Choice

Earlier in the week I heard about this woman who had uploaded a video of her getting an abortion.

The woman in question, Emily Letts, actually works as an abortion counsellor in New Jersey and recently had an unplanned pregnancy with her boyfriend. Letts felt that she wasn’t ready to have children at the age of 25, and decided to terminate the pregnancy early.

The reason she filmed it was to provide what she called “a positive abortion story”. The video is only a couple of minutes long and has footage from the procedure as well as Letts discussing it before and after.

I think it’s an interesting story and will open up a debate and debunk some of the myths about abortion.

I’m pro-choice, I think that a woman should have the right to choose whether or not she goes through with the pregnancy. After all, it is their life that will be most effected by the baby, and they who will be responsible for the life if a child is born.

pro choice

And I gotta say, I kind of applaud Letts for uploading the video and her reasons for doing so. I’ve seen her referred to as “stupid” or as thought having an abortion is something she wants to make look “cool”. These people are missing the point, but I’m guessing that many of these comments come from pro-life writers, and that they’re beliefs on this are deeply entrenched.

I don’t think Emily is stupid, I don’t think she’s doing this to make it look cool, I think she is doing this to help and educate women who may find themselves in a similar situation. She just wants to show women that having an abortion isn’t this horrific ordeal that the pro-life faction want to make it out to be.

One of the key pro-life approaches appear to be guilt, they use emotionally charged terms like “murder” and “baby killing” to make the action feel more terrible and vicious than it is.

A fetus isn’t a baby.

In the early stages of pregnancy, it’s hard to see that as a person. Yet pro-lifers they will trot out that at certain ages it will already have developed fingernails or whatever, trying to make that tiny collection of cells and developing life seem like the cute kids you see crawling around the place. Do fingernails make a person?

And as for the “it’s a person from conception” argument, which I know some religious types go for as justifying opposing abortion can I ask one question? If there’s a higher power out there who cares so much about every conceived baby and makes each one their own unique little soul, why does He then have 10-20% of them never be born (and that’s from known pregnancies, who knows how many are over before they’re even known about?)

To describe the early fetus, that weird thing of developing cells a baby is emotional blackmail, and they back it up with fear. Stories of horrible abortion procedures, designed to make it appear grizzly, scarring and terrifying.

I’m not a naive idiot, I know that for some having an abortion will be something they regret later.

Some may even feel guilt, but I believe a large part of this is not down to their choice, but the way our society regards that choice. The woman who has the abortion is seen as meant to be tortured by this act for the rest of her life, which is just horrible. They’ve made a choice about their life, which I’m sure they’ve weighed up carefully and then they’re expected to feel bad about that? Hell no, they made the choice for their life and their situation, and either way, it’s there’s to make. It’s not for others to criticize their decision.

And I bet that in the world there are mothers who had kids who regret that decision. Deep down in places they don’t talk about at parties, they might wish that they’d been able to go another way and live their life differently.

The rest of the world is on the outside and whether a woman keeps her child or has an abortion all we should do is try and support that. If you see a single mother, or any mother, struggling to raise her kids because of where she is, or financial pressures, or whatever, you’d be a callous d**k to go up to her and tell her having a kid was a terrible decision, and similarly, if you find out a woman’s had an abortion and you give her grief for it, you’re the one in the wrong. You’re acting like a d**k and trying to impose your values on somebody else when it’s none of your business.

And the old favourite arguments get trotted out- “if she didn’t want kids she should have used protection”. Which is a harsh way of approaching things, you made one mistake or had a lapse in judgement, or just had bad luck, and suddenly you’ve got to live with those consequences for the rest of your life? You have to bring a child into the world and then raise it for 18 years, when there is a quick and safe way of remedying the situation? No matter how ill equipped or unprepared you are at the time?

They want to force a child to be born into a situation that might be problematic, to a mother who doesn’t want them or may be unable to care for them to what, prove a point? That’s just a grade A d**k move. We all make mistakes or have things work out in a way we didn’t plan, and in most situations we can fix them, but a woman isn’t allowed to negate an error when the stakes are even higher? Does that feel fair to anyone?

What especially annoys me is that a lot of the pro-life group, particularly across the pond, are the same who demonize unwed mothers and those on welfare? You’re going to force some lady to carry through a pregnancy that she’s wanted or ready for and then begrudge her when she needs help in raising the child she was forced to keep?

I’m proud that the UK has been offering safe, legal abortion since 1967. That we’ve respected women enough to give them the opportunity to shape their life, and not enforced the beliefs and morality of others on them, possibly to the detriment. Having abortion be illegal smacks of male law makers telling women what to do with their body and depriving them of the freedom to decide their futures. And that’s not cool.

Abortion has been made safer, ensuring the safety of the women who choose this procedure.

That’s another thing I read in comments, a guy commented on abortions saying that Letts’ made it look simple and then outlined all the things a medical journal listed as potential after effects, possibly not realizing that they were saying that some of these might happen to some women, not that every single abortion results in all of those symptoms. Yes, there may be health consequences for some, but that’s the same for a lot of procedures and medications, there are always possible side effects, should we stop them all because of that?

And the same commentator also outlined potential emotional effects. Again, I accept that some women will feel regret after, but a lot of the things they listed are effected by others- shame, guilt, loneliness and isolation, relationship issues- are not the result of the woman or the abortion, but how they’ll be treated afterwards. They have people telling them they’re a “baby killer” or “selfish” or an “idiot to have got into that situation” of course that’s going to have an effect.

If you’re pro-life then here’s what I’m going to say- if you get a baby, you have the choice to keep it, so keep it. If someone else gets pregnant how in the hell is it your business? Don’t be a dick and expect everybody to react to pregnancy in the same way, or be ready for it.

And if you’re a pro-life male, just remember that it’s easy to stand there and spout off that something is wrong when you’re never going to be in that situation or have to make that tough choice.

pro choice 2

I know I’ve wandered about the issue a bit, but in conclusion, I applaud Letts for her decision and hope that now that a more realistic image of abortion has been provided that women are better informed to make the right choice for their individual situation. Whatever decision they make it’s theirs to make, and the rest of the world should butt out, be supportive and not lay their own beliefs and values on them in an attempt to shame, intimidate or guilt trip them.

Anyway, here’s the video.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s