If You're Going to Talk About Abortion, Do It Mindfully

If You're Going to Talk About Abortion, Do It Mindfully

You have a right to your opinion, but make it an educated one.

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If you've been on social media lately, you have likely seen an influx in posts regarding abortion since New York's new abortion law. Everyone seems to be outraged, thinking women are going to be going to the doctor to abort 9-month-old infants.

Posts about abortion are such a struggle for me. As a woman with a complex set of medical issues that could prevent me from ever having children, I am sad about even the idea of abortions. But as a feminist and social worker, I can also recognize that forcing someone to go through a pregnancy is not the answer everyone is looking for.

I work in foster care, so I have seen the ugliness of drug-addicted infants and watched children go through the system, without ever being adopted. There have been times when a client would become pregnant and would want to abort it to avoid it being born with a deformity or serious health issues related to their addiction, and in those hard moments, I stood by and supported those decisions.

Some people genuinely do not have the money to take care of the baby, let alone the insane medical expenses that it is to carry out a pregnancy in the first place. Having said that, New York's new law on abortions is not what people think it is.

What people have failed to recognize is that it was set in motion to allow women the legal right to abort a child when keeping it presented the woman with serious, life-threatening risks. If a woman's child died in her womb at eight months old, she was not permitted to surgically remove it, based on the previous New York law. The previous laws forced women to carry out pregnancies of dead children, putting women's lives at risk and has even resulted in the death of the women in some cases.

No one is carrying a pregnancy out to term and then randomly choosing to abort it. No woman is waiting until the 8-month mark to say they don't want a baby, nor is any doctor advocating for that. You would also be VERY hard pressed to find a doctor willing to abort a healthy baby that late. That's not why the law was created.

What frustrates me is that people are very quick to speak on things they have not researched. Speak your mind if you must, but please do the research FIRST.

It is not fair to place judgment out into the world, without considering all of the facts. Laws are made to PROTECT people. That was the ultimate reason for our country's legal system in the first place. Protecting a woman's right to take care of her own body is just as important as having food and shelter. You really don't have a right to tell a woman that she must risk death to bring a dead child to full term. You don't have the right to tell a woman she must risk her own death to bring an unhealthy child that is likely to die at birth. You don't have a right to tell women they must put their body through an unwanted pregnancy.

You may advocate for women to choose childbirth. You may offer money and to adopt the child yourself. You may voice your concerns, but not without doing the research.

Speak your mind, but do it mindfully.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

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A Solution To The Abortion Debate

We need to tackle the problem at its core.
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There are very few political issues that are as controversial as abortion. Pro-life vs. Pro-choice seem to be the smack down of the year, every year. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion years ago, but people from all sides of the political spectrum still focus on it.

I'm not going to give you a pro-choice argument. Yes, I am pro-choice, and yes I have very firm beliefs, but I don't think the argument should focus on whether or not women should have access to abortion.

The argument needs to tackle this "issue" of abortion at a much deeper level. It's not about pregnant women wanting abortions — it's about unwanted pregnancies.

There are many reasons a woman chooses to have an abortion. Maybe they can't afford a pregnancy and a child. Maybe they have health problems. Maybe they are not in a place in their lives where they can properly care for a child. Or maybe, they just don't want to have the baby.

Regardless of their reasons, the core cause of abortion is an unwanted pregnancy. Naturally, the way to end abortion is to stop unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place. If a woman never becomes pregnant without wanting to be pregnant, there would be no need for abortion, and the divisive debate could finally end.

How do we do this, you ask? Well, you've come to the right place.

There are two things that need to happen in order to stop unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

1. Comprehensive sexual education

27 states currently have abstinence-only education. This means students in 27 states are never taught about birth control. They never learn the realities of sex and sexual experiences because they are taught not to have sex until marriage.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with practicing abstinence until marriage — or even in marriage if that's what you decide. But the truth is, not everyone is going to be abstinent, and by teaching a curriculum that stresses abstinence, students lack a knowledge base necessary to prevent pregnancies and STDs. Some people won't know anything about sex alone, let alone about condoms, the birth control pill, the birth control patch, shot, ring, IUD, or other forms of birth control that could prevent pregnancies.

Statistically, states with abstinence-only education have a much higher rate of teenage pregnancy or STD transmission, while states with more comprehensive education have seen a drastic decrease in these cases.

People seem to think that including comprehensive sex ed in schools will encourage teenagers and young adults to have premarital sex. But lets face it: they're going to do it anyway. So lets make sure they are educations and that they practice safe-sex so no unwanted pregnancies occur.

2. Access to birth control

Education is all fine and dandy, but unless people have access to birth control, they can't really practice safe sex.

The discourse around birth control needs to be less taboo. Young women should not be embarrassed to talk to their healthcare provider about different options. Both men and women who plan to be sexually active, even if they have the smallest inkling that they will be sexually active, should have condoms so that they are never in a position to "risk it."

Birth control needs to be covered by all health insurance. Not only does it prevent pregnancies, but it also helps regulate women's menstrual cycles and treat endometriosis, along with other health problems women may have. But most importantly, it prevents unwanted pregnancies. Birth control needs to be available to every one, both men and women and genderfluid and genderqueer and everything else on the gender spectrum.


Even people who are pro-choice are not pro-abortion. Whether it is because of morals, medical reasons, or any other reason, no one wants abortions to happen.

Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions from happening. People will resort to dangerous methods to get abortions if they are outlawed, but they will not stop completely. The only way to stop abortions is to solve the core of the problem through comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control.

In order to make that happen, the discussion needs to move away from "Should abortion be legal or not?" to "Let's stop unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place." Stopping unwanted pregnancies is the only way to stop abortions.

Cover Image Credit: The New Yorker

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Let's Get One Thing Straight: Nobody WANTS An Abortion, But Everyone Deserves The Right To Choose

You can choose not to get one. But you don't have the right to make that choice for anyone else.

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As the United States turns into "The Handmaid's Tale's" Gilead right in front of our eyes, the fight against women's reproductive rights comes to the forefront again. Rape, incest, they don't care: Abortions are bad, and so are those who seek them and perform them.

But let's all align on one thing, shall we? Nobody wants an abortion. Nobody.

And here is the amazing thing... If you don't believe in abortion, you don't have to get one! No, really. The existence of safe, legal and accessible abortions does not require you to get one! How about that? It is almost like you are able to choose based on your belief system and your personal situation.

That is the great thing about being pro-choice... You can consider yourself "pro-life"... for you. You do not have to get an abortion. You can believe that you would never even consider an abortion. All of your pregnancies can lead to a baby. You have that right.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell the 11-year-old victim of incest who is still years away from even being able to legally consent to sex that she has to carry her relative's child to term.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a rape survivor that she has to carry the product of her trauma for 9 months.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a woman in an abusive relationship with no familial support has to bring a baby into a world where he or she cannot be provided for.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a woman who has no interest in being a mother that the rest of her life is no longer in her hands.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell an expectant mother who just found out her child will die once she is born that she has to endure that earth-shattering heartbreak.

Here's the thing: Some women in all of the above situations would keep their baby.

They'll comment below this post and say that their son or daughter is a light and their life and they are so glad they decided to keep their child.

Sure, I was young, but I made it work.

Yes, my child was conceived in trauma, but I didn't hold that against them.

Raising a child single with no support was so hard, but so worth it.

I never thought I wanted a child, but I can't see myself as anything but a mother.

The doctors told me that my baby wouldn't live, but now he's 18 and thriving.

And that is wonderful. It is beautiful. It takes love and strength to raise a child, let alone in any sort of adversity.

But that does not mean that the women who made the opposite decision are monsters or hate children.

It means that, based on their beliefs and their personal situations and the unique challenges that come with their own life, it was the best choice for them.

Being a child, I was not even near ready to have my own.

Carrying the child of my abuser is making it difficult for me to move past this.

I will not be able to provide this baby with the love and support that he or she deserves.

It is not fair to bring a child into the world that I do not want.

I would rather endure the heartbreak of terminating my pregnancy than the heartbreak of watching my child die in my arms.

And guess what? It takes strength to make these decisions, too. You do not live in the shoes or the head of anyone but yourself. You do not understand the complexity of this decision for anyone but yourself.

You do not get to make an extremely difficult and personal decision for anyone but yourself.

Nobody wants an abortion. Nobody has "terminating a pregnancy" on their list of life goals or milestones. In all situations, making the decision to terminate a pregnancy, for any reason, is an extremely difficult decision.

And you DO NOT have the right to tell a woman what is best for her or her life.

If you cannot fathom ever getting an abortion, great. You don't have to. Most people can't fathom it themselves, either. People do not want abortions. But having access to safe and legal abortions when the often scary and heartbreaking situation arises is crucial for all women. All women deserve to make their OWN choice.

Your choice can be no, absolutely not, there is no situation where you would get an abortion. And nobody will stop you from having that belief or not getting an abortion.

But your choice cannot be someone else's. Everyone deserves to have their own.

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