Sunday, January 22, 2006

1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4

I'm not a researcher. I mean, I can, I have the tools and the ability but I really don't enjoy it. I prefer to learn things through fiction, literature and conversation. I've learned a lot that way, but not in any sort of linear fashion.

This morning I read Chili's entry about Blogging for Choice and knew that it's something I'd like to do. But first I had to go meet Miflohny. When I met her I mentioned blogging for choice and she provided me with a fabulous piece of information. (She's a researcher, she knows stuff and when she doesn't know it she finds out by whatever means necessary. She's a reliable source.)

Apparently the original reason for the regulation of abortion was the health and safety of the mother. At the time doctors were trying to take over the oversight of the birthing process from midwives. I'm assuming that the reasoning in their campaign was that moving the birthing process to hospitals would be safer for mothers and babies if there were complications. They informed the public that, after a certain period in the gestation, abortions endangered the mother's health and that was why they felt that restrictions ought to be placed on the process.

How very far we've come, huh? Now the restrictions around abortion are entirely focused on the health of the fetus, to the point where legislation can fail to pass when allowances are made for abortion in the case of danger to the mother's health and safety.

Not to be alarmist but that sort of says that it's more important to bring a kid into the world even if their parent won't be around to care for them. And we all know that public services for orphaned or special needs kids are spare, to say the least, so no one cares overly if a child is well cared for upon his or her entry to the world just so long as every effort is made to get that kid here.

The decision to have, to hold, to care for, to bring into the world and then bring up in the world a human being is so very important. The decision to have sex is somewhat less so and is certainly made with far less gravity. There is ample room for error. We live in a country built on principles of individual choice for the common people. The decision to have a child is one of the most important ones we have and it needs to be left up to the individual.

If you're a research type you already know where to look for more information on the topic. If you're more like me let me recommend a novel that explores that period in medical history. The Limits of Enchantment by Graham Joyce.

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