There are two key groups who should support access to abortion:
- People who recognise that abortion is an important and necessary element of healthcare.
- Those who oppose abortion.
Yes, people who oppose abortion should support access to it. Those with the most extreme views won’t, of course. They can’t bring themselves to say it. It doesn’t matter if the pregnant person’s life is at risk, it doesn’t matter if she’s unable to be a parent at this point, and it doesn’t even matter if she is a rape victim. No matter what the circumstances, extremists just can’t bring themselves to make any allowances. (Even a US presidential hopeful thinks it was right for Paraguay to deny an abortion to a ten year old raped by her step-father.)
The fact is that people get abortions somehow, including via unsafe means if legal abortion services are not available. And other things that extremists tend to oppose – such as contraception and comprehensive sex education – are shown to reduce abortion rates. But none of that matters in the minds of those who campaign against abortion rights. Because for these people, it’s not about health, well-being or human rights; it’s about them. Their opposition is all about their beliefs, their conscience, their inability to condone the termination of a foetus to protect the well-being or even the life of a person with an unwanted pregnancy.
Why am I writing about this here? Because it’s an issue that’s important to me, and you can expect to hear more from me about feminism and human rights in future posts. As I’ve said, this blog is my place to post things that I can’t share with Facebook friends. Things that would out me to those who don’t know about my crimes, or views that might be perceived as hypocritical by those who do.
I do also see some parallels between extreme anti-abortion views and the intense views many people hold about not just sex offenders, but anyone with a sexual attraction to children. Many would gladly support jailing non-offending paedophiles for life, or requiring castration, or requiring enrolment on a publicly visible registry. It doesn’t matter if such measures are ineffective or unjust. It doesn’t matter if reintegrating offenders into the community and supporting paedophiles not to offend helps to reduce the incidence of sexual abuse. All that matters is the desire to do something, even if that something is guided by fear rather than evidence.
Still, I can understand where that fear comes from. It may not always be rational, but it’s understandable. Even if you can’t bring yourself to accept paedophiles and hebephiles who are making an effort to avoid acting on their desires, please show your support for the people who provide or use abortion services. Forcing people to either seek an unsafe abortion or continue an unwanted pregnancy is wrong. Let’s put an end to the stigma surrounding reproductive health.