Abortion… What is not talked about…

Pro-life and pro-choice are two terms I had not heard about before I moved to New York in 2008 from Holland. The reason behind my ignorance was perhaps the fact that in Europe nobody talks about if abortion should be allowed or banned, which used to be a hot conversation topic a few generations ago.

In fact, Iceland, Sweden, and Turkey are one step ahead as far as abortion is concerned and they disallow medical professionals to conscientiously object to abortion. In other words, in those countries, if you choose to become a doctor or nurse, you must know that performing abortions will be in your job description.

Political Debate

When there is a political debate on abortion, as in the US, it is easy to lose oversight over what is actually talked about. Abortion, the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus, is undesirable. Not only its psychological impact on women is comparable to miscarriage but also it has its risks, including lowering the chances of a woman becoming a mother in the future.

For example, a friend of mine had an abortion twenty years ago. To this day, she feels guilty about it. What she regrets is not that she had an abortion; yet she says if she could turn back time, she would do the same. What she regrets is having put herself in a position where she had to have one. She says when a woman gets pregnant, her body’s chemistry changes in order to prepare her for motherhood, and with abortion [or miscarriage] this process is abruptly cut, from which it takes a lot of time to recover.

Pro-life is untenable

Prisoning criminals and throwing away the key to stay safe, and banning abortion to prevent it are both ignorant, tried and failed, and lazy solutions to the social problems of many theists in the US. Everything in their mind is black and white and they want to invent the wheel repeatedly without checking if it was already invented in the past or elsewhere.

Making abortion impossible for women or straight out banning it does not work. It did not work in the past in the US, it did not work in Europe, and it will not work today anywhere. One must live with this fact and find intelligent solutions to the problem.

To prevent crime, you tackle the social factors that increase the crime rate, to prevent abortion you must determine what causes unwanted pregnancies.

Banning alcohol did not make alcohol disappear, it created underground businesses to provide alcohol. Abortion is no different.

The request for termination of an unplanned pregnancy is evidence of a lack of knowledge of contraception, failure to use an effective method or failure of the methods. Good family planning seeks to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and evidence suggests that abortion rates are lowest in those countries with a comprehensive system of sex education and contraceptive services.

In conclusion, “pro-life” is untenable. Those who identify themselves as pro-life must come to terms with the fact that abortion is here to stay. Yet, “pro-choice”, on its own, does not mean much unless you invest in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and avoidance of abortions by eliminating causes, where possible.

One comment

  1. I think the cause of unwanted pregnancies is too much irresponsible sex. Our society absolutely promotes sex, which results in the conception of babies. Mind you, I think more people should be ready to welcome a baby. Then the baby wouldn’t be unwanted and the sex wouldn’t be so irresponsible. I think another problem is that people want to have the perfect family structure. This is promoted everywhere: two or three kids, perfectly spaced. Watch a commercial about a family, and that is what it looks like. What happens when babies don’t come perfectly spaced? Many married mothers have abortions.

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