Whilst my life is full to the brim with all my different roles I am first and foremost a woman who will fight for the rights of all women to equal participation in social, professional and educational worlds of their choosing.
I will also fight the idea that the only way in which women can or should be free to enjoy equal participation is through the provision of surgical and medical procedures to 'control their reproduction'. This idea is put forward repeatedly by abortion advocates who fail to see that all the effort they put into 'normalising' abortion and selling it as an absolute necessity is taking away from the support that so many women truly need.
In my private work, I have provided support and counsel to dozens of post abortive women. Some of these women have raised the issue of their abortions incidentally as part of another issue they wish to address. They don't all talk about grieving. However, not one of the women I have spoken to has related a story whereby they were fully informed or therefore appropriately consented for an abortion procedure. Even when their abortion is not a significant presenting issue, the reasons for their abortion are always about having felt like there was no other way. For those women who do present grieved and traumatised after abortion, their pain is palpable and heartbreaking.
I find myself infuriated on behalf of women whose partners withdraw support or who don't step up and say they will help them have their child, often copping out with the 'it's your choice' line that leaves women wholly responsible and often feeling abandoned, not supported. With most other life decisions, we expect women (and men) to consult with friends, family partners, professionals, to seek advice, consider alternatives, look at the potential consequences. If a woman were considering breast enhancement surgery so that she could get a better job, or a better boyfriend, or because her boyfriend preferred bigger breasts, would we condemn those around her if they suggested that perhaps these aren't great reasons to have surgery?
Yet, when a woman is experiencing an unintended pregnancy, abortion advocates would prefer her in an isolation bubble, certainly not subject to talk about supports for continuing her pregnancy, or stories about the grief that some women can experience. Abortion advocates even talk about the fact that women NEED abortion if they are not supported by partners, or if they are in situations of domestic violence, or if they might lose their jobs if they stay pregnant.
I say women NEED more support and encouragement, men who will step up and all the way out if they prefer to hit her than support her, workplaces that accommodate the flexible needs of mothers and fathers, educational institutions that are family friendly.
The general public need a wake up call to the fact that thousands of women every year are having abortions as a solution to their social, economic or relational problems. Very rarely is abortion provided for the reasons most people consider to be common.. maternal health. In Victoria, more than half of all late term (post 20wk) abortions are for psychosocial reasons. In 2011, one of these occurred in a full term pregnancy, 10 occurred after 28 weeks.
I will never be convinced that the healthiest outcome for a woman in adverse psychological or social circumstances is the deliberate ending of the life of her unborn child, nor does the evidence support such an action..