The "debate" Over Repro. Freedom

LaPrincipessa's picture

A very disturbing conversation took place this morning when a twitter follower of mine @ replied me in response to a tweet in which I used the term “anti-choice”.

@sophiabiabia the discussion needs new labels. Anti-choice, pro-choice, pro-life, pro-death

@sophiabiabia all put the other side immediately on the defensive so no real discussion can take place

First and foremost, attempting to debate anything on twitter is always and forever futile. There are too few characters and too many tweets. Secondly, to bring up such a sensitive subject with little insight into the real issue (I’ll get to that later) on such a whimsical platform is just disrespectful.

A little back story.

Earlier today, I re-tweeted this link: Anti-Choice Group Sues for Immediate Enforcement of Illinois Law

The Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit this week with the Illinois Supreme Court that seeks immediate enforcement of a parental notification law in the state. The notification law was scheduled to go into effect on August 5th, but its implementation was delayed by a 90-day moratorium approved by the state's Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to allow medical professionals to familiarize themselves with the law, reported the New York Times.

The law in question mandates that physicians notify a young woman's parents at least 48 hours before performing abortions on women 17 or younger. Illinois law does not require that parents consent regarding the abortion, only that they are notified.

The law originally passed in 1984 and was updated in 1995, but was held up for years by legal challenges. A Chicago federal appeals court ruled in July that the law is constitutional. In its decision, the court described the law as "a permissible attempt to help a young woman make an informed choice about whether to have an abortion".

This information is an addition to the long list of legal losses for those of us who believe that per well-established legal precedent and basic morality principles, women have the right to decide when, how and if they will reproduce. Women also should be able to decide they never want to reproduce and should be allowed to obtain necessary procedures to cure diseases that are often blocked because said cure involves rendering the woman infertile (i.e. removing the uterus to cure endometriosis).

Overall, however, the removal of the reproduction rights of women by increments (parental consent and waiting periods) is not, in my opinion, the most detrimental to the reproductive rights cause. The reason these legal challenges and lawsuits are so successful is because the “debate” and ugly rhetoric, from both sides, perpetuate a sense of inequality. The “debate” suggests, subconsciously perhaps, that women aren’t intelligent enough to make their own decisions. The “debate” has been raging for longer than I have been alive and it’s still going today- what does that tell you? How long does this insensitive and demeaning rhetoric have to last? How many more women will suffer because of it? How useful is it, to anyone?

Although, I am fervently pro-choice (which is also pro life) I will not be picketing the Catholic Charities office. I will not demean women by denying her right to an informed opinion. What women, girls and youth need is education- not presumptuous accusations and harmful rhetoric.


(Posted at Women Undefined)

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