Feminist on abortion
This is a discussion on Feminist on abortion within the General News anti misandry forums, part of the General category; Feminist argues against abortion, but can't resist a dig at men. Why I, as a feminist , abhor how the ...
- 11th-September-2007 #1
Feminist on abortion
Feminist argues against abortion, but can't resist a dig at men.
Why I, as a feminist, abhor how the abortion law has been so abused
23:19pm 10th September 2007 Comments (9)
A woman's Right To Choose.
It's such a compelling phrase, isn't it? It speaks of freedom, equality, justice; of a society where women are entitled to live their lives as they wish, not as others might proscribe.
Small wonder, then, that it became the marching banner for the whole feminist movement, of which I was so proud to be a part.
What it actually stood for, of course, was something rather more specific: the "right" for a woman to abort an unborn child if she so wished.
In fact, no such "right" exists, even in our modern, post-feminist world.
Even today, a pregnant woman may not simply walk into a doctor's surgery or clinic and demand a termination. Scroll down for more...
68 per cent of people in the UK want to make abortion law tougher and reduce the upper limit from 24 weeks to around 13 weeks
There are supposed checks and balances; legal procedures that must be applied; careful questions to be asked before a doctor can proceed.
In practice, of course, these nowadays are simply a formality.
Provided her pregnancy has not exceeded 24 weeks, it is rare indeed that a mother's request for a termination will not be granted.
So, in effect, while women may not have a "right" to a termination, in practice we have access to "abortion on demand".
The distinction, I believe, is more than just one of semantics.
For while "a right to choose" was such a noble ideal for its time, "abortion on demand" is a very different concept altogether, and one that has radically altered my own perspective on the issue of abortion - and also, I suspect, the views of many other women.
The statistics tell their own story.
In 1969, the first full year that abortion became legal in Britain, there were just under 55,000 terminations carried out.
Last year, there were more than 214,000 - the highest rate of abortion of any European nation, and equivalent to a population the size of a city such as Coventry.
Of these, just one per cent were carried out on the grounds that the unborn child was feared to be handicapped.
Yet it is only when you put these totals into perspective that you get a full sense of the scale of the matter: astonishingly, one in every four babies conceived in Britain today will be aborted. One in four!
The figures are all the more remarkable when you consider how advances in medical science have changed our perspective of the child in the womb.
We now know, for example, that almost 40per cent of babies born at 24 weeks - the current upper limit - can survive outside the womb.
We know that as early as 13 weeks, a foetus appears to yawn and rub their eyes; that at 15 weeks, they gain a sense of taste; that at 18 weeks they begin to hear.
Who now can look at those images taken recently of a 23-week-old foetus in the womb, >sucking its thumb and playing with its toes, and not shudder at the inadequacy of the current abortion legislation?
Who could read those statistics about the sheer scale of abortion in Britain today and not question the morality behind it?
Well, a lot of people in government, it seems.
Later this year, the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill comes before Parliament, in which the entire 1967 Abortion Act - 40 years old next month - will be open to amendment.
Astonishingly, rather than using the opportunity to tighten up the law to take account of the huge social and medical changes that have taken place since then, the pro-abortion lobby hope to use the Bill to relax the legislation yet further.
Egged on by the lobby group Abortion Rights, and supported by a huge number of Labour and LibDem MPs for whom "a woman's right" has become an article of faith, they are pressing for abortions to be made even easier to obtain.
Their proposals include enshrining in law the principle of "abortion on demand" in the first three months of pregnancy, thus demolishing the slender barriers that presently exist.
They seek the right for terminations to be carried out by nurses, not doctors, alongside a proposal for abortions to be made available in the home (as with home births).
They also want the current 24-week upper limit to remain.
They will be supported in this by the British Medical Association's Medical Ethics Committee, who are similarly seeking to change the current law that requires two doctors' authorisations before an abortion can be carried out (to be replaced with a single doctor's signature) and are also endorsing the move to allow nurses to carry out the procedure.
What makes these proposals as wrong-headed as they are unwarranted is that they coincide with a huge and hitherto unrecognised seachange in public opinion.
For the overwhelming evidence is that the vast majority of people in Britain now want abortion to be made not easier, but more difficult to obtain.
A staggering body of research to be unveiled tomorrow shows that 68 per cent of people in this country want to make abortion law tougher and reduce the upper limit from 24 weeks to around 13 weeks.
Fifty-five per cent believe there are too many abortions and want the Government to take steps to reduce that number.
And the most unexpected aspect of the research is that it is women, not men, who are the most militant in seeking change.
Seventy-two per cent of women think the abortion limit should be almost halved from the present limit, to around 13 weeks.
So just as it was women who lobbied so hard in the Fifties and early Sixties for the right to have their voice heard on abortion, now it is women who are lobbying for the law to be tightened up.
Like me, they fear the pendulum has swung too far in favour of women's rights and disastrously away from the rights of an unborn child.
How has this change come about?
Few feminists, myself included, would ever have imagined that we would now be arguing for tougher abortion laws.
Our views, I suspect, have changed as a result of how abortion itself has changed.
For what I supported back then - and still do support - is the right for a woman to choose abortion as a last resort.
What I cannot support is the situation we have in Britain today where tens of thousands of women (doubtless egged on by their male partners) treat abortion as just another means of contraception - as freely available and readily accessible as the Morning-After Pill.
Here, some historical perspective is required.
As with many landmark pieces of feminist legislation - such as the right to vote, or to equal pay - when the Abortion Act first came into effect, it was long overdue.
Without ready access to contraception, the lives of women - especially poor women - had, for far too long, been destroyed by the mental, physical and financial strain of raising large families.
Yet throughout the first half of the 20th century, an abortion could only be carried out for the sole purpose of preserving the life of the mother.
As a result, women were often forced into the arms of the backstreet abortionists, many of them little better than butchers.
In many cases, it was not only the unwanted baby that perished, but the mother as well.
The first rumblings of change came with the landmark Bourne Case of 1938.
A young woman was gang-raped by a group of soldiers and a courageous doctor named Aleck Bourne agreed to terminate her pregnancy on the grounds that it would preserve the mental health of the young woman.
The case caused uproar: Dr Bourne was prosecuted, but a judge subsequently ruled that if the young woman had been forced to proceed with her pregnancy, it would have been tantamount to wrecking her life.
Thus a precedent was set in law that an abortion was legal if it preserved a woman's mental well-being, not just her physical health.
This was an imperfect resolution in that it was far easier for wealthier women to secure the services of a psychiatrist who could support her claim to an abortion than it was for the masses.
Thus, while abortions were still carried out for urgent medical reasons, many poorer women continued to rely on the back- street abortionists who would not ask too many questions, or charge extortionate fees.
As a result, even throughout the post-war years, roughly 40 women would die each year from illegal terminations, and many more were grievously injured. Thanks to intensive political lobbying, the 1967 Abortion Act changed all that.
By passing the legal responsibility for assessing abortion cases directly into the hands of doctors, it greatly increased women's options in the event of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.
Specifically, the new law decreed that a termination could take place "if continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman".
Crucially, it also allowed for a termination if a pregnancy posed a similar risk to the existing children or the family of the pregnant woman - the reason many women today now use when requesting what might be termed a "lifestyle" abortion (ie where there is no compelling medical necessity).
The background is important because it shows what "a woman's right to choose" actually stood for all those years ago.
It was about compassion for the most needy; it was a safety net that could rescue women from impoverishment; it was a medical insurance against the rusty scalpel of a back-street butcher; it was about releasing women from the tyranny of fear and oppression that an unwanted pregnancy could condemn them to.
What it was most certainly not about was entitling women to rely on abortion as a means of contraception (a huge proportion of all women who request an abortion today have had a previous termination).
It was not about a "tick box" procedure whereby doctors agree to perform terminations as casually as they dispense antibiotics.
And perhaps, above all, it was not about one in four pregnancies ending in termination.
Small wonder, then, that there is now a silent majority (particularly of women) who want the law to be tightened.
We support the principle of abortion, but abhor the way it has come to be so misused and abused by the current generation.
I cannot stress clearly enough that I have no wish to persecute women who find themselves in emotional turmoil and practical despair when they simply cannot cope with an unplanned pregnancy.
I have not the slightest desire to see abortion made illegal, as some pro-life zealots do.
But, 40 years on (and 6.7 million abortions later), I do believe that the sheer ease and scale of abortion in Britain today necessitates an urgent revision of the Abortion Act.
In particular, I passionately believe the growing scientific evidence of a foetus's ability to sustain life at 20 weeks - and show signs of recognisably human behaviour as young as 13 weeks - must make us reduce the upper limit.
I also believe that we should be counselling women far more about the viability of keeping their child, and the real alternative of giving birth to your child then offering it up for adoption (especially in an age when so many infertile couples yearn to have a child and are forced to rely on the lottery of IVF procedures).
And, of course, I fervently believe we should be doing more to educate young girls about their contraception options so they don't get pregnant in the first place, but also placing that education in a moral context so that we are not afraid to teach that the best method of contraception of all is abstinence.
Yet such is the liberal elite's obsession with that old mantra "A Woman's Right To Choose" that shockingly few resources are devoted to any of these strategies, and those institutions that promote the alternatives - such as the Catholic Church and pro-life charities - are condemned as fanatically anti-feminist.
This is surely madness - all the more so in light of the latest figures that show how popular opinion is directly opposed to making abortion easier.
How much longer can the Government ignore that silent majority?
Just as we did 40 years ago, when the Abortion Act came into being, we are standing at a new moral watershed.
And just as we did back then, what we need is legislation that will protect the most vulnerable - and they don't get more vulnerable than a healthy, developing foetus.
It would be bitterly ironic if in 2007, when women wish to exercise their collective right to choose - in this case to choose to make abortion less available - we are utterly ignored.
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Having had a premature baby born at 24 weeks (now a healthy 3 year old) I am appalled that anyone could consider a late abortion. Maybe the women who demand this should be taken into special care baby units to see exactly what it is they are destroying. If someone has an unwanted pregnancy, why would they delay getting it sorted out? Whilst I'm not in theory opposed to very early terminations, the women who have several abortions for their convenience totally disgust me.
- Sarah, King's Lynn
There should be no right to death-on-demand of new life forms and dressing up the names as a 'non-viable fetus' (etc) should be stopped. Birth control is available to all these days and for those who use it but still get pregnant, adoption is the answer. If you are grown up enough to have sex, be grown up enough to deal with the consequences.
- Maureen Smith, Fortuna, Spain
The majority has no right to oppress an individual. You are entitled to your personal views and choices, but have no right to impose it on other women or anyone else.
The high-handedness with which some people presume to meddle and intrude into things that don't concern them and are not any of their business...is beyond words.
What you are proposing is forcing women to give birth to children they don't want, can't afford and will hate.
Enforced pregnancy is just another word for rape.
Are you going to financially support those children and look after them? Why is it that the same people who are against abortion are also the ones who call for decreasing social benefits? Hypocrisy?
Women who want an abortion have their reasons and will have one done; it is only a question of how, where and in what conditions.
Personally, I am in favor of 13 week limit, but any other restriction is absurd, degrading to women and presumes to strip them of the right to control their bodies.
- Daianna, London
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- 11th-September-2007 # ADSAdvertisement Circuit advertisement
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- 11th-September-2007 #2
Re: Feminist on abortion
That is classic feminism taking over both sides of the argument.
I and many MRAs are against abortion I was happy and surprised by discovering this.It is a highly moral reason for avoiding realtionships completely.
Its strange how abstinence for a good cause makes it incredibly easier.
She is one of those conservative leaning feminists. She is still firmly in the feminist camp as you say pjanus they give themselves away by the obligatory slandering and demonising of men .
I know some of you post replies these daily mail journos articles I question doing this- better to post your responses here IMO. They always censored me in the past anyway I dont want those media scumbags knowing my email address.feminism is a disease the Doc is working on a cure. Symptoms include compulsive liar, constant aggression, allergic to logic, often affects women who are fat with short hair and big earings, but can be normal looking.
Reason tablets three taken daily. If the sufferer displays shaming tactics double the dose. Remarkably the illness disappears in disaster zones.
- 11th-September-2007 #3
Re: Feminist on abortion
Feminists indeed like to claim that they speak on behalf of all women.. and since women are all that matter, hence, the whole of humanity..
It is not surprising that there are pro abortion and anti abrotion feminists..
Like, there are men who run the mens and fathers groups who are proudly feminist, because in their thinking, they subscribe to a certain view of feminism that makes their life easier..
- 11th-September-2007 #4
Re: Feminist on abortion
I love how she just ignores all the contributions men have made to "women's issues" like contraception (who invented the Pill?)
The whole tone is of reluctant motherhood, and no sense of duty to society or natureFeminism = Fear + Flattery
- 11th-September-2007 #5
Re: Feminist on abortion
The fact that when a woman consents to sex she is possibly going to become pregnant seems to barely register on the consciousness of many women today..
Keeping the legs together darlings..
Thats the key..
You dont NEED sex..
Dont start what you cant finish..
- 11th-September-2007 #6
- Member Since
- Jul 2006
- My Blog Entries:
Re: Feminist on abortion
So they murder 215,000 humans a year and we have cretins like Flipper suggesting that men are to be held accountable for all the wrong in the world.
Morons that believe that women are blameless should visit these clinics and see for themselves how the majority of doctors are women (in England, remember) murder these helpless unborn and the method they use is nothing short of barbaric..
Many doctors are taking their options of not having to perform abortions as they are sworn to save lives, not murder them.
- 12th-September-2007 #7
Re: Feminist on abortion
When I first discovered the men's rights movement, I was hesitant to get involved because I'd met men before on Askmen who said they were for men's rights, but they were strongly pro-abortion. I was afraid the entire movement might be too.
Its refreshing to see how many men in the MRM are actually as strongly pro-life as I am!
I see the entire abortion issue as one way feminism tries to control men by controlling whether their offspring lives or dies. Nothing more insidious than that."I just owe almost everything to my father and it's passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election." ----former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"I owe nothing to Women's Lib".--former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
- 12th-September-2007 #8
Re: Feminist on abortion
I am firmly Pro choice myself I believe women have the right to protect their bodies from harm but here is where myself and the rest of pro choice people part ways. I believe a woman has the right to choose to either have sex and risk pregnancy or choose not to and have no risk of pregnancy do to her own choice. This is the same choice a man has. If I have sex with a woman I risk becoming a father if I do not have sex I do not risk becoming a father due to my choices. I do not believe that anyone has the right to choose death for an infant.Chevalier.
"no greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his brother."
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