See the bigger picture in unborn debate

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Abortion as genocide true, accurate”
Feb. 24, 2009

To the editor:
Everyone will defend the unborn. Some say it is murder, some say genocide. What gets me is that what never seems to enter the debate is the way in which we totally ignore context, government policy, systemic discrimination/oppression and the way reproductive rights are dealt with both in Canada and abroad " we defend the unborn, but we aren’t defending women.

So save the unborn, they say. But if these unborn grow up to be single moms, homeless women, women with addictions, women who are " and one in three are " sexually assaulted/abused, women who are physically and/or emotionally abused, women living in poverty, racialized women or any combination of the above, too bad for them " their problems are their own and they’ve only got themselves to blame. If they then choose to get abortions themselves they are simply murderers, period. Or so the “logic” goes.

If you want to protect and support the unborn then work to protect and support women’s full citizenship rights, including the right to control what happens to their bodies and reproductive rights. This goes both ways: access to free and thorough information about birth control, woman-friendly sex education, and yes, safe abortions as well as ensuring that poor, migrant, racialized and First Nations women aren’t being coerced or forced (either through medical/governmental or environmental means) into sterilization, unsafe birth control or unwanted/unsafe abortions. Not to mention the factor of making parenthood easier or a more realistic option with universal non-profit childcare and community support.

Pro-life? Pro-choice? It doesn’t matter. Either way, we should be working to eliminate sexual violence, misogyny, domination, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and discrimination through the education and empowerment of both men and women, the analysis of gender roles and the re-working of government policy.

Only then will we help the unborn " and so many more.
" Kaela Stradiotto
Social Justice & Peace Studies and Women’s Studies III

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