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The Abortion debate

I am beginning to wonder if the debate around abortion should be limited to those who have actually been pregnant.

It seems to me that there are an awful lot of people out there who are quite happy to sound off on the issue but who have absolutely no experience of either pregnancy or abortion.

My views on abortion have changed after my pregnancies.  Prior to getting pregnant I have a fairly typical middle class liberal view that I’d probably not want to have a child if I did get pregnant before I (and / or the father) was able to provide for its future.  At some point in my twenties I realised that I’d got to that point and that I either needed to be careful with my contraception or accept the risks I was taking because it no longer felt right to abort purely for lifestyle reasons.

Abortion to terminate a pregnancy conceived through violence or that was medically unsafe was much safer ground to me – why would you put a woman through that pregnancy?

Having now been pregnant, having had to live through two pregnancies, neither of which were particularly pleasant my views on abortion have become far clearer – how can you force a woman to stay pregnant if she doesn’t want to be?  How can you make her endure all that being pregnant means?

It’s all very well for some to mourn the loss of babies and the children they might have subsequently had but it is very easy to say ‘it’s only 9 months’ when it isn’t your body that is being used to nurture that pregnancy.
I spent months vomiting up everything I ate and drank with Littler – I can only imagine the mental torture of doing that for an unwanted baby.  I had 4 and a half months of bedrest to try and keep Littler – imagine doing that for an unwanted baby.  Even worse, imagine not wanting to do that for your unborn baby, in hoping that this might be the way that you can terminate the pregnancy and then that a court rules that you must comply with the doctors’ instructions on bed rest.

The decision to submit yourself to pregnancy and birth surely has to ultimately be that of the woman who will have to undergo it.  Yes, the father has a right to be involved in the decision, to advocate for his view.  Yes there should be debate and discussion about the timescales within which abortions should happen. 

But ultimately in my view, women themselves, especially those who have been through the huge physical changes that pregnancy engenders, have the right to tell those who have no idea what a pregnancy does to your body to leave the debate to those in the know.

Sometimes you have to have walked the path to truly understand the challenges on it.  Ultimately it is the woman’s body and she has the final say in what happens to it.

What do you think?

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12 comments to The Abortion debate

  • Well said and I completely agree

    I used to be against it (apart from in extreme circumstances) but I have two kids now and as you said I know what pregnancy is all about

  • I had an abortion at the age of 16. I regreted to decision and was racked with guilt for years. Until I had my son. I am now with a different person and he is a fantastic father. The guy I was with at the time of the abortion was horrid. He never helped me through the abortion experience so I dread to think what he would have been like through pregnancy and a father. He emotionally abused for years. He made be believe I was worthless and he was God. I decided to have an abortion at the time due to being in college, not having a job or anyway of supporting our child. I didn’t want to go onto benefits and I wanted to offer more for my children.

    I know feel completely at ease with the decision. I have experienced abortion, miscarriage, a healthy pregnancy and being a mum. I can safely say I have a right to mourn for my child I aborted as much as my child I miscarried. Abortion is no one elses business except the people who make the decision. It is a tough decision and horrific experience. I think ‘debating’ about it can be quite disrepectful.

    • Apologies if you thought it was disrespectful – what I wanted to explore was how I had found my views had changed after experiencing pregnancy and I was more pro-choice as a mother rather than less (which seems to be the expected outcome) – for me the experience of a pregnancy and fighting to keep a baby has reinforced how right it is that women can choose to terminate a pregnancy

  • Gosh, i have a post about this waiting in my drafts until the right moment. But i have a very different view, also changed since having my children. I’m nervous about publishing it, but it seems you have now started the debate. And i find your points extremely interesting and valid. Watch this space.

    M2M

  • Think you’re right. Abortion is never an easy decision for anyone to make and I think somehow the mass out there (who have never have been pregnant) do not understand it is always taken seriously.

  • nikhknight

    This is something I feel incredibly strongly about. Once a woman is pregnant, whatever choice she makes from that point on requires a great deal of courage. To terminate a pregnancy is a sad decision that I’m sure no-one would want to make, but to continue with a pregnancy and all its attendant risks is by no means the easy option. Of course, this is all quite apart from the economic and political implications of restricting women’s access to abortion services. It has to remain ultimately the woman’s right to choose – anything less makes sexual equality impossible.

    • Totally agree – pregnancy and birth take an incredible toll on our bodies, to force someone to endure that when they don’t want to is incredibly cruel and unjust in my view. As you say it removes a degree of equality and makes us wombs on legs almost

  • I agree people should be allowed to make their own minds up. What would be my personal decision would not be what I’d wish to force on other people.

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