This pro-life versus pro-choice debate is stupid if I may say so. Don't interfere. None of anybody's business. This shouldn't even be talked about. If you want to state your opinion, state it; then move on.
I wasn't pro-choice or anything, I had an abortion when I got pregnant from a man who said he'd be taking on his responsibility but who wasn't really ready to commit. Neither was I ready to commit to such a man or to such a responsibility at the time. Mind you, I wasn't young. Definitely not a teenager. I was 31. I was already married and divorced.
You see, I was brought up in a very old-fashioned way. I didn't have sex before marriage. Hey, I didn't have sex even after marriage! I grew up with Türkan Şoray movies, no kissing rules. You got married and then you slept like siblings with your husband. That was my thinking at the time. Sure, I had explored. But not gone far.
So comes one marriage one divorce. Then one pregnancy, not coming to term. Then a second marriage.
Then I got pregnant at 40. Again out-of-wedlock. Or actually this was in wedlock, but not from my husband. (Don't judge too quickly. Or judge if you will, but only after you know all the facts. I had left my husband, just not finalized the divorce.) So I was married twice and gotten pregnant twice. But not from my husbands. This time I wasn't having an abortion. It was from a man I felt to be my soul-mate. I was old enough and had confidence in myself to raise a baby on my own. (Oh, not knowing anything about child-raising! Ignorance makes you brave ;) Then I got married. To the man I got pregnant from. I've been in a stable and loving relationship for almost a decade now.
I carried that pregnancy to term. Lost her within the 24 hours. Then had another one. I'd have wanted to have at least three children had I met my current husband a decade before I did.
Recently, I had a scare. We had a scare... That I might be pregnant. I couldn't be sure. As my age is advancing, it could very well be the onset of menstruation. But it could very well be a pregnancy given how easily I had conceived even at a late age.
It turned out I was not. I took a sigh of relief when the test showed negative. But still, I couldn't trust it. These tests come out wrong too. After a week, my period came and I was relieved. But this scare taught me a huge lesson. Never take down your guard when it comes to such matters. Matters of life and death. I was almost 50. Yes, women gave birth at 50, but they usually did with Cesarian-sections these days. If I carried it to term, I wanted to give natural birth. Then there were all the complications that were involved in a geriatric pregnancy.
Besides, I wasn't planning another child now. Not now. We had also paid for an Antarctica trip. We were, I was looking forward to it for so long. Yet, I couldn't abort. But then, how could I carry on the pregnancy?
No no, not aborting a child from this man... I detested even the idea of abortion, I couldn't even think of it. But in the end, after agonizing over it for two sleepless nights, I spoke up the unspeakable to my husband. “I should get an abortion.”
We didn't like the idea one bit, but it was on the table.
I am happy that I didn't need to make that choice. I am happy that I didn't have to go through such a procedure. But I suppose I'd have lived with that decision.
There are millions of women out there, in “normal” countries, where pregnancy is not such a taboo and not made a big deal. Those countries accept death as a part of life too. People in “Western” countries have forgotten all about life. They have turned it into a race. A race to be big, own more... They have turned it into values like democracy, never-ending discussions or rather arguments on pro this pro that... People in some other countries know how to live simple. They give birth when they get pregnant. They abort if they believe they cannot take on the responsibility. Or they give birth and leave the children at an orphanage. They have a different set up of society encompassing a larger family circle.
They live death differently too. They die and accept it. They witness elders and old age, they witness sicknesses.
In the olden times, they even killed their babies born with defects. Many societies exercised even killing children later in life. I'm aware this may not be such a good point to make. I know that there were child sacrifices once upon a time too; that doesn't, wouldn't make it acceptable today. Still... This is to show how concepts, understandings of life and our responses to them may change. These people didn't kill children out of savagery. It was just a matter of survival. Of course I wasn't in their minds and have no way of knowing for sure, but I am quite convinced that they went on with their normal lives instead of stressing/agonizing over such things like us. There was no stigma attached to things about life or death. They lived. They were born, they lived, they died. Simple as that.
Today, some “primitive” societies still live life that way. I don't know if it's ever going to be possible for us to get this simple fact and adopt our way of looking at things to life as is. I know... Religion plays a big part on our judgements on this matter. Perhaps there is heaven and hell. Perhaps I will go to hell for what I have done before.
But if I do, I know that there'll be lots of other mothers there with me. Women who just did what they had to do. What they thought was best for them and that of the child they were carrying. The one sure thing is... However much you may campaign, however much you try to change the mentality of people, trying to make them see abortion as murder, and murder as an unacceptably horrible crime, there will always be women who abort. (Unless of course technology advances so much and every living woman has access to a technique, a formula, a simple pill that will guarantee when she will get pregnant and when not. Even then, there will be women who would want to abort afterwards, changing their minds after a break-up with the man they loved or any other change of heart or circumstance.) You may put in place strict rules and controls, there will always be doctors willing to perform the abortion somewhere in the world. If not, women will resort to over-the-counter pills or to any other stupid thing they can think of. They'll try anything and everything they heard on the grapevine. Just to get rid of a “problem” they conceive to be.
My mother and grandmother both had more than one abortion. They don't really feel remorse. No, this doesn't make them bloody murderers. At least I don't see it that way. If you see it as so, you are entitled to your opinion of course. I'll deem you a bit too harsh.
As long as the actions of an individual does not have direct or indirect consequences in the life of society, I believe it's none of anybody's business, no one has a right to interfere and make decisions for another.
I take it that all women do not have an obligation to have a child. As long as that is not the case, as long as our race is not under the threat of extinction, or even if in such a case, I don't see how anybody can be so self-righteous to dictate others anything.
As for the other side, women giving birth in case of unwanted pregnancies may be a problem for society. As that child is going to be a part of the society and the way s/he is raised has consequences on the quality of society. So that may become a concern. But given that there are always people out there willing to help women in such cases, the important thing is to support them. We need to have safety-nets for women and children, we need to have larger support groups for them. That is most crucial to our societies. Raising a child is a hard and very important task. At the risk of sounding trite, children are the future of the world.
I'm not condoning abortion. But I'm not condemning it either. I accept it as a basic fact of life to live with. (I condemn violence. On the other hand, I take it it's in man's nature. We are horrible creatures when you look at all the awful things people do and say.)
Or in short...
I am pro-life, yet I am pro-choice.
I am pro-choice, yet I am pro-life.
And perhaps a bit too self-righteously, I believe everybody should be like that too.