I have very conflicting views about this. On one hand, the 1% of maternal instinct in me wants to give a voice to the unborn child who cannot defend their right to life. On the other, I know how difficult pregnancy was for more mum who planned my sister and I with names picked out years before we were born: I don’t want to think how difficult it must be for the teenager who’s plans were to go to Uni in a few months; the woman who’s being abused by her partner or the women who’s happily married and just doesn’t want kids.
This is a very controversial topic and one that, I feel, men should not not be allowed to debate in government. It’s a woman’s body which changes. A woman who carries the baby and brings it into the world. Whilst I do believe that as long as the father is known and not abusive, he should have as much say in the choice to have the baby as the mother (after all, he may want to be a father and may want to raise the child even if the mother doesn’t); men should not be deciding if abortion should be illegal or not. This is a discussion for women.
Personally, I don’t think I could never go through with an abortion but then, ask me again once I was raped after a night out with friends or I find out that my baby is dying as I try and carry it to full term and so abortion would be the kindest thing to do for it. Whilst I do feel this way, I so fully believe that every woman or couple should have the right to choose whether or not to have the baby. There are a number of reasons from the basic “I don’t want a baby/ get pregnant” and “we want a baby but we can’t afford it” to the extremes or rape and abuse. Therefore, I am pro-choice, even if this is more of an American debate than UK one.
To me, abortion is murder and if you don’t want a child then you should give it up for adoption so they can be raised in a loving home. However, this is not possible or the situation for everyone and there need to be safe alternatives instead of the butcher, backstreet options there are so that one day, if the woman chooses, she may be able to have a baby later in life.
The pro-life campaigners have some shit ideas. “Use protection” seems to be a popular one. Let’s get this clear, most people are using protection. Protection is not 100% effective. Condoms alone are only 98% effective and oral contraceptives for women (such as the pill) have some severe side effects. Also, the Catholic church is leading a big anti abortion campaign… Hey, aren’t you the guys telling people not to use protection? Another popular argument is “it’s a gift and a blessing from God”. What if you’re not religious? ” You should plan your pregnancies”. I tried to look up the percentage, but in 2013 over 60 cases of abortions were due to the discovery that the baby had some illness. There were also a number of cases where the abortion was due to the mother becoming very ill. Some abortions were originally planned pregnancies.
What I’m trying to show is that just because we are allowed abortion does not mean that every single woman will be having an one. Only 37% of abortions in 2013 were for women who had previously already had one or more: there could be several reasons why women could need to have more than one in their life, let’s not judge. It doesn’t mean that suddenly hundreds of babies are going to die, it just means that a woman is protected if she were to unexpectedly get pregnant and for whatever reason she can’t have the baby.
Despite this, one way we can reduce the number of abortions across the world is fight for women’s rights to learn about contraception. We can push for our governments to have a better sex education so that it is compulsory for schools to fully explain to their students how to use all forms of contraceptives effectively along with the duffernet methods before the majority of pupils become sexually acctive.
This issue seems easy to answer but it isn’t. We need a better sex education and to be more informed about the dangers of unprotected sex but also, women need to feel that there is the option for termination if the contraceptives fail or there are extreme circumstances.
One thing I have learnt in politics lessons over this year is that everything comes down to circumstances. For instance Tony Blair was a good PM when Diana died but when America asked us to go to the Middle East to defend ‘the people’s freedom’ *cough* oil *cough* , he bacame a bad one (I realise that’s a completely different rant that I will one day get round to). Likewise, whether a woman keeps the baby or not is down to her personal circumstances.
Abortion is a right every woman should have access to.