Exploring Approach 1: My choice, my right

S Simon Public Seen by 149

According to people who support Approach 1, mothers/parents should be able to make their own decisions about reproduction.

Please focus you posts on the questions:

  • What could be some of the intended and unintended costs & consequences of doing what this approach suggests?

  • What are the tensions or conflicts we would have to work through for this Approach to be successfully implemented?

Also feel free to note additional things that a supporter might value in your posts.

In addition to responding to the focus questions, where possible give reasons for what you say and also please respond to / query / build on other people’s posts.

We’ll work on exploring approach 1 until 9.30am, Wednesday 20th. After that, each subgroup will explore a different approach and, on Friday, will start our search for common ground on what policy actions we might recommend as a group.


Simon Mon 18 Nov 2019 11:28AM

Summary: Things that are valuable to people who support Approach 1

Listed below are the points you recorded while discussing Approach 1: My choice, my right at the EGOV503 face-to-face workshop on 11 November. Points made at the table groups have been consolidated into a single list. Feel free to note additional things that a supporter might value in your posts today or to comment on or ask questions about what was meant by any of the points.

  • My body is my authority

  • Empowering individuals

  • ‘Right to choose’ - consult who you want, state doesn’t interfere, act on your own values

  • Pro choice/freedom of choice

  • Freedom to choose & be responsible

  • Freedom for the mother/parents to make the choice whether or not to accept the additional burden

  • Having the right information to make a decision

  • Better plan for the future

  • Child as extension of the mother/whānau

  • To avoid suffering

  • Wider impacts on healther matters

  • Neutral choice


Simon Mon 18 Nov 2019 11:29AM

What could be some of the intended and unintended costs & consequences of doing what this approach suggests?


Josie Nafatali Wed 20 Nov 2019 8:39AM

Some unintended costs and consequences could include:

  • immediate and future sense of regret or loss for making a decision based on the provision or lack of knowledge at the time of the pre-birth testing.

  • societal pressures and stress caused taking a particular stance in terms of having the 'right to choose'.

  • Other health conditions could present itself for the unborn child that is not captured in the pre-birth testing, which creates other challenges and barriers for the mother and child once born.

Some intended costs and consequences could include:

  • women and families making informed decisions which in turn will enable the right support to be arranged based on decision made.

  • women can plan for future activities based on knowledge from pre-birth testing. Plan will help inform investment required to facilitate appropriate activities to occur.


Simon Mon 18 Nov 2019 11:30AM

What are the tensions or conflicts we would have to work through for this Approach to be successfully implemented?


Wendy Nguyen Tue 19 Nov 2019 4:25AM

In my perspective, I agree that the citizens have their own choices to decide what they want to do. They can choose to do the pre-birth test or not, they also can have variable choices after that. However, the question is how they can have adequate value information to make better decisions that may bring more potential benefits for their family and the society as their children, their family is connected closely to the other aspects in the society.

Another perspective, I think that this decision although belongs to each individual but also affects the future of a society or a nation. A healthy young generation also means a healthy future nation. Therefore, the government should provide adequate information that the citizens could base on to make their own decisions.

I believe that citizens that have a different religion or belong to a different indigenous group, a different culture will have different perspectives when they consider this issue. My priority approach is the government needs to provide enough infrastructure, capability, and information for its citizens to make better decisions by themselves.


Beth Hampton Tue 19 Nov 2019 4:39AM

Great points Wendy -- building on what you've said, and a further complication to work through (to consider a rather niche angle!), I wonder what would happen in terms of legal liability if it turned out that people made decisions on information provided by the Government/competent authority that later turned out to be wrong?


Josie Nafatali Wed 20 Nov 2019 9:01AM

This is a really fascinating point you raise @Beth Hampton where decisions set by government influence legislation which in turn i out years might not achieve the intended social outcomes they had predicted or planned for.

Making decisions, with the limited information at a point in time for elected government officials, where it involves the lives of private citizens on such a topic as this is difficult.

Where shall the line be drawn and how much of the cost and impact should be carried by the private citizen and the government?


Tasha Waris Mon 18 Nov 2019 8:55PM

This perspective believes that individuals should have full rights on their body, especially when it comes to pregnancy. An intended consequence of doing this approach is the feeling of freedom and satisfaction of pregnant women (and her family) to have maximum control over their bodies. As they are given full authority to make a decision, they should be more responsible and commit to what they have decided. Another benefit is government efficiency. As individuals decide on what best for them based on their own consideration and belief, the government does not have to allocate certain budgets to cover pre-birth testing costs.

However, in my view, individuals do not always know what's best for them, especially in an under pressure condition, for instance: after knowing their babies condition in the womb are physically and mentally unhealthy. They might want to keep carrying them due to emotional feeling and put aside future consequences, which not only impact on their family but also society as a whole. Or in vice versa, in which the babies are healthy but the parents are not ready to have them, hence they want to do the abortion. Therefore, I think government intervention is still needed to regulate this matter.

Additionally, by giving the freedom it is unlikely that the government will subsidize the cost for the tests, and I think this is unfair cause many women still cannot afford the tests. This situation at the end might lead to an unstable social condition, such as protests. 

If in the future we want to implement this approach, some tensions would be related to social, religious and cultural values which believe that babies are sacred. They are given by God(s) and not even a single human being has a right to destroy them. The debate over this view would be very long, and a clear, robust, and based-on-evidence argumentation is needed to offer that view different perspectives in seeing reality.


Achsani Taqwim Tue 19 Nov 2019 10:56AM

I agree with the points raised by @Tasha Waris. everyone can do what she wants for her body (it means having the right to his own body). However, just having the right does not mean you can do anything to your body. For example, if it is known that having a baby can be risky for the mother, then the mother should have an abortion. However, this is also still considered difficult, because usually, the mother's attachment with the prospective baby is very strong, moreover, the baby has been long-awaited. This irrationality should be able to be intervened by the government, but with the condition that the policy will also accommodate the norms and values ​​of tradition and religion. therefore in making this policy religious leaders and traditional leaders should also be involved to get a different perspective.

For example, if this is carried out in Aceh, Indonesia, then pre-birth testing must be carried out as early as possible and if indeed the prospective baby has to be aborted, an abortion can be performed before the womb is four months old, of course, with medical reasons. This is done considering that in Aceh's tradition which is thick with Islamic law, abortion should only be done if pregnancy can endanger the mother and must be done before the age of four months of pregnancy.


Josie Nafatali Thu 21 Nov 2019 7:49AM

@Tasha Waris the point you raise that "individuals do not always know what's best for them" is a very interesting point because the assessment and determination of when an individual has the ability to fully understand and make informed decisions for themselves is often referenced by others. The question I have is "At what point do we determine who should make decisions "in the best interest of the individual?".

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