This post was inspired by a story I read on 9ja Feminista about a woman’s abortion experience. It is awful that the writer had to go through that. No pain relief? Awful.

I do not think all pro lifers are bad people. I used to be on the pro life side of the fence, so I understand why people are against it. My grouse is with those humans who picket abortion clinics and those who oppose any attempt to legalise abortion (in places where it is illegal.)

Growing up, I did not know much about abortions apart from what was taught in nollywood films; if you have an abortion, you will bleed publicly and die or at the very least never be able to conceive again. When I was younger, I watched a nollywood film where this girl fainted and was bleeding. A doctor rushed into her house, placed a stethoscope on her chest and announced that the girl had just had an abortion. Of course the girl died a few minutes later, leaving behind a grieving mother and teaching us young girls out there that waywardness does not pay.

One major problem with how people view abortions is that they think only wayward girls get them. While this may be true in some cases, it is not always so. A married woman may get an abortion because she and her husband cannot afford to have more children; a woman’s birth control may fail; there might have been sexual assault/incest involved; the environment may be unsafe for a child; the child may have some serious deformities; the mother’s life may be at risk; the list goes on.  Even if a “wayward” girl makes a mistake and has to get an abortion, should her life be marred or defined by this?

I think another reason people are against abortion is that they see it as things irresponsible people do; they never imagine that they could one day be in a position where abortion could seem like the right choice. Everyone is against abortion until they find themselves in that position.

During my National Service (NYSC), we received a lecture on safe abortions at the orientation camp. I was so impressed and surprised that such a thing could happen in this society. According to the medical expert, having a safe abortion is less risky than carrying the baby to term. Studies have backed up this assertion.

Safe abortion: an abortion carried out by certified medical professionals in a the right medical environment using the required tools.

This is not to say that women should abort their babies rather than carry them to term, it just shows that abortions are not as deadly as people think they are. Abortions are risky when they are not safe, and as long as abortions are illegal, they will not be safe.

Sometime ago, a woman filmed herself having an abortion and put up the “clip. When the (non graphic) video first came out, everyone, myself included, wondered why someone would post such a video. Pro-lifers and Pro choice came together in outrage to denounce the video. The woman, Emily Letts, claimed she did it to reduce the fears of women who may be terrified of the procedure. The abortion was done by doctors in a hospital and it took less than 5 minutes. Looking back, I realise she was right. It is still an unorthodox thing to do, but I imagine it could have been helpful to some young girl out there. It certainly changed my view on the procedure.

Abortion is still not the nicest word, and does not evoke nice images. I still advocate for abstinence and birth control. I am firmly against late term abortions. I don’t feel warmly about abortion being used flippantly as a method of birth control. Still I understand and support its necessity. More importantly, I believe that people should have autonomy over their bodies.

Save your sanctimonious rants. There is no reason for abortion to be illegal. The religious and moral arguments do not hold much water. Abortion should be legal and if your religion or moral convictions oppose it, then don’t get one. People should not be held to ransom because of other people’s hypocritical views. A woman who does not want a child, or who is unable, for whatever reason, to take care of a child should not be forced to do so.

Abortions are quite common, even the people who are against it may have had abortions before. Such is the level of sanctimony and guilt that a woman can advocate against a procedure that she had. Usually these pro lifers feel that their abortion experiences gives them the right to judge other women. They claim to be trying to prevent other women from making the same mistakes they did. They want the women to avoid the emotional trauma they faced, they say. Aww isn’t that some bullshit?

I remember reading about an ardent pro-life activist who had an abortion. She was in her forties and did not want anymore children, so she gathered her family together and told them she was going to have an abortion. Weird. But the messed up part is that, after having this abortion, she went back to advocating against abortions. This time, she claimed that the abortion left her with some emotional scars and so it should be illegalised. Really? She was against it until she needed it and she was able to choose to have the procedure that she so badly wants to be denied to other women. She got what she needed and went back to condemning women for wanting the same thing.

This article written by Joyce Arthur titled “The only moral abortion is my abortion” address the cases of pro lifers who have abortions. Some interesting quotes from the article:

“I have done several abortions on women who have regularly picketed my clinics, including a 16 year old schoolgirl who came back to picket the day after her abortion…”

One morning, a woman who had been a regular ‘sidewalk counselor’ went into the clinic with a young woman who looked like she was 16-17, and obviously her daughter. When the mother came out about an hour later, I had to go up and ask her if her daughter’s situation had caused her to change her mind. ‘I don’t expect you to understand my daughter’s situation!’ she angrily replied. The following Saturday, she was back, pleading with women entering the clinic not to ‘murder their babies.'”

“I once had a German client who greatly thanked me at the door, leaving after a difficult 22-week abortion. With a gleaming smile, she added: ‘Und doch sind Sie ein Mörderer.’ (‘And you’re still a murderer.’)”

Honestly, most of these rabid pro lifers are crazy. Why would you attack women going into abortion clinics? Why would you threaten to kidnap women from abortion clinics? Do these people have nothing better to do than to judge and trouble innocent women? We are all entitled to our opinions and you have the right to think that abortion is wrong, but you do not have the right to stop others from enforcing their freewill.

Some anti abortion protesters were confronted by a heavily pregnant woman. Watch it on youtube or in the video below.

The woman makes valid points. One of the protesters attempted to defend her actions by saying she had undergone an abortion procedure herself. Surprise surprise. It reminds me of Pentasucky from Orange is The New Black. She had five abortions under her belt but put up a facade as a pro life hero.

Every now and then, there is a story of a newborn baby abandoned and left to die, because the parents did not want it or could not take care of it. Is this really a preferable option? I would rather a woman have an abortion than to abandon or hurt her child; or to birth a child that is so clearly unwanted and set it up for a lifetime of misery. (Notice I used the word unwanted not unplanned. A child that is unplanned is not necessarily unwanted.)

Please do not tell me about a great man or woman who would have been aborted. X’s mother wanted to abort him but she didn’t and he went to to be a great X, so abortions should be illegal. Save it.

Abortion causes emotional scars in women. First off,not all women feel shame or regret after an abortion. Some actually do feel relief. Are we to believe that these trouble making picketers really care about these women and their emotional health? Is that why they hurl insults at these women and judge them? For most women the decision to have an abortion is the most nerve racking and traumatic decision they will ever have to make. These picketers claim to be concerned about them, yet they try to humiliate them.

Illegalising abortions does not stop people from getting abortions. All it does is increase the number of women who die or get seriously injured from shady back alley operations carried out by quack doctors. You might have heard of the clothes hanger DIY abortion, where a woman uses a clothes hanger to carry out an abortion on herself. How horrifying. I do not understand how that works and I don’t even want to imagine it. One can only imagine the depth of desperation a person must be in to try that. *Shudders*

Think about it. Really think about it. You are forcing women to risk their lives or populate the earth with more unwanted babies. The woman has the baby now what? Do you help her with the bills? More likely not. You will probably berate her for being a single parent, whine about how single mothers are living off your taxes and then go ahead spew out every stereotype in the book about illegitimate children.

Be pro life if you want, but you have to let other women choose for themselves. Let’s quit the hypocrisy and legalise abortion in Nigeria. It is about time.

3 thoughts on “Choice.

  1. True talk. The abortion procedure is unpopular but you are not going to look hard for a willing qualified doctor here in Nigeria. Makes you wonder why it’s not legalised already.
    And the stigma that comes with it, especially those movies do not help.

  2. Pingback: To kill or not to kill? | Gobbledygook

  3. Pingback: To kill or not to kill? | Gobbledygook

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