Blog for Choice Day 2008

Today is widely dubbed “Blog for Choice Day” in the blogosphere. A quick google search will show you just how widely. In 1973 (35 years ago today), the famous Roe vs Wade case struck down Texan anti-abortion laws in the US Supreme Court. But it is merely what we would call in the UK “common law”. That is, law by courtroom precedent, and many believe it happened by a mere technicality rather than a fairly won case. So abortion law in the US is extremely fragile, which is why people choose the anniversary of this date to blog for a pro-choice agenda. It could be overturned at any moment by a rejection in the courtroom, or by new legislation.

I think when making highly controversial decisions about whether abortion should be allowed or not, it’s very important to look at it objectively. The pro-life camp (by the way, I object to them calling themselves that, it implies that everyone else is pro-death) has all too often made their arguments from a dubious religious perspective on what is ‘moral’ and what isn’t.

But of course many of these people take their morals purely from sources of authority, rather than thinking about it themselves. What I believe to be moral is the choice that gives least suffering to the least amount of people. A lot of scientific research is done to ensure that abortions are not carried out when the foetus is at an age where they can feel pain, except in cases to save the mother’s life, so there is no physical suffering. But aborting the foetus could potentially prevent a lot of the mother’s suffering, particularly if the child is a result of rape.  So on that count, abortion is not immoral.

There’s another argument that aborting a foetus is destroying the potential for life, but you could use the same argument to legislate against contraception or masturbation, and last time I checked, wasting potential is not a crime. Meanwhile, the foetus is unable to live outside the mother’s body. It is in effect a part of her body. Therefore she should be allowed to choose what happens to it.

So, although I don’t personally agree with abortion, and I don’t think I’d ever take the option of abortion given the choice, from an objective moral viewpoint I think it’s quite obvious that the choice should be there.

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