Writer-Counselor-Wellbeing Coach

Tag: abortion-rights advocates

Dancing in the streets to celebrate abortion: Media Release

Reproductive Choice Australia's latest campaign is one which brings a sickening feeling of dismay to the many people who have contacted us about it. Reproductive Choice propose to carry out a flashmob in Melbourne's CBD, wearing t-shirts with the slogan: Abortion, a Fact of Life.

For those who don't know what a flash mob is, it is a group of people who carry out a pre-organised form of entertainment in a public space, most often to the surprise and delight of unassuming passers-by.   Flash mobs usually consist of some dancing and/or singing or some kind of drama. They can be lots of fun.

Leslie Cannold, a prominent pro-abortion advocate leads the dancing lesson in a YouTube video, where they are working to recruit participants for the flash mob. Leslie Cannold stated in her book, The Abortion Myth, that she had very real concerns that the experiences of women who sought and had abortions were not being heard. Yet it seems that when it comes to the evidence that abortion leaves up to 20% of women suffering serious and prolonged mental health problems, and that many women are having abortions in the absence of genuine and supported alternatives,  neither Leslie, nor her organisation are interested in hearing the voices of real women.

Dancing in the streets to celebrate  abortion is their answer to these women.  Celebrating what for so many women is a tragedy and an unwanted solution to a difficult issue. Shouting down the testimonies of women harmed by abortion at events where they desperately try to have a voice is the answer they give to the women whose rights they espouse to value.

This event serves to minimise, if not dismiss the very real trauma so many women experience when faced with an abortion decision. It makes a mockery of the circumstances so many women find themselves struggling with if they are unexpectedly pregnant and are desperate for support. It shows how little pro abortion advocates really understand what it is they are fighting for, surgical and medical solutions to social problems that make it challenging for women to fully participate in activities of their choosing, whether that be in the home, the workforce or in education.

Instead of lobbying for greater access to childcare, more flexible work practices, less violence toward women, more concern about the potential harm of abortion, they choose to dance in the streets to celebrate the pain their advocacy helps to inflict on women, men and children.

Debbie Garratt
Executive Director, Real Choices Australia

RU486 and Marie Stopes: Media Release

While one of the world’s largest providers of abortion services adds to its ability to generate more income through the availability of training of doctors and the supply of drugs to procure abortions, Australian women are once again supposed to be thankful for an additional solution to their primarily psychosocial problems. 

Whilst the research undertaken by Marie Stopes own medical director found that the ‘..regimen is an effective option for Australian women’, with minimal adverse effects, international and national researchers not connected to the organisation do not agree. 

A Finnish study published in 2009 found that medical abortion had around 4 times the rate of adverse events than surgical abortion, with haemorrhage experienced by almost 16% of women taking RU486 (abortion pill). A more recent Australian study found that 1 in 18 users of RU486 required admission to hospital for adverse events compared to only 1 in 250 women undergoing surgical abortion.

RU486 is sold as a solution to women living in rural and regional areas where access to surgical abortion may be more difficult. Yet it is clear that for these women, the use of RU486 becomes even more dangerous where their access to appropriate medical and surgical care in the face of adverse events may also be restricted.

International research already informs us that up to 20% of women suffer serious and prolonged mental health problems following surgical abortion.   The potential for significantly increased psychological harm for women more actively participating in a lengthy, often painful process of abortion, in their own homes, and often confronted with the sight of their expelled babies is enormous.     

Yet Marie Stopes, abortion advocates, and the media ‘sell’ this is a victory for women’s health. Social structures that do not support women to continue their pregnancies, but force them to choose between careers and children, education and children, partners and family and children are not ‘health’ issues. 

Establishing flexible programs of study for pregnant and parenting university students is a solution. Prosecuting men who are violent toward their partners and coerce them into having abortions is a solution.   Appropriate housing, warm clothes and adequate food for a homeless, pregnant women is a solution.   

These solutions cost money, take time, involve more resources and say to women you do not have to choose. They are better for women. RU486 is better for Marie Stopes.

Debbie Garratt   
Executive Director

Media Release: A response to ‘Call for Free Abortions’

Call for free abortions as needy women priced out of procedure’ says the headline, with women’s health advocates stating that, ‘Growing numbers of women in desperate financial straits cannot afford abortions.’ (Sydney Morning Herald, August 6)

With up to 75% of abortion seeking women stating financial constraints as a reason they are unable to continue their pregnancies, one has to wonder what these ‘women’s advocates’ are doing to ensure that no woman has an unwanted abortion when financial constraints are a primary factor.

The cases put forward in this article of the woman with 5 children and a domestic violence issue, a homeless mother and a mother with children in foster care seem on the surface to be desperate cases for abortion.   However, these cases only demonstrate how miserably we are failing to support women and children out of their dire circumstances by offering them surgical solutions to their social problems. This kind of problem provides abortions for the pregnant, homeless women, instead of housing and financial support.

The suggestion by Catherine White that the continuation of unplanned pregnancies places a burden on child protection and welfare services is without evidence, and is a not too cleverly disguised opinion that women from lower socioeconomic circumstances should not be offered the support they need to bring their children into the world. Her statement that women adversely suffer mental health issues if they give birth following an unplanned pregnancy is also without substantiation. In fact, the opposite is true with international evidence demonstrating that up to 20% of women experience serious and prolonged mental health problems after abortion, creating an unnecessary burden on our economy, not to mention the lives of women themselves and their families.

The fact is that about half of all pregnancies are unintended, and about half of these lead to abortion, with more than 95% of those being undertaken for psychosocial reasons.  These reasons are often complex and often related to a woman’s economic situation, including worry about employment, education, housing and withdrawal of support from partners and family.  Until we have a system where a woman’s economic and social needs can be adequately addressed and remedied, we cannot continue to espouse abortion as an actual choice.

When a woman is forced to choose between her education and having her baby, her employment and having her baby or her boyfriend/partner/husband and having her baby this is not choice, it is coercion. When services fail to demonstrate their willingness to meet a woman’s social and economic needs so that she feels able to choose to continue her pregnancy, they are contributing to this coercion.

Instead of more discussion about increasing access to abortion, particularly medical abortion with its much higher risk of adverse effects, we need to be discussing the real reasons why women have abortions and offering real solutions. Only then can we say that real choice exists.

© 2024 Debbie Garratt

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