After the American Vice Presidential debate where one of the issues tabled was abortion, a great debate has raged on social media on the subject. With those who believe no woman should terminate a pregnancy (Pro-lifers) having intense clashes with those who believe that a woman has a choice to determine whether to keep a baby or not and should access to an abortion (Pro-Choicers). Here are my thoughts on the matter.
We can spend days arguing from the Pro-life or Pro-choice points of view, We can sermonise and point fingers or come to blows on the topic but it doesn’t matter, it’s all talk.
As I write this, a seventeen year old is walking into a chemist’s shop to “do flushing”. Another is inserting potash into her vagina while yet another is sitting with her legs opened wide while a clothes hanger is used to scrape her uterus. They will still be more who would take herbal concoctions and decoctions to do the job. It doesn’t really matter how, they will find a way.
Whether we like it or not, or if it conflicts with our beliefs and values, women will still take out embryos, foetuses or unborn children (depending on how you want to describe it). They will do it for many reasons, from the trivial to the grave and heavy.
Continuing to make abortions illegal will not, cannot stop the procedure from taking place, it only makes it more dangerous. If we are serious about stopping abortions we’d take sex education seriously and enforce it from primary to secondary school, enable access to free contraceptives to young people- yes even to teenagers (again they will do what they want regardless of how loudly you preach), establish a comprehensive welfare system that a young mother can rely on to get help for herself and her child because for all the talk Pro-lifers do, none of them will be there to help the countless young women who have to care for a child single handedly. If we could also stop the stigma on single mothers- especially with regards to marriage, that would halt many abortions.
I’ll say it again, women will terminate pregnancies whether we like it or not. You really can not stop any one from doing what she wants to do with her body no matter how immoral or heinous you think that action is. Let’s make the process safer, regardless of our distaste for it and our latent hypocrisy.