The right to choose

In 2012 I wrote a blog post about a woman’s right to choose. I noted how it is a touchy subject for many. Some people don’t care, some people get so irate you would swear they were being forced to end a pregnancy themselves. There is so much judgment passed by those who judge with little empathy or knowing the circumstances behind a woman’s decision to end her pregnancy. And to be frank; its none of their business either.

In this past week, the overturning of Wade vs. Roe in the US sparked fury among those who can see the rights of women being stripped away. It offended those of us who are sick to fucking death of women being the ones shamed and blamed for unwanted/ unplanned pregnancies, it infuriated those of us who are survivors of sexual violence and all I can see a bunch of entitled people sitting smug in their decision to use their personal and unjustified beliefs to determine what a woman can and cannot do without providing a supportive alternative.

You could say it is immoral, you can call it murder, you can actually call it what you like, but until you have walked a mile in that woman’s shoes, you are really not qualified to pass any judgement. The choice to terminate a pregnancy is a very personal one. It is not an easy decision to make and it is often when a woman feels like all hope is lost and a last resort. Perhaps also realise that some of those conceptions were a result of Rape. Don’t judge until you know the truth and the real reasons. And the reasons are actually irrelevant.

I have seen so much vitriol spewed all over the place. My “favourite” comment; “If a woman doesn’t want a baby she should abstain from sex!”.. Yes, because a woman having sex (that can result in pregnancy) doesn’t involve a man. Why aren’t we asking men to keep the snake inside the gate. Why aren’t we raising our son’s to not walk away from women they sleep with. Why are we not ensuring that every man who sleeps with a women checks in to make sure he didn’t drop a load and leave a fertilised egg behind. Enough blaming women and start creating some equal accountability here. And to those who think there are options, like adoption; please go ahead and add yourself to an adoption agency registry and make sure those babies can live a life they deserve.

Coming from South Africa where poverty is so rife, where babies are abandoned in garbage bins, where parents kill their children because they cannot afford to feed them, a country where the rape stats are the highest in the world … when you see this, you have a greater respect for a tough decision a woman has to make because most of those babies were abandoned by the father before they were born, not just the mother! The man left first. And those babies were more than likely a result of rape. The question asked when poor people have babies is; “If they are so poor, why do they keep on popping babies out?”. Might be because contraception isn’t always available to those people, lack of education, sexual violence, lack of access to terminations… and its none of your business!

What happened in America saddened women accross the globe. Its Giliad in the making. Who would have thought such regressive decisions would be made in this day and age.

The below image is from a traffic light pole in South Africa. Although this image was taken many years ago, I am pretty sure this is what is still being resorted to now. And its butchery. In South Africa abortion is legal until 12 weeks and there are services there that can do it for free. However, the shame, the blame and the stigma surrounding the issue; some women resort to the backstreet clinics. This is a reality and banning abortion in the US won’t stop people from having abortions, its just creating a market for butchers.

Can we stop putting all the blame on to women, can we stop making this a woman only problem. Can the men please stand up and those who shoot and leave, can those men please start owning what they are doing, and start taking responsibility for their actions and start supporting the women too.

I can rant on forever. But as a woman who has had to deal with enough shame in her life, no more!

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