Six years ago I took a philosophy class at Uni while I was pregnant. I dropped out due to morning sickness but one of the topics being discussed was abortion rights. The arguments for and against from a philosophical perspective were insightful and quite frankly refreshing because they were devoid of religious judgement and were made irrespective of what culture was being discussed. It was clear to me then that there was no clear cut answer to the morality and ethics of abortion rights.
I was once very pro-life. Now I am very pro-choice. I still don’t know if I could even contemplate an abortion. I can only imagine it is a decision no one likes to have to make.
A few legal and statistical issues surrounding abortion have kind of terrified me and they aren’t typically even mentioned in online abortion arguments so I felt like I wanted to share them. I should probably fact check them thoroughly but to be quite frank, if you find them hard to believe, I welcome you to debunk them and enlighten me.
Scary things to consider:
1. One in 3 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. I don’t think people realise how common rape actually is. That’s a lot of young girls and women that might become pregnant against their will. Of course there are the arguments for putting a child up for adoption and all that, but childbirth can kill young girls not to mention the fact that sexual abuse is often done by close family members or friends. Would anyone WANT to give birth to a child of incest? Maybe, but what they NEED is a choice about it.
2. Rapists have custody rights. We all know how difficult it is to prove a rape occurred. I’ve read of one such case where a woman was raped and she has recently lost temporary custody of her teen daughter to her rapist when her rapist discovered the daughter existed and because the rape can’t be proven, the teenage girl is being forced by the courts to live with a rapist. Crazy, right?
3. Some say that statistics from times before Roe v Wade and other counties that brought in abortion rights have shown that the number of abortions remains stable regardless of it being legal or not. So banning abortion doesn’t reduce abortion numbers, it reduces the number of safe abortions and raises the number of maternal deaths or complications.
4. In some counties where abortion is illegal, women are being charged and jailed for having had an abortion when really they haven’t – they’ve miscarried but the partner has accused them of an abortion and the law has somehow proven that the mother caused the miscarriage. Imagine how traumatic it is for them to not only miscarry but then be jailed for it.
So in a worse case scenario, you could be raped, forced to stay pregnant with the rapists child, be jailed if you miscarry it or be forced to co-parent with the rapist. This is scary. It seems to me, perhaps because of my own child abuse history, that as long as the number of rapes remains so high and the burden of proof remains so high, abortion rights are a necessary protection for women and teen girls against compounding trauma.
Something to consider.