A moral argument for abortion

Published: February 17, 2011
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Abortion is not merely the prerogative of the rich, modern, “loose moral types”.

Abortion. An eight lettered word that can ruin any well-heeled kitty party or friends’ night out.

I should know, since I have successfully brought conversations to a screeching halt (or the opposite) on both occasions. I often wonder what it is about that word which awakens the morality brigade.

Those arguing against abortion often claim “It’s a living thing!” blithely ignoring my scathing looks of disbelief.

Science and logic seem to take a back seat in this argument. How about some facts to back up emotion?

The power is hers

I’m pro-choice, in case there was any doubt. If there is anything in life I am sure about, it’s that a woman’s right to choose is just that, a woman’s right to choose no matter what the circumstances or conditions are.

The day you put caveats on how and why we can choose, you really are taking away the right.

Abortion is not murder

At times I want to shriek in sheer frustration when people throw technical scientific jargon at me, stuff I bet they don’t even understand. Here’s a piece of information to the multitude of people out there: at the moment of conception, a fetus is just a mass of tissue, unable to survive unless it is inside a woman’s body. A baby’s life does not begin at fertilisation and if it can’t survive on it’s own in an external environment.

Before people start jumping down my throat for supporting abortion. I’d like to clarify that abortion has been legalised in some parts of the world and can be kept within certain parameters of morality and medical ethics.

Abortion is usually (if not always) performed in the first trimester of the pregnancy, with partial birth abortions of the second trimester usually discouraged because by then the fetus has organ development and can be considered a living thing.

Second trimester abortions are banned in most countries, unless the circumstances are exceptional, like in cases where the mother’s health is in danger or with victims of rape or incest.

A baby is a big decision

Contrary to popular opinion, abortion is not merely the prerogative or “playing field” of the rich, modern, “loose moral types.”

While some accidental pregnancies may result in an abortion, there are those couples for whom the procedure could be the difference between life and death or an extra mouth to feed.

What about victims of rape or incest? One out of three women is a victim of sexual abuse. Should these women be forced to carry their pregnancies to term, reliving what happened to them over and over again?

Lastly, religious ideology should not serve as any foundation for this law. This justification borders on sheer lunacy and cave-person mentality which is slowly taking over in so many ways.

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Bisma Loan

An Abu Dhabi based social worker who has previously worked with the Red Cross in Sydney, overseas chamber of commerce in Karachi, and the New York city welfare program. She has an undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster, and a masters degree from Baylor University.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.