Peter M Howard ::


07Sep2004 [myth]

Sydney Uni Life Debate on Abortion today. Unfortunately both sides tended to stray into stereotypes and cliches, unwilling to really engage the other. Both argued that women are in a bad spot, one said abortion needed to be reconsidered, women need more information, women are pressured to abort, &c. The other said yes, bad spot, therefore women need a way out.

The problem with the pro-life movement is that we try to fight pro-choice on their terms, rather than on ours. It's going to take a significant change in the discourse - we need the language to describe the foetus as a Person - not a potential person, not an unviable person, just a Person. Only a Person can have the rights of a Person - if it is anything else then the rights of the woman should come first!

The main argument of pro-choice is that the State (or Church) has no right to tell women what to do with their bodies (even if it isn't really said in these terms anymore) - if the foetus is ascribed Personhood, then the State is merely defending that Person.

And the pro-life slippery-slope argument, while accurate, holds absolutely no weight in an argument - it condescendingly assumes that the other side is stupid, and that we need to stop them going too far by stopping them before they get the chance.

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