When it comes to women’s issues and the topics that have been prevalent throughout history in terms of gender rights and gender based laws, the theme of abortion has long been at the forefront of the female discussion. The issue of abortion, or terminating a pregnancy, has always been something that has evoked strong opinions one way or the other in the world of ethics and of law making, with religious scripture often being cited as key evidence for certain countries to limit the opportunity for female citizens to receive the procedure, even under extreme circumstances such a rape, incest or life threatening illness.
While the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate rages on in all corners of the world, one interesting factor this isn’t widely talked about is the fact that today still, and for the previous hundreds of years during which abortion has been a matter of legal decision, these laws and sanctions in certain countries and states have been imposed largely by men. This begs the question, should male officials have the key say on the legal decision of abortion, when it is so intrinsically a female topic?
Of course, the argument for male lawmakers and officials being included in the abortion law making process is the fact that, in 2016 anyway, equality is something that should be exercised in all areas of diplomatic life. Just as there are female lawmakers who have influence and positions on boards for things like male prison services and testicular cancer research, so should there be men making decisions in the upper echelons of the abortion debate. To separate men and women so definitively on the most important subjects in society today would, some people believe, only serve to further distance respective genders from topics that don’t necessarily directly effect them, and this could only lead a lack of knowledge and input on either side.
As mentioned briefly above, the topic of religion is one that is heavily used as a part of the abortion debate, with pro-life advocates in pre-dominantly Christian countries often citing passages in the Bible as evidence for the fact that terminating a pregnancy, no matter how early, is an act against God and tantamount to murder of human life. Pro-choice advocates are vehemently against the heavy use of religion as part of the debate, pushing instead the use of scientific fact and ethical common sense to argue their side. When it comes to making laws that work to restrict ethical boundaries for women, regardless of their personal situation and health, it is hard to see that religious scripture should come anywhere close to dictating what a modern woman can and cannot do with her own body.
Overall, it could be surmised that the key issue in the making of abortion laws is not men being in positions of power to make decision, but rather people of either gender who push the argument of religion over science and modern social ethics.