Sun | Sep 19, 2021

A plea to my anti-choice friends

Published:Thursday | March 4, 2021 | 12:05 AM


If I understand my adversaries well, they make several claims. That making abortion more broadly legal would (1) unleash a culture of death, (2) create widespread physical, emotional, and psychosocial complications, (3) undermine genuine feminism, (4) foster even more licentious and irresponsible sexual behaviour, (5) have no significant impact on maternal health, and (6) create abortion tourism.

Those of us on the pro-choice side urge wider legal access to (1) eliminate unsafe abortions, (2) reduce the vulnerability of poor and young women, (3) reduce the emotional anguish and stigma of abortion, (4) reduce gender inequality, (5) nurture greater sexual responsibility, (6) radically improve maternal health, and (7) expose the myth of abortion tourism.

Our views are diametrically opposed. So, we shout at each other.

Well, I have a simple proposal: Let us put our conflicting views to a test. Let us do a social experiment.

Together, we can look at the operation of the current restrictive law and assess how well it has served our widely different aspirations.

Together, we can put a legal regime in place for, say, five years, and together rigorously monitor its impact in our community.

We would then have informed data about the operation of both the restrictive and liberal laws in our society.