The subject of feminist issues has been in the press the last while for a number of reasons. Changes to the law on birth control and abortion are two of the big ones that have dominated our news feeds recently as everyone goes head first into battle for a war that cannot be won. For me, it’s a sticky issue because I consider myself a feminist but I’m anti-abortion.
My first understanding of pregnancy came about when I was off school sick one day and my mum was watching one of those daytime movies that was supposed to deal with real issues. This movie was about a dentist who raped his female patients after he had sedated them for dental work. Three of his patients fell pregnant and reacted in different ways. One was so upset over it all she killed herself, another had an abortion, and the last put the baby up for adoption after she had the dentist convicted of rape. There was a lot of over-acting throughout the movie and my mother cursed repeatedly at the tv as I attempted to follow along between vomit attacks of my stomach bug. She had to sit and explain what was happening most of the time as well as giving her own opinion of the situation. Little did she know, this bad movie would shape my views on sex, pregnancy, and abortion for the rest of my life.
So, back to modern day me and my current views. For me being a feminist starts with taking control of my life. Everything in my life is there because I choose it to be there. All of my actions, I choose them, so whatever they are, I must also take responsibility for them. There’s a thought. I see a lot of feminists say that they are fighting for our right to choose, but none that say anything about taking responsibility for those choices. When you get into bed with someone there will be consequences. If you choose to sleep with a married man, you may break up a family. If you cheat on your partner, you could break their heart. And if you are two single people coming together for a night of fun, even with protection, you may get pregnant. The simple fact is if you have sex you could get pregnant. The purpose of sex is to make babies. Yes, it’s fun, but it’s still about baby making.
Take this for an example- I once knew a girl who cheated on her boyfriend with a married man. It went on for a few months until the wife caught them after getting a tip from someone. The boyfriend was quick to find out and he dumped my friend. The husband begged his wife to let him come home and she did. Around a month later my friend found out that she was pregnant, and I’ll give you three guesses who the baby daddy was. Yep, the married man. She tried to convince her ex-boyfriend to take her back but he was having none of it. So she went and told the married man. He wanted nothing to do with her either, but when the wife found out, she threw her husband out again. By this stage it was too late for an abortion, so she spent the rest of her pregnancy drinking and being “very accident prone”. In the end, she put the baby up for adoption because he was slightly brain damaged and she couldn’t handle having a disabled child. If you were to ask her about it now, she gives you a dirty look and bites your head off for bringing it up. Needless to say, she’s not my friend anymore. The point of that story is this, two people came together and had sex, and a pregnancy came out of it. Even if the pregnancy had been terminated, there is still a whole load of other stuff that couldn’t be fixed. And that is how I feel about the way abortion is being marketed, as a solution for a woman’s lack of responsibility for her actions. Unwanted pregnancy? Just abort it. Or that is how pro-life campaigners make it seem and it has been shoved down our throats.
Rape and medical issues are the only time that I agree with abortion. If a woman is at risk and the pregnancy could kill her, by all means, terminate the pregnancy before it goes wrong. If a woman is raped then she should not be subjected to carrying her rapists baby. Actually, I believe the first port of call in a rape is to make sure the victim gets the morning after pill to ensure that there is no pregnancy rather than her having to suffer an abortion a few weeks down the line, but that’s just me. But the difference in these cases is that there are circumstances out of a woman’s control. Someone who has consensual sex and falls pregnant with a healthy baby needs to face the responsibility of their actions, not get an abortion because it’s a convenient answer to the problem.
Ladies, we need to face our responsibilities. It’s a tough one, I know. But let me leave you with this final thought, we cannot continue to hide behind abortion as an excuse for being irresponsible. We may have sexual freedom and choices but having an abortion is not the answer to everything. If we continue to be sexually irresponsible we will face so many other problems including STI’s. I am pro-life because I feel that it is time we faced those responsibilities whether we like them or not. But the problem with this point of view is that it limits the options for other women. It is my choice to be pro-life, but I would never want to remove the choice for other women. Although it is something that I wouldn’t do, I would not want to remove the choice from other women. And this is the beautiful thing about being pro-choice, just because you would choose not to have an abortion, doesn’t mean that you would strip that choice from other women. Despite having a very pro-life opinion on abortion, I would never want to remove the choice from other women and I will always fight in the pro-life corner of the debate.