"If it wasn't for your abortion, you would never had the opportunities afforded you today."
This is one of the many shallow arguments for abortion that I've heard over the years. Not only is it completely false, but in fact for me, and I suspect the majority of women the opposite is true.
If it wasn't for abortion, my own parenting journey would have been very different, resulting in all other aspects of my life, including my education and career being made easier.
If it wasn't for abortion my calm and quiet breastfed child would have been welcome in my university lectures, making it easier for me to return to education earlier.
If it wasn't for abortion, more after school child care would have been available so that I could work my full time job without constantly having to stress over juggling the care arrangements for my school aged children.
It it wasn't for abortion, real feminists would have advocated for childcare in universities, flexible work practices, more paid parental leave, breastfeeding friendly communities and more accountability from fathers.
If it wasn't for abortion, women would not be told they must bear the brunt of pregnancy and parenting alone thereby isolating and abandoning them to decisions they don't want to make.
If it wasn't for abortion we would be respecting, valuing, and perhaps even being in awe of the life giving capacity of women while also facilitating them to express all of their other skills and talents.
If it wasn't for abortion, we would be advocating for real maternal health care in developing countries, the kind that brings antibiotics and basic medical care so that women weren't dying from preventable causes in childbirth, instead of advocating that these women need abortion instead.
If it wasn't for the idea that abortion buys women freedom and autonomy, women wouldn't be forced to choose between the lives of their children and full participation in professional, educational and social worlds. Abortion has become a trap out of which many feel no escape. It has become a default for those women who have amazing knowledge, talents and skills they want to express, while also being able to bear children but they are told they can't do both. Or if they do both, it will be so hard because they will be on their own.
In spite of abortion and all the ways in which it has caused us to ignore the real needs of women, I raised 2 children alone, after becoming a teenage mother.
In spite of abortion and all the ways in which its availability taught universities that they didn't have to cater to parenting women, I managed to get three degrees while raising 2 children alone.
In spite of abortion, and how its availability meant there was less concern for caring for the children that were born, I managed to keep jobs and develop an amazing career.
How much easier it has become for all those around a woman to isolate her at a time of vulnerability and distress, tell her she has her own 'choice' to make, reinforce to her how hard it will be to bear the burden alone. Much easier to simply sending her off to the closest abortion clinic, where the 'obstacle' to her goals will be conveniently removed and nobody else needs to do a thing.
Of all the arguments FOR abortion, benefits to women cannot be accepted as one of them.
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