Anti Abortion Movements Want to Control Women’s Minds, Not Just Their Bodies
Reproductive rights aren’t just about giving women control over their own bodies, they’re also about recognising women as intelligent beings, capable of making their own moral choices.
This time last year, in Ireland, the debate around whether or not to legalise abortion was in full swing. Walking through the streets, it was impossible not to be bombarded with other people’s opinions on the matter. The stylish young women with colourful hair that marched from Dublin city centre to the airport, calling for the 8th amendment, which outlawed abortion in almost all cases, to be repealed.The group of men handing out “No” leaflets somewhat ironically standing around the Spire, arguably the most phallic symbol in Dublin. A man dressed as a priest, brandishing a plastic model of a fetus and yelling that abortion was murder, and the men and women surrounding him, shouting support or insults. Dramatic posters on every other lamppost. Vote No or Babies will Die. Vote Yes and save the lives of women like Savita. The campaign was everywhere, and everyone seemed to think they knew the truth on the matter.
The thing with abortion is that it doesn’t actually matter what anyone thinks about it, because nothing can back their claims up anyway. Biologically, there is no proof that a fetus is a life from conception. Medicine shows that the vast majority of embryos lack the capacity to become living human beings. That doesn’t mean they will turn into disabled humans, it means they do not produce any form of human life. The definition of “life” given by the pro-life movement just isn’t consistent with any scientific fact. On the other hand, there is nothing to say that an embryo being a clump of cells makes it not important. We are all just clumps of cells.
Science can’t answer the question of whether abortion is wrong or right. Religion has an opinion, of course, but not one that can act as law in a secular, democratic society. There is no ultimate, supreme authority to help us…