Abortion has for long been a controversial issue among many religious and ethnic communities. But to me, it is an issue of women’s rights.
Motherhood is an essential factor that shapes a woman’s life and forcing an unwanted pregnancy upon a young girl, or women of any age of that matter, can adversely effect the lives of not only the pregnant woman but also the father of the child. But pregnancy, in most cases, has a much higher affect on women.
“But she must pay for what she did! She should have known the consequences!”
I have heard so many people say this whenever the topic of abortion is carelessly tossed on the table and I take the side of pro-choice. This statement never ceases to enrage me. There are many reasons why this careless statement is digressive and in some parts, sexist:
First: Many women around the word (especially in third world countries) to not have access to modern health class (or any education for that matter). Many young girls in developing countries, and some in developed countries, do not have the privilege to attend health class where every about a healthy sexual lifestyle is detailed out to you. It is imperative that we spread awareness among young men and women about the consequences of unsafe sex.
Second: Men/boys are also responsible. There is no law in any country that states that the father is legally bound to stay with the mother through out her pregnancy and provide financial and emotional care as and when needed. If men have the privilege to just stand up leave during an unwanted pregnancy, women should have the same privilege too. Nobody should have to endure forced pregnancy. It is not only unhealthy for the parents, but also creates an unhealthy environment for the child to grow into.
Third: What about in the case of rape? This disgusting act, too can result in a pregnancy, and this is in no way a woman’s choice or fault. So unless you are one of those people who think that women who get harassed at are fault (I detest these people) then you will agree with me. I do know that most countries provide abortion to women who can conceived a pregnancy due to rape. But we shouldn’t stop at most countries. We shouldn’t stop until ALL countries realize this right.
Fourth: Maternal Health Issue. Some women cannot get pregnant. Having an unwanted pregnancy can be both externally and internally lethal. It can be fatal to a woman’s health as well lead to various mental disorders like postnatal and depression (these are two different things).
There is also the question of unsafe abortion. Due to unequal distribution of contraceptives and inadequate health facilities, women have to resort to unconventional and unhealthy ways to get an abortion. This kills millions of women worldwide.
Unsafe abortion can range from an unsafe combination of pills to getting an abortion at a clinic that has not been adequately financially funded by the government and thus cannot provide safe abortion facilities.
“I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” ~ Barack Obama.
I will respect you if you want to have a child and I will respect you if you want to have an abortion, because having an abortion is perfectly okay. If you think that abortion is not an ideal choice, then that’s okay. You don’t have to get an abortion. But don’t stop others from getting one.
No country can truly be free until all women have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies.