Abortion Is A Personal Choice, Not a Legal Debate

The world is divided by a number of things – religion, race, Trump supporters vs. Trump opposers, does pineapple belong on pizza, is water actually wet – just log onto Twitter and watch your timeline flood itself with different ideas.

One thing the world is still very divided on however, is abortion. Many countries do not want to see it legalised, some are taking the right away and others are trying very hard to keep their grasp on it. It is becoming a vastly talked about debate and many are sure it should be made illegal. I completely disagree.

Nearly every young woman has had a pregnancy scare at least once in their life. Your period is late or you skip it altogether, next thing you know you’re on Google finding out you either have an STI or your pregnant. Neither is a great outcome for you but you start to think the first one might be easier to deal with, a lot them can be cleared up with some creams and pills right?

Most of the time we have neither, no infection and no foetus. All is right in the world again and you get to go back to your normal 9-5, gym going, lunch date with wine on the side routine, without worrying if the alcohol and busy lifestyle is going to hurt something that’s part of you – possibly apart from your head.

Not all of us are that lucky. Sometimes the test comes back positive and we now have a life changing decision sitting in front of us. You never really know the emotional hurricane you’re thrown into unless you’ve had the scare yourself – and you can never know what it is truly like to make that decision until you are in that position. You can sit and say, “I would never get an abortion”, but you don’t know what situation you could be put in and if it could lead to you considering it. There are so many factors you have to bring into your decision before you keep a baby – your lifestyle, your job (or lack of), your financial state, your mental health, how the baby was conceived and if this pregnancy will dangerously affect the mothers or the babies health.

Some who have had this decision to make don’t always have their life completely set together. They haven’t got the ‘dream life’ in place where they’re married to the love of their life and living in the most beautiful house and going to the perfect job. Maybe they’re in debt, they and their partner have split, they’re too young to really look after a child or they had a one night stand. Maybe it was rape. Are you telling me you could happily have a child to the man who destroyed your life?

I understand that there is so many different reason that people oppose abortion. Religion, moral beliefs, is it or is it not murder, past experience – the list goes on. Many believe you are taking away the right of a life when you end a pregnancy and if you do it too late on then the foetus will feel pain as the abortion takes place. You cannot take away a life in order to make yours easier but can we really bring another life into this world when we are not ready? Can we bring another child into poverty or into an unhealthy living environment? Can we really bring another child into the world when there are already so many who still need a family?

Many argue that the aftermath of abortion will affect the mother in too many negative ways to be classed as a feasible decision. The Sunday Telegraph reported that women who have an abortion are 30% more likely to develop a mental illness. Similarly, Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University claimed that women who aborted have a 55 percent higher risk of mental health problems compared to women with an unplanned pregnancy who gave birth.

Yet here we are, trapped in an estranged world that uses mental health as a reason to not have an abortion when there’s still so much stigma around the topic. Yes, abortion can bring on all kinds of emotions, as can any other life changing, or everyday, decision. It can aggravate depression, anxiety, guilt or an addiction. It’s a chance these women knowingly take. We cannot use mental health as a reason to illegalize abortion when it’s still yet to be fully accepted. We cannot sit there and announce that it’ll unleash the mothers depression while telling her to get over it. What about the women that feel relief and safety after abortion? Are we to tell them that their feelings, the way their brain is made it up, is wrong? Where do we draw the line?

Abortion is a personal choice, not a legal debate – a popular opinion within the pro-choice community. Do not torment and take away the right a woman has to try make the best possible decision for herself, and ultimately the child.

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