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I am a new parent. My interests are secularism, learning, parenting, religion, career planning, and adult education.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pro Choice - This is why Canada should not re-open the abortion debate

Today, Conversative MP, Stephan Woodworth wants to open the debate around the definition of when human life begins and admits it is to re-open the issue of abortion rights in Canada.

I don't like where he's going with this.

While I think that biological arguments could be made that human life begins at conception, another biological and ethical argument can be made that a zygote/embryo/fetus depends on the life of it's host (the mother) who is an autonomous human being with rights and freedoms. The life of the zygote/embryo/fetus has serious impacts on the life and health of the mother. Our criminal code recognizes this and protects the rights of the autonomous human being. Therefore we do not need to to change our criminal code definitions - precisely because it endangers the rights, health, and well-being of autonomous human beings.

Coincidently, the author of "What Pale Blue Dot?" wrote about why she is pro-choice and I couldn't agree with her more.
Because I know that pregnancy kills, and more pregnancies kill more, and I believe in a woman's right to ensure her own survival (if for nothing else but to care for existing children), I strongly believe that women should have affordable, safe access to any and all measures to prevent and terminate pregnancy and the social support to utilize these measures.  Women should be in absolute control of when and under what conditions they put their lives at risk to bear a child. (emphasis mine) And we should value their lives enough to respect that agency.
For comparison, the death rate in any abortion procedure between 1993 and 1997 was .6 per 100,000 (Kaiser, 2002).  This makes ANY abortion, including late term, overall ten times safer than pregnancy and childbirth.  As it happens, this rate is still accurate, with more risky surgical abortion risk at .625 per 100,000 (NAF, 2006).
The takeaway on this is pregnancy is risky.  It may be less risky in wealthy nations when women have access to excellent medical care.  But it is always risky.  Women should be free to only take on this risk willingly and enthusiastically.  (emphasis mine) As such, all family planning services, contraceptive and abortive, are basic lifesaving healthcare and should never be denied to women.

Any denial of this lifesaving care is to presume that the life of a woman is less important than that of her potential offspring.

What bothers me most about pro-life activists is that they sure do seem to care a hell of a lot about the unborn than the living.

Please write your MPs and ask them to honor promises made by Stephan Harper that he will not allow this debate to be re-opened.

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