Abortion: A deliberate termination of pregnancy.
If you are following #AbortioninUganda on twitter, you must have seen several opinions you completely disagree with and some that sound like ‘you are reading my mind.’ This is a very delicate debate and tempers have erupted because of opinions some ‘tweeps’ found absurd. So I’ll tread very lightly on the subject.
There are 3 circumstances under which a female will have an abortion; Doctor’s recommendation (rape or complications), forced by family or the man responsible and by choice where she decides she doesn’t want the baby. Society is more tolerant of the cause after doctor’s recommendation which is usually after rape or an imminent medical condition. And psychologically, abortion under this condition takes a less dramatic toll on the victim because well, it was justified and society approves. Hmm…!
Abortion because the family or the man responsible forced the victim and abortion by choice; these are frowned upon. Morally, the frowning upon is acceptable and this should be the stand society takes on the matter.
But here is the thing; like someone said,
“Making murder illegal has not stopped people from killing.”
True! And the same will apply to abortion. If or when it’s made illegal, it will not stop people from being forced by family and the men or doing it on their own. Which will inevitably lead to the continued loss of lives due to secret unsafe abortions. So why not instead strike a balance. What balance?
Look at this; if you woke up tomorrow with malaria, the ball rests in your court. You can choose to see a doctor or not, – it’s entirely up to you. Your family and friends may be concerned depending on the decision you take but no one is going to nag you about it. On the whole, the decision to see a doctor is your choice.
Now! focus on the choice, the decision, and the personal initiative to or not to see a doctor, not the act of seeing a doctor. I need you to understand that my aim with this example is to point out how you are solely responsible for how you deal with malaria situation. ‘You by yourself’ has assessed the situation and you have taken the necessary steps according to what ‘you by yourself’ feels is the best choice for you given the situation at hand. You have weighed all your options by yourself and you have decided what you have decided.
“Jesus! Are you comparing malaria to pregnancy?” Absolutely not. The common ground here is life. Your life. Just so we are utterly clear, am at the border with this debate, am neither prolife nor prochoice, am for saving lives.
So here is the deal, agreeing that the common ground is life (the victim’s life) and the goal is to save lives by reducing deaths by unsafe abortion; the way you have absolute control over the decision to see a doctor or not when you have malaria, let’s accord abortion the same right. Do not make it legal or illegal, let it be another matter of life where the victim can decide what’s best for them. HOWEVER! And a very big HOWEVER at that; Medics and medical centers MUST be equipped and trained to safely assist anyone that will make a ‘personal’ decision to have an abortion. And a consent form must be signed and filed at the clinic or hospital.
Remembering that “Making murder illegal has not stopped people from killing,” let’s turn a blind eye to how morally unacceptable abortion should be, and all those other feelings we have towards life and babies but choose a solution that saves lives.
Ps: We are striking a compromise here not making a final judgement so hold your fire!