Thursday, April 26, 2012

How Abortion Is Making You Dumb

When people don't talk about an issue because of fear, society becomes ignorant. Abortion is one such topic where ignorance abounds, and not just on one side of the debate either. The polarization of the issue has all but eliminated reasonable discussion, leaving most Canadians less than informed, and facing the sensationalistic extremes on either side, it is no wonder why the majority are content to stay so.

Not wanting to talk about controversial subjects is even worse than being uninformed of them, for the latter is accidental ignorance, while the former is intentional.There are clearly many people who don't know the facts regarding abortion, refraining from a public discussion not only does not benefit them, but in perpetuating ignorance, allows judgement and stigma to persist and society to be the worse off for it.

Growing up I had an Uncle who was gay, though some family members knew about it and he was loved, no body talked about it because of the social stigma that went unchallenged by silence. When I was young he passed away in a car crash that is believed to have been a suicide. It's hard to doubt that keeping such a large portion of one's life from those closest was not a factor.

Like homosexuality in the eighties, abortion today is an issue that is not often openly discussed for a similar reason, fear; it is the fear of social judgement and fear from the silence that follows it. Though today women are de facto free to have abortions, there persists a stigma which induces many to hide their past and to feel shame. But like homosexuality, we must not be afraid to talk about abortion, not just between loved ones, but in society. Many don't want to talk about abortion because it is a contentious subject, but it is precisely because abortion is so contentious that we as a country must talk about it.

Many within the progressive parties are happy to indulge those who don't want to stir up controversy, not because they want to avoid the vitriolic rhetoric that is likely to follow but because they don't want womens' rights infringed upon. And though such rights should be and must be protected, an open public discussion on abortion, on when life begins or known at least to be first present, is not something that should be avoided. Considering the ignorance on both sides of the debate indeed it should be welcomed.

But yet many Liberals, NDPers, Greens, and even a few Conservatives don't want such a public discussion to take place in Parliament, fearing a door will be opened that cannot be shut and abortion will eventually be banned. And though womens' rights will be protected in the short-term, by not discussing expert opinion, by not informing Canadians about current practices, the ignorance that will be perpetuated on both sides will endanger those very same rights in the long-term.

Not talking about abortion does not protect womens' rights, it protects ignorance.

Though passions often get inflamed in the abortion debate, it's not being pro-choice or pro-life that makes one ignorant, it is refusing to become informed that does that. And as long as abortion is so contentious that it encourages people to not talk about it, it is one issue that is making us all worse off.


Anthony Passaretti said...

Well written and well done overall!

I cannot agree more with you on how polarized this subject has become and how finite each side's arguments seem.

Your either a Satan loving pro-choice individual or a woman hating pro-life imperialist.

People do need to become more informed on this subject and about the options that are available out there. I myself cannot say that I am directly affected by this debate, but there are many people who are probably terrified or mentally disturbed over the fact that they now have to choose. What I focus on however is the important of that one word "choice". Our society is built upon a foundation of freedom and with that freedom choice is a very important word.

Someone might choose an abortion if they are put in a position they feel warrants one, while other's might say no way, I believe in keeping the baby alive. That is ok, but I feel terrible when you have certain people and groups whom look at the subject and automatically have to judge others and tell them how to live their lives.

Do we all live the same way, do we eat and dress the same way? When did society become a popularity match, where you must totally conform. I mean, did we not properly work out that everyone is unique in their own way yet or has years of debate and protest gone on for nothing?

I honestly believe that certain topics, which tap into a persons emotions are essentially dangerous, which is why many people consider them taboo and stay away from them, but you are correct in mentioning that we need to discuss this more.

If not for the sake of informing people, discuss this topic for the sake of reminding people that you are still a human being regardless of which choice you make.

Volkov said...

Hear hear, Scott!

gingercat said...

Although your motives are genuine. let's talk about how this bill wants to put this into the criminal code and the implications that arise from that. This is not simply an exercise to see when life begins. Read the bill and speak to a lawyer about it and you will see why the pro choice side is fighting so hard not for this not to happen.

Fred from BC said...

Yes, very well said.

(are you sure you're a Liberal?..;)

Attempts at fearmongering like the one here from Gingercat are what usually derailed the conversation. Any suggestion that the 'bill' at issue will actually be passed is ridiculous (even the Prime Minister has stated that he will vote against it); it's the discussion that is important, and the need to get an actual law in place so we can join the rest of the civilized world. NO ONE is talking about banning abortion (oops...that should be "reproductive rights" now according to the left, correct?) except the ones who are trying so hard to shut down even the possibility of a discussion...