lnr: (Pen-y-ghent)
[personal profile] lnr

Larissa Nolan writes in the Irish Times about being a non-religious pro-life supporter in the current climate, and how she finds the rhetoric of some of the pro-choice supporters to be off-putting: The Repeal the Eighth march will backfire

However I find myself utterly baffled, because nearly everything she describes herself as wanting is totally compatible with a pro-choice point of view, and with the repeal of the 8th amendment in Ireland (and the similar laws in Northern Ireland).

"I do not judge anyone who has ever come to the decision that an abortion is the best choice for them at a given time. That is their own business, borne out of their own individual circumstance."

She thinks abortion should be

"a viable last-resort option in a desperate situation"

And details some of those situations:

"women suffering the grief of carrying a baby with a fatal foetal abnormality should not have to travel to end the ordeal."
"if that mother has six other children at home to look after, surely the only right answer is to prioritise her life in the case of an emergency"

But most shocking for me was:

"I understand that there are woman out there who, deep inside, actually do want to go ahead with the pregnancy, despite the emotional, physical and financial struggle of single parenthood – and despite the shame and the social stigma. [...] It is harmful for women not to allow them this."

No-one I know who is pro-choice considers that abortion should be forced upon anyone. What we should be doing is making sure that all women who become pregnant are properly supported in their choice as to what to do next. And that includes making it easier in terms of support for those who want to keep their children in difficult circumstance.

Finally what could be more pro-choice than this:

"It is grossly irresponsible to push your own beliefs and agenda, whatever they may be, on anyone who finds themselves in a crisis pregnancy situation. It is a decision only they can make, as the only ones who have to live with it. It is not you and your political ideology that could be left with a lifetime of psychological damage."

I think overall she makes a very strong case for repealing the 8th amendment.

Date: 2017-03-08 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
I think it's very difficult, coming from a pro-life background, to get over the hurdle of 'the most important thing is that abortion must be illegal'. I've mostly done it myself, but it's taken as axiomatic a great deal in pro-life circles.

I'm pro-life - I've got over that hurdle, but it's so all pervasive as an idea that it is hard. It comes down to us and them, but it doesn't have to be.

Among the things I think are more important are support for trans* people, decent social security, universal sex ed, free access to contraception, universal health care free at the point of use, restricted gun access and (long may it be irrelevant here) no death penalty.

All these things help vulnerable people, they are pro-life in the sense of supporting human life, and I bet you agree with me on all of them; apologies if you don't. I just see more and more areas where we can work together,areas of agreement rather than conflict.

Date: 2017-03-08 06:53 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
(as you know) I'm pro-choice, and very much in agreement with lnr's post and position. I very much agree with you on all of your list too.

Date: 2017-03-08 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
That's pretty much where I thought you were at, and I'm glad I was right that there's much we can agree on.

Date: 2017-03-08 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
I sound really judgmental. LNR, in the unlikely event that my opinion of you matters to you, I admire you and think you're a good person. I'd also be surprised if I hadn't done worse things than you ever had, but thankfully, it's not a competition. Not judging, anyway.

Date: 2017-03-09 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
Yes, I can see both the disconnect, and an emotional understanding of where the author is coming from. I guess it's like, whereas you say below 'So many of her list are good things for all sorts of reasons, but many of them also actively reduce the number of abortions taking place', the author (or, indeed, I) might well be thinking 'these things actively reduce the number of abortions taking place, and are good things for all sorts of other reasons'?

Date: 2017-03-09 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naath.livejournal.com
"I understand that there are woman out there who, deep inside, actually do want to go ahead with the pregnancy, despite the emotional, physical and financial struggle of single parenthood – and despite the shame and the social stigma. [...] It is harmful for women not to allow them this."

I think that there are people who go so far as to say "you made a choice, you live with it, I'm not helping you afford a house for your 10 children" along the lines of denying jsa to people who "won't" work and only giving help to those who "can't" work (as if it was easy or even possible to tell). I disagree with these people, I think all people deserve support to live a decent life; but that doesn't stop them existing. "abort or starve" is *a* choice, but it's not a *good* choice, and noone should have to face it.

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