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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Why aren’t we all pro-smart choice?

We live in a world in which women are perfectly free to plan their lives and their families. From contraception to simple restraint during ‘that time of the month’, women have plenty of choices. In fact, planning a family has never been easier but planning, by definition, is meant to be done before the act, not after.

You do not plan a family after you create it. A family begins the moment a child is conceived, not at the moment the expecting mother DECIDES to keep it. Deciding to kill the embryo or the fetus is not planning. It is ‘damage control’ and if we believe that it should be up to the mother to decide whether her unborn child lives or dies, why insist on limiting abortion to pregnancy? Why not give women a bit more ‘planning’ time, say up to 2 or 3 years of baby’s age? What would the argument be against it?

Embryo’s heart starts beating as early as 20 days and, in various ways, remains dependent on the mother beyond birth. So, what exactly is the difference between a 10, 25 weeks or 2 year old baby? Number of organs? Is a person with one kidney and one lung, a human being? What about sentience? Is a person in a coma sentient? Are people with Alzheimer’s sentient? Are babies sentient?

What is it that makes it ok to kill a life at 12 or 24 weeks and not at 2 years of age? What gives us the power to just decide that an embryo or a fetus is not a human being and what really prevents us from expanding that definition to a 2 year old baby?

Being able to carry a child is not a right but a responsibility and, as women, we have a choice not to take on that responsibility. That is what I would call being a pro-smart choice. Dressing up convenience as morality and calling it a right is how our societies have always justified morally questionable practices. Remember slavery and eugenics? They were once morally acceptable too. All it took was to simply get everyone to agree that slaves were not humans. Sounds familiar? Scary? Well, maybe it should be.

Autor: Zorana Kozomara, a member of the representative office in the Netherlands

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