Human Rights and Wrongs: Pro-Politics? (Abort, Abort, Abort)!

Posted: September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 4:57pm

The Minister of Youth, Gender and Child Development has recently taken a public ‘pro-choice’ stance on the issue of abortion. She has come out with this in order to push for legislation that will make it legal to carry out abortion in Trinidad and Tobago. This falls in line with her sudden and abrupt push for gay rights, and whatever else seems fashionably liberal in the world today. However fair is fair is the issue must be viewed in different perspectives to get a better understanding of it.
Scientific Research: While this is a huge argument worldwide, legalizing abortion locally and even mentioning scientific research and possible medical benefits is at the very least misleading and at the worst a total joke and insult to our intelligence. I mean, what argument is there in this locally when TnT’s greatest scientific breakthrough in the last 15yrs was bhaghi flavoured crix?
Rights of the Woman (and the Child): A woman in 2012 has the same legal rights as a man. Almost. The issue now arises where further legislation is needed. Does a woman have the right to terminate their pregnancy? Be it an unwanted pregnancy (accident or rape), or a simple change of mind, it is her body but there is another life in it now dependent on her to survive. After a few weeks the fetus is no longer just a clump of cells but a living being with a heart-beat and brain activity. Giving a woman the right to kill a living being that she helped create because she does not desire it any longer is selfish, sick and wrong. On the other end to inject into the law a provision that in rape cases the mother is allowed to abort the pregnancy would require the man to be proven guilty of rape, by time of which the child would probably be attending pre-school.
Rights of the Doctor: Not being addressed is the issue of the rights of a doctor. The procedure takes a life, there is not debate in that. Some people would not want to kill a bug far less a person, and if that is their personal belief then so be it. How far will the legislation go? Will they (the patient and/or employers) be able to take legal action if the doctor refuses? And what about social pressures and stigmas attached to doctors who do/don’t carry out the procedure based on moral grounds? For those unfamiliar with Hobbes’ theory of a social contract, the government has a social contract with the people, and that is broken if (in this case) a life is ordered to be taken by law. This is supposed to be the ultimate call for the removal of a government as at that point they have officially failed to uphold their duty.
Political Spectrum: This policy support is in a big mess. First of all, the Minister is firmly against the death penalty, but in support of abortion. Rather than appearing ‘pro-choice’ she is appearing to be ‘pro-save-the-guilty-but-kill-the-innocent .‘ The Minister of Child Development is advocating this? Guess if there are less children her work is made easier maybe. This seems to be a trend of half (if at all) thought out declarations made by the current administration, without understanding the full legal and social implications. The claim is that this will curtail the number of illegal abortions (performed by non-medical practitioners), abandonment and even curb crime. It is surprising that with these claims the Minister hasn’t called in St. Anns on herself. There are many doctors in Trinidad performing abortions illegally, that knowledge of who to go by when they are needed is common place in this small country. Those who perform slap dash abortions are the ones who can’t afford it. Making abortion legal would benefit those in society who can afford it, making their illegal actions legal, and as usual the poor are left to the grace of an old hanger. On the issue of crime being curtailed, due to less abandoned children raised in a place of hopelessness, it is apparent that Minority Report did a bit too well in the box office. There is no way to predict who will end up a criminal. Not all of the abandoned children who are not adopted are going to be criminals, especially with the right social initiatives and training programs made available and implemented. And on another point where there seems to be contradiction, since the Minister is all for gay rights, doesn’t this give the gay couples less chance to adopt a child? Fashion over function in Governance I guess.
Suggestions: What has happened has happened and now a child is to be brought into the world. Rather than mitigate through death, train a life. Adoption, and proper homes being set up for the unwanted pregnancies should be encouraged, let the child have a chance not only to be born but to grow up. We are 10yrs behind in many areas and even more in others. Before we can make the jump we need to be on stable ground. You want to deal with “rights of the woman?” Then how about before using abortion as a pretty popular way to grab attention, lets start by setting up a proper and efficient sexual harassment authority. Lets start offering subsidized daycare facilities for working single mothers. Lets stop looking at the extreme, fashionable, popular issues, and start getting a clearer holistic view of challenges facing the women at large of this nation. 

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