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Pro-Life Does Not Equal Anti-Women
Before getting into the topic at hand, I would like to state that this hub is intended to be neutral on the subject of abortion. It is not my intention to discuss whether or not abortion should be legal, I will not be debating right or wrong, or whether or not abortion is a Constitutional right. I will leave that subject for another day. What I do want to address is the fact that one's views on abortion are not decided by gender.
Abortion Is A Controversial Subject
It goes without saying that having a conversation on the subject of abortion can easily turn into a heated argument. Regardless of which side of the debate an individual is on, they most likely have very strong opinions on the issue. If not approached carefully, things could turn ugly rather quickly.
Pro-Choice And Women's Rights
These two issues are often treated as one and the same, however they are not. Sure, the topic falls under the category of Women's Rights, as it is primarily a women's issue. However, the subject of Women's Rights is a broad category that includes a large number of issues, including fair pay, equal opportunity, the right to say "No" and countless other issues.
Unfortunately, some politicians and media talking heads have equated the issue of abortion with that of Women's Rights. At first glance, this may not seem such a big deal, but it sometimes excludes those who support Women's Rights from participating in the discussion. We witnessed this during the Women's March in Washington D.C. in January, when women who were openly pro-life were largely excluded from the event.
The abortion issue is perhaps one of the best examples of Identity Politics. They want us to believe that all women are pro-choice and the enemy is the male dominated society that wishes to exert control over women's bodies. The reality is that one's views on abortion have more to do with personal beliefs and religious values and less to do with gender. Indeed, there are many pro-life women as well as pro-choice men in our society.
Regardless of which side of the issue you may stand, moving forward in the debate requires dealing with the realities of the argument. It is not about gender, it is about one's own personal beliefs. It does not do anyone any good when abortion is lumped in with the rest of Women's Rights. In fact, by excluding pro-life women from the conversation it reduces the effectiveness of the other arguments. Dividing women is not an effective strategy.
It's Not Men vs. Women
Abortion Is Not A Battle Of The Sexes
It's true. Even though many try to portray it as a battle of men vs. women, it is in fact a battle of differing ideologies. There are many men who happen to be pro-choice. Placing everyone on one side or the other based on gender only detracts from the actual issue.
When Does Life Begin?
This is a very important question that lies at the center of the entire debate. Nobody is in favor of taking a human life. Rather, different people have different views regarding when life begins. The legal definition tends to define a fetus as viable when it is able to survive outside the mother. Many religions, on the other hand, believe that life begins at the moment of conception.
When Does Life Begin
When Do You Believe Life Begins?
So, what we need to have here is an understanding of all sides. Pro-choice people are not looking to extinguish human lives, they simply believe that it is not a human life yet. On the other hand, pro-life people are not trying to control a woman's body, they believe that the fetus is a human being and want to protect it. Once we all understand that, it becomes possible to actually have rational dialogue on the subject. We would then be able to reach a national consensus as to when human life begins.
In my five years on hubpages, this is by far the most controversial subject I have written about. I debated whether or not I should even publish it. Is the subject too controversial? Am I out of place even addressing the issue, being that I am a man? Finally, I concluded that I would share my thoughts on this delicate subject and hopefully not be judged too harshly.
I feel this, as with all issues, can be best handled when we all sit down together and listen to the views of others. If we're able to respect each other's beliefs then we can make progress.
© 2017 Christopher J Wood