Monday, February 06, 2006

BBC's objectivity hits all time low with pro-abortion report that "UK pledges £3m for safe abortions" to "help prevent thousands of deaths": what about the destruction of life?

I cannot believe the BBC's bias in this report. On an issue as controversial and serious as abortion, how can the BBC seriously get away with a report which expresses a proabortion view from beginning to end and only quotes a pro-abortion junior minister at the Department of Health and a representative of the proabortion International Planned Parenthood Federation? Pretty much every sentence in this report is objectionable and biased.

1. "safe abortion" in the title. Abortion is never safe for the baby and also has serious health risks for the mother.

2. "International Development Minister Gareth Thomas said he hoped the move would persuade other nations to step in and help prevent thousands of deaths." This kind of language is suited to the protection of lives from killer diseases, not abortion which is the deliberate killing of a child.

3. "thousands of deaths" is in no way quantified. Where is the data? Why are these women's lives at risk and why can't they be helped by treatment that does not involve abortion. What medicines could be used to help women other than brutal abortion methods?

4. "The World Health Organisation estimates backstreet abortionists cause 70,000 "agonising" deaths every year." If abortion is so unsafe then why not eliminate illegal abortion practices altogether? I asked a representative of IPPF once if she supported the prosecution of illegal abortionists that maimed and killed women. She simply couldn't answer. If IPPF were concerned about the welfare of children they would be in favour of prosecution illegal abortionists, but they do not.

5. "But to receive US aid, health clinics must pledge neither to provide abortion services nor advise women to have one." And what would be wrong with that?

6. "Since US President George W Bush imposed this so-called "global gag" rule in 2001, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) has had to close dozens of clinics." The "global gag rule" is a proabortion term. In fact there was a Congressional investigation into the use of federal funding being used for forced abortions and sterilisations in China and other countries.

7. "But with Britain's £3m it will set up the Global Safe Abortion Programme to improve access to safe abortion services and "support other partners that have had to cut back on reproductive health services because of the impact of the gag rule"." I do wonder at this point who is writing this report. I mean what is all this in inverted commas? Not exactly objective reporting. I wonder if I sent the BBC some of my writing if they would stick it up on bbc newsonline?!!

I could go on but I won't. BBC Newsonline ends with a long quote from the IPPF director which is about a third of the whole report. No quote from any prolife organisation. Not even a mention of any possible objection to abortion. Poor Steven Sinding from IPPF expresses his lack of knowledge about why anyone might be opposed to funding abortions. If only the BBC had provided space for comment from the prolife side perhaps we could have enlightened him.


Blogger Mia said...

I quite agree about the bias. The article justifying the allocation of this £3 million on the DFID website makes reference to 13% of maternal deaths related to 'pregnancy and childbirth' being caused by unsafe abortions ... but makes no reference to a) the underlying poverty that is often the cause driving women to an abortion she may not otherwise choose; b) the 87% of women who have died giving birth in ways unrelated to abortion, and for whom the provision of better abortion services would in any case have been unlikely to represent an improvement to their circumstances. If childbirth is inherently so dangerous in poor countries, that is largely because of the state of the basic health services that can be provided under current restraints of poverty. I am horrified to find that DFID is more keen to focus on providing abortions rather than help to provide adequate healthcare that will prevent maternal deaths. Discussion of reproductive health cannot be reduced to arguments about provision of abortion, yet DFID highlights unsafe abortion as though it was the only or major 'threat to women's health'.

Your blog is fantastic, Fiona. It's great to have a look every now and then to catch up on what is going on.

I'm looking through EU funding right now, and I see that DFID is following their approach to 'filling the gap' left by the US. What do I do to stop my taxes going into this fund ... ? Maria Byars

1:41 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Hi Mia

thanks very much for posting a comment. I have complained to the bbc at the time of the report but haven't had any response as yet.

are you in the UK? are you involved with the ProLife Alliance?

the more people who unite and complain and compaign about these issues the more chance we have of changing these things.

best wishes

3:08 PM  
Anonymous henry, Durham said...

As far as I'm concerned abortion is about a womens right to choose. It might well be the case that women choose abortion because they are in no position to look after a child. I also agree with you that abortion is the worst possible option for a woman to take. However, it would make sense that women choose the least worst option for themselves, and since abortion is so traumatic, this itself provides justification (in my mind) for their choice. Women may indeed be swayed by better support. However, like most right thinking people I believe in a womans right to choose. No ammount of incentive will ever compensate for the removal of that right.

Mia, if we're talking about tax, there are lots of things that I don't think my tax pennies should be spent on, faith schools being one of them. Citizenship has obligations to accept things you're not happy with.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Hi Henry

thanks for your post, however I don't really understand what you're saying. Why should killing a child be a matter of individual choice?
If you agree that abortion is traumatic then why should women be forced by circumstance to go through abortion?

I also don't understand your last point about incentives and alternative support not compensating for a removal of what you call the "right" to abortion. Why not? Abortion isn't a positive experience for women, it is something most women would probably rather avoid and it can be avoided. The baby on the other hand doesn't have much of a choice, but abortion for the baby isn't some abstract "right", it is its life.

Regarding the point about tax, it would be fair to say that abortion raises such serious issues for a significant proportion of the population (you can't get any more serious objections to an issue than the prolife perspective on abortion) and it would be fair to say that as an exceptional matter, it should not be funded out of general taxation. As for democracy!! where was the parliamentary and public debate?

thanks again for posting.
best wishes

4:04 PM  
Anonymous henry, Durham said...

The point I was making was that abortion is seen by women as the least worst option. Abortion itself is a traumatic process. If there were any other acceptable way out of their situation then it would make sense that women would take that route rather than choose to have an abortion. Therefore, abortion is always the last resort, not the first, and pro lifers need to recognise that.

The other point I would make is that pro-lifers need to recognise that they are not God. They do not get to decide what is or is not immoral for other people to do. Abortion is a type of medical treatment which women choose to undergo and as such it is a matter for the doctor and the patient. Not you. Personally, I would rather not pull down the full edifice of medical ethics because I had a problem with one form of treatment.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Dear Henry

I don't follow your logic. You say that abortion is the last resort, can the situation of women 200,000 a year be so terrible that they resort to abortion?

I would argue that whether or not women choose abortion as a last resort it doesn't look too good. Either women are being forced into abortion at the rate of 200,000 a year or women are resorting to abortion as a lifestyle choice.

I think both are likely - there are a variety of reasons for why women have abortions ranging from coercion to free will - and I don't think either are acceptable - not from the point of view of human rights - what kind of society terminates children in such excessive numbers on social grounds? - and not from the point of feminism - what sort of society drives women to abortion?

What evidence do you have for the extraordinary assertion that:

"If there were any other acceptable way out of their situation then it would make sense that women would take that route rather than choose to have an abortion."

Are you saying that every one of the 200,000 women who had abortions last year couldn't have continued with pregnancy and kept the baby or given the baby up for fostering or adoption? It might have been hard but surely this alternative exists? and if it doesn't so much for feminism and choice!

I think it is a bizarre statement to say that "prolifers have to recognise that they aren't God", but surely you aren't saying you/the pro-choice lobby are God instead?! Anyone who believes that abortion is the termination of a child's right has every right to have a view and campaign on this issue, because it is too important to leave to choice.

As for medical ethics, the foundation of medical ethics is to do no harm, abortion is a clear harm.

best wishes

9:27 AM  
Anonymous henry, Durham said...

I really don't understand how someone who claims to know so much about medical ethics has such disrespect for the notion of choice. Surely it's foundational?

Women don't make an easy choice to have an abortion. They're not forced into it. They make a hard choice. The fact that you disagree with it does not invalidate it or weaken it as a proper explanation for their actions. Yes, of course, they're "killing children." Perhaps if you say that enough it will become true. Abortion is based on the fact that the woman no longer wishes to be pregnant. The fact that the foetus is not allowed to develop is an unfortunate secondary consequence. The point of the pro choice argument is not that it is ok to "kill" the foetus. Removal of the foetus from the mother is the point of the exercise. She has the right to decide whether she wants to be pregnant or not. Lets try the famous violinist example again. You wake up one day with the violinist attached by tubes and wires to you and you are told by a doctor that he is dying from kidney disease and needs to use your body for nine months until he is fully recovered. Do you have a right to say no? Of course you do. The fact that he will die if you choose to exercise your right does not mean that you have killed him. If you see someone about to be run over by a car and you do not risk your life to push them out of the way, should you be charged with manslaughter?

Pro choice campaigners do not set themselves up as God because they do not attempt to make decisions for other people. In reference to the points I made above, they are really secondary to my main point. Pro choice is about not making the woman secondary to the decision making process. They're not incubators and nobody can ask them to do something they don't want to do.

You have no right, from what I have said, to conclude whether I am pro abortion or anti abortion. Merely that I am pro choice. I may agree with you that abortion is a bad thing and that women need to be persuaded not to do so. However, I believe that any attempt to limit a womans freedom of choice over this issue or to curtail their access to information on abotion or treatment is abhorrent. The people who want to limit the freedom of others on any issue usually do so becuase they have failed in their attempt to appeal to the other's freedom of choice. If nobody wanted abortion then it would not matter whether it was legal or not. People campaign for family values, should they campaign for divorce to be made much harder or impossible? I have no problem with your campaigning that life is valuable and should be preserved at all cost. However, when you attack basic freedoms, you get posts like this.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

You say that choice is foundational. Do you believe as a general principle that someone can choose to harm another human being *after birth* then? I don't believe that anyone accepts that any human being can choose to kill another human being after birth, and that is the principle that life is more of a basic right than the right to choose, it is also a basic principle of liberty that it is only legitimate if it does not entail harm to another person. Whether you agree with me about the rights of the child is immaterial and can be argued out elsewhere: The point is that in principle life is more of a basic right than choice.

It is at the end of the day immaterial whether it is a hard or easy choice to have an abortion if it is wrong to do it. To say that someone was under duress when they killed does not make the action right. However it is relevant only insofar as society should help women to continue with pregnancy.

I do not understand what on earth these two sentences mean:

"Yes, of course, they're "killing children." Perhaps if you say that enough it will become true"

If you agree with the first then why say the second, and if you don't agree with the first why say you do and if you don't agree then why don't you explain why inspite of the obvious biological facts that they are children you appear to think that they aren't.

The proabortion lobby does say repeatedly that it is ok to kill the baby, and where it does not, perhaps this just reinforces the fact that it is indefensible to talk about killing the baby, so that is why abortion justifications are shrouded in euphemism.

The violinist example is palpably absurd. A six foot violinist strapped to you is in no way analogous to a tiny unborn baby. Most women work during pregnancy. It isn't a matter of nine months of being strapped to someone else. Additionally the relationship between parents and children is care and protection of the young child, which has nothing to do with fantastical examples of violinists. This is your own flesh and blood and something that every single one of us has benefited from having all been protected by our own mothers. How then can we deny this right to someone else when we have benefited from it ourselves? The protection of children is a basic principle and duty of a civilised society.

The analogy about cars is not a parallel situation to abortion. To make it a more useful analogy you would need to ask if the driver who runs over the pedestrian is culpable, and I would say they are, which is why killing pedestrians by driving over them is a crime.

Abortion's purpose is to kill a child. If the real intention was to end a pregnancy without killing a child, then ending a pregnancy happens naturally after nine months.

Your point that killing the child is an accidental byproduct is not true of partial birth abortion, where the child could easily be born alive, neither is it true of the practice of feticide which ensures the child is born dead by killing the baby around 20 weeks before carrying out the abortion. Botched abortions are when the baby survives.

You say that prochoicers do not inflict their choices on other people, but they deny another human being the right to life and in the process deny another human being the thousands of choices that baby could make in a lifetime if allowed to live.

We all make choices everyday, we can surely agree that some choices are morally neutral, some are morally wrong and some are morally right. Not all choices are legitimate.

To argue as you do that is wrong for any human being to make a choice for another human being not only makes no sense in the context of abortion (where the choice is to deny that human being everything), but it also makes no sense in the society we live in where laws exist to set out rules for what citizens can and cannot choose to do. I presume you agree with the principle of laws which set out behaviour that is legal and illegal as a principle. Why then should abortion not be judged in the same way that we judge other actions in society when we decide whether something should be legal or illegal? I would want abortion to be treated in the same way that other issues are treated in our criminal justice system.

But the broader point is this - if you agree that abortion should be decided within a democracy, then why not agree at least in principle that it is legitimate to ban a choice that some people might make (to drink drive, to burgle a house, to vandalise buildings) if that choice harms others?

I do not believe that women are incubators. Pregnancy and parenting is natural and beautiful and dignified when pregnancy is wanted and to continue with pregnancy in difficult circumstances takes courage and heroism. To believe that women can terminate a child demeans the dignity and uniqueness of women To campaign against abortion on the grounds of the human right to life along with support for the mother during and after pregnancy presents an overriding human rights case,

Incidentally prolife is totally in line with the principles of early feminism where women did not want to gain rights in order to tyrannise others.

I would be interested to know where you stand on other abuses of women's bodies like surrogacy and the abuse of women in Romania to provide eggs for rich British couples. I'm against surrogacy for example and I'm against the use of women to harvest eggs for experimentation as the health risk to the woman can be lifethreatening.

Your final sentences make no sense to me either as they seem contradictory:

"I have no problem with your campaigning that life is valuable and should be preserved at all cost. However, when you attack basic freedoms, you get posts like this."

If you have no problem with prolife campaigning, then why argue.

Anyway, the right to life is a basic freedom.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous henry, Durham said...

What if a woman is raped?

11:19 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Hi Henry

Rape is an appalling crime and I feel immense sympathy and empathy for any woman in that situation. I think she needs a huge amount of emotional support, and that the criminal justice system should do everything it can to prosecute the rapist. Anyone coming to terms with the emotional trauma of rape and finding out they are pregnant needs help and support. It would be an incredible shock and it is entirely understandable that any woman having suffered such a violent attack would not want to be pregnant. Scheduling an abortion though will not undo the rape, it is a separate decision that will have consequences for the child and will be another additional experience that the woman will have to deal with. It isn't an easy decision to make while suffering from posttraumatic shock from rape. Abortion in this circumstance could actually add to the trauma of the rape.

I'm not claiming that women's attitude to abortion following rape is going to be identical. My sole point when it comes to looking at this from women's perspective is that abortion could cause additional trauma. Women’s attitudes to abortion following rape will vary, but the consequence of abortion – the death of a child, in which society participates – is the same in every case.

And that is why however much sympathy and horror and outrage we feel on behalf of the any victim of violence, as a society we do not accept the principle that this empathy for the victim gives the victim carte blanche rights to do whatever they like. For example, the family of a man who has been brutally murdered does not have the right to go out and kill other people, because of the injustice they have faced. To make this a more exact analogy to abortion, if the woman has been raped was to attack the rapist that might be evaluated differently from attacking a child who is entirely innocent of any crime. We do not normally kill children for the crimes of either of their parents. It might be difficult to go through with pregnancy in this instance but there are incredible cases of women who have brought up children following rape with their other children and in any case, presuming that the woman gives the baby up for adoption, the pregnancy is for a much short duration than the life long consequences of abortion on the child and mother. I’m not saying that this is easy but I think that abortion following rape is trotted out too easily as though it is an automatic panacea for all concerned, whereas the reality of abortion is a lot more complicated and negative.

It’s revealing in a sense that you raise the issue of abortion in the case of rape – and people frequently do - it suggests that something as horrific as rape is needed to justify abortion, which in effect proves the prolife point – that abortion is serious, it isn’t a backup to contraceptive failure, it isn’t negligible or morally neutral, it is something that if it happens at all should be extremely rare, not happening 500 times a day in the UK. The reality is that the very vast majority of the 200,000 abortions are carried out every year when the woman has not been raped. Society should concentrate on the majority of abortions which are avoidable, and not get distracted by a tiny number of hard cases. As the saying goes, hard cases make bad law. It is incredible that 200,000 abortions are justified on grounds that don’t even exist in the vast majority of cases by saying “what about abortion in the case of rape?” as though that somehow justifies abortion for other reasons.

Best wishes

5:05 AM  
Anonymous henry, Durham said...

Yes or No?

The hard cases are the cases that prove the law.

Either abortion is right or it is wrong. I wouldn't have figured you for someone who dealt with moral issues as serious as the state sanctioned murder of children on a sliding scale.

Either you think that they should have the child, in which case abortion in some cases is OK or you don't.

There might be some cases where women spurn the majority of opinion and have the child. Would you be happy in a world where they had to beg for an abortion?

Yes or No?

7:26 AM  
Anonymous henry, Durham said...

lol, slight sentence structure error, but you get the point

7:28 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...


I appreciate that you don't think I deal with abortion on a sliding scale I'll take that as a compliment.

If abortion is wrong in one case then it is always wrong. Women suffering from rape need help and support though and that has to be emphasised. I have no intention of making light of their pain, but the baby also has to be considered. I thought I made it perfectly clear from my answer exactly how serious I believe abortion to be regardless of the reason.

Can I ask you for a yes or no answer on the question is it wrong to abort a baby for being a girl? Do you agree with abortion on gender grounds in India? I was shocked to read an article about a British GP referring Asian women to Indian aboriton clinics. Yes or No is it wrong to abort baby girls?


7:45 AM  
Anonymous henry, Durham said...

So, in your world, women get to find out what their rapist looks like. Would the rapist get visiting rights?

The sex selection argument is an old favourite. I would have expected the foetal abnormality senario. If I say no, then there are some cases under which abortion is wrong. If I say yes, then I'm not just in favour of abortion, I'm in favour of sex selection, in fact, I'd be advocating abortion as a means of sex selection.

It's no more wrong to abort male foetus' than female. However, for abortion to be carried out due only to a child's sex is just as immoral as sex selection of embryo's. It assumes that a male child (after birth!) is more valuable than a female child. Furthermore, a mother willing to go through with such a procedure is perfectly willing to have a child, just not of that sex. It is not the abortion of a child that I would have a problem with. The sexism is the deciding factor for such a woman, not her unwillingness or inability to bear a child or to care for it.

My position is that a woman can choose to end a pregnancy, choose not to have a child. They don't have a right to choose to not have girls, just the right not to have a child.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Your first point is so flippant and so out of place in terms of my response on the issue of rape, that I'm not going to deal with this further. I made it completely clear that the woman and baby are both innocent victims.

I'm glad you aren't in favour of sex selection. And you are right that sexism is independent of the issue of the right to life, and that it is appalling that girls should have a lesser right to life, as well as the appalling consequences of aborting baby girls in India on the increased incidence of rape and violence towards other women.

However, it doesn't make sense to make such a fuss about the sexist intention to abort a child unless the act of abortion is wrong. There has to be a victim who is harmed by sexism for sexism to exist (I can't be sexist towards inhuman objects like the wall) and the victim is obviously the baby.

Whether it suits your argument or not, you are drawing up restrictive criteria for how women choose abortion. You are implicitly acknowledging that abortion can be the wrong choice and that your opinion is more valid than women who might choose to abort baby girls. This is no different to the prolife argument. The whole unwillingness to continue with pregnancy is shown to be no justification for abortion at all.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous henry said...

At least my position has some points of moderation. I didn't think you would withhold the right of abortion to a raped woman. I give up.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Henry, I think you are playing games. You are trying to portray my position as unreasonable but you said yourself that if abortion is wrong then it is always wrong. Whatever you think of my position, at least it is consistent and the woman who has been raped can be helped without abortion.

In any case, you imply that abortion following rape is a panacea for the rape, this doesn't follow, abortion doesn't turn back time and erase the crime of rape. And you avoid dealing with the vast majority of abortions.

The point is that the prolife position is moderate. Since when has it been immoderate to believe in the basic right to life?

According to recent polling the majority of the public think that the numbers of abortions should be reduced. It's ridiculous to have a debate about the current abortion situation in the UK where 200,000 babies are aborted following contraceptive failure etc etc, and only discuss the hardest of cases.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Mia said...

Dear Henry, Dear Fiona,

I’ve returned to this page after a long time away from the internet, so have only just read the comments above. Incidentally, I’ve also just watched an excellent documentary on abortion available on the Frontline webpage:

It presents both sides. Please do watch it if interested.

I apologise in advance for such a long post.

To respond to the above, as Fiona also points out, I have seen time and again that this case of women who have become pregnant through rape being used as a sort of trump card for pro-choicers that implies that in THIS situation, if in no other, at least abortion was a moral and compassionate act. It is especially used when it the argument has been narrowed down to the accession that perhaps abortion on demand is not a good thing – but irreproachable and in fact a genuine solution when the circumstances are as extreme as rape.

I do not think that the decision that has to be made presents itself to a woman in this situation as a moral choice at all. It presents itself as a type of torture. When someone tells you that you can choose to have your right arm cut off, or your left leg, they are not really telling you that you really have any choice in the matter. They are presenting you with an illusion of choice when in fact it is predetermined that you are going to suffer in a serious way – there is no dignity in it. When on earth will the rape scenario (aside from the fact of its relative rarity) cease to be used as a justification for abortion, and instead let the argument hinge on understanding the enormity of the situation that woman is in, that begs for our full awareness of the deeply disturbing existential fact that she is and will be suffering, one way or another. As the stakes have been raised so high with this kind of ‘torture of the illusion of choice’ by involving another innocent human life, isn’t the first response to the woman faced with that decision rightly one of total compassion, and compassion also for that new life? For myself, facing up to the fact that there is nothing I could do in any capacity to make it all better for that woman is probably the bigger challenge than asking if abortion is right in this scenario.

So … if the decision to abort a child concieved by rape is of such gravity and involves so much mental anguish that such a decision cannot justly be said to belong to the realm of free choice, it doesn’t really bear up as a strong pro-choice argument. It is in fact a pro-abortion argument.

It certainly doesn’t enlighten me about the dignity of choice, which surely is the heart of the matter for those who are so passionate about defending choice. Using the argument for abortion in the case of rape exposes a weakness: that the pro-choice stance can be so insistent that choice can justify anything, that it refuses to acknowledge that things may have gone so far that there remains nothing but the *illusion* of free choice in a situation that is already well out of control. That is the tragedy of rape. The woman had the choice taken from her and is left with consequences of one sort or another. You can’t make a pro-choice argument out of her tragedy: and you will lose all sense of what she is going through if you insist that an intervention such as abortion will somehow give her the power to choose to backtrack to a pre-rape state, emotionally or physically.

Also, as to Henry’s point about citizenship, I believe that standing up for universal rights (such as the right to life) is my democratic right and also duty, and this basic right is the ground upon which my duties of citizenship rest, and which guarantees them to all others. To see my taxes going to fund things that violate these basic universal rights is to add insult to injury: it is a mockery of my part of the contract of citizenship.

As for the issue of faith schools, well, there are all sorts of things that are personally not to my taste, but I can with a little thought imagine why others might value them … but when it comes to undermining the very acknowledgement that every individual has the right to exist, it is a totally different ball-game. Henry, what on earth is democracy about if any urge to action is to be stifled by the grin-and-bear-it attitude – pay your taxes, get priviledges for yourself (education, good roads, health care, etc etc etc), in return for unquestioning acceptance of any possible human rights abuses elsewhere in the world – is that the price? This attitude would totally confound and contradict the appreciation your other arguments claim to have for the primacy of choice. I have full respect for the many good things that our country provides for us – full respect and gratitude, heightened every time I visit the developing world and realise anew the privileges I am allowed to enjoy in my country, in part through the hard work of my countrymen, my family, my own work.

But this sense of appreciation for all that my country has given me turns to shame when I realise how, by turning a blind eye, or by deliberate policy, we impoverish other countries. Think of the arms trade. The UK is the world’s second biggest producer and exporter of arms. This trade is also subsidised by our country, by my money as a tax-payer. A single bullet can destroy many lives at once. I know this has diverged from the topic of abortion, but it is absolutely on the same level for me – it is about our failure as a country to defend the fundamental right to the protection of life for the innocent, while authorising our country to use our resources to perpetuate these injustices. I am perfectly within my rights as a citizen of a democracy to seriously question and challenge the state when it uses the fruits of my labour to do things that I have very good reason to fundamentally disagree with. My disagreement is not arbitrary or whimsical: it is a response to a deeply serious threat to the grounds upon which human rights are built.

I think I take my rights and duties as a citizen of Britain more to heart than some or many of my contemporaries. We are unbelievably privileged to have been born into a democracy, but it actually ceases to be a positive force when we start entertaining the thought of allowing power we have invested in the state to be abused by those who claim to represent us. I’m sure you would agree that it is far more serious to allow this abuse to occur in a democracy than it would be in a dictatorship – because if abuses do occur here, it is no-one’s fault but our own, as we have sanctioned it by our silence while being in full possession of the option of protest.

And whatever your and my opinion is on faith schools, *if only* it were such issues that provoked the most serious queries concerning where our tax money goes. But those subjects aren’t even vaguely approaching the most serious issues. Just because you can allow the state to make some decisions that wouldn’t be your own by preference, does not mean you are bound to automatic acceptance on everything it does.

For a pro-choice apologetic, your comment on that matter strikes me as rather hasty.

How far does the “obligation to accept things you are not happy with” extend? Have my (very much appreciated) privileges been a bribe for my silence? What privilege or security on earth could possibly entice me to relinquish my most-cherished inherent privilege and choice: that of living up to challenges as my conscience informs me?

Don’t you think that *these* matters present a mighty challenge, and are the natural territory for those who believe wholeheartedly in the power of choice, who do sincerely wish to face up to the fact that there are decisions that face us as citizens and members of the human race every day, and which we seriously have the power to make informed choices about? Isn’t it more fruitful to turn your obvious passion for the dignity of choosing freely towards these kind of matters, than wasting energy debating the rape and abortion scenario?

I wish you all the best and I hope that the appreciation you have for the right to choose will continue to deepen – but that you will at the same time investigate what truly is a choice, and separate that from what only resembles one.


4:55 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Very well said Maria. Thanks for posting.

11:21 PM  

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