Unplanned pregnancy: Time to speak up

Published: June 16, 2011
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There is hope but only if women speak out about their feelings regardless of societal or family pressures.

How many of us, Pakistani or South Asian women, have the courage to narrate our feelings on the issue of unplanned pregnancies?

Why does society not understand that an unplanned pregnancy is a risk factor for depression both, during and after pregnancy?

Why do health care providers tend to miss opportunities to learn more about the pregnant woman’s feelings about her pregnancy?

I understand that these are difficult questions to answer, considering the norms of our society and medical practice which traditionally view pregnant women as a machine whose purpose is to produce a healthy infant and then be a happy mother-to-be throughout her pregnancy and happy mother after childbirth.

What if she does not want the baby?

This reflects the biases of medical practitioners, who fail to identify the intentions behind the pregnancies and pregnant ladies under stress.

Society’s attitude towards pregnant women

Even if the pregnant woman dares to discuss her ‘unplanned pregnancy,’ she is told to be thankful to God for making her a ‘complete woman’ and bestowing her with the most precious gift of motherhood. She is lectured on how to stay happy and calm throughout her pregnancy because stress will affect the growing fetus. It seems that once a woman is pregnant, she loses her voice and her reproductive rights; she is  viewed herself from the perspective of the growing fetus inside her womb.

To top it all, most people cringe at the word “abortion,” which automatically denies a pregnant woman to even think about options.

This biased attitude begins within a pregnant woman’s immediate family: her husband, parents, siblings – following in the line are the in-laws and the extended family. They all become pro-baby advocates. They bless her and make her feel proud of her pregnancy, only for the good health of the baby in the making.

After the baby is born, she is constantly reminded of her task of being a good mother and loving her baby so it grows up to become a better person.

The prenatal and postpartum life mostly revolves around the well-being of the newborn. In this process the person who suffers the most is the mother of an unplanned baby. Fathers also go through postpartum depression if they were not fully ready have a baby. But, who cares about the parents feelings – it is taboo to show depression in a place where a newborn is cradled.

Importance of awareness

Adding to the misery is the fact that many women living in the middle or lower middle-classes of Pakistan are not even aware of their “reproductive rights” or “reproductive justice.”

So, it is important to explain to our fellow Pakistani women that reproductive justice – to choose when to have an abortion or plan a family – is a basic human right. In this case, women’s reproductive right is significant to highlight because only a pregnant woman knows whether she is ready to have a child.

The journey of getting to know your pregnancy begins with self-examination, which in turn provides every woman an opportunity to analyse several issues before deciding whether to go for an abortion or carry on with the pregnancy.

According to Dr Earle, senior lecturer in Health Studies (2004), the first step is to determine the woman’s experience of pregnancy, whether it was mistimed or unwanted. A mistimed pregnancy is a situation where pregnancy occurs earlier than the desired time. Whereas an unwanted pregnancy means that a baby was not wanted or desired by the woman in the first place.

Patient health-care provider relationship

After self-examination, the role of patient-healthcare provider communication about psychosocial issues related to unplanned pregnancy comes into play (Meiksin, Chang, Bhargava, Arnold, Dado, Frankel, Rodriguez, Ling, and Zickmund, 2010).

Patient-healthcare provider communication is mostly required during the first prenatal visit. In this visit, the health care providers should provide the opportunity to the pregnant woman to express her intentions and concerns about the pregnancy and discuss issues such as:

1. The woman’s feelings about the timing of the pregnancy – whether it was planned or not.

2. Whether the child will have a single parent or will be brought up by both parents.

3. The cost of raising a child.

4. The barriers to healthcare access.

5. The family support.

Based on the information provided by the patient, if the pregnancy is determined to be unplanned, the healthcare provider should analyse:

1. Whether it was due to contraceptive failure.

2. Whether the patient is willing to be responsible for life unintentionally conceived.

3. Whether the patient will consider an adoption plan after the birth of the baby.

4. Whether the patient will opt for an abortion, or would choose parenthood regardless of the problems.

After determining the above mentioned points, the healthcare provider should examine, through one-on-one communication, if the patient is under stress or suffering from prenatal depression. If there are any signals of depression then the communication between the patient and the healthcare provider should be geared towards providing psychosocial support to the pregnant woman. Psychosocial support includes providing the patient with abortion counselling referrals, family planning services and postpartum support groups.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon women to identify if their pregnancy is mistimed or unplanned. Similarly, South Asian women also need to understand few important aspects before deciding to continue their pregnancy to full-term. Those aspects are:

Have you been recently pregnant?

Do you feel sad or hopeless like you cannot handle things?

Have you had a miscarriage or have wanted to have stability in your career before the arrival of the baby?

If the answer to any one of the questions is ‘yes,’ it is most likely that the pregnant woman will face prenatal or postpartum (baby blues) depression at some point in her life. To avoid the severity of depression it is better to speak up rather than pretend to be a happy-pregnant-woman!!

The purpose of this is to make South Asian women aware of the fact that no matter how bad they feel about their pregnancy, there is hope for a brighter tomorrow and ways to handle their problematic situation. But it is possible only if they speak up about their feelings regardless of societal or family pressures.

Tasneem Z Faridi

Tasneem Z Faridi

The author is an M.A. graduate in Corporate and Public Communication from the USA, who aspires to teach Gender/Women Studies in the the coming years.

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

  • M. Uzair Sukhera

    Medical practitioners don’t have much power to act with regards to abortion. Moreover all these detailed discussions always tend to be ignored because of the huge queue of patients out of door waiting to get inspected by the doctor, who has to see hundreds of them daily. Doesn’t it boil down to the fact that we have incapacitated health system and a meagre health budget.Recommend

  • Tanveer Abbas

    Article looks more pro-abortion than the problems of a pregnant lady. To avoid all such unwanted pregnancies, why the author did not discuss the role of any form of contraceptives??Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    @Tanveer Abbas:
    Contraceptives are imperative, but even they are not all 100% effective. It’s a mother’s choice to terminate the pregnancy and avoid giving birth to a child that she is not willing to raise. Society, on its high horse, can be as sanctimonious about it as it wants, but it’s never the “society” that takes care of that child..that’s the mother’s job.

    So why is it that the society, instead of the mother, gets to make this decision on her behalf?Recommend

  • Quratulain

    In Pakistan, you cannot have options such as abortion or adoption. Simply because both are not allowed by religion. On the other hand what would be nice is to add basic education and access to information for both women and men. However as another reader pointed out, no health care provider has the time. I can only add that a basic medical exam be made necessary for both men and women before marriage where they are also imparted with this basic knowledge. Recommend

  • Sara

    Why didn’t you discuss about contraceptives? You are just another lady who just wants to say: ‘It’s my body, I should be allowed to do what I want with it.’ Then don’t get married! It’s simple. If you are so concerned about unwanted pregnancies, USE CONTRACEPTIVES! There are contraceptives available right now which are almost 100% effective if used properly. Why allow the conception to occur and then say ‘I don’t want the baby’?? Recommend

  • Sara

    Another point here also. You also talk about post-partum blues. The incidence of post-partum blues varies between 5% and 25% in different parts of the world. The risk factors for post partum blues are way different than just not wanting the baby. Lady, please get your facts right! If you don’t want children first don’t get married and unfortunately if you are married, then please use contraceptives. Recommend

  • http://truthexposed123.blogspot.com/ Crazy

    @Tanveer Abbas:
    agreedRecommend

  • zebunnisa

    I feel that the writer should have emphasized on the importance of contraceptives to avoid any ‘unplanned pregnancis’ because there are methods that are 99.9%-100% effective. Furthermore, it seems like a very pro-abortion article. What about the rights of the uborn child that is conceived? Abortion should be considered only and only if the pregnancy endagers the life of the mother, otherwise we do not have the right to play god and decide whether an unborn child lives or not. Recommend

  • Rehan Ali

    Unwanted pregnancies are continued due to societal pressures. How about conception, why give in to the desire of marriage and pleasures of sex. If the baby is so unwanted than why risk it.

    The guideline provided is a simple copy paste which is not relevant to our culture and society, the author should have done some effort and customized it or proposed something more relevant.

    Can tribune please have some culturally relevant blog posts rather than giving space to such topics. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    @Sara:
    There’s more to marriage than producing babies. Living in the 21st century, we can allow ourselves to nod to this important fact.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    @zebunnisa:
    The unborn FETUS (not a child) does not even recognize the difference between existing and not existing. Would you show the same affection to a sperm cell, billions of which are “killed” every week by an average male? Why must a 46-chromosomal ball of protoplasmic goo be considered any more sacred than a 23-chromosomal sperm?

    People need to stop being so emotional about the issue and deal with it rationally.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    I absolutely agree with the writer, even if she comes off as somewhat “pro-abortion”. We must not let emotion get the better of us, and learn to do what’s logical.Recommend

  • CaffeinatedBliss

    It is so easy to comment with self righteous outrage, as have some of the people in the comments section. I’d like to congratulate the blogger for taking such a bold step and addressing this taboo issue.

    @Sara, you make it sound as if women deliberately get pregnant just so they can chant “we don’t want this pregnancy” Please stop looking at this issue as a black and white one, as that is both childish, and bordering on ignorant. “Almost 100%” effective is still not 100% effective, regardless how convenient contraception is. Besides, this is not just an issue for married women, but also one for single women, and teenagers. Take off your rose colored glasses will you?

    And, before you suggest they should maybe not engage in intimate acts at all if they are so young, or single, it does not for a moment become less of a problem because of the indignant wishful thinking of individuals such as yourself.

    We require more health care professionals in this field, more awareness, and certainly more education for everyone, Burying our heads in the and and/or riling about what is wrong and what is right will not help anyone. I shudder to think of the numerous teens in our country, who having made one error in judgement, then resort to drastic measures to cover up their “shame” simply because there is no facility available to them. Recommend

  • http://na deep

    Tasneem – very insightful article. The only solution is to empower clinics to conduct abortions and these services should be advertised, In Mumbai for instance – there is not one local train without hundreds of these advertisements. It should be treated legal and overboard and one television programme less on religion (in both Pakistan and India) and one more programme highlighting these options for women and making it acceptable is key.

    Abortion is not the end of the world – it is one way of ensuring that the life you bring to this world is wanted and loved. Ultimately, to abort or not is a personal decision for the couple (sometimes only the woman) and the extended family should be left in ignorant bliss. Recommend

  • IA

    A juvenile and naive article…no maturity or depth of understanding on the topic being discussed. More like a school essay than a journalistic article.Recommend

  • A Doctor seriously

    The views in the article are controversial even by western standards.And Frankly are plainly irresponsible and ill informed… The main issue in Pakistan is Female illiteracy and access to contraception and pre and post natal care. Abortion is NOT contraception, its major surgery. It has real medical risks.(Choriocarcinoma,Asherman Syndrome, Surgical complication,Blood loss, Endometritis etc etc, list is very long). Especially in a medically unregulated place like Pakistan.
    Contraception for all practical purposes if used correctly is a 100% effective. Especially the newer generation like implantable contraceptive disks and IUD’s.Emergency contraception (Early and Late). And after completion of family Tubal ligation. These should be widely available. Also repeated studies show Females that are educated marry later and have fewer children. A reflection of being Re productively empowered.
    I would ask the author to visit any Public hospital OBs/Gynae ward and see what happens to women who go the illegal abortion route. The come back with the most terrible infections and complications.The thrust of the campaign for reproductive rights should be Contraception , Contraception , Contraception. Anybody who has spent any time in Pakistan in a woman health setting knows this….Recommend

  • parvez

    Nice attempt on a delicate subject. What came to mind after reading this was that there was a disconnect between the authors views and ground realities existing in Pakistan for the majority of rural and urban poor. Recommend

  • Asad

    This is what happens when a Pakistani woman becomes westernized.
    Really shocked to see that such a society exists in Pakistan; where killing unborn babies is being justified (or even encouraged!)
    Indeed the last hour seems near….Qayamat ka nazdeek hai….Recommend

  • Asad

    Snakes and Crocodiles are the only creation that eat their own eggs…all other living animals, birds,etc protect their young ones. Human beings are becoming worse than snakes and crocodiles…The end seems close…Qayamat ka nazdeek hai. Recommend

  • http://www.google.com BP

    @Loneliberal PK:
    “…but it’s never the “society” that takes care of that child..that’s the mother’s job.
    So why is it that the society, instead of the mother, gets to make this decision on her behalf?”

    It’s odd that you say that. It isn’t the mother’s job to raise her child, it’s the father’s. And if he fails or dies, the State’s. However, the mother is the murabbiyah i.e. she too, along with the father, ‘trains’, for the lack of a better word, the child to be un-slavish to the society and slavish to its Lord, AFAIK and wallahua3alam.Recommend

  • http://www.google.com BP

    @Loneliberal PK:
    “The unborn FETUS (not a child) does not even recognize the difference between existing and not existing….”
    Did one tell you? Or did its Creator tell you?

    Well their Creator tells us the soul is joined to the fetus about 4 months into the pregnancy (sorry for want of a reference), and then it becomes a person like you and me. Normally a person doesn’t like being killed you know…Recommend

  • Moderate

    NO NO to abortion! Abortion is a MURDER and thats it. Abortion should only be allowed in case of rape or incest or when women health is in danger due to pregnancy. If you dont want to get pregnant, use contraceptives.

    @Asad copying your comment
    “Snakes and Crocodiles are the only creation that eat their own eggs…all other living animals, birds,etc protect their young ones. Human beings are becoming worse than snakes and crocodiles…The end seems close…”Recommend

  • Muhammad Junaid Akhter

    hmm, good one… thank God this article wasn’t written some years back.. hum hotay na hotay ….. :PRecommend

  • http://Islamabad Taha Ceen Tayyab

    The debate about the rationality of abortion is on-going not only in Pakistan but also in the western world. People from all over the world ask one question:
    “Is it rational for us to allow mothers to kill their young ones?”
    And yes I mean in any imaginable situation. You can give names to all of sorts of things post this and pre that, but the real question remains the same. If a mother feels that a certain child is or will be problem for her, is she allowed to kill that child simply because she gave birth to that child? Its almost like saying yes I killed him/her because I made him in the first place so it my decision.
    The writer in all her naivety claims that a woman must be allowed to do whatever with her body. Well sure but just make sure she does not claim a life in the process!Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    @A Doctor seriously:
    Abortion is “major” surgery? I’m obliged to ask what surgical experience you have.

    As a doctor, abortions are relatively safe procedures. Pro-life activists tend to construct these silly horror stories to frighten pregnant women into not opting for abortion.Recommend

  • Aasif

    Whether a women should be given an option of abortion or no abortion, it is a matter of their religious believe,My personal experience is that women and men are both responsible and mature enough to take precaution in any number of form, still if a women gets pregaent which according to Tasneem is Unplanned and unwanted, then i am afraid it is against human rights of the baby which has no and i repeat no fault of his or her.

    If the writer is advocating about the health and stress issue pertaining to unplanned pregnancy then why o earth the to be parents didn’t take any precaution. Killing a baby in the name of women human rights should be unacceptable.Recommend

  • Naveed

    Stop Exploiting the Society PleaseeeeeeeeeeeeRecommend

  • play safe

    crazy article ….. a woman’s body has been designed in such a way we can tell exactly pregnant or not! you get six weeks before you kill ….married for seven years with healthy n pleasurable sex life with a single partner i very welll know abt planning n so do a lot of sensible n educated fellow women …n as a woman i have a right to be safe than risk myself to a surgery called abortion!Recommend

  • Ahmed

    I wonder what did you write this article. What you will do with these thoughts after getting married. If any woman has her abortion under influence of your article then you will be equally responsible to kill that baby. It would be better if you had given suggestion to use contraceptive rather than abortion. You girls can not control your urge for sex and just to have more pleasure don’t use contraceptives and later name it unwanted pregnancy. This is disgusting.Recommend

  • http:/www,tribune.com.pk Qasim Ahmad Ilyas

    Ok. I agree with your article and suggestions but Miss Author , our society, especially in towns and villages, if they accept this right than don’t you think Rape Cases would increase higher than USA, S.Africa or Mexico ?
    Obviously it will below up rape cases ( both by force or by desire ). Author you need to right for social awareness about behaviors and behaviors…. ! The thing that accepts all is your attitude.Recommend

  • http:/www,tribune.com.pk Qasim Ahmad Ilyas

    @Aasif:
    You have explained very well, I appreciate your point of view about human rights. A newly fetus is also human if abortion is allowed it means you’re going to kill innocent kid who does not why do his mother/father wants no to have me(baby). If it is allowed abortion than baby should be given right to defend and court them to murder act. Recommend

  • http://afisays.blog.com Norwegian Pakistani

    It seems like many of the readers don’t know what unplanned pregnancy is. Here is the defination: “An unplanned pregnancy can fall into two main categories. The first type of “unplanned” pregnancy is one that happens when a couple is open to having children but isn’t specifically trying to conceive at a certain time. Some couples believe in leaving family planning up to the will of God, for instance. They don’t specifically plan to prevent a pregnancy nor to encourage one. However, the term “unplanned pregnancy” is most often used when a woman does not ever want children or doesn’t want them at that time and becomes pregnant anyway. This may occur because she is not using any birth control method or because the method she is using fails.”

    Read more: Definition of Unplanned Pregnancy | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about4676475definition-unplanned-pregnancy.html#ixzz1PRouiB1oRecommend

  • CaffeinatedBliss

    You people here screaming “MURDER” claiming to be “pro-life”… How much do you care for existing life? Like the lives of millions of babies in our country who are prone to die before they reach the age of five. Are you screaming in outrage for THEM? Are you defending unwed mothers? Are you adopting babies who have resulted from rape? Heck, are you doing more than putting Rs. 5 in a small girl’s hand, after she wipes your car windshield at a stop light?

    If you’re not, then really, judge yourself first.Recommend

  • Dodo

    To all the crazed religious bigots out there. Why does religion starts from a woman’s body and ends with it? Why are men allowed four marriages, endless concubines, women pows, 70 Hoors in paradise but women can’t even have a voice of their own? Is that what religion is, seriously?

    As far as abortion being a “dangerous” procedure is concerned, let me tell you something, its only “partly” dangerous if you go ahead and get it done after 5 months of pregnancy (although the risk gets higher as the pregnancy progresses to a point when it actually becomes illegal). Do your research. Prior to 5 months of pregnancy its an outpatient procedure with a less than 1% (yes you heard me right <1%) chance of fatality or serious injury. 1 out of 100,000 patients die; 2 or 3 out 100 patients have to go see a doctor for an emergency. There are more chances of a woman dying during child birth than during or after abortion. As a matter of fact a large number of women in Pakistan actually die during child birth, what about them? Why is a baby’s, who’s not even viable yet (babies become viable after 5th month of pregnancy) rights more important than a living breathing human being’s?

    All of you who read the word “abortion” and had their brains numb should read the BLOG more carefully. The author mentioned contraceptive failure, because no matter how “safe” the contraceptive may be there is always room for failure.

    Finally, I wholeheartedly agree with Loneliberal PK and CaffeinatedBliss on their remarks. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Naveed,
    ..as soon as the society stops exploiting the women.Recommend

  • Muhammad Junaid Akhter

    @Norwegian Pakistani are you sure about this statement according to your definition?? “This may occur because she is not using any birth control method or because the method she is using fails”. method 1 says itself that it isn’t unwanted, and Another reason might be lack of control ??? isn’t it???

    @CaffeinatedBliss are you too like us or own many Orphanage Homes around the country?

    Personally I don’t feel anything bad in this article because we have lots of other issues which are worst in category then this one. In fact the audience of this blog might already be involved in the said activities, I am with brothers and sisters here who are trying to prevent our society from this but i think we must be relax because not much of females use internet -> tribune blogs … so let them say whatever they are else you will be labeled xtremest :)Recommend

  • http://fruitforbidden.wordpress.com/ The Forbidden Fruit

    I’m completely against destroying an innocent life that did not come to exist on its own! If a woman is gutsy enough to have an abortion, why wasn’t she gutsy enough at the time of conception to assert her “reproductive rights” rather than endorsing them by murdering her own offspring? There is a time to act, and that is BEFORE a human life is conceived! After that, its simply too late. “Since I can’t kill myself for being so naive, I’ll cut off the little one’s blood supply and let it die without a scream!”Recommend

  • Dodo

    @The Forbidden Fruit:
    You must not live in Pakistan or know about women in Pakistan. How many women, married or otherwise, can assert their “rights” (not just reproductive mind you) infront of their husbands, families or society? I believe MEN, of all people, should not be sharing their two cents of bigotry on this…Recommend

  • CB Guy

    well use protection or simply don’t get knocked over. its a very simple solution. There is no unwanted pregnancy as both parties are well aware of possible consequences of their action. Simply don’t do it if you are not willing to take the responsibility.

    And an abortion for no medical or certain social reasons is a murder. I am shocked how ET is bringing up all these articles in support of murder. time to rethink fellows. Recommend

  • Sal

    @IA:
    Why don’t you elaborate on it a bit, than make such an immature statement without any support for it.Recommend

  • Sal

    @Asad:
    Yes, indeed…Keep dreaming..it will come to you soon. Recommend

  • A Doctor seriously

    LoneliberalPK: In the Pakistani context it is. As a medical student Isay 5 cases of post abortion complication in a busy teaching Hospital in Karachi. In a 2 months rotation. Which makes me suspect its pretty common. 1st trimester abortion are pretty safe. But late second and third trimester have real and widely recognized risks which IRecommend

  • A Doctor seriously

    LoneliberalPK: As a recently minted doctor I concede my experience isnt extensive.But you are clearly nitpicking just a single point in my post . As a medical student I saw a 5 cases of post abortion complications in a busy teaching Hospital in Karachi, In a 2 months rotation. Which makes me suspect its pretty common. 1st trimester abortion are pretty safe as you stated and is the one most common in Western Countries.But late second and third trimester have real and widely recognized risks which I listed in my post.In Pakistan however most Abortion is done by back alley quacks and its usually late term.I think its because due to lack of reproductive education by the time abortion is considered its late into the pregnancy. The complication are Horrific and life threatening. Go to the Obs Gynae ward in civil and spend a week and tell me if what I am describing isnt accurate.My mum and sis both Obstetricians also concur with this assessment.
    Western data and conclusion do no necessarily apply 100% especially without context.We can argue the politics,ethics of a procedure in Hypotheticals, but more useful is to describe the situation on the ground. In one frank exchange with our course coordinator. A well known and respected Karachi Based Pelvic Surgeon and Obstetrician, She was very frank about it and said she simply refused abortion FOR ANY REASON EXCEPT Life THREATENING emergency.Her reasons were ethical, which is her prerogative. (Medico legally in Pakistan Abortion can be done for a no. of other reasons i.e deformities, mental health etc etc) She said this was a common view in Obstetricians in a major teaching hospital in Karachi. I extrapolate its a view common with many physicians involved in women health.

    My suggestion is its very unhealthy to mix POLITICS and MEDICINE. The patients health should be the only concern.Its for these reason In my opinion In Pakistan the thrust and focus should be effective cheap and easily available contraception…including Tubal ligation with strict patient confidentiality(i.e not informing in laws or Husband)…and of course female education…Recommend

  • http://www.allourlives.org Marysia

    This article sets up a false dichotomy between those who care about women and reproductive health and those who oppose abortion as a taking of prenatal lives. It is entirely possible-and necessary-to care about both groups of human beings at the same time, regardless of what one’s religion is, or whether one has a religion at all. I cofounded an NGO to fight for the rights of both. Nothing will make the incidence of prenatal lifetaking worldwide plummet more than ensuring universal access to reproductive health education, voluntary family planning, and the utmost support for all mothers-including single mothers-during and ever after pregnancy, at every level of human society. Especially if these measures at every possible step promote male responsibility.Recommend

  • http://sparta siddiqui

    I ‘m for abortion. Infact, I ‘m even for option on post-birth abortion up-to to years. A family gathering shoul be called when a child turns two. His qualities should be assessed. If, it is highly probable that he would turn out to be duffer or a weakling, a post birth abortion should be done. This is because of the fact that he is currently a mess to himself and is likely to be a menace for the rest of us. What a world would that. And by the way its not a hypothetical idea. Spartans practiced a form of it. Of course, they did it successfully (see ‘300’).Recommend

  • Dodo

    @A Doctor seriously:
    I agree second and third trimester abortions are relatively unsafe and, [third trimester abortions] atleast in the US, are illegal (bringing US in the mix because in our head US is the root of all ills). However, first trimester abortions are safe and shouldn’t be termed as “murder” or what not.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    A Doctor Seriously,
    And how many of these cases presented with a history of illegal abortions performed by non-professionals?

    A woman pregnant with an unwanted child is going to get an abortion whether the law permits it or not. That’s the ground reality of the matter. She’ll either have it done under aseptic conditions in a proper clinic, or do it herself with a coat hanger. This is especially true in a judgmental society like ours.

    And when it comes to that, it’s way better to let the woman have the procedure conducted legally at a hospital to minimize the risk of casualty.Recommend

  • Noor

    @Quratulain: Well said. basic education can easily be provided to every individual by ensuring that they study Quran in their own language at least twice by the age of 15. Additionally, Hadith will also guide them to ensure proper measures in all respects relating the personal lives, thus avoiding the need for abortion.
    As regards ‘post-partum blues’, these most occur where support of friends & family is not available and most of all guidance from religion is non-existence.

    I don’t buy the idea that a women should be able to decide about her body. the feotus, once made up is not just her choice, it is a human life, whose safety is everyone’s responsibility.

    @CaffeinatedBliss: are you a baby? yes women 100% get pregnant by choice.
    don’t they perform a procedure which leads to pregnancy, or it is by some hypnosis procedure?
    ‘this is not just an issue for married women, but also one for single women, and teenagers’
    For heaven’s sake, Are you expressing your views to destroy the norms of our culture?

    To the author,

    Sister! Even the most modern societies of US & UK allowed abortion in 1973 & 1967 and it is still not permitted out of simple wish or choice without a valid compassion in Catholism & Israel.

    Whereas Islam doesn’t allow abortion unless life of mother or child is threatened and tells us that killing one person is equal to killing the entire humanity.

    Does the lady want Islam to be just on sidelines of our lives and people go for illegitimate relations out of the sacred matrimony?Recommend

  • CB Guy

    @ Loneliberal : Dude how would you had felt if you didn’t make it coz you were an unwanted child? No life, no feelings, no voice, just another statistic of a wasted life at the hands of parents who thought of you to be “unwanted” or a phenomenon caused by a “moment of excitement”. All Pre-Choice folks should consider and be thankful that abortions are not as common coz most of them would have never had the chance to have a choice had it happened to them. Recommend

  • Dodo

    @Noor:
    “Does the lady want Islam to be just on sidelines of our lives and people go for illegitimate relations out of the sacred matrimony?”

    Seriously? After reading the entire blog this is what your overtly, over zealous, religious mind came up with, really? Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    CB Guy,
    A fetus doesn’t possess the complex feelings and emotions as you do. A fetus does not know the difference between existing and not existing. It’s not a speculation…it’s cold, hard science.

    Fetuses don’t sit in their mothers’ wombs making elaborate plans about what they’re going to do with their lives when they come out. Let’s not kid ourselves.Recommend

  • Dodo

    @CB Guy:
    Just imagine if Osama’s, hitler’s, George Bush’s parents knew about abortion how lovely this world would’ve been, no? Had I been aborted, I wouldn’t know the difference because I wasn’t alive then. Besides, there was a world prior to my existence and there will be one once I’m long gone and forgotten.Recommend

  • Ali Wazir

    @ Dodo, Lone liberal: Let me start by stating my position: I think Abortion should be available in Hospitals for female patients with Health complication due to pregnancy, Life threatening complication, Mental health problems, Rape victims(Marital or otherwise), Fetal malformations. I am undecided on Very early term “Abortions”(1-9 weeks) for family planing. Generally as a tool of family planing I feel is taking it too far.

    Its interesting also to examine in US unintended consequences of Abortion.It was legalized not by doctor union or congress, but by a court case (Roe vs Wade) in the 70’s. It has now become the most common medical procedure performed. Its invariable done by a small no. of doctors running “abortion clinics”. As insurance does not cover it the patient pays the cost which are considerable. Its pretty profitable business. Most of the mothers are are young, poor and overwhelming from racial minorities(Black and Latino: upwards 80%). What in my opinion has happened is that the government instead to tackling issues of Reproductive education, Poverty and contraceptive access, allowed a morally dubious “Short cut ” of sorts.

    What is really troubling for me is while rotating in the NICU that premature babies as young as 25 weeks surviving (Normal pregnancy 37 weeks). In ultrasounds you can see much earlier fetuses reacting to sounds kicking around, reacting to mothers voice. This is second trimester, the babies are fully formed and react to stimuli. These can be and are aborted. Which troubles me personally.

    If a mother were to kill a preterm baby after birth it would be a crime. But just because legislation provides cover its Ok to do same thing if the baby is located in a Uterus???. A earlier comment mentioned that A Hadith says: that life start in the womb in 4 months.In regards to patient choice a justification can be made that Abortion can be done in this very early fetal period.(Where its also the safest). As its also known that first major Cerebral Development occurs in the end of the Embryonic period (10 weeks). Some medical practitioners may be open to the idea of this early term abortion. (1week – 9 Weeks).(Though I am not fully convinced). And regards to patient choice they have somewhat of a religious justification.
    Anything beyond this is in my humble opinion, Morally dubious. At least I could never be a party of it…(Original Hippocratic oath:”and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.”)Recommend

  • Dodo

    @Ali Wazir:
    Everyone is entitled to their opinions. What seems “morally dubious” to you doesn’t necessarily have to be “dubious” in broader perspective. I have said this time and again that abortion in advance stages of pregnancy is both riskier (for the mother) and is illegal. On the other hand early term abortions are safe and at that time the foetus isn’t viable either. The key word is “VIABLE”, which means that the baby, if taken out of the womb, can survive on its own. Usually premature babies from 5 months on can survive on their own (with a little medical help and care) however younger than that they can’t. Hence, it is still part of the mother’s body and she should have all the right to make whatever decision she wants. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Ali Wazir,
    In the United States, it has never been the doctors who have had problem with abortion. It has always been the Christian organizations and other pro-life activists who have fought against it.

    And the reason there are relatively “few” abortion clinics in America is because religious terrorists are poised to burn down these clinics and murder the doctors. And if not that, they are constantly harassed by the religious nut-jobs and called “murderers”. Does it really surprise you why doctors avoid carrying out such procedures even in states where abortion is legal?

    As for the fetus, the primitive responses you mentioned are meaningless. Even a plant responds to touch and even voice, but I’m yet to see pro-lifers use that as a justification for harassing horticulturalists. These simple responses do nothing to separate an ordinary life-form from a human being.Recommend

  • Tariq

    @All those against the article:
    I masturbate everyday. Does that amount to murder too, for I’m killing off potential ‘future children’?Recommend

  • Leila Rage

    @Quratulain: Im surprised no one commented earlier on what you said about adoption. Islam allows adoption. Just look at the life of the Prophet (PBUH); he adopted a slave as his son, Zaid bin Harithah. Recommend

  • http://sparta siddiqui

    @Tariq:
    you ‘ll go blind if you wont stop doing that…Recommend

  • Tariq

    @siddiqi:
    Sorry, still have my 20/20 vision, MashAllah.Recommend

  • Beautiful Soul

    If you don’t want a baby …then don’t conceive (use prevention methods)..once you have conceived then deliver it , I don’t Know what you’re trying to prove here …encouraging parents to commit murder ?? There’re millions of parents dying to have that experience …and you talk about planning ??? They so don’t deserve if they ‘re aborting a blessing !Recommend

  • Dodo

    @Beautiful Soul:
    There are millions of mothers dying while giving birth as well. There are thousands of kids who die out of hunger or poor health before reaching the age of 5. Ever thought about them. I’m quite certain you have not!Recommend

  • Amna Mahmud

    I find this article ill- written and not worth of being published. Seems like the Tribune is filling their column spaces with whatever they can get their hands on. A note to the author, I like that you made an attempt to talk about such a taboo topic. We do need to address such issues in order to bring about the change we want. Unfortunately your argument noway attempts to convince or even make the reader ponder upon why abortion is okay especially in a Muslim society like ours. If you had instead written about bringing about awareness on how to avoid unplanned pregnancies or why abortion should be considered as the absolute last resort, maybe then we all could have actually learnt something.

    Now I am in noway close minded nor am I as good of a Muslim to go out and criticize others for their actions. But as being a woman and a human I would advocate abortion is not something you can just do and get over with. Its not like buying a pair of jeans and then returning them simply because you weren’t satisfied or happy. It is and will be (at least in our lifetime) only considered Islamically, morally and ethically “legal” in serious harmful medical conditions to the mother and baby. Even that has many stipulations to consider. Just because your not ready to have a child is an absolutely pathetic excuse. Your not ready? Think about the thousands of couples out there who are ready but unfortunately cannot conceive. They spend more than half their married lives trying but sadly don’t produce results. Its easy to say to opt for IVF treatment but how many can afford it? What about the poor? Living in Pakistan how many cases do we hear about where one left a spouse simply because she/he could not conceive? For a moment put yourself in their situation and then think about your excuses. Not ready? Cant afford it? Then do your best to not get pregnant! If you do then take it as a sign, count your blessings and accept it. Allah (SWT) NEVER puts his people in situations they cant handle. He knows whats best for you. If He put you in it, He gets you through it.

    You argue that contraceptives aren’t 100% effective. Does a sick person deny treatment because there’s no “guarantee” he or she will get better? What are the odds that a marriage will last? These days apparently its really low but that doesn’t seem to stop people from walking down the aisle. What guarantee do you have that all the years and effort you put into getting an education will actually bring you the success you hope for? Name one thing that comes with a 100% guarantee. Nothing does. Everything is a gamble.

    @ Caffeinated Bliss
    You say “…this is not just an issue for married women, but also one for single women, and teenagers.”
    A word of advice to those single women and teenagers… Dont put yourself in a situation
    where the consequences may be so great. If you do the crime, you do the time. Recommend

  • wizz

    @Loneliberal PK:

    Fetus weather few weeks or few months has little knowledge about its existence but it is not right to kill at any stage as its plain murder. Your example about the sperm is quite illogical since a sperm it self is nothing until its united with a female egg.

    To the writer, i think usage of proper contraceptives to prevent and adoption if conceived are the only available options. But i think very few moms will be willing to donate their newborn. Recommend

  • http://muddleheadedsblog.blogspot.com Afaque

    Im glad that I read this article not because I liked it but because I think I can give some input in to this.

    Im against pregnancy with out proper consultation with both the parents but Im against abortion too…

    Because it jeopardizes the option of getting pregnant again, and has serious health consequences even the life of the mother in some cases.
    Whether its moral rag-a-tag or whatever you call it but killing a fetus is not acceptable in most of the societies nonetheless in Pakistan. And why should one hamper a natural process which has started already.

    In my opinion, again as many readers commented, you have not touched the topic of Contraceptives. People in Pakistan still don’t have much awareness about how to use them and how much they can be safe using them. Even if they don’t have 100% results still they are very much close to be on safer side. Would you like to avoid cancer or would you like to treat it after diagnosis?? (just for a thought)

    Concluding, this topic is very biased or if its not then its very immaturely written. By the way have you been a mother yet?? I guess No… otherwise you would have known better. Recommend

  • Sab Akh

    What about Islam says on this regard? Please guide me. I’m very confused.Recommend

  • Carmel decroz
  • Allen Marco

    This is one of the best free pregnancy testRecommend

  • Carmel decroz

    unplanned pregnancy places both mothers and fathers at greater risk of
    depression, relationship conflict, educational hardship and failure to
    achieve education and career goals.Recommend

  • Wilson Taylor

    So what is your final conclusion on unplanned pregnancy and abortionRecommend