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I believe in freedom to choose but is this choice?

This site has been outed by The Ministry of Truth as a fake – and interesting linked to climate change deniers

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My brain is in turmoil – utter turmoil.

One of the unexpected outcomes of having been pregnant and had my children is that, if anything, I am more pro-choice than I was before. Before children I believed that women, that couples, had the right to decide if they wanted their child, if they wanted to continue the pregnancy.

Having now been through it, having felt like my body was inhabited by a small alien, having struggled through late pregnancy, having laboured and birthed I more than ever believe that women shouldn’t have to go through that process unless they really want to.

And then I read today that an American couple, currently 17 weeks pregnant, have decided to let the internet decide if they should abort their unborn child or not.

They have set up a website www.birthornot.com * and are soliciting others to decide on whether they become parents or not.

They have set up this poll in what they believe is the great American democratic tradition, saying that it will enable the public to “actually make a difference in the real world”.

They have disclosed on their blogs that they are worried that they will “eventually regret starting a family and “settling down”” and that they are concerned about the toll that the pressures of parenthood will take on them

The problem is whilst I respect their right to take the decision about whether they continue with this pregnancy, I am deeply troubled that they have effectively stepped back from the decision and allowed a faceless public to decide on what happens.

I am deeply worried that this is a decision that they will have to live by (I am assuming that they are serious, this does appear to be the genuine thing) and that they have put themselves and their decision at risk of being hijacked by pro-choice and anti-choice groups.

You see, for me, it doesn’t matter what the public think about any woman’s decision about whether to continue with a pregnancy because it is her decision. Its a decision that she has to take and that she will have to live by and no outside can tell her what is the right answer for her in her specific and unique circumstances.

Allowing strangers to make the decision for you seems plain wrong – you are allowing someone else to impose their views, their circumstances, their prejudices over your life and then for them to walk away whilst you live with the consequences.

I did think about voting. I seriously considered it. But then I stepped away. I remembered that I really don’t know more than what this couple have chosen to put out into the public domain and I don’t know if that’s the whole story. I don’t know if my knee jerk reaction is the right one for them, I don’t know what is the right choice for them.

So, would you vote? Could you vote? And is this taking democracy to a place where it really shouldn’t go?

POSTSCRIPT

Here is a link to an article in the press about the website and with more information about the couple

*If you do click on the link to the website, please be aware it has scan photos on it

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15 comments to I believe in freedom to choose but is this choice?

  • planb

    >I'm totally flabbergasted by this. Isn't this one of the biggest decisions they'll ever make? How can they abdicate responsibility for it? They compare it to voting for a political leader, or American Idol, but the appointment of an political leader affects all of us, the general public, who vote for (or against) him or her, and we might, or might not, buy the records made by the winner of a talent show. But we're not going to raise this baby, and we're not going to have to live with the emotions, whatever they may be, of having aborted it, if that is what they end up doing.

    You'll notice I haven't said anything about the morality or otherwise, of termination. I think it is so personal that none of us can know how we feel until we are actually in the situation where it might be a reality. But I do think that allowing someone (anyone) else to choose is one of the most craven acts I've ever heard of. If they keep the child, how on earth are they going to explain this to him in twenty years time?

  • Reyes

    >I can not believe that they have left such an important decision in the hands of strangers!

  • This Mid 30s Life

    >Smacks of attention seeking if you ask me. Surely it can't be serious?

  • I'm So Fancy

    >I think it's pathetic. And it is making a mockery of what is a very painful, very personal decision for many women (and men.) Shame on them. and agree: maybe I didn't get pregnant but I saw a heck of a lot of embryos bite the dust and I'm just as prochoice as ever. When my daughter's birth mother said she had considered abortion and was very embarrassed to say this, I said I could completely understand. Because what she went through in the end was probably more painful than I can imagine and I was right there!

  • Scottish Mum

    >I find it strange, sad and troublesome. It's the wrong way to look at a Childs life. They want someone else to blame for their decision.

  • Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    >I wouldn't vote, as someone above says, it smacks of attention seeking. A sad state of affairs whichever point of view you take on the issue.

  • Expat mum

    >Call me cynical but I think you'll find the next thing they'll do is sign up to do a reality show as they grow through whatever the decision will be. It's all for publicity, because in this country, the worse you are, the more likely you are to get on TV. An ex-Governor of New York, Elliot Spitzer, was criminally indicted for paying for prostitutes and trying to hide the paperwork. Obviously he lost his job but he is now back on prime time CNN hosting a political talk show.
    They are very stupid to do this because they've gone public and now risk the wrath (and the gunfire) of the rabid right-to-lifers, who think nothing of killing people (usually doctors) for the cause.

  • Emily O

    >Just bizarre. Even if this is purely attention seeking, I can't comprehend how you could seek attention in such a sickening way. Asking other people to decide whether a future person should exist or not is just weird. In fact it's done my head in for the evening now.

  • Jean

    >I can't decide if they're brainless idiots, cowards or media-hungry.
    I'm all for pro-choice, but it's a personal decision. It's so so wrong to work out an issue like this in public.
    XXX

  • Flaf

    >It's been revealed as fraudulent:

  • Domestic Goddess Wannabe

    >Who would even make this up or why? Really upsetting.

    My answer though, would be that I wouldn't vote. It is absolutely the choice of the mother and father. No-one else can possibly judge or put themselves in another person's shoes.

  • marketingtomilk

    >I was absolutely disgusted at that news story, hoax or not.
    Motherhood has also changed my opinions on abortion, but i'm not yet brave enough to post about that.

    M2M

  • Notes to self plus two

    >Hoax or not, I blame reality tv.
    Notes (watching x factor and strictly).

  • Anything

    Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it’s nice to find the info here. I have looked everywhere. Thanks again!

    Regards!

  • Good article once again. Thank you:)

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