Warning (possible trigger warning?),this post is about abortion, and does briefly mention miscarriage and domestic violence. Please proceed with caution if these are triggering for you.
There is a hashtag campaign on Twitter #ShoutYourAbortion, which encourages women to tell their abortion stories without shame. Not surprisingly, three have been critics, especially of Planned Parenthood in the U.S.
When I first read about this yesterday on Mamamia, I was sceptical. I hoped it didn’t water down the potential effects of abortion on everyone involved; the mother, her partner and extended family. I was worried that it may downplay the complicated moral questions the topic of abortion often raises. Looking through some of the tweets just then, I now have somewhat of a deeper understanding on what it’s aim was and I can actually see how it may have helped women share their stories and may give others the courage to do the same.
I personally have mixed views on the abortion debate. I don’t think criminalising abortion will work; it’ll only drive it underground. On a perfect world there wouldn’t be any need to have an abortion. I think accurate sex education, a better discussion and cultural changes surrounding sex and alcohol as well as better national adoption systems, as well as proper services for children born epwith severe birth defects ANC disorders such as Down’s Syndrome may help. Outright banning it won’t.
Another concern I have, is fircwomen who lose their unborn babies either because of an accident where she’s not at fault, (like a car accident), or domestic violence that kills the unborn child. In 2013, Jew South Wales voted in favour of a ‘Crimes Amendment Bill’, also known as ‘Zoe’s Law’ which gave foetuses over 20 weeks personhood and, legally, anyone who harmed or killed the foetus, would be held accountable for its death. Feminists have condemned such laws, arguing that it will restrict a woman’s right to abortion. But what about women who lose their baby/ babies because of someone else’s carelessness or abuse? Where is the right for them to get justice?
i guess my argument is that it’s a lot more complicated than the pro – life and pro – choice arguments. While I think we do need to be compassionate toward those who have had, or are considering abortion, downplaying it’s effects and the impact on everyone involved is not the answer either. I don’t think that’s what #ShoutYourAbortion tried to do; I just hope we don’t go down that path.