Yesterday I spoke with the SFU Lifeline Club, the pro-life (and quick to mention anti-abortion) club on campus. It really got me thinking about the issue of abortion. As a generally left-leaning person I had “decided” I was pro-choice without giving the issue much thought or learning about the issue. When speaking with the representative I noticed myself saying that, while I, MYSELF, do not think I would ever get an abortion (seen Blue Valentine? Ugh, makes me shutter just thinking about someone doing that to me)… (even if it meant dying due to medical complications), I would not want to tell other people what to do. I noticed myself thinking that there are bigger issues that deserve my attention than abortion. I noticed myself judging past abortion displays I had seen thinking, why must they be so “in your face”? I realized that those are the same things many people think about vegan outreach and animal advocacy. I realized that, much like in the factory farms where animals are murdered and tortured, many babies are aborted around the world every year. Why am I so willing to tell people how they should eat and speak out against animal suffering, when I am so scared to speak about abortion? Sometimes when I reflect on ongoing animal suffering I wish I could close all the supermarkets, stop all the slaughter houses, and make all the killing stop. I wish I could run through the streets turning people into vegans. I wish the world was different and I feel an agent pull to create this change.
The group told me that Canada is one of only a few countries in the world with no restrictions on abortion. This means that abortion can occur during any term of pregnancy. I was very shocked to hear this. I realized that I don’t know very much about abortion, on either side of the “debate”. I found myself stating that I do not know much about the potential health reasons someone would get an abortion, or any reasons for that matter.
Based on the (very little and non-researched) information I have right now I think that there should be restrictions on abortion. I do not think aborting late in the pregnancy is ok. I think that non-invasive (this might be the wrong word to use) “abortion” techniques at the very start of the abortion are not cruel (before the central nervous system has developed). I think that stem cell research is a positive thing when the cells are harvested from the umbilical cord or right after fertilization…. I think.
Reflecting on my ignorance on this matter I am asking myself the following questions:
• How do I decide what to devote my time to?
• Which causes are worthy of my voice?
I can’t possibly learn about ALL social issues in a large amount of detail (or can I? Hmmm). That being said i think I would like to know more about abortion. I am not really sure where to start…
Do you have any articles or books to recommend?