Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Killing people is a human right apparently

In Ghana IPAS is hard at work pushing abortion availability at the Keeping Our Promise: Addressing Unsafe Abortion in Africa conference. The aim of the conference is to eliminate unsafe abortions (a goal I completely agree with) through making abortion legal and accessible (something I don't agree with). The groups involved are the Ghana Ministry of Health, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (better known as FEMNET), the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Regional Office and Marie Stopes International.

One of the most disturbing things said at the conference was by Dr Richard Turkson, Ghana's High Commissioner to Canada. I quote from Ghana News Agency:

"Dr Richard Turkson, Ghana's High Commissioner to Canada, noted that the stigma surrounding abortion was still very strong but no longer absolute and there was the need now to say the word "abortion" in many settings where it previously was unthinkable.

Women's right to sexual and reproductive health, including the right to safe legally-permitted abortion, he said was a basic human right that should be enjoyed by all women and like every human right, this should translate into the necessary social, economic and cultural conditions and facilities under which their legitimate aspirations and dignity might be fully realised."

Abortion at the very least is a medical procedure. Would we demand heart surgery as a human right? No, because it's a medical procedure that has risks associated with it and it needs to be recommeneded to us by our doctor. Some people aren't good candidates for heart surgery, as a medical procedure it isn't right for them. Yet abortion is somehow magically different - the medical procedure that apparently women can just have performed irrelevant of their medial history and risk factors.