Friday, February 11, 2011

Hate Male-- See What I Did There?


Photo courtesy of Flikr user Oran Viriyincy under Creative Commons 3.0


Dear BG News,

This is in response to the article entitled "New definition of rape to limit women's access to abortion" by Kate Noftsinger.

Kate Noftsinger's article on current abortion issues is a good example of how important it is to have a good understanding of both the pro-choice and the pro-life position when writing about abortion controversies.

Noftsinger makes a good stand about her own views but I find the straw man pro-life position she set herself up against is close to accurate at best and plain wrong at worst.

In the very first paragraph of her article she claims that pro-life advocates only find abortion necessary in cases of rape and the endangerment of the mother, however, many (like myself) who are pro-life never find abortion a necessity, let alone permissible. This comes from our view that every life is equally valuable, no matter what that life is capable of or how far his or her development is along the path of life. To the pro-life person, aborting an unborn child because it is a fetus is like killing someone who is mute, blind, and dependent on someone else to take care of them, much like a baby in the uterus.

Whether or not abortion is a victory in women's health care is certainly debatable (my own experience is that I've heard many testimonials from women who have had abortions became severely emotionally hurt and sometimes even physically injured) but the main point I wish to debate is Noftsinger's claim that a bill allowing a doctor to refuse to perform an abortion under any circumstance is a bad idea.

Noftsinger speaks as if this bill demonstrates that those proposing the bill think an unborn child's life is worth more than the mother's, when in reality those proposing the bill likely believe the child's and the mother's life are equally valuable. If one believes that the child has life and so does the mother, and that their lives are always equally valuable, one would be likely be unwilling or at least hesitant to kill either of them to save the other.

Noftsinger seems to suggest that a doctor should not have the right to refuse to make this choice. I would think that a proponent of women's choice would also be willing to extend the right to a choice to a doctor of either sex who may simply hold a different opinion than her. Noftsinger looks at this as refusing to perform an operation; a pro-life doctor would view this as being asked to commit murder.

I felt Noftsinger's commentary on the distinction between "different types of rape" were funny and insightful, but this was in my opinion the only highlight of the article. I would welcome a revision of her article someday that takes an accurate and better-understood pro-life position into account.

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