June 7, 2021

A letter to the Anti-Abortion Protestors.

Dear Protestors,

You don’t know me, like you do not know the women whose lives you seek to alter, impact, affect, and control through your protests.

In my life, I’ve used various birth control measures, had both wanted and unwanted sexual encounters, planned and unplanned pregnancies, miscarriages, births, and an abortion—not in that order.

Without knowing my circumstances, you will now judge me, just as you judge, and seek to shame, all those whose rights you protest against.

Every woman facing this decision has deeply personal reasons for considering, or seeking an abortion, just as you have your own reasons for wanting to prevent her from doing so.

Would you feel differently had she been raped, or a victim of incest? If she were a drug addict, alcoholic, or suffering from a serious medical condition? Would you treat those women the same as someone whose birth control failed her, or who has decided that she is not financially, emotionally, or physically able to carry a pregnancy to term?

No one can understand what she feels, thinks, or has experienced, and why she is making this life-changing decision. Doing so, though, is her basic human right. The World Health Organisation acknowledges this:

 Every individual has the right to decide freely and responsibly—without discrimination, coercion, and violence—the number, spacing, and timing of their children, and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health (ICPD 1994).

Have you considered what happens when access to safe medical abortion is withdrawn?

Women seek an unsafe alternative—an abortion that could lead to immediate, and long-term health complications, including death. In fact, a study in 2014 found that between 4.7 percent and 13.2 percent of maternal deaths were a result of unsafe abortion.

Also, legal restrictions on abortion do not result in fewer taking place. According to the Guttmacher Institute who reported on a study published in the Lancet:

In countries that restrict abortion, the percentage of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion has increased during the past 30 years, from 36 percent in 1990–1994 to 50 percent in 2015–2019.

Surely it’s time to focus your attention on improving access to birth control, information, and sex and relationship education?

Every pregnancy planned or otherwise is caused by a man, or sperm-producing human being of any gender identity—yet every pregnancy is experienced by a woman (or womb-bearing individual). She is pregnant because he ejaculated inside her. However, she alone must decide whether to continue that pregnancy, or abort it.

Whilst there are exceptional cases where men are stimulated without their consent, and forced to have sex, this is rare. In the majority of instances, a pregnancy could have been avoided had the man chosen to use protection.

Instead of shaming women for having had a man ejaculate inside them, shouldn’t we teach men to be responsible for their actions? Couldn’t we educate adolescent males not to have sex without a condom, unless they want to have a baby with their partner?

Instead of protesting against abortion and women’s human rights, you can make a positive difference to millions of people around the world, through supporting the promotion of information about safe-sex, and by calling for global access to birth control, support, and medical care.

You are entitled to choose to never personally have an abortion, and I will respect your decision. Please respect mine.

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