On Facebook I came across a thread discussing abortion. It started with an article written by a woman who was happy that she had safe, legal access to abortion because she was not prepared for motherhood.
A few people tried to be civil. A few people used religion as a basis for being against abortion. Someone replied that they didn’t follow the same religion so it didn’t apply to them. Actually, it was a very pleasant conversation as these things go. It went on and on without name calling or shaming…
Until someone made the “keep your legs together and don’t get pregnant in the first place” comment. This is where the conversation always falls apart. That’s when I stopped reading altogether and I assume the conversation went downhill after that.
And that, people, is why we should never have to have discussions about abortion. Because it is such a personal, private issue that it is something that should only be discussed between a woman, her doctor, and her partner.
You don’t need to be involved. I don’t need to be involved. Our politicians don’t need to be involved. Churches don’t need to be involved except with the members of their own congregations who choose to involve them in the decision-making process.
The entire “keep your legs together” argument is simply insulting. Women aren’t whores. Birth control methods fail every day. No birth control method is 100 per cent effective. Even sterilization methods can fail initially. Women aren’t running around getting abortions willy nilly. Did you know that that reason abortion opponents have to make such a big deal about the 20 week limit is because so few women get voluntary abortions at that time? Women requiring abortions after this point are faced with heart-breaking decisions that don’t require input from you or me.
Women also aren’t stupid, and have considered their options. Adoption and motherhood were probably the first things they considered since getting an abortion isn’t an instantaneous happening. So don’t belittle them by pointing out how easy these options are. Unless you’ve given up a child for adoption or been a single mom in exactly this woman’s situation, she doesn’t need your advice. If she wants your advice, she will ask.
Because the reasons behind each and every abortion are varied and personal, there can be no blanket regulation for any of them. Which is why we need to stop talking and let the women who need abortions take care of them in private with their doctors. Look to the right and the left, and understand that the women a lot like yourself might need abortion services someday. It’s not only strangers or prostitutes or women who look different or women who are younger…they’re just women like you who need help.
It’s time to trust that each of us knows what’s best for our own bodies. I don’t want to be responsible, I don’t want you to be responsible, and I don’t want a politician to be responsible. I just want women to be safe, with legal and easily available abortions.