Today, I saw this Tweet by Planned Parenthood in Kentucky:
As always when you get a Tweet from Planned Parenthood, you get your usual cries of “baby-killers” etc.
And then you get these:
They are both narrow-minded and judgmental standpoints, and here’s why:
The idea that all abortion is “baby-killing” is ludicrous. That would be like saying that every sperm is sacred, because sperm carries the potential for millions of babies. Every egg that a woman walks around with without actively attempting to fertilise, oops! there goes another baby. And indeed, there are, and have been, people who see it that way:
The reason Monty Python mocked this standpoint is precisely because it is a stupid, ludicrous standpoint.
Likewise, the idea that babies conceived in incest, rape, or where the pregnant person is a minor, or with physical disabilities or mental disabilities that endanger them or the fetus, or with diseases or conditions that endanger them or the fetus etc…. The idea that those people should not have the right to abort is absolutely ridiculous. The idea that “saving the child” is actually saving the child is selfish and deluded. You would bring this child into a world they are not wanted, where they cannot be cared for properly, where from the get-go, they will have to fight with their every breath for joy, and a good life, and where their parent/parents face an equal struggle. The idea that there aren’t cases – plenty of cases – where abortion is the better option, is simply ridiculous, selfish, and narrow-minded. Please watch this video, and then tell me there aren’t cases:
I would also say (in my personal, non-medical opinion) there are some cases where abortion shouldn’t be an option: if the mother’s not a minor, and is of sound body and mind, and has originally wanted to keep the child, but suddenly changes her mind after week 24 (in the U.K at least, this is where they child might be able to be given a fighting chance outside the womb, with the proper medical support), then just carry that child for another 16 weeks, and give them up for adoption. You’ve already given it 24. If you really don’t want that child, and there is no medical reason for you to abort, then I think adoption is the way to go.
I have been incredibly lucky: I have never been faced with the choice. The one time I have been pregnant (that I know of) it has been through choice, and there wasn’t a second where I thought about not keeping that child. I hope to become pregnant again, and to get to keep that baby too. But not all people are so lucky. In the days after my daughter was born, we were seen by many midwives and health-visitors, to ensure the baby’s and my well-being. One of those midwives told me that she had had to abort: in week 20, they had discovered that she had cancer, which had spread to an alarming degree. Keeping the baby would have endangered her life, as she would not have been able to begin treatment. She already had a daughter at the time. The heart-break and disappointment was unimaginable, but what other choice did she have? If you tell me that she was a baby-killer and selfish, you are also telling me that our only responsibility is toward the gestating child, and once they come out, there is no responsibility. Because how could she choose her unborn child over her little girl? Risking her own life to bring another into the world, when they would both end up without a mother?
If you really care about saving children, save those that are already here, suffering from starvation, wars, trafficking, abuse, child labour and preventable diseases. Instead of fighting abortions, provide sexual education for young people, and there will be fewer abortions needed. Make sure contraceptives are freely available, and that people are educated on how to use them safely and efficiently (and how not to). Stop promoting abstinence: it just doesn’t work. “Hey, just don’t have sex!” really isn’t a solution: if it was, we would not have wide-spread STD’s, orphans, or indeed, abortions.
And to all those out there who say “no uterus, no opinion”: really? Really? So you think if we don’t have something, we don’t get to have a say? If you have no children, but you see someone hit their child in the street, you don’t get to intervene? If you have no pets, but you see someone feeding their dog chocolate, you don’t get to tell them it’s poisonous? If you don’t have a car, you don’t get to inform people about dangerous driving, or carbon emissions? I see plenty of women with strong opinions in the ongoing circumcision debate. But do I see the cry “no penis, no opinion”? No. So please stop. We are ALL entitled to opinions. You don’t have to listen. That’s what you’re entitled to. You can choose to ignore someone’s opinion based on their gender. It will make you sexist, so congrats, but you can choose to do that (men have done so for centuries, and now women are keen to reciprocate, apparently). But no, you don’t have to have a uterus to have an opinion about abortions. Aren’t roughly 50% of those fetuses male, anyway? So shouldn’t that in itself give men the go-ahead in the debate?
Abortion is difficult precisely because it isn’t a black-and-white issue. Humans appear to have big problems when there isn’t a clear line. We don’t like grey areas. But it is a grey area. I can’t at the moment see a point where it will stop being a grey area. But please try a little bit of empathy, a little bit of education, and a little bit of free speech. It will do you good.