Last week it came to light that the Rose vs Wade legislation in the US, which gives women the legal right to an abortion was likely to be overturned. Should this happen, then many states would follow by outlawing abortion. I did a reel on this on Instagram last week, but feel the need to write about this in more detail on my blog.
For too long the debate on abortion has been a religious and a political issue, with people citing religion as the reason why this procedure should no longer be legal. I would strongly say abortion doesn’t belong in any of these places. It is a health and human rights issue. When individuals believe their belief system is more important than the medical need or mental health well being of the mother we enter into very dangerous grounds indeed.
Throughout time women have been systematically repressed. We weren’t allowed to vote, we were the property of the men in our lives, be it our father or our spouse. We weren’t allowed to go to places unchaperoned. We weren’t allowed to work, to serve in the military, to own our own money, or have sex before marriage or even for enjoyment. Even though our male peers were able to do all of these and more. Now here we are in 2022, when we are meant to be in the age of equality and while most of the above has now been corrected in law, this last contentious issue remains. A woman’s right to control her own body.
Of course, people are entitled to their own religious and political beliefs, and freedom of thought and speech is incredibly important. But it does not mean that their beliefs are more important than another’s. People that wish to outlaw abortion are doing just this, saying their belief systems are more important than other people’s. Practise your belief system in your own home with your own friends and family. If you do not believe in abortion, just like Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions, then it is your choice not to have one and practise this in your own life. It’s not ok to make sure you make everyone adhere to your own belief system. It’s about personal choice, not enforced choice.
I could talk about how making abortion illegal could mean that women will be forced to carry a malformed baby that will not survive past childbirth, forced to carry a baby when the pregnancy could cost her her own life, forced to carry a baby born of incest or rape, forced to carry a baby at eleven years of age when they have been abused, I could go on. But in fact, none of this matters. It’s irrelevant because what it truly comes down to is this, no government or religious party, no one should be able to tell a person what they can and can’t do with their own body. It is their body and theirs alone.
I think that it’s interesting that there is no law or legislation that impacts men in the same way in existence. Can you imagine if there was forced vasectomy after your family had two children for example? I mean that is one way to curb unwanted pregnancies is it not? There would be a huge outcry, and rightly so. It’s never ok to control another person’s body.
The fact of the matter is whether it’s illegal or not, abortion will happen. We only need to look back at history to know that. The difference is without a safe environment to do it in, more women will die. They will find a way and they always have.
What scares me is that once this legislation has taken hold in the US, the UK may follow. You only have to look at Jacob Rees Mogg, an open catholic who has already shared his views on abortion to know that if he could, he would outlaw it here too. And if we’re not careful, slowly women’s rights will go backwards again when we have fought so hard to get them where they are. I refuse to leave this world leaving my children and daughter in a world worse than the one that I was brought up in. And that is what I believe will happen if abortion laws are changed. A world where women are second class citizens, baby incubators, where their needs are secondary and where we are no longer equal to men.
No man, woman, politician or priest has a right to tell you what to do with your body. Abortion is health care and a human right. If you don’t want an abortion, fine. That’s fine. But do not seek to control my life choices.