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Dec 26 2011

Should a Woman Feel Sad About Her Abortion? F*!%k No!

 
By Sunsara Taylor from Sunsara’s Blog
 
There is absolutely nothing wrong, tragic, unfortunate, or sad about a woman choosing to get an abortion. Nothing.
 
Why?
 
Because being forced to have a child against your will is enslavement. Period.
 
Why else?
 
Because fetuses are NOT babies. Fetuses have the potential to become babies, but until they are born they have no independent social or biological existence. They are a subordinate part of a woman’s body. Any state, religious, or family intervention which forces – or even pressures – a woman into subordinating her life, dreams and health to incubating that fetus against her will is completely unjust and illegitimate. It is immoral and it is enslaving.
 
But what about her responsibility? If she didn’t want a baby, shouldn’t she have thought of that before she “opened her legs”?
 
This argument is wrong on at least four levels. First, this suggests that it is wrong for women to have sex and that they must be punished for doing so (while applying a totally different standard to men). Second, this approach treats children – who should be wanted and well cared for – like nothing more than a punishment to women. Third, this ignores the fact that getting an abortion when one is not ready or eager to have a child is taking responsibility. Finally, this ignores the fact that it is the very Christian fascists who are criminalizing abortion who are responsible for denying increasing numbers of women access to birth control and sex education (which makes it enormously harder for them to protect themselves from pregnancy during sex in the first place).
 
But what about when a woman is raped? Or if she really wanted to have a baby but there is something wrong with the fetus or a danger to her own life? Doesn’t that make the abortion sad?
 
Again, fuck no!
 
If a woman is impregnated because of being raped, it is the rape that is the horrific crime – the abortion which prevents her from being forced to bear the child of her rapist is positive and liberating.
 
If a woman really wants a child but something goes wrong with the pregnancy, it is the medical problems that are the tragedy – the abortion that eliminates those dangers is positive and liberating.
 
Women are human beings, not incubators. A woman who cannot decide for herself when and whether she will have a child has no more freedom than a slave. Abortion is not something to apologize for, it is something to celebrate and defend. 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her life, she is not wrong for doing so. It is time to declare loudly and boldly:
 
ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!!!
 
 
Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution Newspaper and a host for Equal Time for Freethought on WBAI-NYC.  She also sits on the Advisory board of the World Can’t Wait.

60 comments

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  1. 1
    Kate from Iowa

    Something to be celebrated? That seems a little odd. It’s simply a medical proceedure. Do you celebrate your colonoscopy too?

    1. 1.1
      twist

      I would if someone kept trying to take away my right to have one.

    2. 1.2
      Melinda

      @ Kate…personally, I did not “celebrate” when I had my abortion. I cried, I felt guilty and ashamed, especially because other people made me feel that way.

      But it comes down to the fact that women should be allowed to make decisions that will benefit themselves and their bodies. I’ve never had a colonoscopy so I can’t speak on that. But I have experienced abortion and although I still feel a bit of sadness, I know that it was the right decision.

      So abortion isn’t something to celebrate, but I also believe that every woman should be able to do what is best for herself…and if abortion is part of that, then we are closer to achieving reproductive rights. Not every woman is able to support a child financially or emotionally. And yes, sometimes people are careless and don’t use contraceptives or birth control. But that still doesn’t mean there should be no freedom of choice in the name of preserving “life”.

  2. 2
    Laurel

    Kate, I celebrated my abortion. Is a colonoscopy a right women fought long and hard for because, without it, they had no autonomy?

    I hope one day abortion is seen as just another medical procedure. That day isn’t today.

  3. 3
    maureen.brian

    We celebrate the fact that we finally got to have safe abortions in sterile conditions and with evidence-based advice available but only if we want that advice.

    It was a long fight to get that and the backlash is already causing major problems but if you can’t see that even the present situation is better than having having no say at all in your own breeding schedule – than being a brood mare – I don’t believe there’s a lot I can do to explain it to you.

  4. 4
    carlie

    Do you celebrate your colonoscopy too?

    If getting it saved me from a lifetime that was irrevocably changed in a way that caused everything in my life to be measurably different in a way opposite to what I had envisioned for myself and made everything much more difficult, then yes, yes I would.

  5. 5
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    @ Kate from Iowa:

    A colonoscopy would be something to celebrate and defend if it was a necessary procedure denied to you and you were threatened and stigmatized for needing one.

    ——
    No, a woman should never be made to feel sad about an abortion. If she happens to feel a little sad, for her own reasons, then that is her business.

  6. 6
    khan

    I celebrated my root canal.
    Because it stopped the pain.

  7. 7
    khan

    I also celebrated my abortion for the same reason.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Well said.

  9. 9
    opposablethumbs

    Very well said indeed. While one might regret the circumstances that made an abortion the preferred choice, the abortion itself is a solution, not a problem.

    “Every child a wanted child” bears repeating, especially considering that doing – hell, even trying to do – a half-decent job of having and bringing up a child is bloody hard and unimaginably time-consuming!

  10. 10
    Counsel

    Women should have the option to choose. Its as simple as that. And it doesn’t have to be because of a horrible circumstance either.

  11. 11
    Alyson Miers

    This hand-wringing over the “tragedy” of abortion says more about the hand-wringers than about the fact of abortion itself. It’s a dog eating its own tail: supposedly abortion is bad because the woman will regret it. But if the woman doesn’t regret it, then she’s just shallow and selfish, therefore abortion is still bad.

  12. 12
    Jurjen S.

    F wrote:

    No, a woman should never be made to feel sad about an abortion. If she happens to feel a little sad, for her own reasons, then that is her business.

    Opposablethumbs wrote:

    While one might regret the circumstances that made an abortion the preferred choice, the abortion itself is a solution, not a problem.

    Thank you both for these observations. There was something gnawing at me that I felt there was something I disagreed on with the OP (and it was making me uncomfortable because I’m a man and when it comes to abortion, I’d really prefer to defer to people with uteri) but between you, you have put your finger on it and articulated better than I could.

    1. 12.1
      opposablethumbs

      I’m not quite sure that I’m getting what you mean, though (because essentially I’m in agreement with the OP myself).

      I think it’s certainly possible that one might (or might not) regret the circumstances that made an abortion necessary, without that making the abortion itself any less of a solution … if I understand you aright, though, I think we’re probably both agreeing that while a woman’s individual feelings may vary and there’s no hard and fast rule “telling” her what to feel, her/our/my etc. choice to have an abortion is in no way a problem or source of regret in itself.

      (Personally I was annoyed about the IUD failure, didn’t lose a wink of sleep and felt nothing but relief :-) )

  13. 13
    Nathair

    ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!!!

    Absolutely.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong, tragic, unfortunate, or sad about a woman choosing to get an abortion. Nothing.

    Except that sometimes, in real life, there is. I was sad about it. Not crushed-with-grief Ophelia-handing-out-flowers, just sad about it. (Let’s face it “sad” is not exactly setting the emotional response bar very high.) Would I have felt infinitely worse if the option had not been available? Without question, but “It could have been worse” doesn’t magically transform crappy into a carnival.

    Assertion that no woman should ever be even so much as sad about choosing to have an abortion is naive at best.

    1. 13.1
      papango

      Assertion that no woman should ever be even so much as sad about choosing to have an abortion is naive at best.

      I totally agree with you on that. But I don’t think the author means to suggest that only one response is acceptable. I think she is trying to get to the reasons women are told they should feel bad about their terminations, and refute them. Rather than set out how a woman should feel.

      Much like you, I had a mixed and contradictory emotional reaction to my termination and (many years later) to having my womb removed. It was totally the right decision, and I do it again without hesitation but if things had been different there would have been a baby, they weren’t so there wasn’t, and I do feel a little sad for the lost potential. I think that’s fine. Reproductive issues can trigger strong emotions (and hormones) and I don’t think it makes you a bad woman or a bad feminist to acknowledge what you felt.

  14. 14
    Kate from Iowa

    It’s interesting to see what is being read into a fairly bland statement by the community here. There are so many other things that have had to be and continue to have to be fought for that are just a part of everyday life now, because they have become normalised in our society. The right for women to vote, for instance, or the right for black people to be educated, or the right for Native Americans/First Nations people to live off the reservations if they want. Do we celebrate all these things? No. Did we have to fight for them all? Yes. The greatest triumph of all of these things that were fought and died for is that now, they are just an everyday, ordinary part of life, not really even worth comment even, as they are/have been normalised into our society. Reproductive rights and abortion as an option in particular need to follow the others.

  15. 15
    katie

    thank you for this. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve been made to feel ashamed for having gotten an abortion 5 years ago. i still haven’t told most of my family out of fear of being disowned. i hope that one day women won’t have to be ashamed for doing what is right for them rather than what others tell them is right.

  16. 16
    Frannie

    I Totally agree. I think its crazy that society looks down on females that have abortions. There not whores nor are they evil. Every ones life is different and may not permit you to have a child at that moment. There’s a difference in women that abort for a logical reason and those that abort because they think its a form of birth control. Abortions are nothing new to the world and every country has there own method and its often an unspoken act. The only difference is that in the united states the same men that force a female to make the choice to abort turn around and talk shit.

    1. 16.1
      Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

      There’s a difference in women that abort for a logical reason and those that abort because they think its a form of birth control.

      Abortion is a form of birth control. Any reason that a woman freely chooses to have an abortion is a good enough reason. Quit judging.

  17. 17
    raymoscow

    Secular Amen here!

  18. 18
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Do you celebrate your colonoscopy too?

    Well, if it allows me to get diagnosed and treated for bowel cancer before it metastasize, hell yes !!!

  19. 19
    SallyStrange

    Awesome. Sums up pretty much every argument I’ve ever had about abortion. I’m bookmarking this for future reference.

  20. 20
    ginger k

    Thank you, Sunsara Taylor. As a former abortion clinic staffer, I conducted a survey of our patients. The majority (about 90%) felt nothing but relief after their abortion. A few felt sadness, and even fewer expressed regret. The “post-abortion syndrome” is yet another misogynist myth.

  21. 21
    mas528

    Thank goodness I am seeing this kind of thing proclaimed.

    The “safe, legal, and rare” crowd are for the birds.

    I used to refer to abortion (before my atheism) abortion as a mitzvah, referring to the *fact* that it was everyone’s duty

    Ballon angioplasty l drugs decoupled blocked heart arteries from death or heart failure and cholesterol lowering drugs decoupled genetic proclivity towards high cholesterol.

    Abortion decouples the sex act from pregnancy, thus leveling the playing field for men and women.

    It prevents the raped and coerced from being punished for at least 9 months.

    Note, I do not say that children are a punishment, but I see forced-birthers to be very much the same as in the islamic countries where women are punished for ‘adultery by force’.

  22. 22
    john@skeptivus

    until they are born they have no independent social or biological existence

    Maybe someone can explain to me the justification for this idea. What happens to the fetus after passing through the birth canal that gives it independent social and biological existence? Is it officially a protected individual once it passes the canal or when the umbilical cord is cut. If not, then when?

    Thanks

    1. 22.1
      Anat

      What happens to the fetus after passing through the birth canal that gives it independent social and biological existence?

      It stops depending physically on a specific human being for life support. While an infant needs lots of care, this care can be provided, in principle, by anyone. A newborn can be adopted, can be cared for communally or any other arrangement. Thus the infant need not infringe on a non-willing person for continued existence. A fetus, on the other hand, depends on its mother. Nobody can take her place, nobody can relieve her of the burden.

    2. 22.2
      LeftSidePositive

      You know what happened? It passed out of the mother’s body. This is not difficult to grasp if you are not being deliberately obtuse. It can be independent socially because now that it is out of the mother’s body it can be cared for and interacted with by a variety of different people, without a uterus encumbering their access. It is independent biologically because it is no longer getting its oxygen, nutrients, vitamins, and immunoglobulins directly through the involuntarily physiological processes of its mother’s body. Again, this should be so incredibly obvious that I can’t imagine how you could even ask this question in good faith.

      The difference between passing through the birth canal (or being delivered via Cesarean) and having the cord cut is like 30 seconds or less, so I think your question is just plain silly. But, I would say when it’s out of the mother’s body would be the definitive now-we-can-pretty-much-take-care-of-these-two-humans-separately moment, and the cord-cutting is a necessary immediate adjunct to that care in both their best interests.

    3. 22.3
      Stephanie Zvan

      What happens? Simple. No one is pregnant. No one person is required to give up control of their own body in order to keep a baby alive. The same is not true for a fetus.

    4. 22.4
      mas528

      Wow. Read the OP. It explains it quite well.

      For the truly dense though:

      By definition, it is a either a zygote or fetus until it is born.

      I know pseudo-skeptics like to blur this line but it really doesn’t matter what the so-called line is because:

      No one has any rights to the use of a woman’s skin, bones, or internal organs without her consent.

      In the USA, we take that very seriously, even after death. We don’t have default postmortem organ harvesting with opt-out cards. You have to explicitly opt-in.

      1. john@skeptivus

        This is a full copy of the OP so I’m not sure what you mean. Also, I didn’t ask about definitions of fetus, zygote or baby. So its considered a fetus one minute before birth and a baby one minute after. But what is it about the process of birth that imbues it with an independent social or biological existence? Does it have to pass fully through the canal or just partially? You say pseudo-skeptics like to blur the line but what is the line?

        -j

        1. mas528

          The OP says:

          Fetuses have the potential to become babies, but until they are born they have no independent social or biological existence. They are a subordinate part of a woman’s body.

          Emphasis added.

          I consider the entire line thing a red herring.

          No one has the right to another person’s body or to use their body. Explicit consent must be granted.

          Suppose you lost your kidney function and would die without it.

          You could neither demand a donation from anyone, or to be hooked up to the other person to clean up your blood.

          A person could give assent to give you a kidney, but they do not have to.

          A fetus has no right to the use of the woman’s body. Period.

  23. 23
    maureen.brian

    john@skeptivus,

    Stop pretending to be stupid. There are several major physiological changes, they happen because of the birth and they are irreversible. They have nothing at all to do with words used or imaginary goings on in some supernatural dimension.

    Just for one of them, why do you imagine so much attention is paid in real life and in literature to hearing the baby cry. It takes its first breath and once it has done that it can no longer receive oxygen via the placenta, which will be delivered itself in the next few minutes.

    If you really wanted to know any of this could have found out with very little effort – unless of course you are a child who is not yet allowed access to encyclopaedias and youtube.

    Somehow, I don’t think you are!

    1. 23.1
      john@skeptivus

      There are several major physiological changes, they happen because of the birth and they are irreversible.

      Examples?

      They have nothing at all to do with words used or imaginary goings on in some supernatural dimension.

      I’m an atheist.

      If you really wanted to know any of this could have found out with very little effort – unless of course you are a child who is not yet allowed access to encyclopaedias and youtube.

      I’m asking here because I want to hear the opinions of pro-abortionists and feminists.

      1. maureen.brian

        The facts of childbirth are the same, john, whether you hear them from me, from Professor Lord (Robert) Winston or from your local birthing centre.

        Whatever made you thing that the facts would change depending upon the attitude of the speaker?

        1. john@skeptivus

          The facts of childbirth are the same, john, whether you hear them from me, from Professor Lord (Robert) Winston or from your local birthing centre.

          That’s why i said I was asking for opinions. I have no idea who Robert Winston is. Also, I don’t make it to my local birthing center much these days.

          @mas528

          You have essentially answered my question with the kidney analogy. It sounds to me like the argument here is that before the moment of birth the fetus is no different than an organ or piece of tissue. I’m assuming that most people here would see killing the baby after it passed the birth canal as murder however.

          Thanks for the info.

          -j

        2. john@skeptivus

          Yeah, the nerve of me asking questions in the comments section on a blog. Who do I think I am? I’m sorry Maureen that I intruded into your life so extensively in this comment section. I had no idea you were chained to a computer and forced to answer random questions on blogs.

          1. maureen.brian

            Pillock!

  24. 24
    maureen.brian

    But what is it about the process of birth that imbues it with an independent social or biological existence? Does it have to pass fully through the canal or just partially? You say pseudo-skeptics like to blur the line but what is the line?

    That is what you asked, john@skeptivus, and whether you wish to recognise it or not that is a question / series of questions about facts.

    More importantly, what is it about the arrogance of these people who wander the internet, bump into some random woman and expect her to drop everything so that she can spend the next several years teaching them Obstetrics 101? I know it should be a one year course but at the present rate of progress ………. !

    You cannot sensibly discuss what makes the process of birth significant until you understand the facts because at this point we are discussing practical physiology.

    As for you not knowing of Robert Winston – your ignorance, your loss. I chose him for several reasons – he’s one of my country’s top obstetricians, I like him and he is a learned and observant Orthodox Jew. But he’d still tell you the same facts because they don’t change with fashions in philosophy.

  25. 25
    Jeff Johnson

    Thirty years ago my girlfriend became pregnant. We both decided mutually that we were not prepared to be parents, and did not want to bring a child into this world. We went to a clinic and she had an abortion while I did what I could to provide comfort and support.

    I would never wish to do anything to limit women’s control over their bodies, and I am absolutely opposed to the anti-abortion movement, who dare to sneeringly call themselves “pro-life”, and who in their religion-clouded ignorance pretend that they know about life and when it begins.

    But the truth is there was pain involved, both physical and emotional. And there have been many times over the last 30 years where I have reflected upon that absence, the child that might have been, and felt varying levels of regret and melancholy.

    I would not change that decision, but their has been sadness. It should be okay to feel this sadness without apology, and without fear that it admits weakness to the god-driven oppressors. Abortion is a choice that represents a fundamental fork in the road, and like many roads not taken in our pasts, we may wonder about having chosen differently.

    The choice to have an abortion should be one made freely and with eyes open. There should be no coercion or stigma or shame. But there is no need to deny that the choice may involve sadness, just as the choice to end a relationship, or any other difficult choice we make in our lives can involve uncertainty and risk and regret. That’s simply reality.

  26. 26
    San Ban

    I guess a woman can be forced to regret her abortion, especially if her doc, and then she herself (as seems inevitable), are prosecuted for murder.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MD_ABORTION_DOCTORS_CHARGED?SITE=WILAC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

    1. 26.1
      papango

      They can make you say you regret it, but they can’t make you mean it.

  27. 27
    alexmartin

    The “fetus” is not a part of the woman’s body.
    The unborn CHILD is a separate, unique, identity.
    Let’s dispense with that lie.

    So the writer’s criterion for personhood is that the baby is carried to term, delivered, umbilicus cut?

    No time in between? Not even at, say, six months premature delivery, months in NICU?

    You people believe and accept that?

    You all are right, completely: it doesn’t matter in the least what other people think or feel about your or someone else’s abortion.

    Convince yourself of any thing you want in any way you want, but hot damn!– bottom line, when you abort, you are killing your own child, no matter what you wish to believe.

    Period.

    That, somehow is personal “empowerment”?

    How the hell is that possible? How could you have let this woman, or her opinion, into your bedroom or the abortion clinic with you in the first place?

    To use her own fractured logic, how the heck is your business any of HER business? Who is she to politicize your plight?

    Think about it.

    1. 27.1
      Jeff Johnson

      Actually, such activism wouldn’t be necessary at all if there weren’t millions of people attacking women’s reproductive rights politically, economically, with aggressive obstruction, dishonest propaganda, and even outright violence and vandalism.

      Perhaps you believe a fetus or an embryo is a person, with equal rights to the mother? How could any sane person believe that? It is among the most ridiculous nonsense that magical thinkers brainwash themselves into believing.

      What is the most remarkable is how madly the anti-choice fanatics try to protect unconscious unborn unthinking unfeeling unaware potential human beings, but once they are born their health, safety, education, and general welfare suddenly is no longer their concern. I can’t think of anything more immoral or idiotic than the anti-abortion movement.

      1. alexmartin

        Jeff Johnson, dear.
        You ever wonder that abortion “rights” ever became a cause celebre in the first place?
        That that argument remains intractable till this day?
        Hoist the petard on the right to kill? Make hay upon the non-humanity of the preborn?

        WTF is that all about?

        Keep this all in proportion, shall we? This is 2012. The Taliban isn’t kicking down the door (in THIS country at least) to chain women to the bed post. In America, more women graduate from college annually than men. Hillary Clinton made be the next U.S. Prez.

        Get a f@#$%&g grip.

        All of you. Women are not an oppressed minority. Women have all the power they desire to have. So it is, so it has ever been. No victims here. If women ever in past or present chose/choose to run the world, they could and can.

        Women are powerful. I hear the roar.
        Women do not need a crutch or a prop.

        Do you require a smiley-face icon to make those last paragraphs go down any smoother?

        So anyway, acknowledging a (pre-born)child as a human being does not ‘weaken’ women, could not ‘take away’ women’s ‘power’.

        Au contraire, to do so would restore sanity, common sense, and decency to the debate about abortion.

        1. Leni

          Alex, if there is no need to defend abortion rights, then explain this.

  28. 28
    alexmartin

    Oh, and commenter, #12 Jurjen:
    How noble of you. Enlightened, progressive, to have left your testicles at the door.

    Lest you forget or have forgotten, the regrettable, nasty, filthy, vicious p.o.c that the woman is tragically burdened with and parasitically invaded by is….wait for it….

    50% male.

    Yep, Jurjens, that nasty, vile “fetus” is YOUR CHILD, moron, but she alone has sole say about and “right” to kill “it”.

    Don’t that make you feel real, real good?
    The mechanics of it, there aint a damn thing you could do about it if you wanted to. Justice, I guess, for knocking her up so maliciously and sticking her with your horrid seed in the first place.

    Guess that doesn’t matter in the least, though.
    “Sure, go ahead, kill my child if you want to, just because you are the one who is carrying him/her”.

    What fun.

    THAT is female “empowerment”.
    She can punish you at will.

  29. 29
    natalie

    i am only 13. i may not know a lot but i do know that abortion is wrong believe me

  30. 30
    natalie

    DONT BELEIVE THIS! IT IS NOT TRUE! A baby is a living organism always even before birth!what is a miscarriage? when a bay dies in the womb! a baby cannot die 2 times! i am doing a report on this!
    i am only 13. i may not know a lot but i do know that abortion is wrong believe me! when you have an abortion 1.negative health effects 2.emmotional regret 3.baby aint have no choice 4. BABY IS ALWAYS LIVING!

  31. 31
    mas528

    So. Natalie.

    Do you know what a “red herring” is?

    What you just said is a red herring. It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual issue of abortion, which is the bodily autonomy of women.

    What you have suggested is that women should be enslaved to a tyrant that would have a right to her food, her body, her blood, her bladder, and bones, all with the option of killing her at any time.

    Sweet deal. We haven’t had deals like that in the USA since about 1870.

    In fact, deals like that are expressly forbidden in the USA.

  32. 32
    Jeff Johnson

    Mas528, I have to say that comparing a fetus to a tyrannical oppressor is a bit over the top. The oppressor here is the religious patriarchy using the fetus to express it’s desire to control and even punish women. This is probably the point you were making, but with a little bit of metaphorical blurring of the boundaries between who the oppressor is, and the object that oppression focuses on.

    Natalie, you have raised a few valid points, but you may not be seeing the full complexity of this situation. Natalie, nobody thinks abortion is good. It’s true there are possible health risks, but there are also health risks in delivering a baby. And the health risks of abortion are only made worse by criminalizing it, because history has shown that there are women who will seek abortions regardless of whether they are legal or not.

    The tone of this article engages in a political strategy, one of resistance and defiance to the systematic control that male dominated society has exerted over women for thousands and thousands of years. You shouldn’t draw from this the conclusion that everyone who supports abortion thinks it is trivial or good or something to be taken lightly.

    You need to ask yourself why it is that women seek an abortion. You should be old enough by now to realize that sometimes people have different opinions, and some people take actions that differ from what they intended. There are women that believe that the religion based suppression of sexuality is a perversion of nature, and they engage freely in sexual relations out of wedlock. This is their right under law, and they should have available to them the information and medical measures to provide contraception and protection of their health.

    Some women are forced into sex by rapists or “friends” who pressure them against their better judgement into having sex when they didn’t freely choose it. This is known as date rape, and it may not always be as violent, it is every bit the same violation of a woman’s control of her own body. A woman involuntarily impregnated should not be forced to have the baby some asshole imposed on her.

    Other women try to practice self-restraint and sexual modesty, perhaps for religious reasons, or perhaps for their own emotional integrity, but sometimes they weaken and make a “mistake”. This is the nature of human biology in conflict with human culture and psychology. They may become pregnant from a man they don’t really love or want to marry. They don’t want his baby. When thinking about the harm of having an abortion, you need to balance that against the harm of a child being born unwanted, and the possible suffering that will cause both the mother and the child, and the burden on society. Many reasonable and good people consider this equation and by their reckoning less harm is done over all by having an abortion.

    People who think the fetus is a sacred human creation of God calculate differently than people who believe that a fetus is a biological process of cell division that, if all goes well, has the potential to become a conscious living breathing and feeling human being. The medical and biological evidence supports the view that a fetus is not conscious and does not experience pain.

    Did you know that doctors perform surgery on fetuses sometimes? This is done at up 20-25 weeks without any anesthetics (pain killers). This is because the best understanding of medical experts is that at this age the fetus is not “aware”, and does not feel pain. The risk of injecting a drug poses greater risk of harm than cutting open the fetus and performing organ surgery without pain killers. This should tell you something about whether a fetus knows it is being terminated, and whether or not it suffers any pain or emotional harm because of an abortion.

    If you look at abortion as an interruption of a biological process that starts with the seed of the male and the egg of the female, it does not quite rise to the level of killing or murder. What about the killing of male sperm that have not impregnated an egg to create an embryo? What about the killing of the egg every month during menstruation? Both of these have the potential to create life.

    What about the fact that 50% of embryos are naturally miscarried? If the embryo is something sacred, and of God, why would God do that? Another point of view is that the fetus is a group of dividing cells, growing to become a human, but that it is not yet a human that could live on it’s own outside of the mother’s body. So why is an abortion so much worse than a miscarriage? And why don’t those who oppose abortion have any compassion for the negative consequences of unwanted children being born? This can result in a life of unhappiness and misery, compared to being born in a loving family.

    I hope that in doing your report you understand that the purpose of learning is to discover how different people feel and think, and why they see things differently. A good report will take all sides into account and present a glimpse of the world as it is, not how you would like it to be.

    1. 32.1
      marikozlowski

      Good points, Jeff, but leaving out a few things. For one, the scenario of married women that do not want to continue pregnancy, either. Just because a couple is legally committed, doesn’t mean they must and should carry on with every pregnancy. Of course, religious people often argue that, as God sends us children, every pregnancy must be continued– yet somehow, they do not apply that theory to naturally childless couples. What is God telling them? It’s a double standard, and poor reasoning.

  33. 33
    blackskeptics

    Excellent rebuttal and analysis Jeff.

  34. 34
    Jeff Johnson

    Thanks!

  35. 35
    marikozlowski

    Well said! It’s ridiculous that we should have to pretend to feel guilty or sad over not ruining our lives. Does society need more wounded families? No.

    And, can I add a fifth level?

    For some of us, I dare say many of us, it’s not that easy to avoid pregnancy even with the use of contraceptives. Speaking as one who had severe medical problems using the Pill,(and has gotten pregnant while using it correctly), there’s just not enough effective, safe methods of birth control.
    Some women, some couples, are more fertile than others. It’s not always as simple to avoid pregnancy as popping a pill, and other methods fail often. The myth that a woman can avoid pregnancy easily if she’s responsible is just that: a myth. That is why some women have more than one abortion, as well. It isn’t pleasant or cheap, it isn’t something any sane person does instead of using regular birth control, but it is a necessity sometimes.

    I am a responsible adult, and that’s why I haven’t brought unwanted, unprepared-for lives into this world. And I feel good about that.

  36. 36
    ProEducation

    What if some women regret their choice? Does that evict them from the Choice club? Is this about equal rights? Privacy? Women being able to decide in a doctor’s office, not the back alley? About helping all women make the choice best for them? Or is this about selling abortion as a totally positive, morally neutral, inocuous experience that no one who isn’t secretly a religious anti-feminist nuttjub would ever regret? What if some mourn? What if it was a HARD choice? Not every woman regrets it. But a lot of women do. And that’s ok. If you don’t regret it I won’t tell you you’re wrong! But don’t tell those who do regret it that how they feel is wrong either!

  37. 37
    Regretful

    I’ve had an abortion and I wish nothing more than that abortions had been illegal. I would never have gotten a ‘back alley illegal abortion’ I only got it to make my boyfriend happy and my mother. But if a woman really wants it that is her right and no one has the right to stop her. But I guess for me I grew connected and in love with my unborn baby and having it ripped out of my body as I lay there awake felt as though my freedom was being ripped out of me and when I pleaded to God for my boyfriend to change his mind because I was so terrified of doing it on my own and he still felt that abortion was the best option that also made me feel like my freedom of choice was being ripped away from me because with abortion that makes the father feel as though he does not need to be there for his child BECAUSE abortion is an option. I don’t know I guess I do support women who WANT to get it in their hearts. but it is SO hard for women like me who felt like they were being dragged to death row each time they went and finally after 4 attempts went through with it because it was expected of them. I know it would not be fair to other women but I always wish somehow it had not been an option for me.

  38. 38
    Andy Rodgerson

    Regretful, you are wishing that the choice had not been there because you made a wrong choice for you.

    The thing is, that’s the unavoidable peril of choice – you can make a mistake. It’s harder because you can’t blame someone else for what happened – though it looks as if you had some pressure that confused you.

    I would hope that the hospital that performed the procedure went through a proper counselling process first. If not, there is certainly a case to write to them and suggest they be more thorough in future.

    It sounds like in that circumstance there simply wasn’t a good choice to be made. The one you have made makes you unhappy. Had you continued with it, you would have forced your boyfriend to become a dad when he didn’t want to be, or risked years of lonoely stress raising a child that would have deprived you of much of your youth.

    Forgive yourself and look to the future.

  39. 39
    EC

    I regret that I got myself into a situation where I needed to consider abortion, but I have never regretted having an abortion. I will forever feel sad about having to do it, but it was the right thing to do.

  1. 40
    Pro-choice morsels (6 Jan) « ALRANZ

    [...] Taylor answers the question ‘Should a woman feel sad about her abortion?’ with a resolute [...]

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