Tuesday, May 20, 2008

UK debates abortion and fertility.

The House of Commons has debated and rejected a private members bill to reduce the 24 week limit for abortions to 20 weeks. It has briefly fired up the debate on abortion in the UK (it's permanently fired up in the USA). The BBC reports it was rejected 332 to 190, now the debate is about cutting it to 22 weeks.
Now as I tentatively dip my toe in this issue, libertarian views on this vary. Some take the feminist view that the foetus has no rights until it is born, others believe it has rights as an independent entity, my view is that abortion should not be allowed except to save the life of the mother, once a foetus is theoretically viable outside the womb, but also abortion should not be state funded (as it is wrong that those who are against it should be forced to pay for it).
On a related issue, the House of Commons has also decided that IVF clinics should not consider "the need for a father and mother" when granting women IVF treatment. The change is that they should only consider "supportive parenting", which according to the Guardian essentially opens for lesbian couples to have IVF treatment. Now as libertarian as I am on these things, in that I don't want the state being involved, I do firmly believe that IVF children have a right to know their genetic identity, unless the supplier of sperm or egg is explicit about blocking that information, and that one of the core problems for many young people today is not having a good father figure/male role model. How to deal with this? I don't know, but ignoring the issue is not the answer.


ZenTiger said...

Some even take the view the child have no rights when they are born. Sad, very sad.

Also, given that a 22 week premmie baby can survive, not dropping the limit to 20 weeks is also very sad.

You might want to look up partial birth abortions to see what murder actually looks like. "Pro-choice" becomes so much more Orwellian.

When you consider that science is being used as an excuse not to let people know about their natural heritage you can see how we as a society are moving away from being human to merely a transaction based society where the human-essence of the circumstances is not supposed to matter.

This situation where one does not know their parents (is not entitled to know) by virtue of an un-natural conception seems to me to be a way of avoiding ever having to assign "natural rights".

Society has a duty (ooh, I bet some people are going to hate that phrase) to be better than the criminals and irresponsible sods that operate within it.

I will be posting on this topic when time permits.

Oswald Bastable said...

My Libertarian position is that I don't like abortion.

Thats my call, and how others call it is their affair and what they have to live with. Sometimes it has to happen, sometimes it's an option.

But it shouldn't be funded by taxes.

Libertyscott said...

Oswald I'm with you.

Zen, don't forget before open adoption laws people weren't allowed to know their parents either. That also was a travesty, and was driven by a conservative approach at the time that the biological parents were sinful and to be wiped from the history of the child. That only ended in the mid 1980s.

I obviously don't occupy the "abortion on demand" or the "it's a child after conception" extreme schools. A foetus is still a potential life rather than a life, but it should have rights when it is viable outside the womb, and possibly rights when the brain is formed and functioning.

Anonymous said...

There's a popular response to abortion that goes -

Its not a choice, its a baby.

I think that is wrong, it really ought to be -

It WAS a choice, NOW its a baby.

The point being that the responsibility for having sex IS the reality of fertilization. And believe me I think that extends to BOTH participants. I'd love to see more gals give birth and then hand the baby right over to the father. Bet that would cause some changes to take place!

However, on the other hand, if all precautions were made and fertilization still does occur, then I am supportive of people making choices about their body and LIFE too. One thing this human world does NOT need is (another) unwanted baby, which grows into an unwanted person etc. Isn't there way too many of those now?