Abortion. It is the one issue that has divided The Area News readers and the wider community so completely.
The mere sight of the word is enough to elicit a whole cacophony of strong reaction, and brings out the extremes in viewpoints.
Nobody seems to be able to make an argument without another counter from someone else, and everyone believes their side to be reasonable, logical.
The subjectivity in every aspect of the debate is crippling, we doubt there will never be agreement.
But despite the numerous facets of peoples concerns, it still comes down to judgement: Is all life equal?
Does a woman's life, the years she has lived and breathed and walked, have less or more value than a fetus that has not lived at all? How much value does someone put on what could be, instead of what is and has been?
The bill seeks to ensure the physical, psychological and social well-being of the woman and the fetus.
In reality, the majority of those seeking this medical service have clear reasons for seeking a termination.
It is highly doubtful anyone would undergo the procedure superfluously. It is not as simple as turning off a light switch.
People are panicking, thinking women will be clamouring at the doors to use abortion as contraception, or they haven't given the due consideration.
This demeans and devalues women's ability to reason and make informed judgments based on their own unique life experiences.
Having an abortion can be highly traumatic, and the psychological scars can remain with them forever.
You can sit there and list a number of 'acceptable' situations for termination, as according to you. Health risks, rape, underage pregnancy, financial difficulty.
Yet each and every life experience is different. Everyone's values and beliefs are different.
If passed, informed decisions will be made with the expertise of doctors - those who have trained for years to help save and improve lives.
But damning, judging and demonising those decisions which don't agree with your values is the worst kind of cruelty, especially if you've never had to face or make those decisions yourself.
You need to realise these are real people. It is not something you'd come out and plaster on a billboard.
Remember: Be mindful. Be respectful. If you need emotional support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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