The Abortion Debate

by - 16:00

Image courtesy of OpenDemocracy on Flickr
Hello friends,
Today's post has a slightly more somber tone than my usual ones, but the issue I want to discuss is important and, I feel, underexposed in terms of the facts and clear cut opinions.
As the laws on abortion vary all over the world, I am going to keep this post based on the facts and views that are present in the UK, though I think that the moral standing on this matter can be the same no matter where you are.
  You may have noticed a couple of weeks ago that the hashtag #TheAbortionDebate was trending on Twitter. Recently, mainly due to Trump and his pro-life standing, there has been a lot more talk on the topic of abortion, with a lot of important points being raised.
Before I go any further, it is important to remember that abortion is legal in the UK, and therefore a woman's decision to have one should be based on her own morals - and hers alone. I doubt that anyone who reads this would do so, but, if you have don't have anything nice to say, then please say nothing. 
When I first checked the hashtag on Twitter, I was really surprised to see so many women (and men) stating that they believe abortion should be illegal, full stop. I believe that it is one of the most personal decisions any women can make and the only thing that should influence her decision is her doctor's advice. However, the backlash on this matter got me thinking, and I decided to do a bit of old-school research to support my view on the matter.
In the UK, it is recommended to have an abortion before 12 weeks, though preferably it shouldn't be more than 9. In 2013, 185,331 abortions were carried out, a 0.1% increase from the year before, and 91% were performed under 13 weeks, with 79% done at less than ten weeks. Abortion after 24 weeks is only done in very rare circumstances, such as there being a risk to the mother's life. 

Is it murder?
Now, a lot of pro-lifers argue that abortion is murder, that you are taking another's life. And I think that really depends on when you think life begins: at conception? After six weeks when the heart starts beating? Or at birth? It's a moral opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own. I personally believe that it is wrong to abort a baby that could survive outside of the womb, so let's look at some statistics on that. The most premature baby to survive so far was born at 22 weeks - survival rates for babies born before 23 weeks are close to 0%, with babies born at 24 weeks (the current cut off point for abortions in the UK) having a 40-70% chance of survival.
After learning this, it seemed pretty clear to me that it makes more sense to actually lower the abortion cut off point to 23 weeks, since the chances of survival are so much lower than they are a week later into development. However, these statistics are not obviously the same in every case, and sometimes there is good reason to abort a baby after this point. A full pregnancy term is usually 37 weeks, so the closer you get to that date, the more risky and wrong it seems to me. Another thing to consider is that, between 12 and 16 weeks, the fetus almost doubles in size, suggesting significant growth and development, so the recommendation to have an abortion before 12 weeks makes sense.
For me, personally, having an abortion past the 12 week point would cause me to seriously question my actions, because not only is it clearly a significant moment in the fetus' growth, but 12 weeks is usually the time when expecting mothers/couples would tell their friends and family of their pregnancy. This is usually because the risk of a miscarriage drops from 10% to 5% when the pregnancy reaches 12 weeks and it is therefore much more likely that the pregnancy will be successful.

Image courtesy of on AnyaLogic Flickr
Just put it up for adoption?
Another argument made by pro-lifers is that, if you don't want a baby you should just give it up for adoption when it's born. Although this option seems ideal in theory, in practice it can actual be more detrimental and have long-lasting negative effects. There is already a problem in the UK with too many children taking a long time to get adopted; the wait is usually about 17 months. A bigger problem than that, however, is the 4000 children every year who are in foster care because they are unable or unwilling to live with their birth families. 
It is likely that, these children in foster care were born to families who either couldn't or wouldn't take care of them, which begs the question: were these people fit to be parents? No child asks to be born, and it is my personal opinion that prospective parents should do everything in their power to give that child the best possible life so that it has the best chance to grow into a healthy, happy human being. 
There are enough children in the world who are all looking for a family to love them, so to suggest a woman should carry a baby to full term and then adding it to that growing number of babies without a family just to avoid having an abortion, is irresponsible in my opinion.
Of course, these are all just the facts and figures of the matter, but no child asks to be born and it's down to the mother to consider the best life for her child, even if that means no life. Nobody has the right to tell another person what they should do in a situation like that and ultimately if you don't believe abortion is right then that's fine: don't have one. 
I hope you have found this post informative, and if you were unsure on how you feel about the topic of abortion maybe it's helped you to make your mind up. It's your decision and it's often a question of morals, and nobody else should pressure you into feeling one way or the other.
Thoughtful comments and questions are always welcome.

Stay inspired,

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  1. I think that the only person who has the right to decide if it's good or bad, is the woman having to go through with it. I hate it when men parade against it. Not your body therefore not your choice.

    I am neither pro nor against it, as you never know how life can surprise you and make you change your mind. I just think women should have the freedom to decide over their own bodies.


    1. Exactly - and no one, male or female, has the right to tell another woman what to do in that situation.

      I think you're right, you never know how you might react if you were to find yourself in those circumstances.

      Thanks for commenting :) xo

  2. Personally, I think the first person to have a say in abortion is the mother, and if the father of the child is responsible too him too. Some abortions are there for the sake of the mothers health or in case she was raped or something ( which some blame the victim and it is horrible)

    There should definitely not be a ban on abortion, that is just silly! But it should be done earlier on in the pregnancy when it hasn't formed yet. There should be freedom to make their own decisions, the politicians are tying too hard to control.


    1. At the end of the day, it's the woman who has to deal with the consequences so it should be her decision! And yes, it's ridiculous that politicians are having the biggest say on this matter, especially when the majority of them are men!

      Thanks for stopping by :) xo