View this post on Instagram
The recent reopening of the abortion debate has all sides fired up.
Pro-Choice and Pro-Life. Pro-Choice being the woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. Pro-Life being no abortions, full stop.
I am a woman, and I have two adult kids: one female and one male. I have never been in the position to need or want an abortion, but let me make this crystal clear: I am pro-choice because nobody, and I mean nobody, has the right to dictate what another does with their body.
My daughter is currently pregnant with a high-risk pregnancy, and if she had chosen to abort due to the risks, I would have supported her. And before anyone chooses to judge and question, let me save you the trouble. My daughter is in a committed relationship. She has never been able to use contraception as she suffers terrible depression on any hormonal birth control, and she was told it was highly unlikely she would ever fall pregnant due to polycystic ovaries. So this was unexpected.
There are women all around the world just like my daughter who don’t have the support she has. There are women all over the world with varying reasons who make the difficult choice to abort, and the last thing they need is condemnation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I have to question, are those with the strong pro-life view really pro-life or pro-pregnancy and birth? I ask this because pro-life to me would mean you are willing to support a pregnant woman who is alone. Pro-life to me would mean you willingly contribute financially to these mothers and babies if born. Pro-life to me would mean there would be no children in foster care. Pro-life to me means helping a pregnant woman with health risks. Pro-life to me means protecting women who are in violent relationships. Pro-life to me would mean all men take responsibility for any children who are theirs. Pro-life to me means you are willing to take action (and I don’t mean protest, but real action) toward helping all these women throughout their pregnancies, and it wouldn’t stop there…no! You commit to also helping raise these children.
Again, I ask, are you actually pro-life, or just pro-pregnancy and birth?
You see, it’s nice to have your beliefs, but unless you are prepared to improve the situation, you have no right to tell someone else what to do. I volunteer for a crisis phone line, and our training is intense and is strongly geared toward self-awareness, challenging our own beliefs and non-judgement. We can never know what another is going through in their life or what’s in their head.
Let’s for a moment look at this from a different angle. Let’s look at all the children born without the safe option to abort. Let’s have a realistic look at the possible outcomes because I will guarantee the pro-lifers do not give a thought to any of the babies once they are actually born.
Was born into domestic abuse. His mum, Jessie, was repeatedly raped by his dad. She couldn’t escape the situation, as he threatened to kill her. Johnny entered the world and Jessie did her best to protect him, but by the age of two, Johnny was already being verbally and physically abused. By the time Johnny started school, he was already showing signs of aggression. The cycle continued.
Who is going to save Johnny?
Was born into poverty. Her mother did the bare minimum to look after her. She felt unseen, unheard, and unloved. She was bullied at school for “being poor” and, by 15, was doing drugs and pregnant herself. The cycle continues.
Who cares and is looking out for Chloe?
Was born with birth defects and given up for adoption as her mother didn’t have the mental capacity or financial means to look after her. Nobody adopted Davina, so she bounced around the foster care system, feeling alone and unloved. She was sexually abused before she turned 13 and ended her own life before she turned 17.
Who was there for Davina in her short and painful life?
Was the result of rape. His mum was walking home one afternoon and was brutally raped. She wanted so desperately to love Billy, but all she saw when she looked at him was her rapist. Billy grew up feeling lost and resented. He started drinking to escape his pain.
Who is going to support Billy?
Would learn at a young age that her mum died giving birth to her. Her dad did the best he could, but Tasha felt so much guilt and shame, as she felt responsible for her mother’s death. Her mother had a disease that made pregnancy risky, and unfortunately, whilst Tasha survived, her mother didn’t.
Who has supported and cared for Tasha and her father?
Was born to a mother with a drug dependency. She had a myriad of men in and out of her life and home, and Matt suffered greatly. He was abused, and as he grew up, he abused others. At the age of 19, he raped and killed a young woman. He was killed in prison.
Who was there to ensure Matt was protected? Who was there to ensure Matt received help and treatment when he started to go off the rails?
Nobody was there for these kids. Why? Because nobody bloody cares what happens after they are born, as long as they are born. How completely f*cked up is that?
For every happy story there is one of tragedy. This issue is not black or white and has so many shades of grey. We all have our beliefs, but our beliefs cannot and should not impact what another does with their body.
With the number of kids in foster care, the number of kids abused, the number of kids living in poverty, how can anyone say they are pro-life without being part of the solution? Are we really suggesting that it’s okay for kids to be in foster care, abused and living in poverty, as long as no foetus is aborted? Are we really suggesting that it’s okay for a child to be born into traumatic and abusive situations because at least they were born? Are we really suggesting that it’s okay to demonise women and force them into having an unwanted child because it’s not our concern, or our responsibility, to care or worry about that child once it’s born?
Are we really suggesting that we have the right to expect a woman to give birth no matter the risks; no matter the possibility of abuse; no matter the ability to raise the child; no matter the financial situation; no matter the physical or mental health of the woman, no matter how that woman fell pregnant? But after the child is born we give absolutely no f*cks because we don’t even know the woman? Is that what we are suggesting?
We do not live in a perfect world, and your life and situation will differ greatly to many. Religion, privilege, and beliefs have no place in these decisions. What you think women should or should not be doing is really not your concern because you have control over one person in this life: yourself.
If you are so concerned about abortion, by all means offer to raise one of the thousands of kids in foster care or maybe you could pay the medical bills for a high-risk pregnancy? Perhaps you could provide professional mental health support for a desperate woman in need? What about housing a pregnant woman who is in an abusive relationship? What about crusading to educate young men that no means no and there is never an excuse for rape? What about working to change the laws so rapists are punished appropriately?
These things are not your responsibility, are they? Not relevant to you, no? Then your beliefs and your opinions have no relevance here either.