I was totally going to talk about Trump today. But that particular little slice of news isn’t going to go anywhere soon so I reckon I’ve got time to wait to chuck in my two cents. I could even have broadened my horizons and tried to understand the ramifications of the Catalonia independence situation. Instead, I have been made angry by Facebook and feel the need to address what’s going on.
I am steadfastly, unwaveringly pro-choice when it comes to abortion. For a while now, I’ve been relatively certain that if I did find myself unexpectedly pregnant, I wouldn’t choose to terminate. But I’m in a privileged position: stable job, living with a supportive partner and with enough savings in hand to support an unplanned baby. Many aren’t. And also, my personal reaction to a particular circumstance has nothing to do with anything.
Anyway, a post popped up in my newsfeed. A valiant man had taken it upon himself to speak up for millions of aborted children and decided to post up a load of statistics about abortion rates: the number of abortions since 1967, legal grounds sited, terminations carried out past arbitrary time points in pregnancies and so on. That was it, the limited about of commentary was limited to his compassion for women who have had abortions and are ‘wracked with guilt because of it’.
Since he’d decided to speak for the unborn, I feel that much more qualified to speak for women. Spare us your shit! He wasn’t campaigning for improvements in sex education or access to birth control – measures that would definitely reduce the numbers of unintended pregnancies. Or how about cheaper childcare or better opportunities for mothers in the workplace? These would remove obstacles some feel stand in the way of parenthood.
Then there are those detailed descriptions of later term abortions. These are especially cruel. In a lot of these cases, women who terminate at a later stage of pregnancy desperately want their babies but have discovered something that has gone wrong in utero and have made an incredibly difficult decision. They, just as much as any other woman who has decided not to continue with a pregnancy, do not deserve someone brandishing statistics at them to make them feel badly about their life decisions.
Some people don’t agree with abortion on religious grounds or ethical arguments they’ve reached. Fine, don’t have one. But stay out of my reproductive organs and out of anyone else’s. There will always be anecdotal evidence you can find to back up any argument. There might well be women who ill-advisedly treat abortion as very late contraception. However, they are not the majority. Accidents happen, methods of contraception fail and some people just don’t want to be parents.
There are no easy answers, if there were, these topics wouldn’t be up for debate. Someone’s always going to be unhappy if an outcome doesn’t gel precisely with their particular world view. But better is always good. If you want fewer abortions to happen, great, there are ways to go after this aim that are a lot more constructive than beating people with out of date studies about suicide rates.
I know it’s rich of me to lecture people to get off their pedestals and actually do something but I’m angry and words are how I deal with things. I’m not saying that someone’s gender precludes them from a discussion, men can be sensitive to issues too but this made me viscerally angry. Especially the faux-sympathy. Spare me.
Say no to this – Hamilton