This post is something I’ve been considering for several weeks. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted my blog to be a political platform, but then I remembered that I’ve always seen it as a personal one and, following that logic, it should be whatever I need it to be. Realistically, I see this more as a human issue than a political one however, because the States we live in like to govern our bodies, it is both.
I’ve held a strong and consistent opinion on this issue for a long time. I don’t remember when I first became aware of the general concept, but I clearly remember my first discussion about it. I was about 14 when I had a conversation with my then-close group of girl friends and we exchanged opinions on abortion. We saw the world in a very black and white way at the time, and we thought we had life all figured out and planned from our future weddings to childbirths and funerals. Being from a particular socio-economic background, we all agreed absolutely that we’d go to university, have high-flying careers which we’d team seamlessly with raising a family… when we were good and ready. The universal opinion was that, were contraception to fail us prior to our respective graduations, we’d make a beeline for the nearest abortion clinic and postpone motherhood for a while longer.
In the half-a-lifetime since then, I have learned that there are far more than 50 shades of grey, but that no matter the circumstance, I support a woman’s – and couple’s – right to choose. Whether a couple have been unlucky or negligent, they should have that option. Whether a woman chose to have unprotected sex or was forced into it, she has the right to safe and affordable treatment. Whether a woman is single, in a relationship, married or divorced, no government should be able to prevent her from making an informed decision on her own terms. Why? Because we are human, we make mistakes. But this mistake should not cost us a lifetime, our mental or physical health, or a sum we cannot afford.
All of those things are at stake. One of the mistaken beliefs held by pro-lifers is that an unborn life comes first. I find that incredibly disrespectful of the woman who already exists. It persecutes her. It puts her in a position of irrelevance, something which is far from the truth. Blocking access to safe treatment increases the emotional and physical danger a woman could already be in and, if you truly value all human life, surely that should be a consideration?
When I consider medical procedures and why a person might set out with the desire to undergo something, I can’t imagine abortion ever being on a wishlist. I don’t want to have laser eye surgery or a gastric bypass, but I can understand why another person would. Equally, I don’t want to have a termination, but I can see several situations where I would understand my own or someone else’s need to have one. And that’s the crux: this isn’t about desire, it’s about need. Health and safety are basic human needs, and to prevent those is anti-humanist.
If you are pro-life, then by all means hold on to that belief. But please don’t stand in the way of something that another human being needs. Would you deny that person a safe place to live? Or a supply of clean water? This isn’t about blocking a cosmetic procedure, and it’s far from always the case that they were simply careless in a moment of hedonism. This could be your friend, your colleague, your sister. Consider her needs.