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After reading an articile about abortion in the metro last week, I decided to share my thoughts on this subject. By no means do I want to upset or offend anyone, I do not judge and everything that follows is just my view.
I am a mother of one. My son wasn't planned and my now husband and I hadn't been together that long when I found out I was pregnant. I was 22 at the time. We didn't have money saved, a house or a car. We both had jobs, but we lived pretty much a student lifestyle. When I found out I was pregnant, I went into panic and really wasn't sure what we were going to do. I can understand why people in my situation would have considered abortion but for myself and my husband it was never an option. Its not that either of us put our feeling across about it, it just wasn't something we discussed. I was pregnant and we were going to face it the best way we could. It wasn't until I went to the doctors and asked if I was planning on keeping the baby, that abortion even entered my mind. For me it was more of a panic of, where are we going to live, how are we going to afford everything.
For me, everything worked out, but it wasn't always like that. When I was 18-20, I was in a very bad relationship, with all types of abuse. While in this relationship we didn't always practice safe sex, not always through my choice. It took me a long time, but after finding out my partner was in trouble with the police, I had enough and packed my bags and left. My periods were always a bit all over the place, and largely due to the massive changes I had made in my life at that time I was unaware I had missed periods. It wasn't until I suffered miscarriage that I even knew I was pregnant. I can't say for sure what I would have considered if I had know I was pregnant but I know it would have been alot harder knowing I was carring a child by a violent ex.
Now, my husband and I are trying again and although we haven't been trying for long we worry about struggling to conceive.
The point I am trying to make, by sharing my stories is that I can see this subject from all angles and I believe that there is no real/correct answer to the subject. However the figures and satistics I was reading are very worring.
There were (according to the article I read) over 190,000 abortions which took place in the UK last year. To me this number seems Massive. What I found even more worrying was that around 36% of those women who had an abortion had had one or more previous abortions. Also it was stated that around 1000 abortions were given to girls 15 or younger, thats scary.
Surely some of these abortions could have been prevented. Now don't get me wrong I understand there are many reasons people choose abortion, and I don't think everyone who falls pregnant should have their babies. I can understand why people choose this option due to extreme circumstances like rape, violence, and health issues. However it is my view that too many women/teenagers see abortion as another method of birth control, especially in women who have more than one abortion.
Abortion doesn't have to be the only option for women who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy, there are so many couples out there who long for a child and struggle to conceive and would do anything to adopt a child. I understand that to carry a child and then having to give it up would be hard, but it would bring other people happiness.
I must stress that I do believe abortion should be available as there are circumstances like those I discussed before that people really do need that option, and although I wouldn't say I was for abortion, I don't believe its right to withdraw the option.
It's hard to say how to decrease the number of abortions, as I know myself when getting sex education at school etc, it all seems like a bit of a joke and a laugh, and no-one really takes it too seriously. But I do wonder if we had all listened if the number of abortions would be lower. There does need to be more education about the consequences of sex both in schools and at home, but will they listen. We can but try.
Abortion is such an emotive subject isn't it? I've had many conversations about it with friends and known girls/women who have had them and discussed it with me at the time of thinking about it to after having one. People all have very different views from its Gods will to be pregnant to its a womans right to choose...whos right? Well that really is a personal view isn't it and it seems in my mind there isn't a correct answer.
Up until recently I never gave a lot of thought to me having an abortion. I had been pregnant once which I didn't know about at the time to lose it and was a bit upset knowing what had happened but to me it was meant to me be. My child would now be 18! Then a couple of years back I suffered a 'suspected' miscarriage but if I was pregnant it was only just and again I was a bit upset that maybe I had been pregnant and was very much in love with my now ex boyfriend (at the time) but it wasn't the right time for us so again, whilst I was a little sad I got over it. I've always wanted to plan for a baby and be married and stuff. Thats my personal belief!
However I had to think about abortion and me recently. I have an eating disorder and my periods are all over the place. I met a friends brother who I was instantly attracted to and we had a rather passionate fling. It was never going to be a relationship and it was what it was though we didn't use protection. Looking back I don't know why we didn't now, it was so reckless on so many levels the only thing I can think is that my mind was somewhere else. I'd just split up with my long term boyfriend and I was devastated deep down and had lots going on in my life.
For this purpose of this review we will call him Shane. Now Shane has a bad reputation. He has a little girl he doesn't see or support, his ex girlfriend (my mate) is pregnant with his son and now is a lesbian living with her fiancé getting ready to bring the child up together. Me and him split, if you can call it that and next thing I knew he went to live with a girl who he was seeing when he was seeing me (unbeknown to me). I'm not going to say it didn't hurt slightly to find he had someone else but like I said earlier I knew we weren't in a relationship and I'm a good ten years older than him!
Time moved on, about two months. I wasn't thinking about the fact I could be pregnant at all. I was worried I had caught something sexually from him so had tests done (and waited over 3 months for a HIV test which was negative thankfully) after hearing stories that in his drunken state that he had been experimenting with men as well as loads of women. What is true about that I don't know but I just felt scared and that was my punishment. It then dawned on me after no period that I could be pregnant. I did a pregnancy test. negative. Unhappy with that I did another, positive....another I wasn't sure about and eventually I got a negative from the Doctor and thankfully I wasn't pregnant after all and had caught nothing from him either!
However I had to wait a couple of days for my appointment for the test at the doctors and I closed my curtains and I lived in darkness and all I thought about was what do I do if I was pregnant. As a woman I went from this could be a baby and your last chance to have one, to what a mess he doesn't want you, you have no money, it'll create a right mess and it only a bunch of cells anyway.
However I had made my decision about it before I got to the Doctors. There was no way I was having it. My health isn't good, I have no money, I was moving at the time and he's having arguments with the to be mother of a baby that isn't even born yet. Hes an alcoholic gambler and with me as a mother with poor health and no one to help me it just wouldn't be fair to a baby and that was my main thing. What a bout a baby?
So I do agree in abortion. I believe it is a womans right to choose as well. However thats a difficult issue tool. If a woman decides to keep the baby then the man has to cough up financially however if she decides to get rid he has no say or rights at all. However considering its the woman thats got to pop it out and usually be the primary carer I guess thats the way it should be.
I've had friends who had had abortions. A friend of my was gang raped on the way home from a nightclub and had an abortion, another had one when her relationship broke down and from what I have seen of it there isn't a quick fix solution. People have to live with it and I've seen women struggle and to regret it.
All I think is that we shouldn't judge others in the situation and respect each others points of views. Safe sex needs to be encouraged (I have learnt my lesson!). There are many reasons people have abortions after all!
After reading a new review on this subject I felt compelled to write a review. The comments the previous review recieved has spoken to a deep part of my soul as I, like most women find the topic of abortion a very sensitive, deep and also thought provoking idea.
First of all I need to point out that there are so many different reasons behind abortions and again like a lot of women I feel I am justified in reviewing this topic because of my own experiences. What I find aggrivating is people who have strong opinions on abortion when they have never been faced with abortion or anything of the sort. How can these people possibly give their own ideas as strongly as some try to do when they have never experienced the depth of emotion that comes with any pregnancy whether it's wanted, planned, forced, accidental or on purpose? Let alone if they have never been faced with having to personally address the choice of abortion.
I want to explain only my personal opinion because this is my review. I am not here to say what is right or what is wrong and if you disagree I hope you will respect that this is my take on things. If you find the need to question my points please address them in your own review, rather than pulling mine apart. For this topic is something so close to a womens heart it would be highly disrespectful to question my own personal opinion.
I want to start with something that happened when I was 16. I was a happy teenager, I liked going out and trying my luck on saturdays to get in to the local nightclub. I had friends and I had a boyfriend. My cousin of the same age was like a sister to me although highly manipulative. My boyfriend was a few years older than me, not the huge love of my life but at the time I was very much infatuated with him. Before him I was a virgin, I had never done anything other than kiss a boy because I was raised by a Christian mother and although I do not stand for 'no sex before marriage' I do believe in sex being a very powerful act that will bind two people together. I was determined to wait for the right moment, in the end it was nothing like that. It was the climax to a horrible night drinking, I didn't enjoy it and I didn't plan it and considering it was my first experience it was repeated through the night which makes me wince at the thought, even now. The next day I was in physical pain but thought that me and my boyfriend had commited to each other on a higher level. Not quite so as it turns out. To cut a long story short he dumped me a few days later and I was gutted. Not heartbroken but gutted. About 6 weeks went by and I didn't think anything of my missed period. I was studying for my GCSE'S, I had a social life and I have something called polysistic ovaries which meant my periods weren't ever regular. I also know we used protection so the thought never crossed my mind I could be pregnant.
I found out from a friend my ex had been boasting about not using protection with me and I instantly knew I was pregnant. I went in to a toal panic. I bought a test and it said negative but I still knew something wasn't right. (I later found out this is common when you have the relative hormonal inbalance that polyscistic ovaries brings). I went to a walk in doctors where I found out for sure I was indeed pregnant. I was 16. I had my whole world ahead of me, options and choices and although I loved the idea of being a mum-I always have done, I knew this wasn't how I wanted things to be. I went for counsillening to discuss my options and I tried to discuss things with my ex who didn't want to know and went on to sleep with my best friend/cousin as a way to hurt me back for 'getting pregnant'. I was the one person they tell you about at school, I was the statistic girl-the one who did indeed get pregnant the first time she had sex. So anyone who still believes the myth it's not possible, I stand here telling you it is!
As it turned out by the time I told my family I was pregnant I had already lost my baby at approximately 8 weeks into the pregnancy, without realising. However having a termination was something that I had heavily on my mind. At my age and that stage in the pregnancy it was an option for me and that in itself was a huge suprise to me. I never thought I was pro-abortion until I ended up faced with the decesion. I personally think the stress of telling my family and going through those weeks alone bought on my miscarriage. But to make the experience worse my baby died and I had to wait to bleed and loose it at home which didn't happen naturally. I was only told the baby had died when my blood tests revealed I was no longer producing the pregnancy hormone. After that I had to wait and it was horrific going to school, living every day waiting for it to happen. Eventually it did and I was deeply affected by the whole experience. I still am. It's moulded my whole being.
But at 16 I knew what some anti-abortion protestors don't know. The value of a childhood. I had a great childhood, I was blessed and no family is perfect but I experienced a childhood that I think back on fondly-this is what every child deserves. I knew at 16 the sort of lifestyle that my child would have had would have been far from blessed. Yes, happiness is free I know that. But I wouldn't have had money or life experience and gaining that with a baby would have been near impossible and far from enjoyable. I knew that my child deserved the best start in life-nice clothes, good food and opportunities that sadly only money can provide. At that point in my life I could have given that baby all the love in the world, but living on the breadline with a mother with no eductaion, no job and no support would have meant a very underpriveledged life for us both. I can't say if I would have had an abortion or not because the choice was taken out of my hands but in this experience I was grateful to have a choice.
Fast forward 6 years. I'd been happily with my partner for nearly three years, we own a house and I have a fantastic management job, company car, benefits-the lot. When I fell pregnant this time although unplanned my situation was different. My partner totally paniced (I was getting used to this now!) in truth, it was nearly the breaking of us. He wanted to terminate the baby and I couldn't agree to it. I wasn't ruling it out but in my heart I couldn't ever have aborted that child. Loosing one baby had not changed my pro-abortion status, in fact it had strengthened it. But at this stage in my life I could afford a baby, I could provide for a baby and I could raise a child more in line with a a decent standard of living. In my opinion whether I had wanted the baby or not I was pregnant and able to provide so really I felt I owed the baby it's chance. After all it had overcome my polysistic ovaries and the pill (yes pregnancy while on the pill does happen!) and was still there. Besides, in my heart of hearts as soon as I knew I was pregnant I knew I wanted that baby.
During pregnancy you are forced to face abortion options again. First for health reasons, when you have your 13 week scan if your baby has severe health problems you are advised to abort the pregnancy. This is something I feel is pro-choice. No person in this world should ever impact anyone's decesions in this nature. If a baby has health issues and would have no standard of life then I believe if it's something you perceive as compassionate then it's acceptable. That child will grow into a person who will never experience life as it is intended and that is not right. And yes I do believe that for health reasons abortion is acceptable at whatever stage of pregnancy it is needed. It's not nice and it's not pleasant but it's a medical need.
On this note I do however draw the line at late abortions for anything other than health reasons. I think between 13-16 weeks is the absolute maximum in which a women should be offered a termination for anything other than medical reasons. Having been pregnant twice and now a mother I know how it feels to experience your body change, and watch your tummy grow. To begin to experience this and then abort a child would be a scarring experience mentally for the mother no matter how keen she was to terminate. I say 13 weeks would be my personal limit based on watching my son's growth scans. I had had 3 by the time he was 13 weeks and by then he had a body and limbs, he looked like a baby. His heart was beating only a few weeks after he was conceived but for me looking at him in my womb at 13 weeks he was a baby, not a foetus and not something that could or should be rejected in that way.
At 24 weeks if a baby is born they have what is called a viable chance of life. This means that they may survive if born at this stage. Any earlier then they wont. Some may question if I am pro-abortion and pro-choice why I wouldn't say abortion up to 24 weeks is ok? Well because by 24 weeks even the slimmest of mothers to be will be showing and more than anything by 24 weeks that baby is fully formed in every way and all that is left to do during the remaining pregnancy time is to grow. That 'foetus' at 24 weeks has everything it needs to survive even if the wide world was too bright to let this happen, it still has every living function thats needed. This makes me absolutely against late abortion for anything other than medical reasons that is. My opinion is that abortions that are done late in pregnancy are selfish.
What about Rape I hear a lot. Well again I'm pro choice. I read a book by a fantastic women in America who had a family and a husband and was raped. She was a white women raped by a black man and went on to give birth to a beautiful little girl. She endured her pregnancy and rasised her daughter to be loved as her other children were because she could provide for that child and I think she's a hero. But likewise I don't know if I would be that strong. I am not going to debate on this subject other than to say the choice is there and am pro that choice. Again though as agonising as the ordeal must be, I do think if a termination is the route a woman goes down it should be done as early as possible, as I don't think late abortions are right for anything other than medical reasons.
Being raised by a Christian mother I always knew what the biblical view was on abortion-it's deemed as murder and only God has the right to take a life. Sadly we live in a world where it is no longer just God's gift to give life. People enjoy sex outside of the biblical marriage union, people are promiscuous and sadly rape sometimes brings life. I believe that God holds the right to give and take life but I also understand and clearly see that he is not the only one who gives life now, for we have taken this choice from him by choosing sex.
If we lived in a perfect world then abortion wouldn't be needed but sadly we live in a world where it is a requirement. Is it right, is it moral? Who of us is qualified to truly answer that question? All I can say is it's needed, and rather than blame people like myself who dare to state that fact out loud, blame society and the situations we create for ourselves that create lives that we then go on to terminate.
Abortion should never be used as contraception. I'm lucky to not know anyone who's ever used a termination for this reason. Hearing of people who use abortion as a regular means of 'protection' need educating and need to be prevented from this situation. Saying people like this should be sterilised is ridiculous not to mention it would never ever happen in todays world. What these people need is directing to other methods of proventing pregnancy and I think doctors or nurses need to be given firmer rules in this nature. I don't think a GP should EVER refuse a termination whether it's the first of sixth of a woman, because that choice is hers and hers alone. But I do think that for those women who regularly experience this they should be offered some form of time to discuss options and have their actions explained and discussed. It's not right but hey, it happens. Sadly.
I now have a very healthy one year old. He is the apple of my eye and the love of my life and I don't regret a single thing. Luckily my partner is the most loved up daddy imagineable, he just needed a few weeks to get over the shock of being told we were pregnant! Having my son has not changed my pro-choice opinion but it has very much strengthed my thoughts on the stage of pregnancy in which a termination can be given, as listed above. I don't like to think I would now have to go through an abortion but you never know. What I can say for certain is that if I was in a questionable situation then I would be greatful of the choice, greatful to have an option. Because to me, in my mind thats what its about-lifestyle, choice, opportunities.
We have far too many people living meagre exsistances, living on tiny handouts and barely surviving. Children bread from this background are more prone to commit crime, repeat the cycle etc and I believe if this cycle is broken things would be a lot easier for women. I'm not saying it's all about being able to materially provide, but it's a huge part of it. I struglle with money now more I don't work but I know I don't struggle on the same level as I would have done had I given birth to my first child. If a child faces a lifetime of struggle, no real opportunities or choices and no quality of life then I agree that abortion is fair and yes, reasonable.
This is just my opinion, my thoughts and I welcome others and respect what other think on this subject so I hope anyone who reads this and wants to respond will hold the same respect for me. I don't preach and force my thoughts, if you've read this it's because you've chosen to!
How do you even start writing about abortion? It's an absolute minefield, it's easy to insult people's beliefs and choices without even trying.
For me I am 'pro choice' and 'pro abortion'. Pro abortion sounds horrid doesn't it, but please let me explain.
In an ideal world, of course something like abortion would never be needed, but it is. For lots of reasons. One of those most basic reasons is a woman should be entitled to make her own informed decisions about what happens to her body. I will defend that right to the hilt. No woman should ever be forced to carry a baby she does not want, for some moralistic reasoning such as putting said child up for adoption. Equally, no woman should ever be forced, coerced or guilt-ed into an abortion. It is her body and hers alone.
A common point of view I hear is: I am against abortion except in rape cases.
Whilst the proponents of this may feel this makes them more reasonable in my opinion it doesn't. The underlying text there is:
If a woman is forced/didn't enjoy sex- well that's ok, she can terminate.
If a woman participated willfully and enjoyed the sex - she must carry on with that pregnancy.
If we look at the above, potentially we see that actually, some people believe that women should still be punished for enjoying an active sex life. It's still only fairly recently that it has become more acceptable in society for women to enjoy and discuss sex.
Of course, back in an ideal world, contraception would never fail, human beings would never ever make any mistakes and there would never be an unwanted pregnancy.
Abortion MUST remain legal. Making it illegal will not stop it happening. It will only stop it happening safely, with proper precautions, proper health and safety considerations and proper aftercare.
It's not an enjoyable topic to discuss, it is emotive I understand, but I remain convinced, a woman must retain control of her own body, it is not for anyone else to determine.
The subject of abortion is, without a doubt an ethical minefield and an extremely sensitive subject about which many people seem to have a firm belief. Most people appear to be either vey much for or against abortion and each individual has their own reasons behind these beliefs. However, I do not believe that this is a simple black and White, right or wrong subject. There are a whole world of reasons why someone may want to terminate a pregnancy and I'm sure that people make the right decision for them. There are thousands of things that could go wrong during a pregnancy and just as many different syndromes that can effect the viability of the pregnancy or the child's life should the pregnancy continue and the child survive, for this reason and also if the pregnancy could endanger the life of the mother, some women are advised my medical professionals to terminate their pregnancy. I believe that if a woman feels that she would be unable to care and provide for her child and terminates a pregnancy for this reason then she has probably made a wise decision, there are already too many unwanted children in the world. Regardless of the reason for terminating a pregnancy, provided it is a valid reason and has been given a great deal of consideration, I personally have no reason to think that the decision they have made is wrong.
However, as with most things in this day and age there are services and systems that are abused by the ignorant and lazy. I most certainly do not believe that terminating a pregnancy is an acceptable form of contraception and I have known people who have treated it as such. There are two main methods of abortion; the first Which is most commonly used in early pregnant is a medical abortion where the woman is required to take some medicatio that forces the body to believe that it is in labour and the woman then has to effectively give birth to the foetus. The second is a surgical option most commonly used later in a pregnancy. Both methods put strain on the body and carry their own risks and therefore it is not healthy to but the body through this on a regular basis. If you don't want children, be sensible and use contraception! I would just like to add that I am aware that no contraception is 100% reliable and I mean no offence to those who have used contraception and been unlucky enough to fall within the 1-2% that have fallen pregnant despite using preventative measures. Finding out that you are pregnant when you have been trying to prevent it must be an extremely difficult situation to be in.
My local NHS trust will only grant terminations of pregnancy up to 14 weeks gestation, however you can legally have a pregnancy terminated up until 24 weeks gestation, although in most cases I think if your pregnancy is this far gone it has to be carried out privately. If a termination is required at this stage for medical reasons then I can only say that this must be a truly heartbreaking experience, however I do not necessarily feel that it is appropriate to terminate at this stage for personal reasons as a premature baby born at this stage of gestation can survive, although it is likely that there would be health complications it is still possible for them to live a fulfilling life in some cases and therefore this would suggest to me that at 24 weeks a healthy, well developed foetus can feel pain and become distressed.
As you have probably gathered at this point, I hvr never been in this situation myself and so cannot say whether or not I would have an abortion myself, it would depend entirely on the circumstances of the situation. I have got friends who have had abortions and I can say that it was most definitely the right decision for them at the time.
Overall I think that we are extremely lucky to have the option of abortion as women in other countries are not so fortunate and sometime have to go through the heartbreak of having a still birth or giving birth to a baby thy will not survive, however i think it is important for people to remember that we must not play god and the decision to terminate a pregnancy should not be made lightly, but ultimately it is the choice of the individual and that choice must be respected.
I am currently going through making this decision. I have come to the conclusion that I dont want to have an abortion. Because I am only 18 years old and jus graduated high school and had big plans for college my family is pushing me to get an abortion. I dont agree with abortions because I believe that god doesnt make any mistakes. I feel like if i were to get an abortion i wouldnt be able to life with mysef. Im not changing my mind no matter what anyone says.
Let me start off by saying that I do not hold an outright feeling on whether women should be able to choose to have an abortion - or whether that right should be denied to them. I'm one of the many who don't like the idea of abortion - and yet do not feel strongly enough against it to believe that my squeamishness should dictate to other people or should influence the rights of other people to make the decisions which are best for them. I'm "one the fence" so so speak, understanding that it is a complex area and I believe that while abortion can never be morally "right", it can be morally justified.
***Sitting on the Fence***
However, one area that I do struggle with is when I hear some people say "I only agree with abortion in certain situations" - because, to me, this argument just doesn't hold up. If someone said that they would only consider an abortion in certain circumstances then that would be perfectly rational, but to say that they judge abortion to be wrong in one situation yet okay in another situation sounds a little cracked. Surely it makes sense that you believe that someone either has the right to an abortion - or they don't - and imposing a set of value judgements over whether it is acceptable or not seems to miss the whole set of arguments that proponents of the anti-abortionist lobby and the pro-choice contingent put forward. I'll return to this later on.
***The Right to Life***
It seems to me that probably the most central concept that is fundamental to the ethics surrounding abortion is that of the right to life. When does life begin? When does personhood begin? Does the right to life come before everything else?
At the moment, the upper limit for abortion is set at 24 weeks gestation. Therefore, legally you can terminate a pregnancy as long as the fetus is under 24 weeks (with the agreement of two doctors) - and after 24 weeks it is never legally permissible in the UK to terminate a pregnancy. So what happens between 23 weeks and 24 weeks that means that the fetus' legal status changes in the course of a few days? Basically, the argument given is that from 24 weeks a fetus is considered "viable" because it can survive outside of the mother (albeit with a lot of medical support!). It was always believed until very recently that 24 weeks is when the nervous system was fully formed - although it is now generally held that this happens as early as 18 weeks gestation.
So, does the fact that the baby is reliant on its mother for survival and the fact that it doesn't have a fully developed nervous system mean that that this baby does not have equal right to life than a baby that is more developed? I struggle with this because of the following reason. It would potentially be legally permissible for me to have an abortion at 23 weeks should I fulfill the medical criteria. However, should I give birth to a baby who is 23 weeks gestation (and a small percentage of these babies do survive) and I opted to kill this baby, this would be classified as murder.
As a society, we believe in the right to life - and yet if seems that many of us are unsure about when this right to life begins. For some its clear cut that the right to life begins at conception, but for the rest of us, the right to life seems more fuzzy and undefined.
***The Life of the Woman***
I've heard it argued that abortion is justifiable if the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to have severe mental or physical consequences for the pregnant woman. For example, it may be argued that where a woman has a medical condition (like cancer) where pregnancy is going to exacerbate the seriousness of the condition and put her life at risk, then abortion is okay. This makes a lot of sense to me, but there is still the difficulty of the fact that even this means that you're putting the right to life of one being over another.
***The Right to Life Verses The Quality of Life***
I've heard many use the argument that abortion is okay only if there is "something wrong" with the baby. My issue with this argument is that it involves making a judgment about what type of "something wrong" constitutes justification for reversing the fundamental principle of the right to life. The overriding principle here seems to be that if it is deemed that the child's quality of life is going to be seriously affected - then abortion is morally acceptable. However, one persons judgement on this is likely to be very different to someone else's. For example, if a fetus is diagnosed with Trisomy 21 (Down's Syndrome) then someone may believe that this is result in a poor quality of life, yet the reality for many people with Trisomy 21 is that they lead happy and meaningful lives.
Quality of life is such a vague principle, and I think we're on dangerous ground when we start judging someone else's quality of life - particularly if we're doing this even before a person is born because we may make based on inaccuracies, ignorance or prejudice.
Another commonly used scenario is in the unfortunate situation of when someone becomes pregnant as the result of a sexual assault. Obviously they have become pregnant as a result of a crime perpetrated against them - and why should they have to suffer the consequences of what someone did to them. I have a lot of sympathy with this situation and can completely understand how the well-being of the women could be very seriously affected if the pregnancy was to continue. However, even this means that its a struggle between quality of one being's life verses the right to life of another being.
***A Woman's Right to Choose***
We have a right to make decisions in all areas of our life and of course it could be argued that something as major as whether to have children or not is a fundamental human right. It makes no sense that we can decide what to have for our dinner, we can decide what time to bed, but we cannot decide not to have a child.
We may place judgments on what constitutes an okay reason to have an abortion - but ultimately we have to allow individual people to make the decision that is right for them. We do only what we know we can live with - and the reasoning and judgements made are too personal for us to decide for them.
***The Fathers Right to Choose***
We all talk about the mothers right to choose, but what about the fathers right to choose? There have been cases in the news where women have wanted an abortion, but the father has taken the women to court to try to prevent this from happening. Should the father have a right to decide considering the fact that he contributed half of the babies DNA - or should the fact that the women is also the incubator mean that she has the overriding decision?
I don't have an answer, but it does add an extra complexity to this issue....as if it wasn't complex enough already!!!
***Back to the Sitting on the Fence Issue***
So, not really being any clearer, I return to my initial premise that it doesn't make sense to agree with abortion in some situations but not in others. The basic argument against abortion is the right to life - and so if you believe that abortion is basically wrong because of the fundemental right to life concept - then how can there be some circumstances where the right to life is dismissed???
Having said that....I'm still on the fence. We can't truly understand the effect that having a child could have on someone else's life - and so we don't have the right to decide for them. We all live by our own moral code.
Abortions of up to twenty- four weeks are legal in the United Kingdom. It take two doctors to agree before an abortion can take place. The criteria is that if there is considered to be a greater risk to the woman's mental or physical health if she carries on with the pregnancy than by terminating it, then this procedure can go ahead. Also, social circumstances are taken into account, so, in reality, just about any woman can find grounds to have an abortion.
Fortunately, so very fortunately, I have never been in the situation of having to consider an abortion. I do not think I am any better than someone who has had an abortion, I simply feel that I am one of the lucky ones. Because of this, although, I hate the idea of terminations, I try my hardest not to be too judgemental regarding this issue.
I am not an expert in this field but have heard that if an abortion is carried out early then this is the safest way. Up to nine weeks the preferred method is termination by taking a pill for early expulsion of the pregnancy.
Up to thirteen weeks it will usually be undertaken surgically. Up to twenty- four weeks requires a medical termination. However, in the western world abortion is quite safe.
I feel that terminations after about 18 weeks are wrong apart from truly exceptional circumstances.
I will say early on that I hate the idea of abortion. I cannot feel it is right BUT strongly believe that it is not for me, or anyone to say that someone else shouldn't terminate their pregnancy. In some, rare cases that I've heard of, I have felt abortion wasn't 'moral' but that is my opinion and I am not in that situation. I would hate abortion to be illegal as it would still go ahead, as it has for many years, illegally and therefore, often dangerous. However, I do think the whole process should be more stringent and require more counselling, thus ensuring it is really what the woman wants. This should happen especially in the cases of young girls. I know that some rush into ending a pregnancy through fear of their secret getting out, without first seeing if there is help and support available. Often they panic and live to regret their action. I think that it is a minuscule amount of females that would have an abortion and then not wonder if they had done the right thing and carry feelings of guilt.
When I was a teenager I knew some girls who had one or two terminations. Their attitudes to this varied greatly but, mostly they would want to get pregnant again quite quickly. I believe they were trying to make up for the 'lost' child.
One girl who fell pregnant as a teenager was a close friend. She thought she was in a good relationship and I feel may have heard, mistakenly, 'wedding bells!'. Her boyfriend had no such plans and turned out to be deceiving her big time. She was in a sorry state. The pregnancy was showing and she was hiding the fact from her parents who were worried but didn't know what the problem was. I tried to be supportive and helped her talk to her parents and see that she could cope and had support. She decided to have a termination and her parents supported her in this. I was very saddened as didn't think this the right course for her but, many years later I realise that, although she never took this decision lightly and has not forgotten that day, for her it may have been the correct choice. Out of respect for her this time has not been brought up so I cannot be sure if she regrets it or not but, I understand that she has a happy life and has gone on to have a family, within a successful marriage.
Another friend aged in her early twenties, some years ago, was engaged and living with her boyfriend. She told me that a few months before she had gone through an abortion. The wedding date was already set for about a year ahead so I couldn't see her problem. She said it just wasn't the right time. My opinion in cases like this is you just get on with it and make it the right time. It isn't the same as being a single young teenager, terrified of letting your parents down and many more things beside. She became pregnant less than a year later.
If I had fallen pregnant as a teenager I would have found the worst thing to be having to tell my mother. She would have been so disappointed. But, saying that, I know she would have stood by me and loved the child. I think I would have had the child. I believe the way I was then I would have hoped for the pregnancy to 'disappear.' If the morning after pill had been available then I might have taken it. If that didn't work I don't think I could have gone through with a termination. It is quite different to have an abortion if you are single and young rather than when being in a stable relationship with the father. With my first three I had taken a few months to 'fall' but then when I thought my child bearing days were over (through choice not age) I couldn't believe that I started to get pregnancy symptoms. I couldn't work this one out! We didn't think we'd been careless. It wasn't a good time as my husband had just become unemployed but it was just one of those things. I went on to have a beautiful daughter, much loved by her family.
Many seem to be of the opinion that you shouldn't abort because there are many couples waiting to adopt. This is easy to say but I wouldn't have been able to give up a child in this way. There are issues surrounding adoption and I don't think this is a fair point to make. Also, many who choose to abort do not want to carry a child around for nine months. They do not want to grow large and be stared at, talked about and gain a 'reputation'. I can understand this. Some are stronger than others.
Of course, opinions differ greatly. Also, one's views often change with age or experience. Although I have always felt abortions to be regrettable, once I had borne my first child distaste grew. Even whilst pregnant my dislike of abortion increased. I felt love for my child as soon as pregnancy had been confirmed. I adored feeling those first kick and really felt like, 'Mother Earth.'
Before conceiving my third child, I happened to view a television programme on abortion. It was in depth and strengthened my belief that abortion is wrong. When I knew I was pregnant, aged thirty, I was told that my risk for carrying a child with birth defects had increased since having my first two when I had been in my early twenties. I decided, against my husband's wishes, that I would not have tests to screen for spina bifida or Down's Syndrome. Not because I'm against the tests but I knew I wouldn't want to decide whether to abort a disabled child. I wouldn't have wanted the dilemma. I don't think I could have aborted but, might have been put under pressure by others. I can understand others who, if faced with the likelihood of bearing a child with severe problems would feel differently. The option to terminate is very difficult but it isn't easy to go through with some things, especially if you have a demanding life already, such as caring for a sick child or relative, ill health or mobility problems yourself. We cannot judge others based on our own situation.
I believe that termination in the case of rape is completely understandable. However, this doesn't mean that I think it right but completely UNDERSTANDABLE.
If you are pregnant or fear you are pregnant, as a mother, I would urge you not to delay in seeking medical advice. I also think in nearly all cases, a girl should tell her parents. Okay, there will probably be great upset but, in most cases, this will die down and the parents will help. You cannot know for sure that your parents will be horrified, if they will want you to terminate or go ahead witt he pregnancy. You must communicate.
Please visit your G.P. or the British Pregnancy Advisory Centre or Marie Stopes clinics. Help is out there and people who truly care. You are not alone.
If I was faced with my sons or daughters telling me they, or their partner, was pregnant, I know I would want them to make an informed choice on the way ahead. I would support them as much as possible. I know I would wish for them to keep the child but still would hope to always remember that it isn't my decision. Although I may feel I am often right, in reality I know this isn't the case.
Firstly, I would like to make it clear that I have not, thankfully, been in the situation whereby I have had to contemplate this as an option but I have had a close member of my family (my niece) go through this experience and so I can convey how it affected her and to a degree myself, as I was somewhat instrumental in her decision to have an abortion.
Personally, I don't think this is something I could do, but saying that, I truly believe that unless you are actually faced with this decision you cannot be 100% sure of what you would do. For example, in my teens, I had a friend who was staunchly against abortion and campaigned against it and spoke passionately about a disturbing film she had seen called 'the silent scream' which showed an abortion in detail. We lost touch but I met up with her in later years and she spoke openly about the fact that she had been in a situation herself where she chose to have an abortion. This shows to me that no matter how ardently you are against something, when it comes to your own situation, depending on the circumstances, your viewpoint can or may have to change.
Back to my niece - three years ago (aged 17), with a one year old already and no partner, struggling to look after both herself and her child on benefits, she fell pregnant again, and again was not with the father. I myself have two children who are only 16 months apart in age and I know from experience how difficult it is to manage two small children, even with a supportive, loving partner and financial security.
I let her know that I would support her either way but in relating the difficulties she might face, I think this probably did factor somewhat in her decision to terminate. We made sure she had the procedure done as early on as possible as, if it must be done, I really believe that it should be done before 12 weeks by which time the foetus, although only tiny in size, is fully formed. I think that the current limit is still too high (twenty four weeks) except in exceptional circumstances. With medical advancement, babies can sometimes survive outside the womb at 24 weeks and I just feel that there is no need for anyone to wait this long for an abortion unless, as stated, the circumstances are truly exceptional.
Although the final decision was my niece's, somewhere in the back of my mind, I do feel a degree of guilt myself as to how much I influenced her and I know it has affected her emotionally too in retrospect and I think in part, she does regret it. She is now pregnant again, without the father around and cannot contemplate another abortion, and I don't blame her, and will be there for her as much as I can as I was during her first pregnancy and after the birth of that child. (Her mother threw her out of the house at sixteen when the first pregnancy was discovered and they have not spoken since - she is now twenty).
I just wish she had more respect for herself and life in general and stopped allowing herself to get pregnant in the first place. There are so many contraceptive choices these days, I really don't understand why so many people (particularly youngsters) can't take appropriate measures to prevent pregnancies when they are not in a stable enough situation to bring new life into the world.
I am a believer in human rights and the right to choose. However, I am also concerned about the rights of those babies that are sometimes carelessly made and terminated. I am not talking about those times contraception fails, or rape cases or cases where medical problems arise (those are exceptional issues whereby it is no one's business to pass judgement on the decisions made by the people involved).
However, I must say that when a person uses abortion, almost like a post-contraceptive method, this to me, is completely unacceptable. I have been made aware through my niece that she knows many young girls who don't protect themselves from pregnancy or indeed sexually transmitted diseases and have the attitude that it won't happen to them and even if it does, they can get rid of it easily enough and they go on to have abortion after abortion. To me, this is a needless and unforgiveable way to act and again, comes down to a lack of respect for themselves and the life they might potentially create.
I have great empathy for the majority of people who find, because of their situation, they decide that abortion is what's best for them. I believe that the majority that do make this heartbreaking and difficult decision, do not do it lightly and I suspect that for most, the emotions aroused through going through an abortion stay with them in one guise or another for life.
Thanks for reading. x
9 years ago I had to make a tough decision and one I will never forget. I had been seeing this guy (my husband now) for just over a year and we made it official 5 months before I found out I was pregnant, I had just turned 16.
Just in two months I was going to sit my GCSE's and I've just missed peroid. I straight away confided into a friend who then gave me some good advice to seek a nurse, even though she was adamant that I will just be late.
I made an appointment at another doctors surgery (as I thought my Mum would find out). The nurse took a wee sample I then received the news I was gutted. Yes I have always thought of myself becoming a Mum but not this young.
I still feel the pain of that day and so doe's my husband. I felt I was on my own and I was so scared. I didn't want my partner coming with me as I was scared someone would see us and would be found out.
The nurse gave me some information. I told her what I had to do so I had to see a doctor. The doctor told me that I should tell my Mum and that he had booked my appointment for the termination and would receive a letter of confirmation in the post.
When I got the letter it said that it was in portsmouth and to catch this bus etc... My reaction was it's a school day its going to be a very long day and I need money to transport me of the Isle of Wight. This then scared me and I just couldn't do it I was so scared again my Mum would find out where I have been.
It was so bad as only a few of my friends knew. Where we were so young they didn't really no what to do, I was so lonely. I remember I sat for my french GCSE and I went all dizzy and started to feel real sick, I stuck my hand up and my teacher said if I go to the toilet I would fail my exam so I struggled to sit through it. My prediction for french was B grade and I got a E for my GCSE.
13 weeks later my Mum found out as my partner braved it and told her (very proud of him as that must of been hard!) and she told my step Dad who I hardly see and I didn't care what he had to say, and they made a decision for me to abort. The only problem is I was passed the line for a termination with NHS and had to go to a private clinic.
NHS go to 13 weeks then they abort by delivering the baby. I was 14 and half weeks by the time I had a termination.
I had to leave the Island around 5pm to get down to Bournemouth private clinic very early. This day was so long and exhausting and a horrific ordeal. Not only do you see doctor after doctor but they have to make sure you are ready and thats what you want. They see every bit of your body and poke you around it's scary for anyone.
I remember sitting in the waiting area with an amazing friend and other women and girls. We just had to sit and wait there till we were called in to get changed and ready for the operation I just cried so loud and hard and I couldn't stop.
I wouldn't put my worst enemy through this. I would say to any one that knows of anyone going through this be there and be supportive or if you are thinking of this or been through this then make sure you have a friend that will be there always and that you see a counsellor even if you think you don't need one.
It was so painful mentally and physically and still to this day I feel alone. I never seeked good advice after and this has made me hate myself that I have gained 7 1/2 stone since the ordeal. For some reason I can't come to terms and just hate myself for it even when I think of the positives of a termination.
However this was the best thing I could of done especially for that baby as becoming a mother is a commitment for life. I am a mother now and have to say it's so hard. You've not only got a responsibilty but you need to be mature and wise as you are bringing up that little human being and teaching them to be a good person.
I think all the time especially now I have my daughter. I look at her and think what if? She is so amazing what would that child of been like? Then I take a big U- turn and have to realise that child wouldn't of had a good mother and a stable home.
This I tell everyone to get people thinking about there situation and themselves.
Contraception is not only for STD'S it's for babys too! Make sure you always where a comdom even if your on the pill if your that person that sits there and says " I don't know what I would do if I found out if I was pregnant" AS THIS IS YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE! Do you really want to put yourself and your partner through this?
If you are pregnant and don't want the baby make sure you get some good advice and really think it through but act quickly as it becomes a struggle the more you feel affects of pregnancy (morning sickness).
This is really hard for me but I really hopes this has been good advice and maybe some help?
Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to ask a question or just leave a comment.
I have always been Pro-Choice. Thankfully I have never been in a position where I have had to make such a difficult decision but as pregnancy and parenthood are such a life changing events I feel that it is important to give the subject thoughtful consideration.
Sadly I have had a few friends who have been in this difficult position and I feel that the best way to support someone is to give them time to come to terms with their own thoughts and consider the consequences of the decision they're making, whatever that decision may be.
My personal thoughts on abortion are that women are subject to a kaleidoscope of emotions and can be thought of badly, whatever decision they make. People are so divided and opinionated on the subject that it is impossible to make this decision without someone thinking you have made the wrong one.
I myself am the result of an 'accidental' pregnancy. My mum fell pregnant with me at the age of 15 and gave birth shortly after her 16th birthday. She hid her pregnancy from my nannan for several months. I cannot even begin to understand the vast amount of stress and worry my mum must have felt. I am very grateful to be here and my mum has not had the easiest of lifes. I have never met my biological father and have no desire to do so, I know nothing about him and am happy that way. This is not due to any reluctance on my mums part to discuss him, she has expressed that if I want to know anything she would be happy to tell me, I am just not interested.
My mum is now happily married and has had 4 more children. I do not feel that my life has been hindered in any way by being brought into a single parent family. I personally feel that seeing the way my mum has gone through life has actually benefited me. I am hugely independant and grateful for it.
I have never felt unwanted and would have completely understood my mums decision to terminate, if that had been the decision she had made. I think it is a credit to society that women are able to take control of their lives/bodies and make the decision for themselves without fear of retribution.
Every situation is different but if you feel you are too young, irresponsible, not ready to bring a child into the world then going against those feelings can actually make your life worse in the long run, the psychological affect of resenting a child must be on a par, if not worse, than the feelings of guilt women feel after terminations.
I think the important thing to remember is that a foetus is not independant to the woman carrying it, it would not survive on it's own. It has no consciousness or feelings about whether it's life will be able to continue or not. Obviously late stage abortions are different. Medical technology now allows massively premature foetuses to survive. My personal opinion is that these medical marvels are simply astounding but just give pro-life campaigners (the extremist ones) another round of ammunition to take a pop at pro-choice women with.
I do not feel that abortion should be used as a form of birth control but where do you draw the line? 3 abortions in as many years and you can't have any more? Attitudes like that put women between a rock and a hard place.
Our sexual education should be such that women do not think of abortion as birth control but a last resort in a difficult situation. No form of birth control is completely effective. Condoms split, mistakes are made, rape babies are tragic but they happen. The one positive from all of these situations is that we have the choice to take what we are dealt and deal with it in our own way.
I am single, 23 and not at all ready to have children. I am still completely undecided as to whether I ever want children. If I had the misfortune to fall pregnant by mistake I think my first instinct would be to terminate. I would not want to have a child that I could possibly resent, I feel I would have to be in a place where I was ready for children and able to make the sacrifices they bring. I couldn't guarantee that I would resent having a child at this stage of my life but I am not willing to take the risk just for the sake of being pro-life.
This is a very difficult one for me as my views on it have changed over time and continue to do so.
I have thankfully never had an abortion myself; it crossed my mind for about 3 seconds when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter at the age of 20 as she wasn't planned, but that's as far as it went. I do have a very close friend who has had two abortions; one at the age of 14 (she went on to have another baby just after her 16th birthday), and one at the age of 26 (she had another baby at the age of 28). I didn't actually find this out until a few weeks back; although we have been friends for about seven years she said she felt so ashamed about the abortions that she didn't tell anyone except her partner and her mother. I must admit that when she told me about the second abortion I struggled to get my head around how she could have an abortion one year (at the age of 26) then have a planned pregnancy just over a year later. I didn't want to upset her by quizzing her about it but it is difficult for me to comprehend.
When I was at secondary school we were shown a video about abortion as part of our Religious Education (this was a state school, not a religious one). What I saw on that video has haunted me for years; I can't believe we were actually shown it at the age of 13 or so. We were told at the time that it was an ethical argument for us to discuss, but looking back I think it was to scare us into not getting pregnant (it certainly did that for me!) Friends of mine who went to Catholic schools have told me that they saw similar videos and were given little badges with a picture of a baby's feet on them to wear. I do find this quite a disturbing concept.
In the past I was vehemently anti-abortion, but as time has gone on I feel that my views have got a lot more compassionate. I do think that the 24 week limit is FAR too high; how hospitals can be saving a baby born prematurely on one ward and leaving an unwanted baby to die on another just makes no sense to me whatsoever (on a side note: a family friend was a nurse in the north-east during the 1970s, and she was routinely told to leave babies who were born severely disabled to die and tell their parents that they were born dead; shocking but true, and one of the secret shames of our country). I think a 12-week limit at the latest would be appropriate.
I do also find it strange that abortion is legal but euthanasia is not? Either way a life is being ended (although some people would argue that a life isn't really a life until a child is born). In the case of euthanasia this is a decision that an adult has made about ending their own life, whereas the unborn baby is given no choice in this.
I don't know how I would react if my daughter came home at 13 and told me she was pregnant; by that stage my son will be seven and hopefully I'll have my career sorted. I doubt I'd be happy to give my life up to look after a grandchild, especially as I'll only be 34 myself. I can't imagine encouraging her to have an abortion though; so many women struggle to conceive by starting down the maternal path too late in life, and I believe that all babies are a gift. I'm not sure that her father would hold the same view though!
Over the years this is a topic which I have developed stronger feelings over. Whilst I don't believe that abortion should be outlawed, I do believe the time frame in which women can have abortions should be reduced.
For me personally, I would only ever consider abortion in the most extreme circumstances, for instance if the baby was going to experience severe disabilities or it posed a potential threat to my life. For me, too many women use abortion as a form of contraception. I remember being at school and several girls having abortions on the basis that it would ruin their lives. As is turns out, most of them ended up being mums at a young age anyway.
Several months ago, I came across an article on the Daily Mail about a woman who had had seven abortions and was completely okay about that. I was left both reeling and sickened by this article. T here are so many couples who are desperate to be parents, but are subjected to a cruel fate. The worst thing is, this woman's story is not uncommon.
I'm sure for many women who choose abortion the decision is a very difficult one to make and the procedure is both unpleasant and leaves lasting mental scars. Some women choose the option of abortion as they feel they won't be able to cope being a single mother, because of financial reasons and others because simply, they don't want to ruin their lives.
I think the main reason I couldn't go through with an abortion is the thought that I wouldn't be able to keep it from one particular person in my life, and if I had to tell them I had done such a thing the shame would be unbearable. The reason being, when this person was 14 they were raped by a 'family friend' and as a result got pregnant. Not only did this person have to deal with their family not believing their story, their family tried to bully them into having an abortion. This person is strongly against abortion and instead went into foster care and had the baby which they gave up for adoption. As far as I'm concerned, if someone can go through such a horrific ordeal and still go through with the pregnancy then terminating a baby because it is a result of a one night stand is completely unacceptable.
I think it is both stupid and naïve to try and completely outlaw abortion as this will not stop it happening. Women will simply go to backstreet clinics and end up endangering their lives or turning to other methods such as the abortion pill, which a rising number of women are already turning to. I think the key is education.
This article is about my opinion and beliefs, but I am only one person and this is a topic which is sure to continuously divide people.
Quite how one would go about addressing the 'issue' of abortion is beyond me but I still feel that it is a topic that everyone should be able to comment on due to its divisive nature in modern society. There are numerous obstacles to overcome when trying to settle the issue notably medical direction, mental capacity, religious belief and pregnancy through unlawful assault.
I believe there is no way to truly legally clarify at what stage of embryonic development a cell bundle becomes life. Absolutely, by its very definition the first interaction between the sperm and the egg is the start of biological life but at what point does the potential baby have a legal right to protection under law?
There is a long history of legal and social attitudes to abortion in the UK which would I suppose would start at the 'Offences Against The Person' Act of 1861 which made abortion illegal and was punishable by a sentence of up to life. The 'Infant Life Preservation ' Act of 1929 enabled the clinical use of abortion to preserve the life of the mother and also defined a clinical age at which a child would be considered viable, namely 28 weeks.
Legal precedent was set in 1938 following the gang rape of a woman. Her doctor argued that her health would be adversely affected and this was supported by the presiding judge. There was no subsequent change to legislation until 1967, a time of political upheaval in the UK. Ultimately the right to decide on a course of action was given to the doctor and not the crown. It was a liberalising of attitudes but not a move to formally legalise abortion.
In 1990 the 'Human Fertilization and Embryology' Act reduced the viability status of a foetus from 28 to 24 weeks. Abortion is legal today with the consent of two doctors who professionally cite a risk to physical or mental health. This is not the case in Northern Ireland.
In terms of mental capacity there are numerous times when a woman may become pregnant but be impeded in her ability to care for a baby due to learning disabilities or severe psychiatric illness. There is an extensive legal framework to aid and protect these women in these circumstances but the use of abortion can usually be 'justified' on medical grounds.
Religious belief is a very personal thing and one that many may choose to keep private. It is widely believed that in religious terms all life is sacred and should be preserved at all costs. In essence no one person has the right to play God and end a life at will. Some modern progressive offshoots of faiths have come to apply a more modern understanding of the issue and choose to support if not condone abortion.
Pregnancy through rape is sadly a very common occurrence these days and is a worldwide problem. There are numerous medical reasons which could be applicable to the following of a full term pregnancy but many people deem this course of action appropriate.
Considering these many points it is still apparent that despite legislation there is an issue of ethics and this is perhaps the most divisive issue of all. Ethical concerns are very important but can be ambiguously vague when it comes to providing a conclusive and tangible argument. The issue is almost philosophical but this in itself can devalue the worth of the argument and its place in the public conscious. We almost need a consensus on what the meaning of life actually is.
Having no personal experience of this issue, you may think that I am too detached to have an objective opinion. I believe that life is valuable and is not to be discarded lightly but also see no value in strictly condemning every woman who finds herself in the difficult situation of having to choose what to do, something that gets lost in the ethical debate. Abortion is far too complex to settle one way or the other and as such I would think there is no way to justify an argument to the total exclusion of the other. Ultimately, I believe that in the 21st century this should come down to the rights of the woman and any guidance should be supplemental. It must be an unbelievably difficult choice to make and there is a need for continued medical and emotional support. I have to say that I am pro choice.
*Note I have made no reference to families in crisis, absent fathers and dysfunctional lifestyles. This is a deliberate omission.
Well there is no doubt that this a very controversial subject, and a subject I feel able to give a valid contribution to.
I am not asking for anyone's acceptance about what I am going to say, I just want to share with you the decision that I made.
I am currently 35 year old mother of an 8 year old daughter.
When I was in my teens and leading quite a wild time, contraceptive was at times an after thought, I am afraid to say. At 17 I was in a relationship with a jack-the-lad and it led to me soon finding out I was pregnant. I went to the family planning clinic, gave a false name and I had the expected news told to me that I was pregnant.
I luckily had good friends around me who gave me a huge amount of support.
My gut instinct was to have a termination, my mother had been far from the best mother figure. Obviously the pregnancy played on my mind and I new that I had to be fairly quick in making a decision.
I knew I really wasn't ready to be a mum, and that I defiantly wasn't responsible enough. I kept thinking about what a let down my own mother was when I was young and didn't want to be the same to my child. Yes, I should have thought about this before i had unprotected sex, but I didn't and I was facing the consequences. I was no longer with the father, and I chose not to involve him in my decision. He was slightly older than me, a major drinker and drug taker.
The decision was made, and many sleepless nights were had and the day came when I was dues for my abortion. The nurse could see that I was blatantly upset about the whole decision and she discussed with me what my pro's and con's were for going ahead with this procedure. I kept coming back to the same thing, I wasn't ready, or mature enough to look after a child and give it the best life i possibly can. I did not want to risk giving the child a childhood I had experienced, and I felt strongly that I want to enjoy motherhood when I become a mother, and not feel trapped and unhappy.
I went ahead with the procedure, and honestly felt mentally and physically awful afterwards. This was an upsetting time, but even afterwards I new I had made the right decision.
I could have gone ahead with the pregnancy and had the child adopted, but,I knew i wouldn't have been able to hand my child to anybody else.
That termination has always been in the front of my mind and I regularly think about the decision I made especially since I am now a mother.
I can honestly say that although I still feel very sad about having a termination, I still feel I made the best decision for my situation.
After my termination I went on to work with children a career which i have continued ever since.
I am a very happy and responsible mother, I have life experience now and I have confidence in myself that I am able to give my daughter a loving childhood and provide her with everything she needs.
I made a responsible decision for my personal situation.
I would neither promote abortion or protest against it.
Everything i have said above reflects my personal decision on my own situation. I am not saying that 17 year old wont make suitable parents, I am not saying they will feel trapped, or be unable to provide the best for their child.
Abortion is not a decision to be made lightly, and it is a decision I wish i had never had to make.
Take precautions x