by Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune
I’ve covered the topic of abortion from a sort of abstract perspective in the past. I’ve talked about the political perspective and the women’s rights perspective, but here is yet another angle. Historical instances of abortion and pregnancy terminations are rarely discussed. This article from Katha Pollitt’s Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, which can be purchased here. Alternet was able to post an excerpt that recalls instances and trends of abortion throughout cultures and decades of history.
It’s an incredible perspective on an issue that is viewed as very current and divisive. Even I tend to tiptoe around the subject. However, when you consider how long abortions have been occurring, how ubiquitous they were between locations and cultures, and how similar previous legal battles and limitations have been, it adds another dimension to the debate.
The article addresses misconceptions and stereotypes projected by the media relating to abortions today, even though a lot of the statements aren’t exactly popular. It strongly focuses on how abortion needs to be viewed as something that affects both woman and child. Typically people address the fetus while viewing the woman as simply a vessel, as if her body (and mind) are no longer something to be taken into account. It discusses how abortion has positive impacts on some women, and negative on others (and for some, a mix of both). Many pro-life movements will state how abortion induces depression, suicidal tendencies, and a variety of other things that aren’t universal reactions. There are even regulations requiring the results of these (incredibly biased) studies to be read to those considering abortion procedures in certain places.
This article takes an incredible standpoint in an old and tired discussion. It seems that all religious reasons, personal reasons, medical reasons, and women’s rights reasons for pro-life or pro-choice standpoints have been said again and again. This is the first thing I have read in a long time that has offered an alternative perspective. Regardless of where you stand in relation to this schismatic topic, this is an article well worth reading. It may not change your mind on anything, but it will definitely offer you an education that you won’t find easily anywhere else.