Many people I talk to profess to either ‘sit on the fence’ on the abortion issue, or state, that whilst they would never choose abortion, they think it should be an available choice. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it. A woman’s body, a woman’s choice… Every child a ‘wanted child’… we’ve been hearing the ‘pro choice’ slogans for decades. If only these ‘slogans’ bore some truth, the abortion rate of around 90,000 a year in Australia would be dramatically reduced.
Most people still think of abortion as being related to rape, incest, and terrible deformities of the unborn baby: most are shocked at the real truth.
Abortion is rarely a decision of true choice when more than 90% of abortions each year are undertaken for psychosocial reasons. These reasons include, feeling pressured by others, or unsupported by others, not having enough money, wanting to finish school, or not wanting to quit a job or not feeling ‘ready’ for a baby. When a woman doesn’t perceive that continuing her pregnancy is really an option, for reasons of economics or lack of emotional or practical support, then she isn’t being provided with a choice. International research supports this truth with around 70% of post abortive women stating that they had an abortion because they felt they had ‘no other choice’.
It wasn’t a matter of their child being ‘wanted’, but about how supported the woman would feel if she made a decision to continue her pregnancy and either parent or adopt. This makes abortion an issue for all of us. We are all part of the community and broader society that creates an environment where we fail to support and nurture women and their unborn children at the most vulnerable time of their lives..