“My Body, My Choice” | Let’s Talk About Abortion

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The topic of abortion has always been an issue of polarising debate. In today’s world, there are, still, many governments who frown on the subject. So why is abortion such a sensitive topic; why is a woman’s body considered less important than the infant within her womb? Is abortion really just a woman’s choice alone, or should the fathers have a say? We‘re analyzing this and more in today’s article of Black Pepper Magazine.



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One would think that by now, the issue of the legality of abortion would be a thing of the past. But when you consider the fact that the Equal Rights Amendment was passed in 2020—just last year—it’s hard to ignore the political oppression perpetuated against women globally, for centuries. Even today, within the USA, several states have been given autonomy over abortion laws, with some regions choosing to abolish abortion.

This act alone of forcing a choice onto women has created political viewpoints on the matter of abortion: Pro-life and Pro-choice. Well, what do they mean?



The Argument between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice

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In a nutshell, to be pro-life means to be opposed to abortion; while to be pro-choice means to be in favour of the legalisation of abortion. These terms aren’t necessarily gender based, with older conservative women leaning on the Pro-life spectrum. Yet, both views on this matter are important, as each one fights for equality; therefore it is necessary for us to analyse these varying standpoints.

Are you a Pro-Lifer? To truly answer this question, we must debunk the myth behind pro-life. It is without doubt that while pro-life identifies with anti-abortion, the latter doesn’t truly define what it means to be a pro-lifer. This is because, like the equal rights movement, the pro-life movement seeks to value and elevate all life, starting with the baby in women’s bellies.


Do you Support Pro-Choice?




A common misconception about pro-choice is that it is premeditated murder against unborn children. This is very untrue, because pro-choice (although deemed ‘pro-murder’ by many) seeks to protect pregnant women in very difficult situation. Here’s a scenario: imagine having to stand before a judge and having this judge—who knows nothing about your personal life, mind you—decide whether or not you can keep a child. It sounds ridiculous, yet it happens in certain parts of the States.

As it so happens, both views are important, however it seems that supporting the pro-life movement seems to violate the very foundations of any democratic constitution: the freedom of choice. If this is so; why are our bodies as women, with freedom of choice, pitted against the mind of a foetus, who cannot yet think for itself? The answer lies in the comparison between the common beliefs behind abortion and the actual facts of the operation.


How Abortion Works





Some pro-lifers, who are doctors, argue that the human life begins with the ovum being fertilised. This is true on many standards, yet according to studies, a preborn baby develops a heart approximately 4 weeks into pregnancy and a brain 6 weeks after. 14 weeks after that, a preborn baby feels pain.


What are the facts?

• According to Guttmacher Institute, most women who receive abortions (23-25% of world female population) do so because they either feel the timing is wrong or cannot financially provide for their child.

• About 4% of women who receive abortions do so because of medical conditions.

• Only a small percentage of women who receive abortions (less than 0.5%) do so because of rape.



What is the Process of Abortion?



The thought of having an abortion is less scary than the procedure itself. According to the NHS, a woman has two choices: medical abortion (abortion pills) and surgical abortion; each can be performed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. All abortion processes brings discomfort, illness and bleeding. These, with the use of drugs, may improve after time.

Although there are numerous medical centers that provide professional abortion services, the tales of abortion survivors are real. Now, abortion complications aren’t very common, but it is something to consider.



The View on Abortion around the World



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In the US alone, 27 abortions bans were passed across 12 states in the country as at 2019. In 2020, some states are reviewing abortion rights due to the enactment of Equal Rights Amendment.

Abortion laws in Europe are quite definite, with many EU countries such as France, Belgium, Netherlands, France and Germany supporting abortion rights. The UK as well supports the cause of female reproductive rights.

Africa is a more deregulated continent in terms of abortion. Guttmacher reports that abortion rates range from 12% in Western Africa to 23% and 24% respectively in Northern and Southern Africa. A similar figure of 13% and 14% is recorded in Middle and Eastern Africa. It seems African governments are indifferent to abortion rights; however there is an urgent need for safe abortion clinics.


What About Paternal Rights?



The law states that paternity cannot be established until a child is born; therefore women own exclusive rights to their pregnancies. On the issue of abortion, fathers have very little say on the matter. Should they have more to say ?


Conclusion | Pro-Life or Pro-Choice



The debate between pro-life and pro-choice continues to an intimidating issue. No matter where you stand on the spectrum, an important part of equality is sacrificed. If it were up to you as a lady, your choice would be purely subjective. However, governments still place a firm hand on proceedings; therefore more research is needed whenever abortion rights are reviewed.

Whichever you choose, pro-life or pro-choice, be proud in the fact that you stand for something. And that in itself (standing for something) is a lot better than standing on the fence.