I don’t put a huge value on life.
Let me clarify: while I value my own life and the lives of my friends and families and try to make them as meaningful, pain-free and just as I can, I don’t see death as the big bad thing it’s made out to be. I don’t have a problem with suicide or euthanasia; if someone deems their own life not worth living due to (mental or physical) illness, then that’s their prerogative. When someone dies, it is sad, but it allows a new life to be created. These opinions won’t win me any friends, but they’re mine and I own them.
But when a study was published last week claiming that mentally newborn babies and foetuses have the same non-conceptualisation of their lives, I was outraged.
Abortion is my pet issue. I will attend rallies, talk and blog about it til the cows come home in an attempt to make sure abortion is available to all women all the time, no questions asked. I don’t believe a foetus is a life until it can survive outside the womb independently of its mother, therefore it doesn’t really apply to my above notions. To give it the same rights as a living, breathing person who is completely viable outside of its host human is insane. (Only in the U.S. does an embryo get more rights than most other people who live on this planet and not in the womb.) Once it’s outside of the womb it’s a human being, in my opinion (and those of most medical practitioners), not one minute before. That’s when the above notions apply.
But to insinuate that a zygotic blob taking up residence in another person’s body and a living, breathing, crying baby that has emerged from said other person’s body as a fully-fledged human are essentially the same and should be “aborted” with reckless abandon is an insult to anyone who’s had an abortion or believes in the right to have one. It trivialises the very real plight of women who find themselves pregnant when they really don’t want to be.
Because of my above views, some people think it’s okay to say things like “Justin Bieber should have been aborted” to me, when the topic of Bieber’s personal views on abortion comes up. While I don’t particularly like Bieber, using abortion as a retaliation for his small-minded views is abhorrent and, again, trivialises the process women who don’t want biological children (at that time or ever) have to go through. It’s not exactly easy, and women lucky enough to have access to reproductive healthcare shouldn’t be shamed or joked about because of it.
Have you read the study? What do you think of equating newborns with foetuses?