The unspoken element of abortion

This post may be considerably deeper than my usual Diary entries, and may cause some distress, I know, to some of you who are close to me. I apologise. I feel there is discussion around the topic that is overlooked, whether because it is “too hard” or deliberately ignored I have no idea. Those close to me, I know you get this, and it is partly for you that I speak up.

I have heard, around and about various media, the report published in the Journal of Ethics by ethicists Alberto Giubilini of Monash University and Dr Francesca Minerva of Melbourne University, discussing the concept of “post-birth abortion”. That is, killing a newborn.

Abhorred as I am by this very suggestion, it is not what set me off in tears yesterday. When it comes to abortion (in utero),

6 Replies to “The unspoken element of abortion”

  1. A very contentious issue that I feel will never have a resolution. It is the people who make the choice to have an abortion that suffer the most. I feel for them in all their situations and the choice they make.

  2. Thank you for this article. I don’t buy the Telegraph, but happened to read Andrew Bolt’s article whilst ina waiting room yesterday. I was SO angered at his comments, and am glad to see that I am not the only rational person who feels this way. Like you, I am pro-choice (not pro-abortion). I don’t “like” abortion, and I can’t see myself ever wanting or needing one, but I don’t feel that I or society should get to make that choice for any other woman.

  3. I’m a little nervous commenting here but I am going to forge ahead. I feel surprised by this post because as I observe the conversation the only person whose rights are being discussed in the public realm are those of the mother. In fact, the abortion debate centers on whether or not a foetus is a life, or not. The declaration that it isn’t a life is why abortion is legal – so I’m confused about why you don’t feel that the rights of a woman are ignored (discounting crazy people like Andrew Bolt, of course). It feels like the only thing that is supposed to matter is the woman and her rights and choice and to me that is only one part of the picture.

    I would like to see the place of men feature more strongly in the conversation – it may not be their body but they had a role in creating the life and yet they don’t seem to be entitled (by the conversation anyway) to have a say in the outcome.

    I am of the view that a foetus is a life from the moment of conception and that late term abortions should not be legal. As for “regular” abortion I certainly don’t support abortion as a form of contraception (though I doubt many do) however I realise that it’s not a black and white issue and that abortion is one of life’s necessary evils. Anyway, that’s just me disclosing where I am coming from on this issue…

  4. Thanks, all, for your comments 🙂

    Louisa, this post was not really about whether abortion is “ok” or not, or what constitutes a life or when, but aimed at raising an element that is rarely, if ever, discussed when talk of the issue comes up … and something that bothers me immensely. I am a little confused also, I DO feel the rights of a woman, in many conversations, are being ignored. But this is not what this post was about 🙂

    I wholeheartedly agree it is a small part of the picture; every individual aspect of it is only a small part of the picture.

    It was, perhaps an oversight to neglect to mention the foetus/baby, however I feel that topic is well and truly done (and better) by others … women being treated as unfeeling idiots incenses me greatly and, given Bolt’s article had me in tears and feeling sick at this portrayal of women, I needed to write about it and raise the issue.

    You do bring up another, excellent point and another massive oversight in all discussion about abortion; that of the male’s role and involvement. There needs to be more talk of that, too.

    Thanks for commenting, I apprecite it was nerve wracking for you 🙂

  5. Hi Amanda, it’s funny isn’t – how we can hear the same thing but “hear” it differently. I try to avoid Bolt, his extreme conservative views rile me and I don’t like paying attention to people who are unwilling to be reasonable – which seems to be Bolt’s whole game (the thought that it may not be a “game” terrifies me!) and I am so sorry he had you in tears. In my observations and listening I seem to “hear” only the woman’s side of the story being told but perhaps I listen to too much lefty stuff (there was an interview with a woman discussing it on RRR today which is why it was fresh in my mind). So maybe the take home is, ditch the Tele/Herald Sun and read The Monthly? I don’t know…

    I was however thinking more about this issue this afternoon – if a woman with a 32week old baby said that either she was going to die, or the baby had to – we would offer help and quickly too. We would support her and remove her and the child from harm as much as was possible. Why don’t we try to do the same thing to a pregnant woman, why do we accept that the baby must die? Apart from anything else, surely a woman in that kind of mental state is not going to be helped in the long term, through her recovery process, having to process that experience. Just some more musings…

  6. I don’t normally read Bolt either, and I’m not sure why I read this one.

    And I agree, there is a heap of “women’s rights” conversations, and an equal amount of “feotal rights” – both of which I find extremely black and white! It’s one or the other, and extenuating and surrounding circumstances are ignored.

    Your last point, re a woman having a 32 week old baby, vs a woman who is 32 weeks pregant and crying out for help? That’s the point I was trying to get across, that rhetoric such as Bolt’s (and numerous others) are dumbing women down so much that the general assumption is the pregnant woman has made a hasty, ill thought through decision, or that she is stupid and incapable of asking for help, and that we (as a society) are NOT offering her the support and assistance she needs.

    Personally, I see no difference between the two … I see a woman crying out for help, and I see a baby whose mother so desperately needs help, and I would like society to see that she is, indeed, a woman with thoughts and feelings of her own as well as a soon-to-be mother; she is both and both are inextricable.

    It’s the way these stories are reported that make it appear as if these women are so flippantly making a decision to end their baby’s life, and fueling the “pro-life” side of the argument with falsities and misinformation. THAT is what makes me angry and stabby.

    Sadly, if you look at most mainstream media and the reporting of ANY issue that relates to pregnancy and parenting, ALL mothers are treated as nothing more than a thoughtless, feelingless incubator … it makes me sad and very angry.

    (And that was a general, cranky pants rant, not aimed at you personally :D)



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