actually see what’s happening.
No longer are women lining up in droves to express an ardent and undying commitment to the pro-choice ideology.
I would suggest that a large part of this has to do with the fact that, while many women out there might still be open to the idea of legalized abortion, they certainly aren’t huge fans of the act itself, with many simply choosing to quietly hold a personal opposition to abortion.
You see, we now live in a culture that places a high regard on human rights (and rightly so), and this means that more and young people are being steeped in a culture which encourages them to think about the ethical rights and wrongs of all manner of actions – from product manufacturing and consumption, to the way animals are treated, to the way we establish legal and policy frameworks in relation to human persons.
More and more young people are becoming attuned to important concepts of social justice, and this has coincided with massive leaps in medical science and technology, which now gives us a far greater insight into exactly what a fetus is – a human being (I mean come on, it’s not like a pig or a cow is ever going to pop out of a human womb after nine months – duh!) that meets all of the criteria for biological life (metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, reproduction).
What we are seeing in our culture is a meeting of two beautiful things: growing ethical awareness and growing scientific awareness – and the end result can only lead in one direction – a growing discontentment with the act of abortion, and a desire to move towards a more humane solution to the problems of crisis or unplanned pregnancies.
We see this very thing playing out in the medical fraternity where more and more doctors and other medical professionals are quietly refusing to participate in the ugly business of abortion, preferring instead to devote their talents to the far greater and more fulfilling work of saving and caring for human life.
Sadly many in the pro-choice lobby, especially those in positions of influence and authority, are responding to these positive developments of human enlightenment with negative and reactionary acts, grounded in a desire to remain in an unenlightened and closed approach to the issue of abortion.
Trying to silence groups on campus is far easier than actually having to debate the issues with them, especially when your ideology is not supported by logically sound ethical propositions, or by advances in medical science.
If the pro-choice lobby truly believes that their position is built on solid propositions, and that it enjoys widespread popular support, then why all of the reactionary and fearful closing of the doors to open and honest exploration of this important ethical issue?
Surely for any choice to be truly free and informed then the right to full knowledge has to be the initial foundation upon which that choice is built, explored and eventually made – without knowledge there can be only ignorance, and ignorance can never result in a truly free choice.