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Monday, January 22, 2007

Saving women from themselves

Anti-abortionists in US have found a new reason for their crusade, according to my morning newspaper. Women suffer psychological problems after abortions, they say, and should therefore be denied the option.

I wish they would shut up. It's probably true, or maybe it isn't. But either way, they cannot usurp authority over women whose decision it is to make. Pregnant women aren't retards. And they aren't thrill-seekers who set themselves up into pregnancy for the fun of morning sickness or the adventure of having an abortion. They're in a situation where they've realised they cannot support a child - and unless the embryo is conscious to pain (which it isn't) - they should have a right to decide.

I also wish the lobby would shut up with all the talk of the "baby" they wish to save. It is not a baby, but an embryo without consciousness most of the time. "Baby" is more apt a description of the thousands who died in pre-war Iraq because of medicine sanctions, and of thousands who are dying in post-war Iraq, thanks to a president whose policies this same lobby supported. And if you think I'm digressing and should leave out the war in my discussion, then let me just say that the anti-abortionists cannot possibly feel more pain at the loss of the "unborn child" than the woman in question herself. She would have given weightage to the factor, most of the time. Moreover, at late stages of pregnancy (when you may debate on the issue of consciousness) abortion is medically risky for the mother too so it would very rarely happen.

Anyhow, coming back to the new argument the lobby has uncovered: If cigarettes are legal despite being documented lethal, and alcohol is available despite the ills an overdose can cause, why should abortions be banned for the damage they may have? What makes the right to smoke superior to the right to terminate a pregnancy? Especially as the abortion stops an unwanted child - with a high chance of bad childhood which thereafter causes a high chance of criminal adulthood - from coming into the world?

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