Ok, I’ve now read all the replies… and here is my take.
I am not going to address the argument of ProLife vs ProChoice cause that is an OLD ARGUMENT… and there is truly no RIGHT or WRONG ANSWER in my mind…
Until we’ve all walked a mile in the Woman’s Shoes, we SHOULD NOT JUDGE
As the saying goes… “There but for the Grace of God, Go I”
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It all most definitely comes down to two things… EDUCATION & SCIENCE
From an Education POV, we need to be doing more to open the dialogue on Women’s Reproductive Health.
I am over 50, we have come a long way in my life time… Sex is now discussed more openly than ever.
That should OBVIOUSLY include Sexual Info for our Children / Teenagers. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER as they say. The kids who know the most about sex, are not the ones who are getting pregnant !!
Abstinence is indeed the safest and most complete form of BC…
BUT to stick our heads in the sand and ONLY teach Abstinence is short sighted. If you believe in Abstinence for your kids (lol altho in reality you as a Parent have NO CONTROL over what your Teenage Kids do)… then this is the message that should be taught at home, and thru ONGOING FAMILY VALUES (be they religious or other). You cannot teach Abstinence effectively after you Son has a wet dream, or your Daughter has a Period. It has to have started LONG LONG BEFORE that point in time.
We have to STOP being fearful of educating our kids about sex.
That means Family Values and Religion aside… every kid deserves comprehensive Sexual Education… as part of their HEALTH Education. Perod.
And that means explaining it all… how it works, how one gets pregnant, and how to prevent pregnancy, disease, etc. That means access to BC if requested… backed up with COMPREHENSIVE INFO (preferably someone to talk to in person, have Questions answered etc without Judgement… BUT with EMOTIONAL GUIDANCE).
Because like it or not… Teenage Pregnancy effects us all. It goes on to contribute / create a major element of the society we live in. That is where the EMOTIONAL PART comes in as well… we need to tell kids that Sex has a HUGE EMOTIONAL COMPONENT… and altho their bodies may be capable of sex / having babies… maybe their hearts & minds aren’t there yet (and WHY)
Which brings us back to Abstinence.
So the EDUCATION needs to be BALANCED !!
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Likewise… Women’s Health.
We need to do more at home to EDUCATE Women about our own bodies (and reproduction).
I notice a HUGE improvement in recent years in this area… and that is good… when I was married the first time (1980) no where was the type of info that women have access to now.
For example, WBee is truly amazing in this regard (maybe even more so than their Wedding Info).
I think it FANTASTIC that women here talk about all aspects of their Sexuality & Reproductive Health… this is a HUGE GAIN for woman kind. And something that should be readily available to even younger women… as clearly we often read a topic where someone writes “I DID NOT KNOW THAT”… and it can be a pretty straight forward element about Sex (Reproduction, BC, The Act, etc)
Again EDUCATION is a good thing
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And lastly… SCIENCE
Sometime in the future, I truly believe that this debate on Abortion will be a NON-ISSUE.
Shocking you say ???
Yup, I truly believe that science will make it a non-issue.
In my own lifetime we’ve come miles in “baby science”… back when I was born in the 1950s C-Sections were major operations, but they were relatively SAFE, for the first time due to the changes in medical procedures, cleanliness of hospitals, availability of drugs (including antibiotics etc).
Prior to that, many many women died either in childbirth itself if there were complications… or due to infection etc post op.
Then there is the fact that Babies can be viable outside of the womb sooner due to develops in medicine. The current point is 22 Weeks (0 to 10%) and it increases after that point in time.
Then you have the NEW Science that is IVF… Which has only been around since 1978. And the whole idea of “making a baby” outside of the womb began…
IVF has been a PHENOMENAL SCIENCE in the advancement of baby-making.
Now here is the reason that I say that Abortions will at some point in time become a thing of the past (well for the most part **)
Science will come so far that we’ll not only be able to take egg & sperm and formulate it into an Embryo in a petrie dish and put it into a Human as we do now with IVF…
BUT I predict that we’ll also be able to take a fertilized Embryo in the womb and take it out and transfer it into someone else.
(Equally as OUT THERE as the concept of IVF would have been for my Mother’s Generation… )
The Girl / Woman who ended up pregnant will be happy that she doesn’t have to face the prospect of having an unplanned “Baby”…
And someone else who has issues getting pregnant, will be able to have a Baby.
A true win-win
I believe that science will make this possible… based on how far we’ve come in regards to knowing more about Female Reproduction and Medical Advances in Baby-Making & Viability
** I truly don’t believe that most women are “comfortable” with the choice of Abortion (there may be some, but I’d say they are small minority).
I would say that the majority of those who seek out Abortions, feel trapped in a situation where they have few or NO OTHER CHOICE. Society still judges women who have Pregnancies / Children out of wedlock… or due to circumstances (ie the 14 year old HS Student). Women don’t opt to follow thru with their Pregnancies because if they do, they’ll still be judged, and in some cases even more harshly than if they had an Abortion… in so much as people don’t forget “She gave her first kid up for adoption”… OR “I heard she had an Abortion” etc.
And the stigma of that, PLUS the idea that having an Abortion is Murder in the minds of some … is part of the reason that such women are damned if they do, and they are damned if they don’t !!
And also part of the reason that sooo many women who have had an Abortion or gave up a child for Adoption go on to have mental health issues… GUILT
We need to stop that vicious cycle.
The answer lies in science.
Most women I believe, if given a choice… pure out Abortion, or Embryo / Fetus Transfer would choice the latter. Especially so if they already felt they couldn’t have / support a baby… and considering Abortion, they’ve come to the conclusion that they don’t truly have a lot of “connection” with the Embryo / Fetus / “Potential” Baby
And by opting for a Transfer, they’d be actually helping out another Woman who cannot get pregnant on her own, BUT would prefer an infant over Adopting a child (and statisically this is a growing group in our Population…)
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I think everyone should get off their high & mighty horses no matter which side of the argument ProLife or ProChoice they are on…
And do something constructive… campaign for EDUCATION… cause in the interim between where we are now and Science
EDUCATION is our only hope to make Abortions less of a need.
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PS… As well I’d like to make it clear that Abortion is not as it is often seen a ONE TYPE OF WOMAN ISSUE
It is an issue that cuts right across all facets of life. It is for sure the teenager that we all envision, but it can also be… the highly sexually active 20 something, or an addict (two more stereotypes)…
BUT it also can be the Mom who found herself in an Ooops situation… that got pregant shortly after having another baby (the number of times I’ve heard “But I thought I couldn’t get pregant while I was breastfeeding” )
OR the Older Woman… who’s periods are a total mess because she’s Premenopausal…
So we SHOULD NOT BE SO SMUG TO JUDGE
It truly can happen to ANYONE.
As Women we need to be more supportive of each other… and the girls & women that come after us