It is disturbing, but not surprising to see some of our local health professionals so ignorant about the reality of abortion. One Albury doctor wrote in a letter to the Editor of the Border Mail, that ‘Safety, consent and any other concerns around abortion are more than ensured by the numerous legal, medical, ethical professional and accreditation rules, regulations and guidelines which apply to all medical procedures.’ As a health professional, I have never known any other surgical procedure to be so freely available, on demand, within the same first appointment scheduled, and carried out when the ‘patient’ hasn’t stopped crying since walking in the front door. I’ve not seen any other medical or surgical procedures carried out in the complete and total absence of accurate and truthful information about potential physical or psychological adverse effects, as is often the case with abortion. It is interesting that in Victoria any woman (or man) under the age of 18 requires parental consent to attend a solarium for tanning, yet the same 16 year old could attend an abortion clinic, alone, without support, and have her ‘consented to’ procedure carried out within a couple of hours. This is the reality of abortion in our region, and women are the unwitting victims of what is sold to them as ‘choice’.
‘Women should be allowed to choose for themselves what is best for them’ says another prominent specialist in the Border Mail. Again, a sad but common ignorance about what constitutes ‘choice’ for most women undergoing abortion, even in our own regional area. Can you see any ‘choice’ in the following examples of women’s experiences.
A young woman is told she can’t live at home if she continues her pregnancy and the abortion clinic sympathises with her position and affirms abortion as her ‘best’ option. Seeing no way she can continue at university without a home to live in, she ‘chooses’ abortion. Three months later, she has left university, so distressed by what she felt pressured to do, that she wakes every night in fits of uncontrollable sobbing. Another woman, whose husband threatens to leave her if she doesn’t abort, finally succumbs to the pressure only to find her husband’s concern was that his girlfriend might discover the wife’s pregnancy. He left her 2 weeks after the abortion. The wife is not glad she aborted, she is devastated that she was lied to, that abortion was ‘too easy to get’ and that she felt ‘forced to go through with it’.
I see more than a dozen new clients every year from our regional area who are suffering extreme emotional trauma following abortion. These women need more than a ‘reframing’ of their experience to make it more manageable. They need someone to stand up and tell the truth. The truth is that abortion has nothing to do with ‘choice’. It has to do with it being easier to tell a woman to get rid of her child, than to take the harder step, the more time consuming step, to help her with her life circumstances, so she can make a choice..