Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Should we be engaging these people?

I can't think of any phrase that pisses me off more than "The Abortion Debate". The expression suggests (a) that my right to reproductive choice is "up for debate" by anyone, anywhere, any time, for any reason, and (b) that the procedure is still so controversial that it remains in the exploratory stages both medically and legally, and thus is still debatable. Which is a steaming crock of horseshit -- abortion is as safe as any medical procedure available today, it's legal, full stop, and it's my right. There is no debate -- there's only "fuck off and mind your own business". But still they persist.

On the outside, the nature of the so-called "debate" is an onerous chicken-egg argument about when a fetus stops being a fetus and becomes a person -- when it's bigger than a breadbox? Some would say "in a petri dish", because "life begins at conception", a more ideological than scientific concept. But peeling away the layers of sticky self-righteousness, it's obvious that there's something more ominous at work in the anti-choice movement -- a religiously-driven authoritarianism, dark ages "morality" and the burning desire to impose on the unwilling. That's why pro-choicers consistently refuse to engage anti-choicers in debate -- for the same reason scientists refuse to debate creationists -- why bother? Even the suggestion that there's something to debate is an execrable insult.

Last night on CKNW there was a phone-in show about "The Abortion Debate" (when the host used that term, I let loose with a string of obscenities that wilted the plant on my desk) featuring one of the anti-choice nutters running the Rolling Fetus Roadshow currently playing in Calgary. She went on about the fetid fetusmobile and all things fetoid for 10 minutes, then someone from the National Abortion Federation phoned in to tell our side of the story. It wasn't a "debate" per se, it was more of a discussion about the fetusmobiles and whether they were a good thing, and where the fuck they get those pictures anyway. I was a little taken aback: I have no problem with opinions, but I do wonder if we should be seriously responding to discussion about something as clearly INSANE as a fetusmobile. At the bottom of all the anti-choice antics are My Rights and the people who'd love nothing better than to restrict them, so I'd just as soon keep fuckers like that on "Ignore".