by Gyl Rae, teacher, Scotland.
Recently I had a session with a very wise Esoteric Practitioner around my need to have children. What came up in our discussion was the question: had I ever been in a relationship where we seriously talked about having kids? I hadn’t, but I had had two abortions when I was younger, that if I am honest, I carried guilt around for years, and didn’t want people to know about in case of what they thought about me.
These thoughts can come from pictures, beliefs and ideals we are fed that having an abortion is the ending of life, from the imposition of the world’s ideals and beliefs and the Church – all of which can come through both women and men, where we are told a woman does not have rights over what she can do with her own body and the choices she makes.
Just recently, 4th of February 2017 – under a new law passed in the state of Arkansas, in the USA1, “A pregnant woman’s husband will have the power to stop her from having an abortion, even in cases of spousal rape”. How far lost are we that we can pass a law that allows a man to rape a woman and stop her from aborting the child? In this one law we are saying rape, abuse, and controlling a woman and her body are okay.
This is very similar to the control of a woman’s body and the lessening of women that we have seen throughout the ages in many institutionalised religions across the world, whereby, for example, women are deemed to be dirty when they have their periods, or that they are the lesser sex. Some may say, but ‘it’s her husband, of course he has a right’, but rape is rape no matter who commits the crime. Not to mention the fact that it is the woman’s body, therefore her choice.
Would we be allowed to pass a law giving women the right to stop their partners or boyfriend having a vasectomy? I think not. We would never be allowed to control or tell a man what to do with his reproductive organs – so why are women being denied the same right to choose?
Abortion laws and debates have been going on for a long time, we all know the cases we read about across the world every day, from abortion being illegal in Northern Ireland, even in cases of rape, or incest, the only time it is legally allowed is if the woman’s life is at risk – in fact in Ireland, both North and South, abortion is criminalised in most circumstances2 – to the new USA legislation that the recent President of America has passed stopping funding from foreign aid or non government organisations from supporting women financially to have abortions.3 Not to mention three bills passed, see below, in Indiana State that would restrict a women’s access to abortion.4 And note these are not all passed by men.
- Senate Bill 404, authored by Sens. Erin Houchin, Travis Holdman and Jeff Raatz, would impose restrictions on minors seeking abortions by removing, in some cases, a judge’s ability to ensure their privacy. Along with requiring parental consent, the bill would make it a criminal offence for a physician or a religious leader to counsel a minor on whether or not to have an abortion.
- House Bill 1128, authored by Rep. Ronald Bacon, would require that a pregnant woman be informed orally and in writing before a chemical abortion that the procedure could be reversed or stopped.
- Senate Bill 118, authored by Sens. Dennis Kruse and Liz Brown, would require a mandatory ultrasound before an abortion, and, notably, the bill would require the pregnant woman to view the foetal ultrasound imaging and listen to foetal sounds. Currently women can opt out of this procedure.
Note – The ultrasound mentioned above is transvaginal and is not medically required, thus it is subjecting women to an invasive and unnecessary procedure in an attempt to psychologically and emotionally manipulate her, or some might say, to bully her to change her decision.
Opponents to the bills say, “the bills serve no medical purpose and their sole purpose is to restrict women’s access to abortion.” “These bills are so unnecessary and don’t contribute to the safety of the procedure,” said Sue Ellen Braunlin, co-director of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice. 4
Do any of the anti-abortion bills, lobbies, demonstrations, charities, companies really take into account the feeling and choice of the woman and her body – or are they solely built on ideals and beliefs from institutionalised religions, with many of them more in keeping with the Dark Ages than the 21st Century?
What if having an abortion was actually taking a deep level of responsibility?
Never once did I consider or even given myself credit for the level of responsibility I took to have an abortion. Some may say, ‘well you should have taken more responsibility to not get pregnant in the first place’, and yes I agree, but we all make mistakes. The choice I made was not selfish, and not solely about me, but the foetus as well. Deep down in my body I absolutely knew and know the level of responsibility and integrity I want to have a child with, and the responsibility I have and want to parent them in. I was not and I am not willing, to bring a child into this world in a loveless and abusive relationship or out of pure need. I knew in my circumstance this was the correct and most loving choice to make. I took everything into account.
So the question I would ask when all things are considered, is, are many, if not all of these women who choose to have abortions actually making a very loving and responsible choice for themselves and others?
Given that it is their body, their life, and a choice they will have to live with for the rest of their life, is it not their right and choice to make it?
- Abortion – choice and responsibility
- Abortion in N.Ireland – breaking free from the gags of silence.