Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Response To "Why Abortion Should Not Remain Legal"

by Ben Schofield

I am writing in response to the previous article, "Why Abortion Should Not Remain Legal", which I strongly oppose for reasons that I will list in detail below. I invite the writer to write and defend his position accordingly.

1. The article began with the bold claim: "Abortion is bad. This should be the start of any discussion about this sensitive issue." At the same time as calling it a sensitive issue, this statement is in itself insensitive. Rather than presenting this as the opinion it obviously is, the writer delivered it as directly as someone saying "my pen has black ink", which shuts down the debate the piece was designed to create.

2. The article notably lacked sources for any of the extreme claims it made about the bad effects of abortion. There is absolutely no evidence that having an abortion causes psychological harm. I'll say that again because it is important: there is absolutely no evidence having an abortion causes psychological harm. [Quoting Tamara Khandaker] "In 2008, the American Psychological Association formed the Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion to examine all research on the relationship between abortion and mental health and found no evidence that having a single abortion causes mental health problems. Severe mental health complications are rare, and feelings of loss and anxiety could easily be associated with whatever led the woman to get an abortion and not the abortion itself."* Correlation does not imply causality.

Continuing this point, according to the UK's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists there is no link between induced termination and an increase in fertility**.

These two points are very important and are integral to why I oppose the previous article; it just reveals it as being poorly researched. The only places that spread this misinformation tend to be "Crisis Pregnancy Centres" set up in the appearance of legitimacy only to give misinformation to women when they are in an extremely vulnerable state.

3. It is not an article saying why abortion is bad. It is an article that begins with that premise and then goes on to say what we should be doing. By saying what we should be doing, the writer accepts that we are not currently doing it (i.e. providing enough financial care for those who can't afford a baby, or supporting women worried about their future). Surely this would then provide an argument that abortion should remain legal because we do not have these facilities, which would be taxing and impossible to run on a wide enough scale to remove these *un-cited* factors facing women. Once again, the article provides no evidence to say how many women face economic or social factors in deciding as to get an abortion, thereby negating the argument to an emotive one. There could be ten thousand cases or there could be ten. There is no point including this point if the article does not give a sense of scale.

4. What about the women who have carefully considered that they are not ready to have a child? If a woman feels unready I would argue it is perfectly within her rights to avoid the responsibility. I would also say that it is within her rights not to have to bear the responsibility for a minimum of 9 months before the baby can be adopted. The duration and difficulty of pregnancy is criminally misrepresented by those who consider adoption to be comparable as a method of getting rid of an unwanted child. (Excluding cluster headaches) labour is the greatest pain women will endure in their lives. Even before that pregnancy is a horrific responsibility which many are not mature enough to deal with, for nine months you can't drink, you must control your eating, you cannot perform simple tasks, your presence is both revered and marginalized by society, you effectively become a slave to your offspring.
After reading this I hope the writer of “Why Abortion Should Not Remain Legal” consider what he has written and whether he still stands by it.

** http://www.rcog.org.uk/induced-termination-pregnancy-and-future-reproductive-outcomes-%E2%80%93-current-evidence.  

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