Warning: This article will focus on abortion. Death and sex is mentioned and talked about. Please take care reading this article. Thank you.
The debate surrounding abortion has been ongoing for a long time. Even today, it is a prevalent topic, full of arguments. In fact, I saw at least three posts talking about abortion the other week. I always find it such an eye-opening subject – seeing how everyone reacts to the post, what they think, which side they support and how they put their opinion can tell you a lot about a person.
I will state this now: I am pro-choice. When I was younger, I vaguely remember being pro-life, but the more I learnt about pregnancies and abortion, the more I realized that I was, in fact, pro-choice. Even now, the more I learn about the human body, the world and the rules that govern the medical field, the more I realize that I am pro-choice. In this article I will show some arguments from the pro-life side that I have seen being used, and the counter arguments that I have regarding them.
“Abortion should not be legal at all!”
Point number one, you might not agree with abortion, but it will happen regardless. Even if abortion is illegal wherever you are, people will still conduct abortions. It is safer for there to be legal means of abortions rather than sketchy procedures, such as the person using a coat hanger to do so.
Point number two, let’s step away from abortion for a second and talk about the human body. Consider this: the Human Tissue Act 2004 (covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland, see Reference 1). I did a little digging and did you know that without your permission, no blood, tissue or organs can be taken out of your body, dead or alive? Even if a family member gave consent for your organs to be used after death, if you have stated beforehand that you do not want your organs to be used, then your decision that you made before your death overrules that of your family member. This is a phrase repeated throughout the act “… body of a deceased person for use … shall be lawful if done— (a)with appropriate consent”, meaning that CONSENT is a must in this. Also, imagine that you are the ONLY match for someone (let’s call them Lily) who needs an organ donated – a kidney for example. Lily will 100% die if you do not donate her a kidney. And yet, despite being the only match, you can refuse to donate Lily a kidney – even though she will die. In other words, even if it can result in a death of another, your right to your body, to your choices is far superior to saving a life.
What does this have to do with abortion? Well, you see, by refusing the person the right for an abortion, you are giving them fewer rights than that of a dead person.
“But wait, the child is alive in the womb! It is murder, you are killing a human child!”
Let’s consider the human fetus. While the average pregnancy can last from 37 to 42 weeks, it is only at 24 weeks (26 weeks gestation) that the brain and the nervous system develop. Before that, the fetus simply develops other parts of the body, but as it stands, before the 24th week (26th week gestation) – it does not have a developed brain or a nervous system. Due to this, abortion laws tend to only allow for abortion before the fetus reaches this stage, as it is logical to assume that brain activity signifies the beginning of the life. Most laws are drafted on the principle that if the fetus can survive outside the womb, then that’s the moment its life begins. Meaning that abortions only happen up to the 24th week of pregnancy or so!
For example, in the UK abortions are allowed to take place up to 24 weeks of pregnancy – at this point the brain and lungs are developing, but the skin is still translucent. The only abortions allowed after the 24 weeks are up are those of extenuating circumstances – such as there being a risk to the mother’s life, possibility of the child being born with a severe disability or if the fetus is dead. Still, they do their best to carry out abortions earlier than that as has been reported in abortion report 2016 in UK: “Ninety-two per cent of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation and 81% were carried out at under 10 weeks” (see Reference 2).
“Well, if you have sex you have to accept that pregnancy is a thing that will happen”
So what you are saying is that one should not have sex unless they are fully prepared to get pregnant? Pregnancy is not punishment for sex. PREGNANCY SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHMENT FOR SEX. Even if they did not use protection, pregnancy should not be punishment for wanting to enjoy sex. Also, there are people using condoms and other contraception, at times a combination and yet they still become pregnant.
Furthermore, there is a number of people who would love to be sterlised, to ensure that they would not be able to get pregnant. However, it is difficult for the person to get sterlised, especially if they are a young woman. But this is a topic for another article so let us move on.
“They could always give the child up for adoption”
Do you know how many adoptions occur? Did you know that from 72, 670 children in care in the UK from April 2016 to March 2017, only 4, 350 children were adopted (see Reference 3). This means that around 6% of children were adopted. Giving up a child for adoption means that they actually have a small chance of getting adopted – for reasons such as lack of people looking to adopt, the money needed to adopt, the long and strenuous process of adoption. Whatever the reasons, it stands that the child would not have a happy life in care, and the life they will have in care will lead to terrible mental health problems later on in life.
“I just don’t understand how someone could consider an abortion”
What you have to understand is that pregnancy is a very strenuous process. The pregnancy itself and then the few months after it are the most stressful, physically, emotionally and mentally draining months a person could experience. For the time they become pregnant, they cannot continue life as they did. The further along the pregnancy they are, the less control they have. No longer can they drink alcohol, move around the house comfortably or enjoy what they had before pregnancy. They get back pains and nausea, all the talk about pregnancy glow seem like a myth and they hate how they look. Pregnancy is not easy. It is terrifying, more so for others. Being forced to continue on with pregnancies can have terrible, long-lasting effects.
In fact, if you read up on some laws regarding abortions, a lot of it refers to the mental health of the pregnant party (see Reference 3, pages 7-8), an example “the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman”.
Money could also play a big factor. Having a child, taking care of them, feeding them, clothing them etc. costs money. Wanting the best for your child costs money. Nearly everything nowadays costs money. Bringing a child into the world where they can be hardly fed, would not have all the necessities is a cruel thing to do. And as mentioned before, adoption could not be the best option.
Anyways, this wraps the article up! Thank you so much for reading. I expect that not everyone will agree with what I wrote, but that’s fine – everyone is allowed their own opinion. I tried to back up my points with research. If you find any inconsistencies or if I got my facts wrong, feel free to message me (Wiktoria)!
1 Human Tissue Act 2004: https://www.hta.gov.uk/policies/human-tissue-act-2004
2 Abortion statistics, England and Wales 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/report-on-abortion-statistics-in-england-and-wales-for-2016
3 Adoption statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-looked-after-children