The Upside
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The Upside

Are you Believing Lies About Abortion?

The Upside of Abortion Rights

Portrait of a Woman by PixaBaby

The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO.

The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision — Planned Parenthood v. Casey — that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes. — Politico Article Clip

Circa 1995 I was the high school debate club champion, and what was the great debate topic? Abortion rights for women. I’ve been shaking the dust off of my classic winning arguments a lot lately because I come from a rather conservative and religious family who say offensive things about women such as:

“If she just closed her legs she wouldn’t be in this predicament! All life is a miracle, some people can’t have children! They’re murdering babies!” (And my personal favorite) “This is the devil’s work.”

Let’s get one thing out of the way here, I have never had an abortion nor do I plan to get pregnant again. That doesn’t change my pro-choice viewpoints that got me the gold medal at the regional debate club championships of my mid-sized remote Canadian town. This is how I broke it down:

  1. Are you believing lies about abortion?

How much do you really ‘know’ about abortions? Here are 4 myths every pro-choicer hears on an overplayed loop.

Myth 1: They happen ALL THE TIME!

An abortion is a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy. It is a basic healthcare need for millions of women, girls and others who can become pregnant. Worldwide, an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies end in an abortion every year.

This is simply untrue, there aren’t as many abortions as many naysayers believe. This false belief helps divide people (us vs. them) making an enemy of any woman who has to get an abortion. Lastly, how many women get raped yearly?

Myth 2: There’s a sort of woman who recklessly gets abortions ALL THE TIME!

This abortion for sport image of a promiscuous woman is simply untrue. Abortions are highly invasive and painful and could take weeks to recover from. Many women who get abortions describe them as “traumatic experiences” discouraging them from getting more (even this language feels ridiculous to me because they’re not getting anything but a decision granted at this point).

Yes, there are sexually liberated women out there, and no, they’re not getting pregnant left, right and centre.

We have a fairly well-informed population and access to free contraceptives as well, keeping unwanted pregnancy rates fairly low compared to other countries in the world.

Myth 3: Banning abortions means no more abortions. Our work here is done! Problem solved.

Untrue. The fact is simple:

PEOPLE HAVE ABORTIONS ALL THE TIME, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE LAW SAYS — Amnesty International

Regardless of whether abortion is legal or not, people will still require and regularly access abortion services. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a US-based reproductive health non-profit, the abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 people in countries that prohibit abortion altogether or allow it only in instances to save a woman’s life, and 34 per 1,000 people in countries that broadly allow for abortion, a very insignificant difference between the two.

What if it were renamed “Rights to safe abortions” instead, and informed people that either way, rights or not, this services is one that is required and getting it done unprofessionally can be dangerously unsafe and even deadly for those that partake.

Myth 4: Abortions exist for only one reason — To kill future babies.

Untrue.

In the tragic case of a stillbirth or miscarriage, having access to abortion clinics can help move along the process. After a miscarriage, there is tremendous amounts of blood loss and continuous pain, abortion clinics increase healthcare jobs, and access to women who need their services for a diverse amount of reasons.

Our healthcare system in Canada is known for being deeply overwhelmed as is, why would we reduce options?

The Upside Of Abortion Rights

Which law controls men's bodies?

None?

How about, forcing all men to father all of the children they implant into uteruses?

What about forced vasectomy's to all the deadbeat fathers out there? Let’s add a cherry on top and have a group of women singlehandedly create the laws regarding all of it, for good measure. Do you see what I’m getting at here? Decisions are being made about women's personal agency to make decisions on their own bodies… by people who don’t even have uteruses.

They have no idea what they’re speaking about! No menstruation, no birth falls on their shoulders, so it’s an almost too easy decision to make. Perhaps if they were the ones who were somehow forced to give birth abortion rights would remain intact.

ACCESS TO SAFE ABORTION IS A MATTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Bottom line is simple, as a human being with a body, the decisions made about it are my own. You cannot force me to tattoo my body, you can’t even forcibly vaccinate anyone, so why should you be able to force someone to birth a child when they genuinely don’t want to?

As a future psychotherapist I can’t help but wonder about the greater impact of increasing the amount of “unwanted” children into this world.

Can we focus on the amount of children who are under-supported and orphaned? Who have drug addicts for parents and very little hope for a bright future without some serious social service intervention on tax-payers dollars?

Believe what you will about the women who have to make this difficult decision, but it takes two to tango here, and if there are going to be laws against abortion, there should also be laws against men abandoning women who get impregnated.

Case closed.

Thanks so much for reading, open to conversations and I encourage healthy disagreement. Let’s grow together.

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