Monday, June 26, 2006


The Abortion Debate

There's been a fair bit of rumbling here recently on the subject of abortion, with the catholics sensing that the time is right to start pressing for a lowering of the time limit from the current 24 weeks, and demanding the right to see health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to talk about it. Muriel Gray had an excellent piece in last Sunday's Herald pointing out the absurdity of allowing religious interests have a say in anything to do with public health policy.

I've been doing a fair bit of rumbling myself, and got involved in quite a heated exchange on the Comment is Free website the other day, with a load of blokes who were adamant that they knew better than women who've had terminations how they felt about it. I eventually came to the conclusion that there really is very little point in trying to reason with people who take their orders from, as Muriel puts it, their 'supernatural, imaginary friend in heaven'.

I joined in the debate to support Ann Coltart, who wrote the piece that started the discussion, and who very candidly talked of the abortion she had in her early twenties. I too had a (very early) abortion in my early twenties, and I felt it was important to mention it by way of qualification. Although it was a difficult decision to make, I can truly say that I have not had one moment's regret, or guilt, which is why I was so furious to read that all women feel guilt and regret. Having had two children since, and knowing what I know now, I am even more sure that I made the right decision.

For my trouble, I was accused of being a catholic, or at the very least, a lapsed catholic, and told, amongst other ridiculous things, that you do not have to 'feel depressed' to 'be depressed'. You can't really top that can you? But then again what should I have expected from people who have never required evidence of any kind to justify their point of view?

Apparently I got a little rude at one point, using the words damn, and idiot, which pissed off one of the participants in the debate so much that he threatened to hop over to the other side of the fence and support the pro-lifers. Having spent the other night reading through some of the most extreme hate-filled invective I have ever come across on the Flying Spaghetti Monster website (see my previous post) that made me laugh. Having described himself both as 'ambivalent to the practice of abortion' and 'fundamentally pro-choice', I don't think he's any great loss to the cause.

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