Archive for the ‘abortion’ Category
According to this horrifying article from today’s Telegraph, three babies are being killed every day in the UK because they have been diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.
But perhaps the most shocking statement in the whole article was this:
However, doctors say that women must make the decision according to their circumstances, and that some may be better placed financially to deal with it than others.
Because it’s always been acceptable to kill the children you can’t afford to keep.
I have always been uneasy with the language of human rights. It seems to me to put the focus entirely and selfishly on the individual: my rights which I must assert. I would much rather that we spoke about responsibilities (which was, I think, probably closer to the intention behind the Universal Declaration, to be fair). We have responsibilities to one other, individually and in society as a whole: responsibilities to ensure that everyone is fed, clothed and housed; that everyone is treated fairly and justly; to protect those who are vulnerable and so on.
I just came across this paper, which seems to be to be an excellent illustration of some of the problems associated with the notion of human rights. Once you acknowledge one right, say the right to life, then that opens the door to a whole host of other associated freedoms, which can be asserted as rights. As the author says, ‘to realize the right to life we need other rights. ‘ In the (not wholly persuasive) logic of the article, he concludes that this means we need the right to ultimate self-expression, to pursue happiness whatever that entails, to demand whatever we want of our healthcare providers (abortions, gender reassignment, and even euthanasia). The right to life, apparently, entails the right to death.
In conversation with a pregnant friend who was talking about the disapproving looks she gets when she has a cup of coffee, it did strike me that there is an extraordinary hypocrisy in our society.
When a woman who is pregnant decides to kill her baby, that is held to be her choice. It is her body and she must be free to do what she wants, without fear of condemnation.
When a woman who is pregnant decides to engage in other activities that may potentially harm her child (smoking, drinking, eating certain foods), that is deemed selfish and morally wrong. The health of the child should be considered above the wishes of the mother.