I switched on the radio this morning to be told that the subject for the 9am phone-in was to be: Should we have an abortion free society? It seems that MP Ed Rennie from the all-party parliamentary pro-life group says that women’s equality will only begin in earnest when we bring abortion to an end.
“That should signal another outbreak of hostilities,” I thought, knowing how heated these debates can get at the best of times, and here was a subject that has two sides firmly entrenched, blazing away with their opinions indiscriminately and no-one listening to anyone.
But the more I thought about, surely the only answer to the question had to be “Yes”.
I should point out that I don’t support the pro-life lobby and I don’t have any religious views on the subject. But that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily pro-choice either.
The argument raged as expected. On one side were those championing the right to life and instilling a greater sense of morality among young people, and on the other the woman’s right to choose and what happens when things go wrong and women become pregnant as a result of accident or crime?
The problem is that the debate focused on the ills of the world at it is now. If you think about the question as an ideal — Should we have an abortion free society? — how could you answer no?
I don’t mean that it should be outlawed, but a world where it were no longer necessary. It would mean that women only became pregnant if they wanted to; where there was no stigma or credit in being a single mother; where there was no rape or family sex abuse; where everyone took responsibility for their actions. And where every child is loved and wanted.
I think I could go along with that without compromising my liberal principles.