Animal rights and abortion
My friend Isla recently wrote a fascinating post discussing the questions animal rights activists get asked about abortion.
I’ve been completely taken by surprise the few times anyone has asked me if why I’m not defending “the little babies” alongside my animal rights work. Usually they are implying that we should be fighting for the rights of humans (born or unborn) above those of animals, in fact the more common comment is: “what about the starving people in _____?”, where my reply is usually one of “I value and respect all life and choose to fight for those without a voice.” But that’s where the tricky part comes in – technically fetuses do not have a voice.
I've experienced that myself, and I've also been guilty of confronting anti-abortion protesters with questions about whether they are vegetarian or not.
I also recall some straight-edge hardcore vegan kids in college being anti-abortion as well. The logic being, I think, that killing is wrong, be it of an animal or an unborn human.
This is a tricky question, but as a man, I find it difficult to definitively answer in any way that would dictate to a woman what she can or cannot do to her body. Her foetus is a part of her body – how can I have any say over either of them?
Isla reflects on this as well:
The Male Voice
I used to live in Kelowna where they had anti-abortion billboards and picketers at the hospital every day. It always confused me to see men there in the middle of the day, not working. Men do not give birth, so how could they hold such strong opinions on the topic? Was it their place?
I think that’s exactly why so many fundamentalist Christian men speak out against abortion: because it is an act that is out of their control. They are not fighting for complete compassion (if so, they would fight for other human and animal rights, as well as compassion for mothers), they are fighting to conserve the way it was in the past when men did have control over women’s bodies.