I found out almost two weeks ago that I was five weeks pregnant. My partner and I, as university students, were actively trying to avoid having children by using birth control. We have one more year of university left and would have risked having to put our education aside temporarily in order to deal with the pregnancy and the infants first year. Instead of risking our own futures we decided to terminate the pregnancy. We feel as though any future offspring that we have will benefit from our having completed our education. I went in to the abortion clinic on Monday to begin the process.
I chose to have a medical abortion. That means that the doctor at the clinic gave me a shot to stop the fetus from growing, then I was given medication to open my uterus so that the fetus would be flushed out of my system before it could cause an infection. Basically, I had a miscarriage. The process has taken all week. I only just aborted the fetus today. This week has been tough on me because of the abortion: I basically had the flu for a week. The medication is tough on the body. It made me nauseous and tired. I barely ate, I slept a lot, and I did little activity throughout the day. I wouldn’t suggest this method for any woman who cannot afford to take the week off.
I am writing about this for a few reasons. First, every year the Genocide Awareness Project people come to my university twice, once in fall and once in winter. I want to say that my abortion looked nothing like what they show in their pictures, nor would it have had I chosen a surgical abortion. I was six weeks pregnant when I went in for the abortion. My fetus was too small to see. There was just a blood clot. The same type of thing that most women see every period. At most, the fetus would have been 12 weeks when I had the abortion. That is because after 12 weeks I would need a doctors permission to abort. There either would have had to be something wrong with the fetus or there would have to be some health risk affecting me. That being said, if those pictures are GAP’s main argument as to why abortion is genocide then they are seriously misguided. The women getting abortion that look like that, where I live, aren’t getting them because they want to. They are getting them because they have to. And GAP is causing those women undo harm by calling them murderers.
Second, recently there has been a push among some in the secular community to become pro-life. Secular Pro-Life argues that abortion is murder and that fetuses deserve human rights. Here’s the problem: my fetus hasn’t lived. It hasn’t thought any thoughts or participated in any aspect of society. It hasn’t contributed anything. My partner and I have. We vote, we volunteer, we work, we are getting our education. If the fetus had stayed inside of me, I would have continued to have morning sickness, which would have affected my ability to participate in societal life. I would have been unable to attend my fall semester at school, and the winter semester would have been difficult to attend. That would mean waiting an extra year to graduate. I wouldn’t be working or volunteering either. Not only would the fetus not be participating in society, neither would I. Sure, the fetus was human. But do it’s rights outweigh mine? Does it get to negatively affect my life because it has rights too? After all, I was trying not to have a baby. I also don’t think that abortion can be called murder. If a famous violinist is going to die, but they are attached to me when I am unaware, have I murdered that violinist by making the doctors detach the violinist? The violinist case is a well-known case that shows that abortion isn’t murder, since I never agreed to play host to the fetus and be its life support.
I know that abortion is a touchy subject for a lot of people. But I think that it is well past time that we discuss it. Too many women find themselves scared and confused in the face of an unwanted pregnancy. Many are guilted into raising babies that they cannot afford or that they never wanted because people tell them that they must. But that puts a burden on all of society, not just the mother in question. How many more people would be educated and self-sufficient if they weren’t forced to put their lives aside to raise a child? How many less children would be abused if all children were wanted? I think that these are very important questions that need to be considered before anybody judges a woman for having an abortion.