Sunday, 14 September 2008

Can Liberal Women Talk About Their Own Abortions!

Can US Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin become the Bête noire of the liberal press or will she vanish into the wannabe garbage-bin of history? Considering the manner of generating controversy without any substance behind the talk, the latter outcome is most likely.
How do people from other cultures see her?

Governor Palin’s statements like “The Iraq war is a task from God” and that she wouldn’t hesitate to start a war even with Russia are very belligerent words. 

For people in cultures outside the USA, this type of talk is standard George Bush rhetoric. Hot-headed political leaders like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and President Hugo Chávez delight us regularly with phrases which provoke animated discussions. However, Sarah Palin’s statements about the Iraq war being a task from God, which she made to Charles Gibson of ABC News should be understood within the vote-catching context of election politics.


Sarah Palin's Anti Abortion Stand

But, what has annoyed many liberal feminist women in Western countries is Sarah Palin’s vehement anti-abortion stand. Religious fundamentalists and extreme right-wing republican women in the USA and tens of millions of people in other cultures may not feel that this is a negotiable issue.
Photo by: Rachel Montiel


Abortion is a Taboo Topic in Most Cultures

In all cultures, abortion is a strange topic, almost ghost-like. Even in the most liberal countries like Finland in Scandinavia, abortion is a slippery subject. Jan-Erik Andelin of the Finnish-Swedish daily Hufvudstadbladet in Finland writes that women can discuss their sex-lives or lack of it, personal accounts of severe depressions and financial mishaps, but “Abortion is a taboo in 2008”.


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You can talk about abortion as a phenomenon, a statistic, a right, a political issue, but you can never talk about your own abortion even among women. No one will speak out aloud why she herself had to resort to abortion by explaining that she was 15, alone, and destitute. Most likely, even among militant feminists, only an embarrassed silence will follow if anyone present brings her personal case of abortion to the discussion.

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What are the reasons for this embarrassment? Is abortion then after all, a feminist issue? Women in many parts of the world consider the right to decide what they should do with their own bodies, as sacred, worth fighting for. 

Not having the right to choose to do an abortion means letting someone else’s interest, in this case her own child’s, override the woman’s rights of bodily self-determination.


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Is it that in a liberal society you are supposed to take care of your own contraception and if it fails, it is your own fault? 

Does abortion become a performance issue in the end? In earlier days, when a woman was supposed to give birth to many children and rear them into decent members of society, abortions were seen as eroding the base of functionality in a society. 


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Is the shame of the unemployed the same as that of the mother who had chosen abortion?


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