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Abortion ESG - Katherine Ann Byam on Where Ideas Launch

077 Abortion ESG

Introduction

Abortion ESG is a term I’ve coined to describe the implications of abortion on the environment, the societies that form us, and the governance tha’s meant to protects us.

A friend introduced me to the term Cognitive Polyphasia where different knowledge and rationales live side by side in one person. And this is definitely something we are all experiencing when attempting to tackle complex issues in order to make deliberate choices. If we consider that all lives matter, the dissonance becomes even louder. Because we take so much life in the broad sense of bandwidth, in order that we may preserve our own.

This is precisely the decision many women make of the people I know personally around the world who have gone through the ordeal of terminating a pregnancy.

I don’t recall meeting a single one who is proud of it, talks openly about it, or does not sometimes wonder what could have been.

Show Notes

Katherine Ann Byam 0:01
Abortion ESG is a term I’ve coined to describe the implications of abortion on the environment, the societies that form us, and the governance that protects us. Let’s get into this episode.

Here’s a clip now, a friend introduced me to the term cognitive polyphasia, where different knowledge and rationales live side by side in one person. And this is definitely something we are all experiencing when attempting to tackle complex issues in order to make deliberate choices. If we consider that all lives matter, the dissonance becomes even louder. Because we take so much life, in the broad sense of that word, in order that we may preserve our own, which is precisely the decision many women make. Of the people I know personally around the world who have gone through the ordeal of terminating a pregnancy, I don’t recall meeting a single one who is proud of it, talks openly about it, or does not sometimes wonder what could have been.

This is season five, the great debates of our times, Season Five will be centred around the great debates. And we will be comparing and contrasting different viewpoints on various topics that are consuming the public discourse at present. The reason I’ve decided to take this approach is because we, or at least many of us, are losing the skill of debate. And I think this is an essential skill for us all to practice once more. I don’t see how we get to the point of saving the world and saving our planet. If we don’t know how to discuss our differences. I also think that the solution to most of our challenges is somewhere in the spectrum of views, but never a type of extreme. I will be working with guests to curate the content and discuss beforehand, I will understand their positions, their areas of genius, and navigate my questions around that so that the conversation is challenging and stimulating without being combative. I hope you enjoy season five of where ideas launch; a sustainable innovation podcast.

These are the great debates and today I want to debate with you; my listeners. So feel free to drop me a message on any of the socials to share your views on what I’m about to discuss. I call this entire episode abortion ESG. The reason I chose this terminology, is because there’s so much more to this topic than really meets the eye.

In the news recently, the US Supreme Court overturned the decision of Roe versus Wade, which previously acknowledged a woman’s right to have control over her own reproductive rights. This right has since been taken away at a federal level. There’s so much to unpack about this decision. My personal opinion is that it’s too complex for the law to legislate on, and that it is completely the mother’s choice, until birth. But I also understand that the view, that a life is taken when a mother decides to terminate her pregnancy, is a difficult one to swallow. Let’s get into this a bit.

Some of the reasons a woman may choose to terminate a pregnancy are as follows:

She’s become a victim of incest or rape,

her health and life or at risk,

her mental health may be at risk.

She has no support system around her.

She doesn’t believe she’s emotionally or physically ready.

 She cannot afford to have unpaid leave.

 She cannot afford childcare.

 She doesn’t believe the planet has a future.

 She doesn’t think she’s in a relationship where a child would be welcomed.

She has ended her relationship with the father and does not want to start a family as a single parent.

She’s concerned about adoption and fostering for her child, as there are no guarantees about the type of home a child she bears, but gives up, will be in.

She never wanted to be a parent.

She’s concerned about her career.

She’s concerned about the social taboos of having a child outside of marriage, perhaps, she’s concerned she won’t be a good mother.

 She doesn’t want the responsibility that comes with the job.

The pregnancy was a failure of contraception, the child’s health and well being would be compromised.

And any other reason a woman can contrive for not wanting to carry a pregnancy to the full nine months.

Just to add that all of these reasons are reasons that perhaps women take contraception in the first place. And abortion, perhaps, is a failure of a contraceptive method ultimately, or a failure of care.

Let’s explore a few more angles to the story because there’s a lot that comes up for me in experiencing this the way that I’ve experienced it in social media over the past week.

Abortion is not legal in my country of birth; Trinidad and Tobago, it still happens and people who can afford it are able to receive good medical care in some private facilities. But it’s still illegal. I know of incredible woman who have contributed so much to Trinidad and Tobago society and economy, who have had abortions, had they been caught and imprisoned for their crime, arrested, the country would have lost so much of their talent, we will never know what their lost children would have become. Exactly the same way we do not know what so many people lost to wars, famines, slavery, attacks, diseases would have become had we taken more care with preserving their lives as well.

A friend introduced me to the term cognitive polyphasia, where different knowledge and rationales live side by side inside one person. And this is definitely something we all experience when attempting to tackle complex issues, in order to make deliberate choices instead of following the path of nature.

If we consider that all lives matter, the dissonance becomes even louder, because we take so much life, in the broad sense of the word, in order that we may preserve ours, which is precisely the decision many women are making when they take the decision to terminate. And when I talk about life, I mean all life, the animals, the plants, and the human beings, of the people I know personally around the world who have gone through the ordeal of terminating a pregnancy, I don’t recall meeting a single one, who was proud of it, talked openly about it, or does not sometimes wonder what could have been.

To get to a point where you have to make such a decision is a level of anguish and torture, they would wish upon no one. And it stays with that individual for a lifetime. It seems therefore to be something where legislation serves more harm than it does any good, further exacerbating the anguish a mother instinctively feels.

To legislate, appears to me, to be an unnatural act. Let’s go a bit further. So by the way, I read a post on Twitter yesterday, it said; in a situation where man holds a woman at gunpoint and rapes her. The gun, will leave that situation with more rights than either human in America.

I started reviewing some of the implications, America’s federal law offers new mothers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to have a child, the 12 weeks isn’t a guarantee, the individual has to have met certain employment criteria to be eligible. paediatric healthcare isn’t free. And what happens to children under the age of 18, who become pregnant while at school? What are the implications on people’s choices about which states they want to live in?

What will be the potential impact on crime, mental health and schooling in those states over the next 18 years, and then the neighbouring states as well? How many will be lost to medical procedures being done poorly, there’s much to think about and navigate as America moves through these waters. But we also have to reflect on how this decision implicates the rest of us around the world. This is a human right conversation.

And if we’re not having it, we’re not thinking about the bigger picture of what implicates our children into the future. So these are important debates to have, even if we’re going to struggle on the conclusion. Becoming a parent has major implications for sustainability. And this is where I’m going to get into a lot of trouble and I expect the maximum amount of pushback and debate from you. Parenting appears to change people. I can’t speak from personal experience only anecdotal, and based on observation, but parents can become so consumed by the immediate and sustained well being of their children, they can lose sight of the system as a whole.

This point is most clear when it comes to education, in richer countries. Parents with more means move to locations with reputable schools, crowding out parents with less means. The biases in the education system creates a ripple effect on housing, healthcare, and other public services. As such, parents can become numb to fixing these issues, and keen to ensure advantages for their offspring.

Then there’s a topic of wealth now versus wealth in the future. The accumulation of wealth, generational wealth, if you want to call it that, and the impact of compounding on wealth, have all contributed to the global inequality we see in the world today. Generational wealth sustains and exacerbates global poverty levels. Generational wealth is a factor of how we choose to parent and provide. The other sustainability concerns are these: high birth rates lead to rapid population growth and population growth leads to more sales.

This is assuming we have the resource capacity to maintain this level of growth. But we already know that we do not. If everyone on the planet ate and purchased in the same way that rich countries do, we are headed for a global ecosystem collapse. We are probably headed there anyway. It therefore seems to me that a bigger concern for us right now is to evaluate our understanding about life, and aim to preserve the delicate balance required with nature.

 I don’t see how forced parenthood addresses any of our really pressing concerns about how we’re going to get out of the century alive. We’re going to be having many more debates of this nature in the coming years, as scientific facts come face to face with religion, morality, and ethics. And we’re accumulating more of these scientific facts all the time, I want to urge you to stay in the debate by writing to me on LinkedIn, or joining one of my communities to share your views and join the conversation. These are important things to discuss. So let’s have that debate.

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