Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Youth Defense can suck my Pro-Choice Uterus!

 For those of you that don't know who Youth Defense are they are best described as a militant and sometimes violent anti-abortion group operating in Ireland, Belgium, Spain and Australia.

I call them anti-abortion as opposed to "pro life", as they like to refer to themselves, for a few reasons:

  1. They have no respect for the life of the woman/couple with the always life altering and sometimes life threatening unwanted pregnancy.
  2. If they cared so much about life where are their anti-war posters? Or anti-death penalty posters? Why are they not donating all of their funds to preventing the spread of HIV or curing cancer or fuding humanitarian aid projects?
  3. Their definition of human life and my own are somewhat different!
The reason I and so many people are outraged by these advertisements and bill boards, is not because they are anti-abortion...after all we live in a country where we are generally free to express our opinons (except when it comes to religion of course _ blasphemy law). The outrage felt and expressed is fueled by the blatant lies these posters tell! 

In his article in the Irish Times on Friday 29th June, David Robert Grimes went into detail about a number of studies carried out on the psychological impact abortion has on women with good mental health pre-termination. All of the studies were conclusive....each finding that "there was no difference in mental health between those who opted for abortion and those who carried to term but there was a markedly increased risk to mental health for women who gave a child up for adoption." Irish Times Article 29th June 2012.
I would imagine that the only mental anguish felt by women terminating an unwanted pregnancy might be a feeling of guilt in those women brought up or living in a community that teaches the evils of abortion!

I can understand why Youth Defense took hold of the idea that abortion causes mental anguish and ran with it, as there is a generally held assumption that abortion is traumatic. Of course the process can be unpleasant but the only real trauma is physical for the vast majority of women...It's not like these women rock up to an abortion clinic on a whim..especially if they live in the good aul Republic of Ireland. They will have to get the signatures of two doctors (not always easy),book flights to the UK, accommodation and probably save/borrow money and book time off work. These are not the actions of someone who has not been decisive or is unsure! These are not the actions of a person who thinks that aborting a pregnancy is going to be more traumatic than having your entire life turned upside down by an ejaculation, faulty condom or that rather scary 2% ineffectiveness of oral contraceptives! 
You ask most women that have terminated pregnancies if they regret it and you will hear a great big resounding "absolutely not!" So the bill boards should never have been allowed based on misinformation alone!

As individuals and as a society on the whole we need to address our underlying belief that abortion is wrong. I'm not going to get into the whole debate on whether a foetus is human life or not...everyone has heard these arguments before and while the argument in support of the right to choose is based on fact, those in opposition time and time again demonstrate their lack of respect for factual information!   I will say this, however,(and perhaps Caitlin Moran said it WAY better in her book "How to Be a Woman")  if abortion can bring relief, free women from slavery to their bodies, undo a mistake, prevent a child from being unwanted, and save someone a lifetime of regret surely it is a positive thing! the decision to have a termination is more often based on logic than not and anyone faced with the physical reality of an abortion is unlikely to make that decision lightly....The argument in favour of a woman's right to choose is a logical one. Why is an abortion any different to any other medical procedure a person has to address a condition that is life altering? 

the answer is obvious...anything that the religious fundies get a bee in their bonnet about has to be treated with kid gloves! Something like this that should be a private matter and a very personal decision is made illegal by government meaning women do not have sovereignty over our own bodies! Think about it! Our own bodies!!! Until women have sovereignty over our own wombs and vaginas we will never truely be emancipated! Not allowing women the right to choose is basically saying we have no right to choose what does and does not get to live inside our bodies! Put it like that to most men will think of the Alien films which may prompt even the most reluctant male to come out as  raging feminists and pro choicers if they're not already overtly so! Just because the jumble of cells that form a fetus has the potential to become human life does not mean it is. At this stage of life there is little difference between a human fetus and that of other mammals!...animals that these anti-abortion protestors probably went and fed on when they were starving after yet another hugely offensive and misleading protest! 

By refusing to make abortion lawful in this country our government is institutionalising inequality and those bill-boards are a great big advertisement for the Youth Defense's demands for the continued subjugation of women. Why should the beliefs of these fundamentalists get preference over ours? Why do beliefs so irrelevant to our own determine what we can and cannot do with our own bodies? Surely the best thing to do is legalise and allow this decision to be made by individuals. If abortion is an answer for you...great! you would have that option...if it's not for you...well great!... it's not like you have to have an abortion just because it's legal!

So in short...these abhorrent bill-boards and advertisements are misleading, manipulative, deceitful, sexist,  and downright wrong! Abortion does not "tear her life apart",organisations like Youth Defense may though! Abortion frees her and empowers her! Where's that bill-board?

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