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Abortion: Framing the problem.

 

Discussion about abortion is confused by the aggression of opposing sides who seek a binary solution, in particular the feministic accusations of misogyny from a patriarchal society wishing to control women’s bodies, which are not only evidently false as high proportion of pro-life campaigners are women (possibly a majority) but is also a woke-style attempt to shut down debate by proclaiming other views to be immoral.

 

The issue does not have a binary solution and that is the source of confusion and distress.  However, it can be framed in the form of two continua:

 

  • The sanctity of the child’s life versus the life of the mother

  • The individual decision versus the societal impact

 

Ann Furedi, the former chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the UK's largest independent abortion provider, suggests that there is no good option but the least bad option is letting individual choose.  For others, the sanctity of human life takes precedence over all.  But the ramifications for an unwanted child whose parents are unable to cope can be disastrous.

 

The societal impact may or may not exist through an ‘ethical ripple effect’ of the legal acceptance of abortion upon attitudes to human life more generally.  It certainly exists, though, in the response of both pro-choice and pro-life campaigners, who have a legal right to campaign and to protest.

 

No solution is offered to this dilemma by this framework.  It merely presents the arguments in reduced form and clarifies the elements of the problem.

Ivan Starrymist

May 2022