Friday, February 17, 2012

Human Rights > Your Opinion

 I think I kind of touched on this in my post about why poll results don't matter, but it's something I've been thinking about lately and I want to make my position on it a little clearer.

With the recent re-interest in sex-selective abortion in Canada, and with Woodworth scattering his really excellent ideas of new and creative ways to control women, there have been a lot of polls done lately, and a lot of public discussion about abortion and the laws (or lack thereof) that we have in Canada. A lot of people seem to feel that if we take polls and enough people express concern or a desire for more restrictions on certain rights, this will - and more importantly, should - result in changes in the law.

It feels as though we have lost the plot a little bit, because here's the thing: there's a reason we have defined "human rights" and taken them outside of the sphere of normal legislation and even national jurisdiction. As useless as you might think the United Nations is, there is a reason they produced a list of things that we all have a right to, and there's a reason that document is not called "Universal Declaration of things that are fairly important, but you can play around with if you want to".

I'm not saying we should all shut up and listen to the UN (and you will rarely, if ever, hear me say that). I'm saying that I feel there are rights that humans should reasonably expect, and in an ideal world, we would not have to worry about them being legislated against by our governments. And one of those rights - I would argue the foundational one - is the right to control our own bodies. That's why I believe that suicide should be legal in every form. And I also believe that we should all have an inalienable right to decide whether we will carry a pregnancy to term, and how/if we will prevent that pregnancy from happening.

This is why on some level, any national "debate" about abortion is unacceptable to me, and it's also why the current bullshit around birth control in the States absolutely terrifies me. These are our rights. Bigger than the Constitution, bigger than the UN, this is what is essential to being able to call oneself a free person: the right to control one's own body, and not to be able to take that away from anyone through national/state/provincial laws or by force.

That's why the rest of Canada's opinion on things like abortion and other reproductive health decisions means jack shit to me. I'm sorry, I like a lot of you, but I really don't give a flying fuck about what you think about these issues because I shouldn't have to: my right to make decisions about my own body should be an inaliable, absolutely protected right.

Canada is a country that sometimes tries to pride itself on peace-keeping and human rights (ha ha ha *sob*). So the fact that the government can't even figure this out is pretty sad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Peggy. Whatever that fetus is, it's in a woman's body. The anti-choice are setting up a conflict of rights between the woman and the fetus, and betting that the fetus will win. If the fetus wins personhood, women lose personhood. Once women have lost their right to security of the person, we are not free anymore.