One of the great schisms of US politics is referred to as the "Pro Choice / Pro Life" divide.
There's a lot of verbal jockeying from both sides to use different words and reframe the issue in more sympathetic ways. People who believe that all human life deserves government protection, even before birth, want to cast the other side as being "Anti Life." And people who believe that women should have the right to choose what happens to their own bodies, even if that means making a choice to end the growth of a fetus inside them, want to cast their opponents as being Anti Choice. At the far ends, they refer to each other as Nazis or Fascists, with utter sincerity. Both sides are ill served by the reduction of any labeling. "Pro-Lifers" can be painted as caring only about the commitment to life, not the quality (for mother or child) and "Pro-Choicers" can be depicted as caring only about rights, and not about consequences.
But there's a very clear "consequence" based argument in favor of procreation rights. According to the United Nations Population Fund's Dispatch on Contraception
, access to birth control is significantly correlated to improved outcomes for both women and children. The dispatch also states that 200 Million women have access to birth control in the form of the Pill, and that an equal number have no options. That leaves around 3 Billion women somewhere in in between, if I'm inferring the venn diagram correctly, and can rely on the gender/population numbers from this website
And there's a very clear "commitment" argument against restricting procreation rights. If I can trust the global mortality rates from wikipedia
, more women die as a result of childbirth each year than the deaths from drowning and war put together. Given that, according to another UN Dispatch (on the need for midwives)
many of these deaths are preventable by modern methods, it would appear that forcing women to give birth is not simply making a choice to preserve the (foetal, unborn) life, it's actively choosing against the life of the mother.
So I've tipped my hand, now, if the title of this post didn't do it already.
There's plenty of evidence showing lasting effects from the choice to end a pregnancy.
There's no question in my mind that a fetus is a presence in the world, and that women do feel some powerful kind of something that begins with the quickening.
But there's no sense I can see in any government taking the choice of what to do about that fetus out of the hands of the woman. If we care about the wh*** of life, from start to finish, shouldn't we trust most the person responsible for the first 9 months?http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=34617&Cr=mdg&Cr1=