Sunday, June 7, 2009

Aborting a Baby/ Terminating a Pregnancy

Yesterday, I had a very informative discussion with two female friends about 'abortion'. Let me share some of the things we discussed.

For too long women did not have a chance to determine when they had children, and how many children they had to care for. They got pregnant, and then they were housewives- slaves of a patriarchal system of oppression. Concurrent with this view, I believe that a woman who desires to terminate a pregnancy she should be able to do so.

Now this is the scenario I was given: Mary has already terminated seven pregnancies. How can I give her a right to continue, when she clearly has no regard for the gifts of life she persistently throws away.

Now of the majority of women who terminate pregnancies, how many have already terminated seven? Birth control options are innumerable, and many sexually active people make use of them. Where the condom fails, the famed after-morning pill comes to the rescue. Still these options sometimes fail, and a woman finds herself pregnant with a child-to be that she cannot care adequately for. She decides to terminate the pregnancy, and I support HER decision. 

We must be careful to understand where we stand on such controversial matters. It can't be that we believe some things are wrong because that is what we were taught. 'Abortion' is morally wrong, we say. Yet in Jamaica, adoption isn't exactly romanticized... the hypocrisy kills me.

My friends spoke of the significance of the decision being made, and I asked them, why they felt the decision had a lot of weight. Women are tortured by their decision they say, without acknowledging that our stigmatization of the act is in large part what makes the decision sometimes difficult. Women who terminate pregnancies in Jamaica do not talk about it, and so they are constantly plagued by their decision. For women who regret their decision, I do not believe the main reasons is always their worry that they "destroyed" a form of "life". Child bearing is still such a big qualifier for female adulthood, and this is something than needs to change- it's the same thing for Jamaican men. The more children, the more manly.

I always say this- the fact that women can have children does not in itself preclude that they must. Only heaven knows how my life would fare if I decided to populate the earth with my seeds, like I have the capacity to do. This world is not fair, but there are things we can do to make it more so... Women are now able to work amongst men in most professions, but instead of helping them to achieve equality, their employment now serves to maintain their subjugation, as they must still work in the home as well. If we want to respect our women, open more adoption agencies, adopt children, open baby-care centers for newborns so that women can return to work after their pregnancies.

Use condoms. Do a vasectomy. Plan for your family. We wouldn't need to ponder the ethical complications of "abortions" if we were more responsible. 


  1. This issue is a very delicate one and such I sometimes prefer living without confronting it. Then again we can't sit in a room and ignore the elephant in front of us.
    I am prolife, but I must look at abortion logically. Coming from a sex crazed country in which sex is not only portrayed in the lyrics of musicians but also the media and how we dance with each other. It comes as no surprise to see young women pregnant; however what bothers me is the way the school system looks at it. They give these young ladies the boot, baring them from furthering their education.
    If a young woman, let I dare say it, would get an abortion she would be able to continue her education, but the atmosphere surrounding it is filled with dark clouds and lightening.
    The point I am trying to make is that abortion is a choice that people should be allowed to make, the government is meant to govern not tell someone how to live their lives. It would be like telling me to believe in a God when I have no intention of doing so. We can't force someone into having a child that she doesn't want. It will possibly add to the number of children in orphanages.

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