The long-term psychological and health consequences that anti-choice groups claim are associated with abortion – everything from depression to breast cancer – have never been proven. The risks associated with pregnancy and labour, though, are serious and demonstrable, from postnatal depression to death in childbirth. That\’s the basic issue that most progressive lawmakers, with the exception of heroes such as Texas senator Wendy Davis, have been too squeamish to raise: it is monstrous to force a woman to go through pregnancy and labour against her will when the medical technology to prevent her having to do so is available.
It can also be described as monstrous to kill another person so that a woman doesn\’t have to go through that. And this is what is at the heart of the (non-religious) argument against abortion:
\”Abortion – kills one, hurts another\”
If you believe, as I do, that there are two people involved, one of whom ends up dead, the other alleviated of some risk and some pain, then the moral argument becomes very much more difficult than if you believe that there is only one person involved, with the other not existing, being merely a blob of cells.
Ectopic pregnancy? That\’s either one dead or two dead: hoick out the little one. 19 weeks just because I don\’t want it? Sorry love but we\’re not killing another just for your wishes.
Yes, as ever, I know that I\’m very much in a very small minority on this particular question. And where the line is drawn is a fiendishly complex decision, whichever view one takes of what is a human being. But I do insist that \”what is a human being?\” is the crucial point at issue here. As you don\’t which is why we\’ll ever disagree upon this subject.