Abortion: A Rant on All My Issues with this Debate

Abortion is probably one of the most polarizing issues people discuss. Most are either all-the-way one way or the other. And usually there’s no way to have a productive debate about it—especially on social media.

But it’s also a frustrating topic to discuss because people are always only making one point. Each side vehemently beats their own proverbial dead horse several times over, and rarely responds to considerations to the opposite. I am a person that wants deep conversation. And the topic of abortion isn’t JUST about abortion. It’s about healthcare, education, and the current state of foster care. Yes, all of those things matter to this debate.

And I just feel the need to rant about it. So, here are the biggest issues (that I’m currently aware of) that we all need to be discussing regarding abortion.

Abortion is Not Just About Responsibility

Sex makes babies. Most of us know this. But it’s not just planned sex that makes babies. Sometimes, protection fails. The pill wasn’t strong enough, the condom broke. Stuff like this happens. So, even those who are being responsible can end up pregnant. Making it out like irresponsibility is the sole reason for abortion is pretty close-minded.

But also: parenthood should not be a punishment for having sex. Parenthood should be a journey that two consenting adults go into together. Forcing people who either don’t want kids or who generally cannot give a child a good home doesn’t seem like the best way to create good parents.

Moreover, there are other instances where an unintended pregnancy can occur. Rape is still a disgusting reality of our world. And regardless of what uninformed politicians say, your body doesn’t “shut down” a pregnancy due to rape. It is a cruelty to insist that a woman carry a baby to term after having her bodily right taken away from her; it is a violation of her and her body in two separate occasions. How can people support that? And to ask a woman to sacrifice months—even years—of her life to carry a child to term, give birth to it, and deal with all the potential complications that women experience from pregnancy and childbirth is both unjust and inhumane.

When these things can happen, there has to be a solution that women can turn to if they are not in a place—or simply do not want—a child. In a situation like this, I would consider an abortion emergency medical care.

Pregnancy Conflicts Can Require Abortion

Sometimes, people who actively want children experience complications with pregnancy that require emergency treatment that can be similar to abortive procedures. This can—and probably will—cause issues in the future if it’s decided that all abortions are banned.

Ectopic pregnancies are one example. A fertilized egg can try to embed itself in the Fallopian tube rather than the womb, causing it to rupture. In this case, the pregnancy is not viable, and yet there is a fertilized egg, which some states consider to be “human life”, thus protected. But a ruptured Fallopian tube puts the mother’s life at risk. By banning or limiting abortions, a woman might also die because she cannot get the help she needs by doctors and surgeons who are fearful of being sued or accused of breaking the law. Thus, neither the fetus nor the woman survive.

The same is true for miscarriages, and these are very common.

These issues can sometimes require medical attention. There is a risk that a woman suffering from an ectopic pregnancy might not get the help she needs in a world that bans abortions. Or, in a state where abortion is illegal, she might get accused of having an abortion when she’s actually having a miscarriage.

These are potential issues that can arise from a hard stance of “abortion is banned.” This ultimatum against abortions isn’t the solution that most believe it is because it does NOT cover all issues that may require a fetus being removed from a woman.

Pregnancy Is Not Easy

Something that people seem to forget: pregnancy is a sacrifice. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s not “just what women do”. Pregnancy is a sacrifice that women make to bring life in this world, and it is not easy.

So, when you insist a woman just carry a child she doesn’t want to term and put it up for adoption, you’re neglecting the amount of sacrifice she has to make in her own life to do this. Nine months of carrying a child. Nine months of weight-gain, and hormone fluctuations; of watching her diet and going to appointments; complete body changes as her internal organs shift to carry a human being within her body.

And this is just if she doesn’t have any complications. Goddess forbid if she ends up having to be bedridden due to complications with the pregnancy.

And after this, there comes the healing from pregnancy and childbirth.

Where does ANYONE get the idea that pregnancy is just an easy thing that “women just do”? You spit in the face of every single woman who has decided to give birth.

Beyond physical changes, there’s also the concerns of work. How does she earn an income? What type of work was she doing before she got pregnant? Can she keep doing it easily, or does that also have to change now that she’s pregnant? And if it does, who exactly is going to hire a pregnant woman, considering there seems to be so many prejudices against them?

So, this whole idea of “just carry the baby and put it up for adoption” doesn’t really work here either.

You Cannot Just Rely on “Don’t Have Sex”

For the religious person who constantly insists “just don’t have sex and you won’t have a problem”, that’s also not a solution. This mentality often comes along with “save sex until marriage” and “sex is only meant for procreation”—both of which are commands that come from religious backgrounds.

You cannot force your religion and your religious beliefs onto every single person within a nation.

First, it’s unconstitutional. Freedom of religion means you can practice whatever religion you wish and not face persecution. It does not mean you have the right to enforce your religious ideals onto others. You wouldn’t want someone of another faith trying to do that to you.

Second, the idea of “just don’t have sex” does not work for everyone. Consider teenagers. I know no one wants to think of their precious kids getting older, but I’m sorry to tell you this: you cannot stop hormones. And there’s plenty of evidence to show that telling young people “just don’t do this” doesn’t stop them from doing it. Especially when it comes to sex.

Or what about the fact that most people nowadays aren’t getting married until their late-20s/early-30s? Or the people who have no intentions of getting married ever? You cannot tell fully grown adults that they cannot have sex. Further, plenty of these people believe sex is an integral part of a relationship and wouldn’t get married if they didn’t know they were sexually compatible with their partners. The world’s changing; stop living in the past and join us in the present.

Sexual Abuse

I hate to bring this up, as I hate the fact that this is part of our world, but it’s a reality that is also connected to abortion. There are women—and girls—who are sexually abused, which can lead to pregnancy that either traps them further in a bad situation or could kill them.

Banning abortions for all means they face greater risk and harm.

That woman who’s stuck in an abusive relationship and cannot get out of it, and who cannot deny her partner sex for her own safety, is now even more trapped and will have to worry about a child suffering at the hands of abuse.

That little girl who’s been sexually abused at home by the men her life who are meant to protect her? Those men got her pregnant. You give me one good reason why she deserves parenthood. Give me one reason why she should have to carry a child to term despite the fact she herself is a child, and her body is not designed to carry a child. Why should she have to risk her life because of the men who committed one of the most offensive of crimes?

This is a reality. And banned abortions condemn these women, who we should be helping.

Healthcare: A Conflict, but Also a Solution

You can’t insist women carry a fetus to birth if you’re not also willing to provide for her health and well-being. And I’m not just talking about how insanely expensive it is to give birth in America. I’m talking about the entire pregnancy. All the doctor visits, all the medication she might need, the food she needs to eat, her maternity clothes, items for the baby. And after that? Of course, the birth and and the recovery process as well.

Not everyone in America has healthcare, and those that do don’t always have great healthcare. So, if you expect a woman to give birth, are you willing to pay for her entire pregnancy and recovery?

Oh! And let’s also give a shout-out to the fact that birth control isn’t always easily and affordably available to people—even with healthcare. So, how can you argue that birth control options are plentiful, and abortion shouldn’t be necessary, when many people cannot access certain types of birth control without healthcare?

But in that is a solution: If we want abortions to be limited, it means making sure that every single person has access to easy and affordable birth control options. And I don’t just mean condoms. I mean, pills, implants, IUDs. The more options people have, the more protected they can be.

Education: Sex Education Needs Improvement

Because America must be allergic to comprehensive sex education that actually TEACHES kids about sex and relationships. Instead, we still seem to be favoring the abstinence-only crap that has been proven to DO NOTHING in terms of preventing teenage pregnancy.

If we’re not teaching our kids about sex and how babies are made, how the hell do we expect them to know about sex and how babies are made? Will teens just magically realize that it doesn’t necessarily take a penis going into a vagina for it to happen? That there’s still a risk if semen comes into contact with her vagina?

These are things that need to get addressed in sex education. Because teenagers are very likely to experiment. But research shows they delay sexual activity and also make better decisions if they are informed over uninformed. So, stop choosing fear and ignorance and crossing your fingers, hoping that’s enough to keep your kids away from sex. All you’re doing is giving them complexes regarding their bodies, relationships, and sex.

Telling kids “hey, no sex until you’re married” is condemning every single one of them who doesn’t follow that rule, which—as I said above—does not work. You need to teach how to protect themselves. Otherwise, you are just not equipping any of them for the future. We’ve got no one to blame but ourselves on this issue.

So, another long-term solution: If you want to limit abortions and turn it into an emergency service, then you need to get on board with educating your kids about sex.

Foster Care and Adoption: Neither Are Great Systems

I’m just going to be blunt here: we all know that the foster care system isn’t great. There are too many stories of kids who end up trapped in the system, who don’t get a home, and just get kicked to the streets when they turn 18. Kids who’ve had no love, little structure, and now they’re expected to know how to care for themselves.

That’s not how good functioning adults are made. A child’s environment shapes their entire life—how they connect and interact with others, how they develop relationships, how they see the world. A foster care system that can’t replicate the environment that a child need to grow up well-balanced means that child will be failed. And if that child grows up and cannot function well within society, we’ll blame the child.

See how this kinda doesn’t work? How it’s really not a great option?

Even adoption is a difficult and expensive process. It is not easy for even well-off couples to adopt a child. So, as an option for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy? It’s equally not great—because if the right family can’t be found, or a good family can’t afford it, you once again have another child in the system.

If you want this to be a valid solution for a woman who finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy, then you need to be working to improve these systems for children. So that they’re not being failed by the systems or unable to get into good homes because of how difficult it is. If this is a better option than abortion, then fix the systems.

Women are NOT Things

I hate that I feel like I have to write this, but women aren’t things. Women are not incubators to serve at men’s whims. And all of these conversations surrounding abortion seem to defend the life of the fetus, but not the rights of the woman who must carry it. Why is her life not seen as valid?

This comes back to my point “Pregnancy is a sacrifice”. Women have to give up and do a lot in order to sustain a life within them. And I, for one, think it’s absolutely amazing that there are women in the world who still want to do that despite so many conversations and debates that talk about them like they’re just birthing objects.

It is not a woman’s job to carry a fetus. Yes, it is something that the body is designed to do, but it is not a job or a requirement. Women are not incubators, and the discussions that we have surrounding abortion HAVE to include talking about the woman as a person, an individual. Because that’s exactly what she is.

Final Words

I personally don’t like the idea of abortion being used as a form of birth control. There are so many options at this point for preventing pregnancy that I personally feel abortion should be a last resort and a procedure for helping women in need. That is my own personal opinion on the matter.

But I equally cannot support the banning of abortions. Because it doesn’t stop abortions. Banning abortion only stops safe abortions. There’s a reason why the unofficial symbol of an abortion is a wire coat-hanger. It’s disgusting, and we should not be encouraging women be that desperate.

Because driving a woman to that place of desperation means we are going to come face-to-face with a very horrifying future. And you cannot put people in desperate situations and then complain that the face of desperation is ugly.

You cannot proclaim to be “pro-life” if you are able to argue that the life of the woman who must carry and bear the child is any less valuable than whatever stage of life lives within her. Because denying any women access to medical assistance, including abortion, has the potential to doom her own life and future. Despite our medical enhancements, plenty of women still suffer severe complications through pregnancy or even die.

Women’s lives are valuable, and we need to stop seeing them as just vessels for carrying offspring.

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