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I am Pro-Life

(47 Posts)
AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 27-Jun-13 15:57:48

Inspired by the Wendy Davis threads and something being discussed on those, so please forgive the repetition.

I am sick of the anti-abortion debate hogging the term pro-life and making me out, by implication, to be anti-life.

I am pro-life.

I am pro-women's, men's and children's lives. I am pro-medical advances that extend lives and cure diseases. I am pro-healthcare programmes designed to improve public health and extend lives. I am pro-care for the elderly. I am pro-feeding the hungry and helping the poor. I am pro-advances which allow more women to successfully carry a pregnancy. I am pro- supporting those with mental illnesses.

Thinking specifically of the developing world, I am pro-safe drinking water. I am pro-sanitation. I am pro-medication and malaria nets and my wonderful friend who researches in the area of malaria. I am pro-education and and I am pro-those seeking to wipe out FGM.

That's just a few of the ways I am pro-life. I am going to stand up and say it loudly. I am pro life.

I am also pro-a woman's right to access a safe and legal abortion if she wants to or needs to.

reelingintheyears Thu 27-Jun-13 16:04:27

Yep,it is unfortunate that by declaring themselves pro life they,by definition make the rest of us sound as if we are pro death.
I've thought it for a long time but I suppose it's choosing your battles because the 'pro lifers' won't change their stance.

OddBoots Thu 27-Jun-13 16:07:08

Many of those who claim to be pro-life seem only to be pro-birth, after birth they don't seem to give a monkey's what kind of life a child has.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 27-Jun-13 16:10:28

Reeling - I do agree with 'pick your battles', but I suppose what I meant was that you don't have to have a fight with the other side. The more pro-choice people who also identify as pro-life, the less power that phrase has.

reelingintheyears Thu 27-Jun-13 16:12:33

I know,i agree,i'm pro life in the way you describe too ,I am also pro choice.

Jubelteen Thu 27-Jun-13 16:20:21

Yes agree totally with being pro-(womens)life. I don't get the anti-abortionists, how does it impact on their lives if I have an abortion? I like the idea of diluting the power of "pro-life" as a phrase.

scallopsrgreat Thu 27-Jun-13 16:22:50

But sometimes you don't get to pick your battles do you? As demonstrated in Texas. You have to front it head on whether the forced birthers are going to have their mind changed or not. Because other women need to see that their rights are being fought for and to try try try to stop dangerous and misogynistic bills from being passed.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 27-Jun-13 16:32:24

Scallops - Sorry if I wasn't clear. What I meant was you didn't necessarily need to directly debate about terminology to undermine the rhetoric from terms like pro-life. Sometimes you do need to debate that stuff head on, just as you need to address dangerous anti-women legislation head on. But at other times, maybe we can just chip away at the use of that term whilst doing other things.

scallopsrgreat Thu 27-Jun-13 20:49:22

On no Amanda I think you were quite clear. I just misunderstood. Ignore me I've got a cold! smile

VodkaRevelation Thu 27-Jun-13 21:04:15

I have always seen the term pro-life, as used by anti-abortionists, as meaning pro the life of an unborn child. I think for most people it is a given that we are pro-life in the general sense.

If you are pro life and pro choice do you value choice and/or the mother's life above the life of an unborn child?

mignonette Thu 27-Jun-13 21:10:36

specialsubject Thu 27-Jun-13 21:11:54

and so do I.

anyone seriously against abortion must be prepared to adopt and bring up an unwanted child. Never heard of any anti-choicers that would.

HairyLittleCarrot Thu 27-Jun-13 21:18:23

well said, Amanda. I completely agree.

And in answer to vodka's question, I personally value a woman's life more than the foetus inside her body, yes.

I do not believe that the law should have any say in what a woman chooses to do with her own body, at any time in her life. I'm elated that the filibusting was successful. It gives me hope to see that people are willing to fight for freedoms of others which are being eroded.

VodkaRevelation Thu 27-Jun-13 21:33:27

I think abortion should always be available where there is a medical need or in cases of rape but I do think women have the choice to not have a child before they become pregnant.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Thu 27-Jun-13 21:44:59

Yup, and they also have the choice not to have a child if they conceive one.

HairyLittleCarrot Thu 27-Jun-13 22:33:28

how would you evaluate whether a woman was actually raped or not, vodka?
and what would you say to the woman who you decided, nope, I don't reckon you were raped, so you cant have an abortion. Off you go, now.
and how would you treat the woman who felt violated by having to prove that she was raped, to you, the judge of her worthiness to have an abortion?
how long would this "raped or not" trial last?
what about the woman who doesn't feel what she does with her own body or why she does it is any one else's business so won't discuss the sex act which led to her pregnancy with you?

Have a think about how it would practically work if you tried to introduce a way of judging worthiness of access to abortion.

Think about why its ok to abort if you are raped ( innocent victim doesnt deserve punishment of unwanted pregnancy)

And then realise that this means you are also equating
1. an unwanted pregnancy with punishment
2. a woman who consents to sex as deserving of punishment

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 27-Jun-13 22:41:09

Vodka - My question to you (following on from Carrot'spoints) would be why you believe abortion should be available for rape?

If it is because of the horror of having to give birth to your rapist's child, then in that situation you are placing the rights of the mother above the right to life of the baby.

I may strongly disagree with anti-abortion rhetoric which says that, as soon as a fetus has been conceived it is a person and has as much right to life as any other person. However, at least it is consistent (though difficult in situations where you have to balance the risk of death of both parties). I have never heard an argument for allowing abortion after rape which doesn't inherently contradict the reasons for being anti-abortion in the first place and/or directly or indirectly imply that unwanted pregnancy is a punishment for having sex other than to procreate.

runningonwillpower Thu 27-Jun-13 22:42:27

VodkaRevelation, I have some sympathy with the views you are expressing. Maybe.

For example, I don't think that abortion should a substitute for contraception. But what if contraception fails?

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 27-Jun-13 22:51:41

Running - But do you honestly think that there are many women out there using it as a substitute? The numbers must be miniscule. Yes, I can believe that there are women out there using the morning after pill as a substitute for proper contraception. But abortion? It's not quick, it's not easily accessible, in many cases it is very expensive, it's pretty visceral. I honestly think that the image of a feckless young woman on abortion number 7 is put about because that kind of extreme rhetoric helps those who want to outlaw abortion by stealth- by making women jump through more and more hoops to access one.

In a similar vein, there is an interesting Guardian article here about reporting on abortion.

NiceTabard Thu 27-Jun-13 22:52:28

The thing I never understand is that looking at he situation factually, restricting abortion does not result in fewer abortions. What is does result in is more illegal abortions, so the incidence of the woman/girl being permanently damaged / killed increased hugely, while the number of foetuses terminated remains the same.

So in fact, so called "pro-lifers" are actually in favour of more death.

Quite aside from anything else, like the points already made on this thread, and many others besides.

rosabud Thu 27-Jun-13 22:53:17

Very well put HRC Can I add, what about very young women who weren't raped (I'm thinking early to mid teens) but who are heavily influenced by a culture which sexualises young girls? Are they to be punished, too, with unwanted pregnancies? That seems unfair when the companies that promote such sexualisation, from advertising companies to clothing comapnies to media outlets etc etc and make a great deal of money out of it are not punished. What about young girls from vulnerable backgrounds or who have had poor access to good models of mature adult sexual behaviour and don't have the emotional maturity to be able to refuse sex? Do they all have to go through with unwanted pregnancies too? So then we could be in the situation of immature, vulnerable children bringing up the next generation. Unless we force them to give their babies up for adoption, like they would have had to do in the 1950s and 60s and the cases of emotional scarring for both mothers and offspring in such circumstances are well documented.

NiceTabard Thu 27-Jun-13 22:55:15

from 2009

came up, I was looking for the stats about south america recently

NiceTabard Thu 27-Jun-13 22:56:35

recent case

"Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates, the WHO says. For example, the 2008 abortion rate was 32 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Latin America. In Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds, the abortion rate was 12 per 1,000"

NiceTabard Thu 27-Jun-13 23:00:17

there are many many groups of females who are at risk through carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term.

Whether through DV, mental health probs, loss of career / earnings / relationship / being shunned / health problems / risk to person and existing children due to already having as many children as they can cope with / etc etc ad infinitum.

Bottom line is that women are sentient beings who are afforded equality in law and thus must be granted autonomy over their own bodies.

And if that's not good enough, know that factually pro-lifers are campaigning for women to suffer and die.

NiceTabard Thu 27-Jun-13 23:05:32

Well obviously there are many many women who are at risk from carrying a wanted pregnancy to term, but that is kind of outside the scope of this conversation.

Incientally why do "pro-lifers" always seem to consider pregnancy and childbirth as a sort of null risk / nothing thing? It's still pretty much the most dangerous thing you can do in any country, relative to that country. And that's just physically. I think people who present it in this way (why not "just" have the baby and have it adopted!) really do see women as nothing more than semi-sentient beings whose purpose is to breed.

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