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RH is not equivalent to abortion

DJB, over at FV wants to start a debate on whether abortion should be decriminalized. Great respect to the Dean and all that, but I think this forced debate takes away from the main focus of the bill being considered – which is reproductive health. Or in less lofty terms, do we allow contraception or not?

By stirring up this question of abortion, might we not give the impression that abortion is at issue? If people get around to believing that the RHB espouses abortion (and never mind the hundred shades of gray because the under-informed public ever sees only in black and white), then that bill is dead in the water as far as public perception goes. And because we have a strictly populist Congress, if the people – however blindly – condemn the RHB, then Congress will kill the RHB for real. When that happens we lose this great chance to educate people on this very critical topic.

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Filed under: law and order, sex, society, ,

23 Responses

  1. DJB Rizalist says:

    It is claimed that about half a million illegal abortions occur in the Philippines every year. It is further claimed that liberalizing contraception would diminish if not prevent abortions. Yet in countries where contraception is widely available, there are still a lot of abortions. It seems likely that even if there were a true reduction due to contraception, there would still be abortions occuring. It seems to me that the criminalization of abortion is a separate issue from contraception and that debating it now also addresses the accusation that there is a slippery slope between contraception and abortion.

    Simply to deny that contraception is anything like abortion dodges an important aspect of the whole issue. It is disingenuous to say this is all about “reproductive health” and nothing to do with reproduction and populations. That’s what makes undecideds suspicious. Everybody “knows” we are talking about birth control. There is something hypocritical about insisting it’s just about “reproductive health”.

    Besides, my purpose in provoking the debate is to make people confront what they truly believe about things.

  2. DJB Rizalist says:

    It is of course the Catholic Church that is “stirring up” the issue of abortion. Unless supporters of the RH bill confront the arguments she is spreading then they lose by default.

    Another wrinkle here is that I think some RH supporters are also abortion supporters, while some are not. This difference is very important and ought to be aired.

  3. cvj says:

    This is the rhetorical equivalent of a long cane being hooked on DJB’s neck to drag him off stage while he is performing his ‘resolved: should abortion be decriminalized routine.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    “Besides, my purpose in provoking the debate is to make people confront what they truly believe about things.”

    I think I am the only one there who admittedly said he got confused with his stand on contraception vis-a-vis abortion,because of the question of when does life begin?

    “This is the rhetorical equivalent of a long cane being hooked on DJB’s neck to drag him off stage ….”

    Chuck, are you talking about Rom’s blogpost?

  5. i understand where rom’s coming from, actually. there is a real danger of letting the RCC lobby win in planting the fallacy of contraception = abortion in the minds of those as yet uninformed.

    perhaps we should also ask some doc-blogger or other to talk about contraception too? just a thought.

  6. cvj says:

    Karl, yes. I also understand where Rom is coming from. I can see how DJB (as well as Benign0 and me) are acting like the proverbial embarrassing uncles over at that FV thread.

  7. DJB Rizalist says:

    Ah, but that’s just it. Unless RH supporters are forthright about the matter of abortion there is always the suspicion from those who are absolutely opposed to it that they have a hidden agenda, especially when innocuous sounding titles are used like “reproductive health”. We cannot deny the existence of the slippery slope.

    At the same time, I can’t believe no one will forthrightly step forward and make the affirmative case for “abortion rights” ala Roe v. Wade–or is everyone against all forms of abortion?

  8. DJB Rizalist says:

    By the way, I think there is a principled position that makes abortion illegal but does not punish it as a crime! It is the same position we would take with regards to suicide. This position would uphold life of the unborn from conception, and demand equal protection from the State, but impose heavy restrictions of due process on the State such that the mother actually has “presumption of regularity” and “absolute privacy” about her actual reproductive State. I would first establish the latter and assert that only the woman may declare she is pregnant and with child for legal purposes. Beyond this veil of privacy, what she does is her own business. This would be the Affirmative Case from a Right to Privacy Civil Libertarian pov.

  9. cvj says:

    Djb, this goes beyond matters of substance. I think Rom’s point (as agreed to by Jester) is that our sense of timing is off and bringing up ‘abortion’ at this juncture is impolitic.

  10. DJB Rizalist says:

    impolitic? you don’t mean politically incorrect do you? I would think the opportunity to clarify the difference between contraception and abortion would be welcomed by supporters of the rh bill, not swept under the rug of being impolitic. it would seem to me urgently important that contraception be distinguished from abortion for those who don’t see the distinction. Indeed those who are most opposed to abortion ought to be the strongest supporters of contraception given that the latter has the potential to reduce abortion incidence. The accusation will stick, that contraceivers are also abortionists unless the lines between them are clearly drawn.

  11. cvj says:

    DJB, i do see it your way which is why i participated in the discussion over at your thread. However, we have to recognize that there is a school of thought as represented by Rom and Jester that believes now is not the right time to start a debate on abortion because of the mixed signals it could generate. I happen not to agree with them on principle but they could turn out to be right.

    it would seem to me urgently important that contraception be distinguished from abortion for those who don’t see the distinction. – DJB

    In this matter, i think we are all in [violent] agreement.

  12. DJB Rizalist says:

    thanks for that cvj. and yes I do understand rom’s point even if I disagree that it would damage the effort to pass RH. perhaps the whole discussion reveals some things about the issue we have not all hashed out yet in our own minds. I know that I’ve had to confront myself about what my true convictions are about some of these things. I know it is a very fertile area for bloggers simply because I can take either side of the abortion debate now and feel able to represent that side with pretty good arguments.

  13. cvj says:

    DJB, same here. I wouldn’t have known about my own position on abortion if you did not bring up the topic for discussion.

  14. Bencard says:

    djb, cvj, the problem of both of you is that you cannot seem to divorce contraception from abortion. i agree with rom. the rh bill is not about abortion. it’s about preventing pregnancy BEFORE conception which is constitutional.

  15. cvj says:

    @Bencard, what i said about violent agreement (at 12:37am).

  16. DJB Rizalist says:

    Bencard,
    Okay, but what about something like the “Morning After Pill” –contraception or abortion?

  17. DJB Rizalist says:

    btw no one here that I know of is confused about the difference between contraception and abortion as bencard states it. Rom’s point is one of political tactics. She feels discussing abortion now would be “impolitic” since it MIGHT confuse some people about that difference. Only the Catholic Church and its overeager surrogates are promoting that confusion.

    But I maintain it is precisely because of that deliberate obfuscation that a thorough discussion of where we stand on both issues is indeed the key to winning the argument in public. Not sweeping it under the rug.

  18. DJB Rizalist says:

    Here by the way is superb book on the subject:

    I strongly recommend to everyone on the thread the following book by Rosamund Scott, RIGHTS, DUTIES AND THE BODY, Law and Ethics of the Maternal-Foetal Conflict–a thoughtful book that covers this topic from a philosophical standpoint.

    It is available on Google Scholar at the above link

  19. UP n grad says:

    Plan-B pill is not an abortion-pill.

    Although there is only a 24-hour window during which an egg can be fertilized, sperm can live for three to five days inside a woman’s body. So if a woman has unprotected sex three days prior to ovulation, she has a very good chance of getting pregnant.

    Although scientists aren’t completely sure how it works, they believe that levonorgestrel prevents pregnancy either by stopping the ovulation process or by disrupting the ability of sperm and egg to meet in the Fallopian tubes.

    http://health.howstuffworks.com/morning-after.htm

  20. UP n grad says:

    Plan-B pill is not an abortion-pill.

    Although there is only a 24-hour window during which an egg can be fertilized, sperm can live for three to five days inside a woman’s body. So if a woman has unprotected sex three days prior to ovulation, she has a very good chance of getting pregnant.

    Although scientists aren’t completely sure how it works, they believe that levonorgestrel prevents pregnancy either by stopping the ovulation process or by disrupting the ability of sperm and egg to meet in the Fallopian tubes.

    above is a cut-and-paste.

  21. UP n grad says:

    Plan-B is intended to prevent sperm/egg contact.

  22. UP n grad says:

    Plan-B is an over-the-counter drug.

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