This maxim seems highly appropriate today, on this, the day that Prolife NZ rolls out it’s Right to Know campaign around New Zealand.
The Right to Know campaign challenges us to consider the important reality that providing women with all of the facts about abortion is ultimately going to be in the best interests of supporting truly free and informed choice.
For some reason, it has been my experience that the very group that is supposedly committed to choice, the pro-choice lobby, are often the most vociferous opponents of putting ALL of the facts about abortion on the table and allowing women access to a full and frank disclosure of the information about abortion.
There is a large, and growing, body of research showing the serious physical and psychological risks associated with abortion, yet for some reason there is often strong resistance from pro-choicers to allowing all of this information into the public arena.
Several years ago when the highly respected Professor David Fergusson, of New Zealand, published his longitudinal research showing that abortion can increase the risk of subsequent mental health issues in women he was sorely rounded on by groups like the Abortion law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ).
I remember the then head of ALRANZ, Margaret Sparrow, attacking Professor Fergusson’s research in a radio interview about the subject, and attempting to write off the findings of his research as if he was some sort of Internet hack touting results from a methodologically deficient online survey, or as if his research was agenda driven. This, despite the fact that Professor Fergusson is a highly regarded researcher and he is openly pro-choice on the issue of abortion.
To this day I still don’t understand why ALRANZ would be so doggedly opposed to women being empowered with scientifc knowledge and then choosing to keep their babies, rather than opt for an abortion and expose themselves to the risk of subsequent mental health issues because of that abortion.
When I hear pro-choicers staunchly and emotionally defending positions that would refuse to supply women with all of the facts about the risks associated with abortion, or with full and frank disclosure about fetal development, I really have to wonder to myself what are they so afraid of?
I mean seriously, if basic scientific information and medical facts have become such a big bad wolf to your ideological position then surely you have to wonder about the actual validity of your ideology, don’t you?
If the pro-choice ideology is so strong, and so innate to womanhood (as the pro-choice lobby claims) then what possible threat could there be from supplying women with ALL of the facts about abortion?
Anyone can talk a good game about ‘choice’, but the real test of your commitment to choice is shown by your willingness (or otherwise) to supply ALL of the facts to women so that they can make a truly informed choice.
If you are opposed to women being given all of the facts, then one is really forced to wonder whether your commitment isn’t actually to upholding choice, but rather to upholding abortion and defending it from any medical or scientific information which poses a threat to its popular support.
Ultimately, what is there to fear from women becoming armed with more information about abortion, or is the problem here that the pro-choice lobby views women as being too simplistic and unintelligent to be able to take in all the information that is presented to them and then make truly informed decisions after such awareness empowerment?
If the pro-choice ideology really is a true friend to women, as it claims to be, then surely it could never be opposed to allowing women access to ALL of the facts about abortion, not just some of them, for without that access the pro-choice ideology has become a friend that, as Henry David Thoreau would remind us, is a false friend that depends on darkness and ignorance to maintain control over the lives and decisions that women make about this issue.
For me, this issue is a no-brainer and that’s why I’m getting behind the Prolife NZ Right to Know campaign that kicks off around the country today – knowledge is empowerment, and empowerment is always good!
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