The debate to create protest-free zones around abortion clinics, due to take place this week in the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council, may be a very telling one.
It’s an emotional subject that requires sensitivity and balance as it affects all of us, not just women. Therefore, I’m not convinced politicians pushing for six-month jail sentences for disagreeing protestors recognises these factors.
I fear this latest political move will further cement inconsistent beliefs in a number of those who, though sincerely, perhaps believe inaccurately they are freedom fighters.
No one should be permitted to assault or bully women who are considering an abortion – these women are also victims of the multi-billion-dollar abortion industry.
I think we should all be pro-choice on almost everything, even to a fault, but not when that choice involves somebody else’s life. I think it’s obvious that life begins in the womb. Where else could it begin? Once the child is born? When the mother decides? Even as a boy, I have always had a problem with something being considered objectively right or wrong based on somebody’s say-so who happens to be in authority. Why is it a baby boy if his mother wants him, but just a foetus if she doesn’t?
The “it’s my body” is a weak argument, especially now that we can nurture an unborn life in an artificial womb.
The foetus within the womb has it’s own body, gender and even often belongs to a different blood group than the owner of the womb. If I crash and injure people in a car, I can’t argue “it’s my car”. I am responsible for their life, even if it is my car.
And why are abortion clinics about to get such special treatment as legally binding exclusion zones? Surely even your diehard pro-choicers recognise this hypocrisy.
Clearly money speaks all languages, except the language of protest. Neither churches, nor military bases, nor schools, nor even cemeteries command this level of “respect”. By introducing exclusion zones, it sets a dangerous precedent by once again confirming that human life is only to be protected when it suits, and not otherwise.
I fear the current debate will have too much focus on the importance of being “pro-choice” and not enough emphasis on what that choice actually is.
The proposed legislation also presumes that an unplanned pregnancy can be the end of life rather than the beginning; an avoidable curse rather than an unavoidable blessing.
In a sense, every pregnancy is unplanned, at least on the part of the child. Many great people in history were the result of an unplanned pregnancy and/or an unmarried mother, including Jesus.
When an unmarried Joanne Schieble became unexpectedly pregnant at the age of 23, many a counsellor today would have supported her if she chose to abort. But it was 1955 and I am very glad Joanne Schieble didn’t, because she gave birth to the great Steve Jobs.
In Walter Isaacson’s official biography of Jobs, Jobs stated: “I wanted to meet my biological mother mostly to see if she was OK and to thank her, because I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion. She was 23 and she went through a lot to have me.”
I’m not saying unplanned pregnancy is easy. Far from it.
But when public land is being zoned off as “opinion-free zones” regardless of the opinion, your musings should tell you that something is seriously wrong.