Monday, June 22, 2009

The Great Abortion Debate

Dr. George Tiller was shot in the head on May 31st in his Church, while serving as an usher. Why was this model citizen targeted? Apparently, his killer objected to his profession. He was a performer of late - term abortions. His was among the hanful of clinics in the U.S that was willing to perform this service.
The man is being canonized and demonized in equal measure. He believed that contrary to the views held by many of his sex, women are rational beings who are perfectly capable of making a choice of this magnitude. And for this, Tiller was persecuted all his life and finally murdered. Stuff like this makes me almost as mad as gun - toting killers who run around killing people for daring to do what they believe in. Tiller performed abortions on consenting females, but judging by the furor he caused one would think he forcibly ripped out the foetuses from all and sundry.
Why is it that "... in matters of life and death, the argument itself can become a matter of life and death" ?(Nancy Gibbs, Time) I have been thinking about it all week and have formed some conclusions. I, myself am pro - abortion although conversely I'll never have the nerve to go through it myself. But I fully understand if someone wishes to abort. Has anyone read Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" ? Set in the middle ages, the female protagonist is raped by two men.Later at the height of her despair, she wonders if she is pregnant. And she decides that if pregnant, she will deliver the child and then leave it in the woods for the wolves. At that point I could sympathize with her. Shocking huh?
Now in this day and age we don't have to feed wolves with unwanted babies. We can opt for an abortion or adoption. But there is an even better option. Get obssessive about contraception. The market is flooded with products that are designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Make full use of these devices and spare yourselves the agony. I know of married men in India who feel embarassed to run down to the nearest store and buy condoms. ANd then the inevitable happens and they rush their wives to an abortion clinic to terminate the pregnancy. Now these chaps deserve to be shot don't they?
But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men... People have the right to choose. Let them. Let the others do as Voltaire suggested,"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".


  1. I think men being embarrassed to purchase condoms is an issue. They should be more accessible. I know in some public washrooms they have a condom vending machine. There needs to be more alternative methods like that to attain them.

  2. That is a good idea. Or if there are no alternatives women can take matters into their own hands and stock up on contraceptives.

  3. No doubt, the man didn't deserve to be shot, neither did the Mahatma, and the only thing he was guilty of was non-violence. But the issue itself, i.e. late term abortions, is very tricky, and despite being a woman myself, I'm all against it, except when continuing the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother's life. If a woman is dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, she has all the time in the world to decide to terminate it within the first 6 to 8 weeks. Late term abortions are messy, traumatic and pretty close to infanticide, I'm sorry to say. A woman's freedom to decide whether or not she wants to bear a child cannot infringe upon an unborn child's right to life.

  4. I agree with Andrea,being an obstetrician myself,I know just how messy late term abortions are!Though I'm all for abortions,its better to get rid of an unwanted child before she begins her life rather than shove her into a big bad world with nobody to care for her!!Termination of pregnancy is completely legal upto 20 weeks of gestation...There is no greater misery in life than the feeling of unwantedness!!!

  5. yeah,I agree that it is better to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy before 20 weeks of's legal and safe.