BBC stir debate on abortion. Gov't must help women in crisis.
BBC News Magazine recently published one woman’s abortion story and some reactions to it. As expected, the story produced a variety of reactions, yet the dominant response, to this story from readers who tell about their own abortion experiences, is one of regret, sadness, "what-ifs", and a feeling of having no choice.
In the original article, the author refers to, "...the panic, the trap, of a pregnancy I wasn’t sure I wanted…" She was already a mother-of-two and she chose to have an abortion because she felt she wasn’t a "...good enough mother, to look after another baby as well".
The difficult circumstances which lead some women to abortion were evident when another woman wrote, not only of how her abortion left her infertile, but, "left us [she and her partner] with deep scars". She had had an abortion after 12 weeks, when it was revealed that her baby had a life-limiting condition.
And yet others talk of the "odd wave of sadness" and "regret", months, and even years, after the abortion.
It is clear from the story itself and from the reactions to it, that no one wants to have an abortion. All too often, it is chosen precisely because people feel that they have no other choice.
Highlighted by recent moves to introduce abortion into Northern Ireland, we, as a society, must ask ourselves why we are not offering women in crisis pregnancy better support, rather than abortion.
Given the psychological trauma, and the physical trauma of abortion (to both baby and mother), is this really the best possible form of healthcare and support which we can offer?
In crisis pregnancies, the pregnancy is rarely the crisis. It is almost always something external – financial concerns, family pressure, cowardly fathers, peer pressure, fear of what the future may hold, etc.
Some of these issues are harder to address than others, but most of these issues could be enormously alleviated by government intervention, if we only made it our priority. For example, we should have better support systems in place, giving women and families, and especially those with foetal disability diagnosis, the resources to cope with raising a child under difficult circumstances.
This petition, which will be sent to the Secretary of Health, Jeremy Hunt (UK), Minister of Health for Northern Ireland (NI), Simon Hamilton, and the Irish Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar, therefore, asks that our leaders help to remove the crisis, and not the pregnancy.
Specifically, we ask for six types of support to reduce crisis pregnancy:
- 1) Offer psychological and medical support for those suffering from depression and other medical problems in pregnancy;
- 2) Offer financial aid for those genuinely in-need during pregnancy;
- 3) Promote adoption in a neutral, non-stigmatising manner;
- 4) Promote charities which aim to help women in crisis pregnancies through means other than abortion, as a standard aspect of healthcare;
- 5) Provide specific perinatal support for women whose unborn babies have a life-limiting diagnosis in the womb;
- and, 6) Offer post-abortion counselling for those suffering as a result of having had or participated in an abortion.
Let's try to eliminate abortion - yes, through our laws, but also in really making good efforts to help women in crisis.
Thank you for signing this petition.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
One woman's abortion experience - http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34962532
Reaction to the above article - http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34966165
Sign this petition now!
We can do more to help women (and their babies) in crisis pregnancy