Wednesday, May 23, 2012

abortion: "human rights" v "right to life"

For the last few days my tram has passed a small, tired looking event outside of the Victorian Parliament building that I initially thought was an uninspired art installation. Today I just happened to be looking out of the window at the right time to see someone holding a small placard that stated the number of infants killed in Victoria due to our Abortion laws.

I've seen similar protests outside of women's health clinics and have often wondered who benefits from this approach. A person, who has reached the point where their options include abortion, is tormented enough by their own doubts, fears and self loathing, without having often violent and confronting self righteousness shoved in their faces.

This self righteousness is often based on the faith of the individuals and groups who carry out anti-abortion terror campaigns. Like other private things in society, faith should be kept to yourself, not inflicted on the vulnerable, especially not as a weapon.

Anti-abortionists have often identified as Right to Life campaigners, but I object to this identification simply because the rights of the mother are not considered. A right to life is also a right to a quality of life.

I would therefore argue that anti-abortion campaigning runs counter to Human Rights. Even within a broad definition of human rights this is not clear, as Reproductive Rights propose, amongst other things, that couples have the right to legal or safe abortion.

The United States represents a pretty interesting mix of views and laws, as some States where Capital Punishment is an election winner, still maintain that abortions and euthanasia are illegal.

Anti-abortion violence (examples) - Wiki
Human Rights - Wiki

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