First, I want to make a clear disclaimer. Biologically speaking, I was born a male, and since then, I have identified as such. This is largely the lens through which I see the world. I have no idea what it feels like to be pregnant and give birth to a child. I have never experienced the discrimination that women face on a daily basis.
I am making this disclaimer because this post outlines my feelings about abortion. My opinion should matter significantly less than those of women. Nonetheless, this blog is my personal forum to share my views. In light of the recent developments in Alabama and other states, it is a good time to outline my thoughts on this issue.
Here are my main points:
- The decision to have an abortion should be a woman’s prerogative. It is her body and her life that will be impacted the most. She should also get to decide whose concerns she will consider, whether they are from the father of the fetus, her family, her faith community, or none of the above. The woman steers this ship. Everyone else follows her lead and respects whatever decision she makes.
- A pregnant woman should have a right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. This means that it should be legal to the fullest extent of the law.
- An abortion should be an opportunity to support a woman’s well-being, instead of demonizing her with judgment, bible-thumping, and opportunistic propaganda.
I am well aware of the concerns people raise about advocating for the unborn child and the finer details of what constitutes a living being somewhere amidst the moment of conception and a full-term birth. However, above all of this, I still believe the decision must be made by the woman, and we as a society need to be supportive of her whether she chooses abortion or not.
People also seem to forget that the right to choose an abortion does not negate the right to give birth. There are now numerous cases in which a woman decided to go through with the pregnancy and either keep the child or pursue adoption. The right to choose offers some degree of balance between what stands at opposite ends of this divide. It does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.
For that matter, if a woman chooses to have the baby, we need to be able to offer the resources and support (financial and otherwise) for her to raise the child if she chooses. This means full support from the father, the families involved, the community at large, and our government. After birth, this is not always the case, and this is a big part of the problem. Deadbeat dads, poverty, sufficient healthcare, and lack of family support are among the many issues that arise when a woman decides to give birth.
Lastly, the male policymakers in government need to understand that this is a woman’s rights issue. Why are men deciding what is best for women and their bodies? How can men offer better support for women and their reproductive rights? Severely limiting their options is not a solution.
I cannot imagine the emotional toll that this decision has on a woman. She has to weigh her personal feelings against a society that has already judged her and expects too much.
Let the woman decide is what I say. If she chooses abortion, that is her right. If she chooses to give birth, then the rest of us need to come up with the goods to make sure that both momma and baby will be okay.
PS: Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.