To think that just because I'm pro-life doesn't mean I hate feminism?

(813 Posts)
TinkerSailerSoldierSpy Sat 18-May-13 12:38:25

Friend and I were having a discussion, I'm 18 weeks pregnant, and it was a bit of an inconvenient surprise, considering I've started a new job just 2 months ago.I mentioned that it wasn't going to look good, me taking maternity leave after not even being there for a year, and she suggested perhaps considering there was no dad on the scene and my new job, I should terminate. I felt a bit uncomfortable but told her that I could never do that as I'm pro life and view it as killing a child. She then proceeded to stare at me like I had an extra head and ask me why in a shocked voice. I explained my reasons and views and we got into an arguement about it, the usual stuff, what about in cases of rape and if the woman's not financially able to support the child, to which I countered but is it right for a woman to get an abortion just because she wants to continue a party lifestyle? And she stormed out the house shouting that I was misogynistic and women have the right to their own bodies. Let me be clear, I certainly would never stop anyone from making their decision about an abortion, I just can't seem to get over the idea of it, it repulses me. But I wouldn't judge a woman who got one. I understand the other viewpoint but I can't agree with it myself, and in all other respects I would say i was very liberal about womans rights. When I mentioned it to other friend she said it was my views but they were quite outdated and misogynistic. Are they? I need advice, should I apologize to friend A?

LastTangoInDevonshire Sat 18-May-13 12:42:03

* to which I countered but is it right for a woman to get an abortion just because she wants to continue a party lifestyle?*

And you answered ^^ to the question about rape and not financially able to support a child? Really???

Yes, your views are outdated.

LadyVoldemort Sat 18-May-13 12:44:21

Tough one. I'm personally pro choice, I do think everyone (not just women) should have the right to decide what they do with their body.

It sounds as if your friend is quite passionate about her views. Were you being antagonistic?
I don't think you need apologise for your opinion, but maybe if you were being a bit holier than thou towards her you could apologise for that. You don't both need to agree with each other obviously.

LadyVoldemort Sat 18-May-13 12:46:27

That's the bit that I was a bit hmm about as well LastTango. It's nothing to do with a raped woman wanting to continue a 'party lifestyle', it's the fact that she should be able to choose whether she wants to have her rapists child! I wonder how you would feel if that happened to you?

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 12:48:15

You responded to the question, 'what about rape' with, 'but is it right for a woman to get an abortion just because she wants to continue a party lifestyle'?

Very misogynistic and disgusting.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 12:49:26

it is possible to be 100% pro life without being anti women - but saying things like 'continuing with her party lifestyle' seems to convey an element of judging the woman rather than protecting the fetus - which probably made your friend a bit pissed off

if your anti abortion stance is fueled by the reasons women have them - then it's anti women rather than pro life

I had a pro life friend who argued that if society valued women and children then all the support a woman would ever need would be there and she wouldn;t need to terminate - a little wishy washy but not anti women at all

Yes you should apologise. Your views on women pregnant through rape are what's repulsive. Pro-life arguments are incompatible with feminism.

You are pro forced birth - how is that compatible with feminism?

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 12:51:58

You actually sound like you veer more towards pro-choice but have remnants of anti-abortion rhetoric.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 12:52:09

Denying women, and only women, the right to control their own body is absolutely anti-woman.

You really think women have terminations because they like partying? Really? Really?

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 12:53:13

yes - my last point not anti women at all is incorrect - I meant her motivations where not coming from an anti woman stance - but I agree with Sparhawk x

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 12:53:44

Abortion is not your choice but it is (and rightly so) a choice for others,or have I picked your post up wronglyconfused ?

IneedAyoniNickname Sat 18-May-13 12:54:13

I was raped by a family member.
I then had a abortion.
I didn't do it to continue a party lifestyle, in fact I didn't lead that life beforehand.
I did it because I couldn't face a pregnancy and birth from incestuous rape at the age of 16.
Sometimes I still feel guilty about it, even though it was 12 years ago. sad

Your views are repulsive.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 18-May-13 12:54:47

For me, being pro-choice means letting other women decide what to do with their pregnancy, whether or not I would personally make that choice. So, in a way, the fact that you said that you wouldn't stop someone choosing to have an abortion, and wouldn't judge them, despite not ever wanting one yourself, means you're pro-choice. You've just decided it's not for you. It's okay to be repulsed by it.

However, I'd like to pick up on the 'party lifestyle' point - that does make your opinion sound somewhat misogynistic. It sounds like you're judging the woman having an abortion - and conflicts with the point you made about not judging.

I don't think that any woman should be forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy, whatever their reasons. Conversely, I think any woman who wants to continue their pregnancy should be able to do so - I'm surprised your friend suggested a termination, simply because I think it's a bit insensitive.

samandi Sat 18-May-13 12:55:21

Considering the impacts pregnancy and childbirth have on women, I personally don't view a pro-life stance as compatible with feminism. I also find it odd that you state you wouldn't judge a woman for having a termination but then trot out the somewhat worn cliche about "party lifestyles". I've never heard a decent pro-life argument and this OP is one of the worst.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 12:55:37

I did think you meant that Gordy

I do love that logic though, women are not responsible enough to choose what happens to their body, so they should be forced to responsible for a baby. If a woman is that irresponsible, according to you, that she'd want an abortion so she can go out partying, why do you think she'll be responsible enough to look after a small helpless baby?

AllYoursBabooshka Sat 18-May-13 12:55:55

Your friend really shouldn't go around suggesting abortions if she isn't prepared to hear opinions which are different from hers.

I am rigidly pro choice but it seems she did turn the conversation into a bit of a debate, very insensitive.

It was not the the time nor place, you are newly pregnant and have made your decision. She should have left it at that.

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 12:56:18

And as a little aside Ireland is having an abortion debate atm and have brought in a group who regret having abortions and ignored a group forced to travel for abortions because of foetal abnormality. That is forced birthing at its finest.

StuffezLaYoni Sat 18-May-13 12:56:48

I had a termination because I never want children. No matter what contraception I use, I risk pregnancy every time I have sex and am grateful to the laws of this land that I was able to access this procedure.
You say you'd never judge a woman for having a termination but the tone of your post implies otherwise. Why aren't you able to describe yourself as Pro Choice, but know that personally you wouldn't choose to have a termination?

Picturepuncture Sat 18-May-13 12:58:11

I was with you up until the sentence about rape and party lifestyles.

If it happened like that, then that's grim.

I would say I am neither anti women or judgemental but I don't agree with abortion either. I couldn't do it as I feel it would be akin to murder. I totally understand some women are placed into awful situations through no fault of their own, and I also realise that legally all women have the right to choose so I don't judge ( I also believe I have no right to judge anyone about anything).

skippedtheripeoldmango Sat 18-May-13 12:58:49

Your countering argument probably tipped the balance with your friend: basically you completely ignored the fact that expecting a woman who was raped to go ahead with a pregnancy is repulsive if that woman really doesn't want to.

However, to me the threshold question to anyone who was 'pro-life' would be: do you think your personal beliefs should be foisted on every other woman who may have a different opinion/position/set of circumstances than you? If the answer is yes, then in my mind that makes that person a misogynist. No one has the right to take away someone else's basic human rights (and control over your reproductive life is a basic human right) based simply on their own personal beliefs.

AnyaKnowIt Sat 18-May-13 12:59:11

So please explain why its ok to 'kill' a child if that child was conceived through rape?

TinkerSailerSoldierSpy Sat 18-May-13 12:59:14

Regarding the party comment, that part of the arguement was about whether it should be universally legalised, not individual cases. I'm not a militant pro life kind of person, and I agree that a woman should not be forced to have a rapists child, however easy access to an abortion for a woman who just can't be arsed to be a mother bothered me. i dont know, it's hard to draw the line I suppose.

Fairylea Sat 18-May-13 13:00:04

Your views are all wrong.

I don't know one woman who's had an abortion to "continue a party lifestyle". How ridiculous.

It's ok to say personally you would never have an abortion. That's fine. But it's very naive to apply that to everyone and all circumstances.

FreudiansSlipper Sat 18-May-13 13:00:45

maybe it is just the wrong time to have this discussion

when I found out I was pregnant with ds everything seemed to be going against me, his dad turned on me, I knew I would loose my job but I felt attached as soon as I saw that blue line

I am pro choice but for me it just was not an option and I have known others to be pro life and change their minds and had a termination

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:01:19

I think people are confusing being 'pro-life' with not personally wanting an abortion. There's a difference between thinking that women shouldn't be legally allowed an abortion and thinking that you don't want one yourself.

sweetestcup Sat 18-May-13 13:01:27

What a narrow minded, ignorant and disgusting reply you gave to the question about rape.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 13:01:56

however easy access to an abortion for a woman who just can't be arsed to be a mother bothered me.


Are you saying that being female, we should automatically want to be parents?

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 18-May-13 13:01:57

the rape and party lifestyles comment was a bit odd, and other than that the OP sounds quite reasonable. I'd like to hear her explanation.

MidniteScribbler Sat 18-May-13 13:02:05

I think you might have lost the argument when you brought up the rape and party lifestyle in the same sentence.

Decoy Sat 18-May-13 13:02:21


StuffezLaYoni Sat 18-May-13 13:02:40

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StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 18-May-13 13:04:21

x post OP. That still doesn't really make any sense

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:04:53

i def dont think op views are repulsive. i agree with her actually. Some women do seem to see abortion as a form of contraception and thats repulsive. you choose to have sex... you know what can happen!! if u cant care for a child dont have sex... its not hard!!!!
not talking about rape before i get flamed

Asheth Sat 18-May-13 13:05:14

Perhaps you should both apologise! I think it was very insensitive for her to suggest an abortion to you at 18 weeks - presumably you have had scans by now, have a definite bump and maybe are even feeling the odd flutter! So your baby is becoming a real person to you and an abortion would feel very wrong to you.

However can you be certain that your friend has not had an abortion? It may be a sensitive issue for her. And she may have felt very judged. Especially if you didn't make it clear that you woudn't judge a woman for making that choice.

It doesn't sound like you're particularly anti-choice. You wouldn't choose an abortion yourself, but you wouldn't judge a woman who did. That sounds like choice to me.

edam Sat 18-May-13 13:05:17

You don't actually believe women are equal. Comments about 'party lifestyle' and 'can't be arsed to be a mother' clearly demonstrate you think women are inferior beings. Even if you are one. You are an Uncle Tom.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 18-May-13 13:05:31

Depends if you're personally pro-life or generally pro-life?

If you personally wouldn't ever have an abortion/don't agree with it, but support other women's right to have an abortion then that's fine.

If you are generally oposed to abortion and believe that the state should be able to dicatate what happens inside a woman's body then that is incompatible with feminisim.

How would you vote on the issue if it came up?

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:05:38

yeh because if you 'can't be arsed to be a mother' being FORCED to be one will be the making of you and simply spiffing for your child hmm

Do you really think that women wake up one day and think 'do you know what I can't be arsed to be pregnant anymore' and skip off to get a quick termination before they go on a night out?

You really need to become a bit better informed on the whole subject before spouting your opinion again, how do you know your friend hasn't had a termination and you just told her she 'killed her child'?

Fairylea Sat 18-May-13 13:07:08

Would you rather we made abortion illegal again and had women dying from backstreet butchers?

Would you rather people were forced to have babies and then abandoned them at birth or left them to starve to death instead? (Hear so many stories of this from China and India).

Would you rather families who are already struggling to feed and clothe one or two kids or more have another one to look after - or neglect depending on the family.

More emphasis needs to be on proper contraception and using it correctly. And even then it's not foolproof, sometimes it doesn't work and obviously rape cases are very different.

I can't believe how ignorant you're being.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:07:14

ah barebranches so abortion is okay if women don't choose to have sex ...but if they do (the dirty little slappers) they deserve to loose all right over their own reproduction

your judgy pants must be tickling your tonsils

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:07:28

barebranches What nonsense. So, people who are poor, have mental health issues, health issues should not be allowed to have sex? That is a disgusting opinion.

MidniteScribbler Sat 18-May-13 13:09:05

I don't believe I could ever have an abortion. I also don't believe I have any right to dictate what another woman does with her own body.

Does that make me "pro-minding-my-own-business"?

OneHandWavingFree Sat 18-May-13 13:09:10

I didn't read the party lifestyle line as being about women who have been raped. I think the friend gave what she thought was an example of when OP might have a hard time defending a pro life position, and then OP tried to give a different example of a situation in which she felt a pro choice position would be harder to defend.

The post made it sound like they were both offering opinions on the same situation, but having re read it I don't think that's the case.

OP I understand tour friend's pov but think she owes you an apology for turning a discussion about your pregnancy and your feelings about it, into a debate on abortion.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:09:20

<should never have sex> not <should not be allowed to have sex>

Because sex is reserved for those who want a child. hmm

Look Op - what do you want from us? A bunch of flowers and a bravo for continuing with a pregnancy?
Some women choose to terminate, some choose to become a parent. Neither choice is any of anybody else's business.
You are insulting women who have terminated and generally making a fool of yourself. I suggest you desist.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 13:09:51

if u cant care for a child dont have sex... its not hard!!!!

I'm not sure whether to laugh or bang my head over this ^^

StuffezLaYoni Sat 18-May-13 13:11:26

I've done both, Worra.
It has actually taken my breath away in its idiocy.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:12:00

yes. thats right.
dont do the deed unless u are up for the consequences. abortion is wrong and its discusting that people are flamed and seen as out dated for being pro life!!
and "oooh i cant do adoption... i might want to keep the baby" fuck off... i would rather kill it instead!!!

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:12:18

Also, plenty of women end up having to abort a fetus they planned after finding out it has a condition incompatible with life or they could die if the pregnancy is continued. This idea that only irresponsible women get abortions needs to fuck the fuck off.

specialsubject Sat 18-May-13 13:12:19

abortion is not child-killing, any more than contraception or miscarriage is.

I am pro-choice. You are pregnant and you have the choice to continue or not. As you should.

just extend that to every other woman who is pregnant. Whatever her reason.

that said, I don't really think it is ever appropriate to suggest that a pregnant woman should terminate.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 18-May-13 13:12:26

If you can't care for a baby don't have sex? Really
So you only ever have sex with the plan of getting pregnant? You must have a large family or very little sex

FJL203 Sat 18-May-13 13:12:55

Your view doesn't mean you hate feminism, of course it doesn't sweetie.

It means that you hate women, you hate their right to autonomy over their own bodies and all that the female gender has fought for for so long. It means that you're of the opinion that some women are worthy and deserving of having a say over her body and that there are others who just can't be arsed to be a mother and should be forced to bear a child she doesn't want.

I'm sure you're not anti-feminism. I'm sure you are happy to accept parts of it - like maternity pay and keeping the job open you started 2 months ago.

But that's not enough, is it?

MinnieBar Sat 18-May-13 13:13:15

YABVU to think women have abortions because they 'can't be arsed' to be parents. Having an abortion is by no means an easy option.

And yes, believing that women should have ultimate control over what happens to their own bodies is a fundamental tenet of feminism.

It was a conversation that shouldn't have been started.

What right did she have to suggest that you should consider abortion? None and especially "because there isn't a dad on the scene".

Your reasoning of why women have abortions is incorrect and offencive.

The hardest decision to ever have to make to to abort a baby with your husband, which is, in effect, killing your exsisting children's sibling. I have been in that situation, it isn't a senario often talked about, the rape one is more common.

Because i "could be arsed to mother" i terminated. The comments on this thread shows how little thought has gone into the plight of women (and couples), whose contraception has not worked.

You lost the argument at the "can't be arsed to be a mother".


WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 13:14:09

I feel like I've just wandered into Downton Abbey....

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:14:21

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EllaFitzgerald Sat 18-May-13 13:14:43

I think you and your friend were both being unreasonable actually. You equating a rape victim's choice to terminate a pregnancy to someone 'having a party life style' is awful. I can't even begin to imagine what someone in that position must have to go through and attitudes like that must be gut wrenching to have to deal with. However, if you feel that you personally would be unable to go through with a termination, you're quite entitled to feel that way and your friend should respect that, even if she doesn't understand it.

I may be misunderstanding the point of feminism completely, but to my mind, it's having the right to choose what's best for you, be it termination or having a child. Perhaps I'm over simplifying it though.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:15:45

no thank you
i have strong views on this... and my opinion is valid.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:16:21

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StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 18-May-13 13:17:17

barebranches, I find your views "discusting"

RedToothBrush Sat 18-May-13 13:17:27

Let me be clear, I certainly would never stop anyone from making their decision about an abortion, I just can't seem to get over the idea of it, it repulses me. But I wouldn't judge a woman who got one.

Let me just repeat what you said:

'I would never stop someone from having an abortion and I would never judge a woman for doing something that I expressly say very openly "repulses me"'.

Read that back.

I don't think that people who are pro-choice particularly like the actual process and its purpose in either. But to openly say it 'repulses' you, IS judgemental and you are being mightily hypocritical and contradictory with your own statement.

Who is to say that the person you are speaking to, hasn't had an abortion you don't know about or has supported someone close to them through an abortion and they know the reasons behind that decision or how difficult they found that decision. Your views about why women do have abortions or under what circumstances are 'acceptable' to have one are entirely judgmental.

If you really don't agree with abortion then fine; but don't turn round and say you aren't being judgmental especially if you come out with emotive language like that in a debate on the subject.

If you genuinely don't judge women for having abortions and don't want to stop other women from having them even though you disagree with it - then frankly keep your big trap shut, bite your tongue and keep your opinions to yourself!

Oh and apologise to your friend.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:17:55

im not a loony sad
i just feel stongly on this area. ill leave u all to have the same opinions. clearly alternate views are not allowed on mumsnet.

differentnameforthis Sat 18-May-13 13:17:57

to which I countered but is it right for a woman to get an abortion just because she wants to continue a party lifestyle?

So, if a woman who was raped had a termination, it was because she wanted to continue her "party lifestyle." Do you see what you did there op?

I really don't think it is barebranches. You are saying that you personally only ever have sex in order to conceive?

And what about the women whose contraception failed them? They were being responsible.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:18:28

Your opinions would be perfectly valid..... in the 1900's.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 13:18:30

I think having a tiny cluster of cells removed because you don't want to be a parent is a very sensible thing to do.

Using emotive language like 'killing babies' is ridiculous as it conjours up and image of a baby actually being killed.

Though I guess that was the kind of hysteria you were trying to whip up with your post.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 18-May-13 13:19:08

can't be arsed to be a mother

OP, it's clear to me now that you have no bloody idea why a woman might not choose to carry a pregnancy to term, other than rape.

Friends of mine who have had abortions have done so after careful consideration.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 18-May-13 13:19:55

that said I agree the OP's friend was out of order to bring up abortion unless she got any idea the OP wanted to discuss something like that. If someone tells you they're pg, then unless they indicate they want your support to discuss the options, your response should be "congratulations"

Just to add, caring for a baby is easy, meeting a child's physical and emotional needs, throught your life (if doesn't end at 18) is the tough bit. Adoption isn't the answer, before anyone comes up with that one, because giving up your new baby, does tend to emotionally damage the children that you already have.

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:20:18

Abortion is not for me but who the hell am I to tell any other woman what to do. Sex isn't some huge crime that has consequences if 'caught'.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:20:41

alternative views are fine barebranches but try not to foam so much at the mouth when you scream share them.

I respect people views when they are well presented

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 13:20:54

Agree Stealth

ComposHat Sat 18-May-13 13:20:54

Saying 'I could personally never have an abortion, but support the right of others to chose what to do with their own bodies' is absolutely fine and in my view compatible with feminism.

I can't help but think that you were making moral judgements about people who had abortions - 'continue their party lifestyles' smacks of a moral judgement and reeks of misogyny.

Also, don't hide behind 'pro-life' you are anti-abortion.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:21:36

yes i am anti abortion. deal with it.

KobayashiMaru Sat 18-May-13 13:22:11

You might not hate feminism but you aren't a feminist. And you are judgemental and rude.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:22:17

Agreed Compos.

Actually, yes, it is ok for a women to abort because she wants to continue her 'party lifestyle'. What's wrong with that?

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 13:22:37

You cannot be a feminist if you presume to dictate what another woman may do with stuff that's happening to her body.

A feminist would never force an abortion on you. You're not entitled to force pregnancy, birth and parenting on any other woman.

Your remarks about 'party lifestyle' and 'can't be arsed to be a mother' are distinctly anti-women.

Personally, I feel your choosing to take maternity leave only 2 months into a new job is anti-feminist. But I'm not Xenia (at all!) and do not wish to pursue that argument here. I'm just mentioning it because you seem to be a classic example of an anti-feminist woman taking the piss out of everything feminism has gained for her, as a woman.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 18-May-13 13:22:41

Don't need to deal with it. Hopefully our paths will never cross.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 13:23:10

Better enjoy your sex life while it lasts barebranches

And with your way of thinking, it won't last long.

WoTmania Sat 18-May-13 13:23:50

'however easy access to an abortion for a woman who just can't be arsed to be a mother bothered me.' <-- along with 'use it as a form of contraception' make me angry

So a woman who doesn't want to become a mother because she 'can't be arse' or because she has such a chaotic life she doesn't use BC should be forced to continue with a pregnancy and forced to birth the baby that she doesn't want, or doesn't feel ready for? Nice

Termination as birth control is a myth in any case American but still worth linking to I feel

Suppose, OP, you go to a scan at 21 weeks or so and they find your baby has a condition incompatible with life, and the doctors advise you to terminate, what then?

claraschu Sat 18-May-13 13:24:32

I am very very pro-choice.

If you believe that abortion is the equivalent of murdering a child, how can you make any exceptions under any circumstances?

If a 12 year old is raped by her father and gets pregnant, a person who thinks abortion=murder would still believe that the 12 year old should have the baby rather than take the morning after pill, because a fertilised egg=a baby.

If you can make an exception for incestuous rape, then you don't actually believe that abortion=murder, so you should accept abortion under other circumstances too.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:26:03

claraschu unfortunately there are plenty of deaths worldwide of children as young as 12 who've been forced to remain pregnant against their will. sad

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:26:52

bare branches Why don't you and antiabortionists like you just stay out of other women's uteruses.

MidniteScribbler Sat 18-May-13 13:26:54

claraschu, I personally believe life begins at conception. I also believe that what others choose to believe is not my decision to make.

ComposHat Sat 18-May-13 13:28:00

Yes, the OP seems to think that things like maternity rights and equal pay were benevolently handed down by employers out of the goodness of their heart.

These things were fought for by women and men, despite opposition from employers and elements of the establishment.

barebranches You also seem to be anti-thought and anti-feeling as well.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 13:28:17

I know I said I wouldn't pursue it, but ... "I'm 18 weeks pregnant, and it was a bit of an inconvenient surprise, considering I've started a new job just 2 months ago"

Not all that much of a surprise, then ... hmm

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:29:06

Freddie if the OP were in Ireland she would just be expected to carry on with the pregnancy.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 13:30:00

YY, Compos, and feminists managed to achieve all that while living a party lifestyle and having sex for fun! Shocking grin

Baby I know. I'm in Northern Ireland. Which tbh isn't much better.

OP, does the thought of a woman who was raped being forced to give birth to a child she never wanted repulse you?

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:32:10

nope. just feel strongly about people that do things with out considering their actions.

i didnt mean people to not have sex. i meant that some women have sex then are shocked when they get preg... eh thats what sex is for....!!

no one even mentioned my adoption comment... may be it rings true for some of you.

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 18-May-13 13:32:18

It's an argument. Therefore it at minimum consists of two sides. Personally I'm pro-abortion. I also see many of the arguments made for the life side. I consider women of both sides to be feminists.

The only reason I'm pro and will never be moved on that is simple; I want medical advances to be applicable to this subject. I never want back street to be the only option. By removing ability to choose to have an abortion means it will be removed from all medical improvements and considerations. I couldn't in conscience allow that. I can therefore not support the life argument.

Ashoething Sat 18-May-13 13:32:32

Abortion is not something that can be discussed rationally on mn. As soon as you mention you may not be 100% comfortable with it you are accused of being a hater of women.And yes I do know women who have had repeat terminations because they are lax/don't use contraception.

Before anyone starts frothing at me-I have had an abortion. Your friend was inconsiderate mentioning abortion to you at such a late stage of pregnancy-its not a bunch of cells at 18 weeks. But you were also out of order with your comments. Perhaps apologies are due on both sides?

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:33:03

Look at Ireland for the anti-abortion utopia.hmm

Look at Savita. Look at the millions of women who have travelled.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 18-May-13 13:33:52


Being pro life does not equal misogyny, but you aren't allowed to be pro life on MN. That's the rule.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:34:27

Ashoething Funny, because reading this thread I can see plenty examples of women saying they're personally against it and no-one has accused them of being a woman hater. hmm

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:35:44

ive just realised that clouds
how sad

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:35:55

So if a woman is using contraception and has sex and gets pregnant,what then? She should just abstain,just in case?

Cop the fuck on.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:36:51

shes should have the baby and either raise it or go for adoption.

Ashoething Sat 18-May-13 13:37:05

On this thread maybespar but I have been on many threads on mn where this topic has been discussed and that's what people who dared to dissent were called. I am also sure I saw misogyny brought up on this thread but cant be arsed to trawl back through the posts.

cherryade8 Sat 18-May-13 13:37:23

Yanbu. I'm anti abortion and a feminist. I'm not sure why there is so much talk about abortion due to rape, most abortions are due to unplanned pregnancies after consensual sex, not rape.

It is a difficult and polarizing subject, but being pro life isn't anti feminist imo.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:37:51

women getting pregnant all by themselves shocker!

pinkyredrose Sat 18-May-13 13:38:18

barebranches how many children do you have? If you don't have any I'm assuming you're celibate?

Ashoething Sat 18-May-13 13:38:47

Take this discussion over to the feminism topic and see what the results are....

AllYoursBabooshka Sat 18-May-13 13:39:10

Yes because it's that easy barebranches.


BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:39:14

Why should she though? Why should she be forced into something she was trying to prevent? What gives others the right to tell her what she should do?

KobayashiMaru Sat 18-May-13 13:39:30

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:39:45

and having an abortion is easy...sad

Ashoething Sat 18-May-13 13:41:00

Obviously women don't get pregnant by themselves but women are left to deal with the consequences. I am actually pro-life as I would never want a return to back street abortionists but that does not make me not question whether we have gone too far the other way and are now too permissive when it comes to abortion.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:41:00

because we all know that we might get preg if we have sex... no matter how many chemicals or condoms we use!

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:41:09

*Not bringing the man in hypothetical question into it as he would have no say so over a woman's body obvs.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:41:13

Ashoething I was unaware that 'mumsnet' equals the feminism board. You learn something new everyday.

Remotecontrolduck Sat 18-May-13 13:41:16

Yes barebranches, because all kids put up for adoption end up in lovely homes and not stuck in the care system for years and being severely damaged by it.....

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 18-May-13 13:41:38

Have you had one bare?

It is many things but easy? No. It's not easy. Not by a long long long shot.

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 13:41:41

Whatever you like to tell yourself your views are misogynistic, judgemental and clouded by irrationality.

I don't want to be a parent. I take every precaution I can and if I did get pregnant I would have an abortion. I am very happy that I live in a country where that right to choose what happens to my own body is accessible to me. Millions don't.

Thanks to people who hold views like yours those women will continue to be denied those rights, and women in countries who do have those rights must continually defend them.

I hope you can raise your child to be more open minded and tolerant than you are.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:42:00

oh stop being so bloody goady barebranches answer this - what about rape? what if the pregnancy is likely to kill the mother?

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:42:03

so we should terminate them instead?

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:42:43

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 13:42:51

goady please read my original post

Ashoething Sat 18-May-13 13:42:54

You are purposely misunderstanding me spar so I shall not engage with you any further.

SoftSheen Sat 18-May-13 13:43:28

YANBU and have been judged rather harshly.

I suspect that your views are somewhat similar to mine, namely that whilst I respect other women's right to choice, I don't think I could ever have an abortion myself, except perhaps in the most extreme of situations such as rape or a baby with a medical condition that was not compatible with life.

I wouldn't judge another woman who had a termination for any reason. In all honesty, I think I would be judgmental about a woman who had multiple terminations and appeared to use abortion as a means of contraception, since this implies a disrespect for life. Notably however, I have never come across such a woman.

Your friend was being unreasonable because she introduced the subject of abortion to a pregnant woman who had already made clear her intention to keep her baby, despite difficult circumstances. She could only have expected an emotional reaction to this and should have shown a little more sensitivity. It would have been far kinder of her to provide a little reassurance that many women have babies in situations similar to yours, and perhaps to offer to help out in any way that she can.

Good luck with your pregnancy and I hope you enjoy your lovely baby.

Remotecontrolduck Sat 18-May-13 13:43:51

Yes, we should terminate them because all children have the right to be brought up by parents who want them and look after them.

Would it be better for you if children were brought into awful, abuse filled, poverty sticken unsuitable homes for example?

shes should have the baby and either raise it or go for adoption. are you fucking kidding me?

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:44:29

No having an abortion is not easy,especially when the have judgement poured on them,like hot oil. Adoption is a choice. Being a parent is a choice. Abortion is a choice. None are easy but that's the only options a woman has when she is pregnant.

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 13:46:05

She can terminate if she wants. There's no should about it.

Ashoething Sat 18-May-13 13:46:22

Actually there are women who do find abortion easy-again it has been discussed on here ad infinitum. I am talking about "easy" emotionally obviously in that they felt it was the right choice for then and have had no regrets over it.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 13:46:57

People like barebranches don't care what happens to a child after it's born, because denying women the right to control their bodies is much more important then making sure children aren't brought into this world to rot in the care system or to suffer being looked after by someone incapable of caring for them.

You can't claim to care about children if you want to use them to punish women for daring to have sex when they don't intend to have a child.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:47:34

Clouds I don't mind if people are pro-life as it has no impact on my - I mind if them being pro-life means they WANT to have an impact on me by limiting my legal choices or those of other women.

Having a personal view of termination is an absolute right and not something anyone here would deny you or other posters smile

seeker Sat 18-May-13 13:47:44

First. I don't believe the scenario outlined "she stormed out shouting that I was misogynistic" Really??
But that aside.

It is impossible to be a feminist and to simultaneously believe that women do not have an absolute right to control what happens to their bodies.

I have struggled with this one all my life, but it is true. You have a right to decide what you do with your body- you have a right to choose for yourself. But you do not have the right to choose on behalf of other women.

You still haven't answered out Q's branches.

Do you have children?
Do you have sex?
Have you had an abortion?

Abortion may not be easy, but it a lot of cases, it will be a lot easier than bringing a child into the world that was never wanted.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 13:48:13

me not my!

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 13:48:50

"I suspect that your views are somewhat similar to mine...I wouldn't judge another woman who had a termination for any reason."

The OP has repeatedly judged women who have abortions. Your views are not the same.

I'm personally not comfortable with abortion, definitely not for myself anyway (had one at 13 and it still haunts me). Other reasons for my discomfort around the subject, I think are because I don't know enough about what can actually be felt, what level of consciousness there is.

There are situations though where it is probably for the best and I would never judge anyone for having one, if we tried to make it stricter then people who really did need it would probably find it much harder to obtain one and that wouldn't be right and would lead to all sorts of problems.

Apart from one news story I seen about a woman aborting on her own at term and then hiding the body. I think I am more uncomfortable with that though as there is no proof it wasn't killed after it was born and how and that terrifies me (which is a bit ironic really because then I think what the difference would be had it been in-utero, this is why my views on this are conflicted).

No matter what though, I would never try and change someones decision about their own body and I would also never consider trying to convince someone to have one even if I had no problems with it.

I am currently pg though and my view always seems different when actually pregnant!

Also - barebranches You are coming across as a loon on this thread, your opinions are your opinions and whilst you state that they are valid, so are everyone elses.

If you don't want to have an abortion don't have one. But you can't tell other women they shouldn't. By all means be anti abortion but accept you cannot dictate to others.

pinkyredrose Sat 18-May-13 13:52:13

barebranches would still like to know how many children you have and whether you're celibate.

sandberry Sat 18-May-13 13:53:48

Even if you ascribe personhood to an embryo from conception, nobody has the right to use another's body to live. If they did we should all be legally compelled to donate bone marrow, blood and a kidney to others who need them. Women have the right not to use their bodies to support another 'person'

"If you don't want to have an abortion don't have one. But you can't tell other women they shouldn't. By all means be anti abortion but accept you cannot dictate to others."

^^ That, basically.

Remotecontrolduck Sat 18-May-13 13:56:24

It constantly amazes me how some of the more extreme 'pro life' people like barebranches don't seem to give a rats arse about the child AFTER it is born.

Because terminating at an early stage is obviously so much worse than a mother who doesn't want their baby, a baby born into awful, dysfunctional circumstances, a baby left to struggle in the care system. Have you not seen the stats on how many care leavers have qualifications? Are in prison?

What about the rights of the actual born children? Or do they not matter?

I have never met anyone who had repeat abortions because they were 'too lazy' to use contraception.

Ooo, I like your thinking sandberry.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 13:58:39

Bloody hell barebranches talk about back pedaling....

if u cant care for a child dont have sex... its not hard!!!!

When asked if sex is reserved for those who want a child...

yes. thats right.
dont do the deed unless u are up for the consequences

And now....

i didnt mean people to not have sex. i meant that some women have sex then are shocked when they get thats what sex is for....!!

So basically you are saying that sex is only for the financially well off and poor people should abstain completely? confused

sandberry Sat 18-May-13 13:58:58

as for adoption as an alternative to abortion. Adoption potentially causes emotional harm to two people (the mother who makes an adoption plan and the adoptee) as well as presenting more risk to the physical health of the mother than an early termination.

There is a great chapter in Kathryn Joyce's new book about the Christian adoption movement about the coercion of young pregnant women this mindset leads to

Mia4 Sat 18-May-13 13:59:35

She is BU for suggest you terminate, no one should ever suggest anyone does anything with their bodies like that is they don't want to. Likewise, if you are prolife then you are pro telling other women what they should do with theirs therefore you too are unreasonable.

If however you are believe that other women should be able to abort if their choice, but privately just dislike the idea and would never do yourself then you are not prolife-you are prochoice because you believe in the right to choose, you just don't like one of the options.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sat 18-May-13 13:59:38

I am pro-choice. Vehemently. I am also a feminist.

Could I choose an abortion for myself? Almost certainly not.

The personal choices I would make have no impact on my utter conviction that, as a political opinion, safe legal abortion must be available to safeguard the freedom of women.

So I do struggle with the idea of a pro-life (or forced birth, to put a similarly strong anti-spin on the position as their preferred language) feminist.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 14:01:00

sandberry, thank you for putting across a point I've often found hard to articulate!

Recovering from a forced kidney donation would actually be easier than giving birth and raising a child so, yeah, let's think about the rights of people who need kidneys - make organ donation compulsory (by the same logic!)

Featherbag Sat 18-May-13 14:01:42

At least get your terminology right. You are either pro-choice (this includes your right to choose to not terminate) or you are pro-forced-birth. I am currently pregnant, by choice. When I met my now DH, I explained early in the relationship that if I were to accidentally become pregnant I would not terminate, as personally I don't feel it's something that I could ever do. I gave him the choice (we were teenagers) of not continuing a sexual relationship, instead we were just very careful with contraception for the next 11 years.

My best friend had a brief relationship with someone who was never going to be her 'forever' partner and became pregnant. She terminated without hesitation and I supported her through it with zero judgement, as it was her personal choice to make.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 14:02:08

I'd like to know if barebranches sits and makes financial predictions for the next 18 years...checks the housing market and predicted inflation/interest rates... before deciding whether to have sex or not.

How romantic grin

barebranches Sat 18-May-13 14:03:04

im sorry if i upset any one... this is an emotional topic for me and i usually dont comment on threads like these...

im going now and ill be hiding this thread. im not a loony.

ComposHat Sat 18-May-13 14:03:30

Or if the markets are looking iffy - opts for entry via the tradesman's entrance.

StuffezLaYoni Sat 18-May-13 14:04:58

It's an emotional topic for people who have had terminations too but that didn't stop you wading in with your inane generalised statements.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 14:06:16

Compo where's a 'like' button when you need one? blush

bare I don't think you're a loony but some of your comments are breathtakingly closed mined.

Particularly if you think the only reason people have sex is to make babies.

Sex is a pleasurable experience and the days of women going to bed with their nighties buttoned up to their chins, are thankfully long gone.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 14:06:59


pinkyredrose Sat 18-May-13 14:08:18

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

bare It's an emotional topic for me too, having been in the position where I was convinced to have an abortion when I didn't want one for a pregnancy that I didn't even consent to having sex with the person in the first place.

Still an emotional subject as I am pregnant with DC2 (true contraception failure and I am disabled) and I decided to keep it as yet again I could not go through with an abortion, however in both of these situations I might have been/be willing to stick it out and try but it has been bloody hard so far, I was put on anti depressants this pg as I have times where I cannot stop crying and have felt suicidal.

I chose to go through with this but if someone else was in the same position an abortion may be a safer option all round and it should be their right to choose.

The only reason I have posted on this thread is because of the vitriol you have posted.

It is possible to be against something but still allow others to choose what they do with their own life.

Even if they are not in that position, they should still be able to choose.

Should have made that clear.

KitchenandJumble Sat 18-May-13 14:18:03

I completely support the right to choose. Every woman should have autonomy over her own body. If you want to restrict this, then I think your views are incompatible with feminism.

I honestly don't know whether I personally would ever choose to have a termination. It would depend on so many variables. But I certainly wouldn't presume to dictate to anyone else what choice she should make.

Tooearlyintheday Sat 18-May-13 14:21:31

I believe there are very few people who are really completely pro-choice or pro-life. Very few people believe abortions should be offered at 40 weeks gestation and very few people believe a 12 year old rape victim shouldn't be offered the morning after pill or an early term abortion. The greyness of the debate is what makes it so emotive. Personally my religion tells me life begins at conception, I believe this therefore abortion is not an option I would consider. But that is a religious/moral decision based on my personal belief system. How other women choose to manage their own affairs and what decisions they make with their own bodies is entirely up to them.

alienbanana Sat 18-May-13 14:31:05

" *I am pro-choice. Vehemently. I am also a feminist.

Could I choose an abortion for myself? Almost certainly not.

The personal choices I would make have no impact on my utter conviction that, as a political opinion, safe legal abortion must be available to safeguard the freedom of women.

So I do struggle with the idea of a pro-life (or forced birth, to put a similarly strong anti-spin on the position as their preferred language) feminist.* "

This. Exactly this.
I'd never have an abortion - that's my own personal choice.
I believe very very strongly that it should be a choice.

You can decide that its not right for you and still be pro choice you know

Perihelion Sat 18-May-13 14:32:12

I'm adopted....I'm pro choice.

Wuldric Sat 18-May-13 14:36:44


Is this thread genuine? I just wonder because it is phrased in terms of the argument with the 'friend' rather than anything else more personal. Which is possible but not likely in the context of an unexpected pregnancy.

NotYoMomma Sat 18-May-13 14:36:46

Im adopted too and pro choice

my biological mother was catholic and pushed into adoption - social services kept me in the system for a few additional months because of tge huge pressure shr was under.

I feel very sad for her

HairyLittleCarrot Sat 18-May-13 15:12:18

let's call a spade a spade.
the debate isn't "pro-choice vs pro-life"
it's "pro-choice vs anti-choice"

I do wish those opposed to other women's rights had the courage to define themselves correctly.

I can't be arsed to type it all out again but I am 100% pro choice and have no patience with people who are not. If you believe other women's access to safe abortion should be restricted in any way or for any reason then I rather despise you.

Just this, really.

notbotheredreally Sat 18-May-13 15:28:21

ComposHat that was funny smile

squoosh Sat 18-May-13 15:30:03

Couldn't agree more HairyLittleCarrot.

It isn't pro life, it's anti choice.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 16:22:03

I have never understood it when women say "I am pro-life but I would never judge someone else for choosing to terminate". But thats exactly what being pro-life is! Being pro-life means that there is never a circumstance under which you believe that abortion is acceptable and judging those who do choose it.

The OP is pro-choice but in her current pregnancy she has chosen not to abort, that is totally different.

Incidentally, its easy to be pro-life until the day you find out you are carrying a child that you cannot provide for either emotionally, physically or financially. As I learnt at the age of 19 after being a snotty religious pro-lifer during my teens. Thats why I am not at all surprised that many of the most fierce pro-lifers are men, they have not and will not ever be in a position like that simply by virtue of being able to walk away.

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 16:30:40

I am pro life.

Being 'pro-choice' means saying that its ok to have a termination at 39 weeks because you've changed your mind. Or having a termination at 20 weeks because its a girl. (If you really believe in womens autonomy)

Nevertheless, I'm a feminist so believe that abortion should be legal - just that no one should ever choose it.

Clearly pro-choice isn't allowed on mumsnet today so I might just leave now...

Ashoething Sat 18-May-13 16:34:36

You despise other women merely because they have a different view point to you sgb?-how open minded.

ComposHat Sat 18-May-13 16:40:45

Clearly pro-choice isn't allowed on mumsnet today so I might just leave now...

I assume that you mean pro-life (rather than pro choice). But to answer your question I believe abortion should be legal whatever the motivation up to the point that independent life can be sustained.

Don't be ridiculous there are all shades of opinion being expressed on this thread, of course you are allowed to be anti abortion just as I am allowed to be pro abortion rights.

If you get the hump because someone disagree with uou feel free to flounce.

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 16:49:43

When you say 'independent life can be sustained' when do you mean? Do you have a personal number of weeks gestation you think should be the cut off?

ComposHat Sat 18-May-13 16:55:07

That the foetus could survive independently of the mother without artificial support.

BabyMakesTheBoobiesGoLeaky Sat 18-May-13 16:58:20

The abortion of girls is due to the value being placed on boys. Its the knock on effect of living in a patriarchal society. Girls have been known to be killed at birth in India and China.

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 16:58:25

I disagree. A woman is more than an incubator for a foetus. She should be able to choose to abort at any stage during the pregnancy.

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 17:01:57

35 weeks compos?

needaholidaynow Sat 18-May-13 17:09:54

OP, I think your friend was wrong to suggest having an abortion in the first place, as if it's just a decision to be taken lightly.

"No dad on the scene and a new job. Hey why don't you just have an abortion?" - Like it's her decision to make! She shouldn't even be suggesting it to you seeing as it's your body your choice!

I am very much pro choice, for whatever reason. But I wouldn't go all out to a friend and actually suggest she has an abortion. Not my decision so my thoughts are kept entirely to myself! If a friend told me that she was having an abortion I would support her, and likewise if she carried on with a pregnancy I would support her.

As for starting a new job, I was there last year. Had the interview, got the job and then found out that I was pregnant with DS2! I panicked, thought work would be Nnoyed with me and that they'd see me as an inconvenience and a time waster. Not the case! I finished for maternity leave 4 months in to my new job. (Started my job at 4 months pregnant!) and I don't feel an ounce of guilt for it. My managers and co-workers were so supportive and happy for me that I soon stopped worrying.

When I found out that I was pregnant, abortion did cross my mind due to my new job. It was a horrible place to be in, a decision that only I and my partner could make. But if a friend (or anyone else) even dared to suggest that I have an abortion for whatever reason then I would swiftly kick them out of my house and tell them to think very hard a out what they have just said to me. Once I had sat and thought about this decision, I realised that if I did have an abortion, it would have been what I thought was for everyone else. I wanted this baby, I knew it in my heart, but my head was telling me that people would be disappointed in me if I had another baby. How wrong was I? Luckily I listened to my heart and I now have a bouncing almost 3 month old baby boy and a good job to go back to when I am ready. I made the right decision for ME. Luckily I had no friend with such as lack of compassion.

needaholidaynow Sat 18-May-13 17:11:43

*a lack of compassion

Kleinzeit Sat 18-May-13 17:13:57

she suggested … I should terminate.

Well for starters your friend was bang out of order to say such a thing! I’m feminist and pro-choice. But you don’t talk about termination to a pregnant friend and you certainly don’t suggest it. The most you do is listen and respond sympathetically if a friend suggests it herself. Which you didn't. Being pro-choice means respecting women's right to make their own minds, it doesn't mean putting your big foot in it.

And when she said that, instead of arguing the rights and wrong of feminism and abortion, the perfect thing to do is to burst into tears and run from the room. She owes you the apology!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 18-May-13 17:15:50

It is my personal opinion that a person should have the right to say what does and doesn't grow inside their body.

And I think the flippant remarks about how abortion is the 'easy' option is total bollocks. The people I know who have had abortions did not find them 'easy'.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sat 18-May-13 17:16:58

Your friend suggest a termination at 18+ weeks? She was wrong

You are permitted to have your views, but so is she.

Personally I think you are both wrong grin

manicinsomniac Sat 18-May-13 17:24:48

It's such a tough subject and, personally, I think YANBU - but I also don't think you really are pro life because you don't seem to be saying that you think every woman should be forced to make the same decisions as you.

I am very reluctantly pro choice. I do believe in life at the point of conception and I do believe that abortion is killing a baby. However, I also know that other people believe different things and that only the woman who is pregnant actually has the right to make her decision. I think abortion has to remain legal; I just don't like that it is.

I also find the constant mention of rape quite extremist and upsetting. My just turned 6 year old and much loved daughter comes from rape. Nobody wanted me to keep her. I didn't even consider aborting her. So, for me, the assumption that a woman who has been raped must want an abortion is both offensive and potentially dangerous as it could lead to woman feeling that that is the expected thing and that she ought to do it. I wouldn't judge a woman who aborted in those circumstances but, in my experience, I felt judged for keeping my daughter and to me that shows that things have gone too far the other way.

worried90 Sat 18-May-13 17:31:11

I always thought I supported abortion I really did. Then on Tuesday I had a medical termination. People say its the "easy way". It's not. I was in agony waiting to abort the foetus. I hated every second of it. It was an unplanned pregnancy, and I don't have the financial means to support a child
Naive I guess that I didn't take into account how much the actual procedure would upset me and how emotional I would feel after. Do I wish I could take it back? Yes and no
I feel guilty, sad and angry. I'm angry I never got to talk about my pregnancy, or hear congratulations, or show a scan photo. Feels like some shameful secret that I'm meant to hide away and not talk about
I think I have in a way more respect now for people who choose abortion knowing now how hard it is

MediumOrchid Sat 18-May-13 17:33:42

The thing is, if you believe that life starts at conception, or a few days later, it's impossible to be pro-choice. All the stuff about women, and choice and all of that, comes second to a baby's (or foetus, or embryo) right to life. No-one would consider that harming a newborn should be allowed because the mother doesn't want a baby. I know there's a huge difference between a newborn and a few weeks old embyro, but if you consider them both alive and having the right to live then there's really no difference and it's wrong to kill either.

Of course, if you don't believe life starts at conception it's all much easier.

DisappointedHorse Sat 18-May-13 17:41:12

OP, you were both being unreasonable. Your friend had no right to suggest that to you, it's your life and your body.

I think it's perfectly possible to be pro life and not be lambasted on Mumsnet but it's the ridiculous, weak arguments that are put up by many pro life posters I have seen that are met with scorn. If you think abortion is wrong and would never have one, well fine, that's up to you but what gives you the right to dictate what other women should do?

Where it gets really disturbing is when women have so little empathy for other women that their feelings, lives, situations are just irrelevant. That the rights of an unborn foetus should trump those of a thinking, feeling women because hey, it's our own fault for opening our legs. The it's ok for rape clause repulses me for that very reason.

Abortion exists for a very good reason and to deny people that would be a return to the dark ages. Lets all welcome back the backstreet abortions because let's face it, contraception fails.

I agree with the argument that many pro lifers don't give a damn what happens post birth. So many children potentially being raised in poverty with mothers who wish they were never born and a father who has long since abdicated his responsibility and fucked off. A real utopia there.

On a personal level, late abortions don't sit comfortably with me at all and I personally would never have one but I would not wish to deny others their right to do so. And that's the difference.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 17:46:35

I am pro life.

With no apologies for repetition, please be honest and say you are anti-choice. Your position has nothing to do with choosing life - am I anti-life? Of course not! - and everything to do with controlling other women's bodies.

As someone said upthread, you have no business in another woman's uterus! Why do you even want that?

a baby's right to life

Is it worth more than a woman's right to control her own life and her body?

Do that baby's "rights" extend to a loving, happy, safe and healthy upbringing? If the mother doesn't feel capable of providing that - and, presumably, she doesn't - are you stepping in to support her every step of the way?
Or do you only care that the mother is forced to give birth? Meaning you don't really care about the baby's life at all?

What about other "rights to life", as also mentioned upthread? Should we have our blood, bone marrow, or organs forcibly removed to save another's life? The argument's the same - or even more logical, since recovery from a kidney removal is easier than pregnancy, birth & parenting.

Please do answer these quastions, those of you with strongly anti-choice views. I'm curious!

McNewPants2013 Sat 18-May-13 17:47:54

I am pro choice and I think women shouldn't have to explain there discision to have an abortion.

theodorakisses Sat 18-May-13 17:53:48

I think that it is very easy to be young and in denial in the UK and get rid of something without really having to face up to it and I was her and it does haunt me. However, there will always be two sides to freedom and humanity and if, at the time I had been forced to face up to my responsibilities I would have, at best, been sectioned. I do agree that it feels as if it is too easy and in guilty hindsight I agree. But the alternative is so Greek granny told me she had 9 kids and 9 abortions, those being on the big mahogany table she left me and the last one almost killed her which was preferable to her than having another in an abusive marriage. I am also pro choice/life but historically and ow, people face terrible choices. The few who don't want to ruin their figure or lifestyle do not outweigh those who suffer real trauma.

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 18:00:20

Surely if you are pro-choice Theodora it doesn't matter if someone chooses to terminate because they are in an abusive marriage or they don't want to ruin their figure?

pigletpower Sat 18-May-13 18:06:41

All aboard the swings and roundabouts...Boring and embarrassing to read.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 18:09:01

Oh it was you pigletpower who sent me the pm saying simply 'CUNT' - very nice - obviously you are very pro woman grin

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 18:12:16

Someone PM'd you 'CUNT'? Why?

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 18:12:20

Theodora, you're right that it's easier to take a theoretical position when the options exist. Your granny's options were reduced to intolerably frequent pregnancies or life-threatening, illegal abortions. Women's safety relies so heavily on fertility control; we forget that while we have it.

You reminded me of a far less drastic, but still very frightening, time when I suspected I might be pregnant while living in a catholic country. It wasn't very likely - but would have been a disaster for me if true. I was seeing someone, not at all seriously, and had no stability in my life either there or back here. To make sure, I needed a MAP. This involved going to a pharmacy and spinning the assistant a line about terrible period cramps and being unable to contact my doctor who normally prescribed progesterone - all the while dropping five-ton hints. I then had to go back five minutes after the pharmacy closed, when I got a pack of Levonelle. It cost £150. The pharmacist and I both risked a prison sentence.

And that's it. That's how serious it is when you have anti-choice laws. You risk prison, and you have to find a professional who will also risk prison for you.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 18:13:19

Someone PM'd you 'CUNT'? Why? wish I knew grin suspect a slight loony element but no idea really!

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 18:14:36

Date:Sat 18-May-13 18:03:14
-see above.There's a dear.;)

in all it's glory hmm - just wondering if anyone else got on or if I am special ?

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 18:15:20


StuffezLaYoni Sat 18-May-13 18:15:24

Fucking hell! What a horrible message. sad

MediumOrchid Sat 18-May-13 18:15:32

Garlicgrump - I am pro-life, or anti-abortion. To call me anti-choice implies that I hold the views I do because I hate women and want to take their freedom to choose away. I hold the views I do because I think it is wrong to end the life of an embryo. It would be easier and less emotive to say pro-abortion and anti-abortion!

Is a baby's right to life worth more than a woman's right to control her own life and her body? Yes, I think it is.

With your example of forced blood and organ donation, the difference is that abortion requires a deliberate act to end a life, whereas not donating blood etc is an inaction.

shock Gordy

I got sent cunt too, thought they were pointing out they'd figured out I'd changed my name. Clearly someone very capable of rational debate.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 18:16:02

gordys confused ?

squoosh Sat 18-May-13 18:17:15

Well that's just lovely.

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 18:17:19

Oh I once had a pro-lifer spit in my face, hit me with a placard and call me a murdering whore ...while I was helping a rape crisis service user attend a BPSA anointment - so I've had worse

a nun once kicked me and David Alton once almost ran me over grin

gordyslovesheep Sat 18-May-13 18:18:07

Oh we can start our own special cunt club!

My bets are that it's a friend of barebranches who, incidentally, is very active on the conception board,which goes a way to explaining why she felt it necessary to freak out on here.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-May-13 18:22:52

shock @ the CUNT messages

That's beyond rude.

If you're going to call someone a cunt, at least do it on the thread where we can all read it grin

Seriously though, what's the point in sending messages like that? confused

Totes jealous gordy, no one ever pm's me.

manic - I hope I haven't offended you with any comments about rape victims wanting to abort. I realise that my view was a bit narrow-minded in that every rape victim who fell pregnant would automatically want an abortion.

manicinsomniac Sat 18-May-13 18:24:25

those of you asking people to use 'correct' terminology of 'anti choice' or 'forced birth' - I don't understand? The official and recognised terms are pro life and pro choice aren't they? You can disagree but you can't say they aren't the terms if they are.

ApocalypseThen Sat 18-May-13 18:24:53

Well I'm pro choice. I think the only control should be that a woman wants an abortion - she should never have to answer anyone as to why, for as long as it's safe for the procedure to be carried out.

I didn't choose abortion, but I'm 100% behind the right of every woman to choose freely for herself.

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 18:25:08

me too horse, I'm well jell. Want me to pm you something unpleasant?

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 18:26:05

Thanks for your reply, Orchid. I don't thing being anti-choice implies you hate women. It implies you want to control other women's lives and their bodies. You want to control women's fertility.

I take your point about action vs. inaction, but again it doesn't hold up to examination. A foetus only has life because of the mother's body: it's essentially parasitical. The viability argument for abortion takes this concept on board, in that the foetus is deemed to have rights to life after the point at which it could survive without the host.

I don't share this viewpoint - I reckon any foetus still in utero is the host's property - but can see a perfect logic to it, for those who wish to fight for foetal rights. How do you support your view that a creature, which cannot live outside an adult's body, has the right to demand such hosting?

^Is a baby's right to life worth more than a woman's right to control her own life and her body?^* Yes, I think it is*

Are you fucking kidding me? You're putting the rights of an unborn child above those of a woman?? WHAT?

Actually I can't bear the idea that its okay for some women to have abortions under some circumstances - that, imo, is more fucked up than saying no one should ever have an abortion at all, because it suggests that some babies are worth more than others and I don't like the idea that something is only okay if you are ticking certain boxes - it's either ending a life or not, an abortion is the same process for a woman who's had a contraception failure as it is for a woman who just crossed her fingers and hoped for the best. And I don't actually think anyone who has had an abortion really wants to be a woman who's had an abortion.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 18:28:13

Manic - because I am not anti life! Using the term "pro life" makes very insulting assumptions about my beliefs! The question is about choice, not life. I'm not saying women must have abortions, I'm saying they should be able to choose. Choice, see? If you disagree with that, you are anti choice. Obviously!

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 18:28:56

YY, Visualise. I thought it better to try & stay calm wink

Badvoc Sat 18-May-13 18:30:52

Forcing a woman to become a mother against her will is tantamount to treating her as a slave or farm animal.

emstats Sat 18-May-13 18:40:00

I think it was pretty insensitive of her to bring it up in the first place. Your totally entitled to your opinion and, unlike her, your not trying to force it on anyone else. Sod her.

MediumOrchid Sat 18-May-13 18:42:18

Garlicgrump - can't you see that I find it as insulting to be called anti choice as you do to be called anti life? Much better to stick to pro/anti abortion!

In answer to your last paragraph, an embryo doesn't demand hosting - it was conceived through no action of it's own! It's not like a parasite, which invades a body.

I don't really get the 'can't survive on its own' argument. Why is that the point at which we decide if an abortion can take place or not? A 24 week foetus, which would be classed viable, can only survive on its own with a lot of medical equipment. And a healthy newborn can't survive for long without its mother's warmth and milk - or someone taking the mother's place.

DisappointedHorse Sat 18-May-13 18:42:21

Very succinctly put Badvoc.

I can't stay calm. This post and the people on it have really pissed me off. I cannot believe that some WOMEN still think it is ok for another woman to become a mother against her wishes.

(I've stayed calm all day with the neighbour's dog staying at ours and barking at everything, and the baby grumbling cos his teeth hurt and OH complaining about work.)

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 18:44:40

"I think that it is very easy to be young and in denial in the UK and get rid of something without really having to face up to it"

But you don't have to be young and in denial to consider abortion...I would have an abortion if I were to get pregnant. I'm not that young (sadly) and I'm certainly not in denial of anything.

garlic is clearly not anti-life...otherwise she'd be asking that everyone have abortions. Which would just be stupid.

hopkinette Sat 18-May-13 18:46:40

I think that it is very easy to be young and in denial in the UK and get rid of something without really having to face up to it

Imagine suggesting that a human being should be brought into existence as a life lesson for a feckless fool. How abysmally stupid.

MediumOrchid Sat 18-May-13 18:48:23

Visualise - I'm sorry that offends you so much. But if, like me, you consider the life of a newborn baby to be as valuable as a 5 week old foetus, it's a logical necessity.

Having said all that, I could consider myself pro-choice as I wouldn't dream of telling someone having an abortion is wrong, or protesting at clinics, or any of that. It's not my business. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite! But I'm afraid I can't help my opinion that abortion is wrong.

thegreylady Sat 18-May-13 18:54:03

I am pro-life usually though I,like many others have 'exceptions'.
If it is shown that the potential child has a severely life limiting condition.
If to continue the pregnancy would endanger the mother's life.
If the mother is less than 16 years old.
If the pregnancy is the result of rape.
I do not agree with abortion after 18 weeks gestation nor when it is a 'convenience'.
BUT I do support every woman's right to make her own decisions.I don't have to agree with her nor would I make the decison myself [when I was of child bearing age].I would support my daughter if she made that decision though I hope she never would.
To ME abortion is killing a child and that is why I couldn't do it.Each to her own I say.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 18:57:41

So Greylady You are not in fact Pro-Life at all are you?

You are anti-abortion for yourself. Thats not pro-life at all.

thegreylady Sat 18-May-13 18:59:55

This business of anyone abusing someone else for holding different views is appalling.However prolife I am [and I guess I really am] I would fight to the last for anyone's right to his/her opinions and to do what she chose [though it would stick in my craw if someone chose to have a viable foetus killed (post 23 weeks) because keeping it became inconvenient].

MediumOrchid Sat 18-May-13 19:00:01

Badvoc - a woman is only forced to become a mother against a will if she is raped and prevented from having an abortion. Which I agree would be horrific. I know this is going to be unpopular but a woman chooses to have sex, and pregnancy is always a risk of having sex - that is its purpose. People seem to think that having consequence free sex is a right, but sometimes the consequence is an sti, and sometimes it's pregnancy, no matter what protection you use.

And yes, I know I'm going to be flamed for saying that.

thegreylady Sat 18-May-13 19:02:25

I suppose what I am is in a muddle-I am 69 years old and my heart tells me that simply abortion is murder but we are human and there are few absolutes.I wouldn't want to go back to desperation and knitting needles in back street rooms but I do hate the casual tossing away of a little life.

HairyLittleCarrot Sat 18-May-13 19:03:05

why are you insulted to be considered anti-choice? It isnt a value-loaded judgement, in fact it is probably the most factual representation of your beliefs.

the other terms are very misleading, I would be described differently depending on circumstances
consider the circumstance where a woman wishes to continue her pregnancy. I support that choice, therefore I am not Pro-abortion, I am pro-life. I support her right to choose.

yet where a woman wishes to terminate I would support that too. the only consistently accurate description of me covering both is pro-choice. Perhaps pro-womens rights?

do you believe other women should have the choice to terminate or continue a pregnancy?
Are you pro-choice
or anti-choice?

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 19:04:38

That's ridiculous greylady. All abortions are for convenience to a greater or lesser degree. Who are u to decide what level of convenience is legitimate?

StuffezLaYoni Sat 18-May-13 19:05:24

Right, mediumorchid. So those of us who never want to become parents should avoid sex for the duration of our lives in case of consequences we may do our utter best to avoid?

(have calmed down a bit now, sorry for getting all sweary.).

Orchid - what about women who have used contraception, and it failed them? Is it ok for her to abort?

And again - isn't that suggesting that a baby from rape/failed contraceptive holds less value than a 'fingers crossed you don't get pregnant, but let's shag anyway' baby? Or, because you were stupid enough to think that you wouldn't get pregnant than you 'deserve' to get pregnant, give birth and spend the rest of your life looking after a child you didn't want? And for that child to born into a family where it wasn't wanted?

OxfordBags Sat 18-May-13 19:06:52

Pro-abortion is simply a very immature term to suggest. No pro-choicer is going around rubbing their hands in glee, thinking "Oooh, lovely, fun abortions, yippee!". No-one's thinking "Yay! Lots of women will be having abortions today, get in!". Abortions are necessary because they re necessary and women have the right to choice one - hence the term pro-choice.

A 5 week old foetus is simply not the same as an actual, living baby. Not in any real, practical sense at all. The similarity exists purely in the minds of anti-abortionists, for whatever reasons, be it that they are too intellectually or emotionally unstable or immature to understand how incredibly different in all ways an embryo and living child are, or that there minds are clouded with irrelevant religious clap trap, or that they are simply incredibly judgemental and wrongly presume that they should have a say in the lives of other and need to get a life, or maybe they are just plain old misogynists or female self-identifying misogynists. I don't really care what the reason is, really, because there an be no true dialogue with someone who cannot and will not see the massive difference, because they are not capable of rational and structured thought on the matter.

Anyone who thinks that abortions are easy things that women just do on a whim to escape from responsibilities disgusts me. They clearly do not live in the real world, they make it obvious they struggle with even the most basic skills of perception and empathy, and yet they wade in with their illogical, judgemental, hateful, scientifically-dodgy crap, trying to present themselves as the ones who care about people.

Well, what about the actual LIVING BEINGS? The women who have to carry the pregnancy are reall living people, with needs and lives and feelings and problems and people depending on them. They matter more than something growing inside them. They have more rights. They take priority. To say differently is to actually be anti-life, not pro-life. Placing your priorities on something not het fully real over a real person indicates psychological disturbance and a lack of true morality that is then covered up with emotive outpourings and proclamations of 'caring', etc. I personally think many pro-lifers are using the issue as a crutch to not look at real problems in their own life, or the world around them, and also lack true empathy and caring and use it as a method to cover this up and deny it to themselves. Otherwise, what it the reason for wanting to deny someone real rights over something that is not yet real?!

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 19:07:14


I have had 2 terminations and I can tell you without fear of contradiction from anyone else who has had one, that it is not "the casual tossing away of a little life". I agonised for weeks before both and I am confident that I made the right decision both times. Will it stay with me forever? Yes. Do I regret it? No. I would have regretted having to stay in an abusive relationship or having contact with my abuser far more because I had given birth to his child.

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 19:08:36

Of course the unborn child has no choice hairy... This discussion of terminology is really all about perspective.

Theironfistofarkus Sat 18-May-13 19:09:00

I am pro-choice. But I really find comparing a foetus to a parasite and describing it as the property of a host unecessary and upsetting. Spare a thought for those who have lost babies before birth here please!

ethelb Sat 18-May-13 19:10:02

OP, I think you are getting a slightly hard time here. I personally think some of your views are a bit naive, however, your friend wasn't exactly being tactful or even that pro-"choice" if she is shouting at you that women have a right to decide what happenes to their own bodies but doesn't respect your view that you have a living human being inside you!

Infact she sounds quite self-absorbed as she has made your difficult situation (getting mat leave etc) all about her and her political/ethical views. In fact I think she is a bit of a shit friend tbh.

I do hate the casual tossing away of a little life.

I hate that idea too - but I honestly don't think that the vast majority of women will do it casually. I have never met anyone with the view of 'ah well, if I get preggers, I'll just get it aborted'. I think its a minuscule amount of women who use abortion as contraceptive.

thegreylady Sat 18-May-13 19:10:35

Eglantine if a life is at risk 'convenience' doesn't come ito it.If a young girl has been raped convenience does not come into it.If a foetus has anencephaly convenience does not come into it. If a healthy 20+ thinks "Oh shit being pregnany screws up my Summer," then that isn't on in my opinion'.

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 19:12:11

"They [women] matter more than something growing inside them."

A thousand times this. A living, breathing, feeling adult woman who is already alive will always, always trump the cells growing inside her in my opinion.

StuffezLaYoni Sat 18-May-13 19:13:22

But grey lady those are criteria YOU'VE decided on. Why are your criteria more important than mine?

HairyLittleCarrot Sat 18-May-13 19:13:22

some posters don't seem to realise their opinions seem to imply that they believe
"you willingly had sex, for reasons other than procreation. You deserve your unwanted pregnancy as some kind of punishment for daring to do this"

Theres almost a glee in "consequences" being visited upon women for having sex. And an unspoken admittance that an unwanted pregnancy is a punishment.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 19:14:29

an embryo doesn't demand hosting

No, Orchid, you demand on its behalf. I wonder if you'd be prepared to have it transplanted into your body, to protect its "rights"? Obv not medically possible at present, but it's interesting how keen you are to sign another woman up to share her organs.

can't you see that I find it as insulting to be called anti choice as you do to be called anti life?

You ARE anti-choice. You are against women having a choice. I'm not against women having babies, so am not anti-life.

EglantinePrice Sat 18-May-13 19:15:28

And if it just fucks up the career that you've spent years working towards? Just confused as to how its ok for some women but not others...

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 19:16:45

Ironfist, I'm sorry my terminology upset you.

If it's any comfort, I'm the queen of miscarriages and was unable to carry full-term.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 19:19:57

an unwanted pregnancy is a punishment

Yes, how lovely for that little life you anti-choicers are so keen to protect: to be a punishment on its mother.

Wow, that's a recipe for a happy family hmm

Theironfistofarkus Sat 18-May-13 19:20:35

Apology accepted and sorry to hear that garlic.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 19:22:54

Cheers smile

mathanxiety Sat 18-May-13 19:23:03

if your anti abortion stance is fueled by the reasons women have them - then it's anti women rather than pro life. I had a pro life friend who argued that if society valued women and children then all the support a woman would ever need would be there and she wouldn't need to terminate - a little wishy washy but not anti women at all

I agree with this post and the sentiment of the friend mentioned.
Your mention of a 'party lifestyle' and 'couldn't be arsed' feelings are the sort of comments I would expect to hear in the Irish debate on abortion. I also agree with the posters who said your friend had no right to question your decision - it was insensitive at best. However, I can't help wondering if she had been a rape victim and whether your party lifestyle comment hit a nerve.

I think from a 'big picture' pov -- the picture where economies and philosophies and questions of rights and access to all the modern world offers in terms of education and opportunity exist -- abortion is the easy way out. On a personal level I don't think it can ever be easy. But on the level of legislation and welfare and legal rights and the apparently difficult area where the rights and responsibilities of men as fathers are concerned it is easier to legislate for abortion than to legislate for true equality or fairness for women -- look at the Equal Rights Amendment sinking without trace in the US at the same time that Roe vs Wade ushered in the right to abortion. Look at the paltry minimum wage anywhere in the world there is one. Look at the recent disaster in Bangladesh for an example of the way the wheels of commerce are allowed to grind the poor - with very few objecting, and poor women (and their orphans) being the ones paying the price. Children who lose their mother in the so-called developing world have very poor prospects.

Unfortunately the current Irish debate centers only on the baby's rights and on [mis]characterisations of women and their motives, and not on the sort of savage environment where anyone finding herself pregnant would be forced to look seriously at abortion as an option. A responsible debate on abortion would place the question in the context of pitiful sentences/deterrents for rape, pitiful minimum wage, practically non-existent facilities for free and good quality childcare in the workplace or in the community, hopeless access to decent quality housing, the fact that women are forced to deal with an abusive man without sympathy or backup from the courts and without regard for the toll that takes on the woman (and often on the child) for years and years after separation or divorce, simply because they had a child with him. A responsible debate would not pit the rights of one individual against another while the third element of the situation emerges unscathed every single time.

It is possible to be against something but still allow others to choose what they do with their own life.
I agree with this too. I think from the pov of justice the logical result of acknowledging that women are equal and free is that they should have the choice. I just wish nobody had to make that choice.

Regarding the party comment, that part of the argument was about whether it should be universally legalised, not individual cases. I'm not a militant pro life kind of person, and I agree that a woman should not be forced to have a rapist's child, however easy access to an abortion for a woman who just can't be arsed to be a mother bothered me. i dont know, it's hard to draw the line I suppose.

In my opinion, legal for one has to be legal for all. Legal only for rape victims or women whose life is threatened by pregnancy leads to all sorts of problems, loophole exploitation, medical problems arising from delay and stress, and horrible 'solutions' including the Girl X case in Ireland where the right to abortion based on one of the exceptions recognised by Ireland of a 14 year old girl who had been raped by the father of her friend was decided in the courts, with attendant pain and anxiety on top of being raped, or the case of Savita Halappananvar whose incompetent doctors put the potential for life of a foetus living in a uterus from which most of the amniotic fluid had drained and who was therefore at risk of potentially fatal infection (to both mother and foetus) ahead of their duty to both the mother and the foetus (the foetus was doomed once the amniotic sac was breached and they should have administered antibiotics at the very least to Savita). Legal for some can end up with both the life of the mother and the life of the foetus jeopardised.

This is what I mean by pitiful sentencing /deterrents when I speak of rapists:
From The X Case chronology and commentary.
"5 March 2002: The victim’s perpetrator is sentenced to 42-months in prison for the kidnap and sexual assault of another young girl. Back in 1992, he was sentenced to four years for the unlawful carnal knowledge of Miss X."
This man had sexually assaulted Girl X for two years before getting her pregnant. He got four flipping years in 1992 despite the comments of the judge that he was 'an evil and depraved man'. What do those words mean, exactly, when the sentence is a mere 48 months? He did it again to another victim once released. He got 42 months that time. There is extreme reluctance on the part of the world's court systems to see rape as a serious crime that deserves serious and meaningful punishment and that must be discouraged.

This is something Ireland badly needs to address.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 19:31:23

What a thoughtful, impassioned post, math. Thanks.

CoalDustWoman Sat 18-May-13 19:38:38

Can I ask a question of those who are anti abortion except in cases of rape?

Who decides if the woman was raped and therefore eligible for an abortion? Because most rape cases don't even get reported, let alone get to trial. And trials often happen months later. And if a jury couldn't say it was rape beyond reasonable doubt, then they are found not guilty, even if rape actually occurred. What about the woman who found herself being penetrated by a man who claimed he thought she was his girlfriend and was found not guilty of rape? What if she had become pregnant?

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 19:43:42

Well exactly coal, it's fraught with problems and limitations.

CoalDustWoman Sat 18-May-13 19:43:44

Oh, and a million other questions about the worthiness or otherwise of a product of rape rather than consensual penetration.

LineRunner Sat 18-May-13 19:46:24

Coal, A very important point, especially where people who claim to be 'pro-life' are often the same people who think there is 'real rape'.

It's just a practical, moral and political nonsense.

The only meaningful issue for me is that women have bodily autonomy.

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 18-May-13 20:47:12


We know that this is an emotive subject and we don't want to get in the way of the debate, but we'd appreciate it if you remembered our talk guidelines before you post.


MediumOrchid Sat 18-May-13 21:09:41

Too many posts to answer everything, sorry. I know we are not going to agree on this issue, and I don't have the energy to continue this debate all night!

Just a couple of points though:

Oxfordbags - I'm afraid my mind is clouded with irrelevant religious claptrap, sorry about that.

I'm not saying that the consequences of being anti-abortion aren't really, really difficult. But it all comes back to whether we have the right to end a human life, at any age. If we believe that we don't, it has some really difficult consequences.

hopkinette Sat 18-May-13 21:17:17

it all comes back to whether we have the right to end a human life

Why should an unborn person have rights that no born person has? No born human being has the right to use my body without my consent. Why should any unborn human being?

HairyLittleCarrot Sat 18-May-13 21:21:48

well said hopkinette.

and further, why should I have less rights than another human? than a man? than a non-pregnant woman? than a child?

how to enshrine in law that others can have complete bodily autonomy but a pregnant woman has less rights in law?

seeker Sat 18-May-13 21:25:33

I would also defend to the death the right of a woman not to have an abortion if she doesn't want to.

HairyLittleCarrot Sat 18-May-13 21:28:34

If only people could separate the concepts of
"I don't like that this happens"
"I wish it were possible to legally restrict and punish others who believe differently to me"

I was upset at the man who swore next to my 5 year old today. I wish he hadn't done it. But I'm thankful I live in a country that allows us to freely express ourselves without fear of the law and I would defend his rights to do so even if I found the way he exercised his rights abhorrent.

Can't people see that to in any way restrict the bodily autonomy of pregnant women is to formally make them less than other humans under the law?

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 21:38:04

why should [a pregnant woman] have less rights than another human? than a man? than a non-pregnant woman? than a child?

Okaaaay ... Just a bit of a ramble but, you know how when you're pregnant, half the world feels entitled to pat your tummy, tell you where to stand/sit, condemn your smoking/drinking/diet, etc, etc? Then they lean into your baby's pram, chuck her little cheeks and continue with the diet/exercise/etc commentary? Annoying, huh.

When I was small - 50 years or so back - it was still vocally acknowledged that communities somehow felt babies were "shared" - not literally, but there was a clear sense of having babies for the community. Probably something to do with post-war repopulation in those days, but it goes back further and runs deep. When humans first formed tribal settlements, population growth was essential: bigger communities could farm more, fight harder and trade more energetically. In those days, too, babies would be literally children of the community: interrelated and communally raised. Human instincts can take a very long time to catch up with the times.

None of this excuses any de-individualisation of the pregnant woman, or erosion of her rights, but it does go some way towards explaining why people often assume a right to know her business! It's an archaic throwback. Perhaps you'd like to inform the next busybody so wink

sandberry Sat 18-May-13 21:41:03

I feel it is a women's right to refuse to support another (potential) human being with her body at any time. Of course it is. How can we compel anyone to use her body to sustain another's life.

I don't think a woman necessarily has the right to end the life of the fetus prior to birth and that once born a child should be offered medical care appropriate to gestation as any child would be.

I am pro life in that I support the right to life of any being that can survive without being dependent on another being's body to survive.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:03:30

I dont get the argument that if someone is a 20+ healthy person then they shouldnt have a termination.

What if she just isnt ready to be a mother? What kind of life would that unwanted child have? Emotional neglect? Physical neglect culminating in a life in care? We see that now with people who WANT the children they are expecting, to take away the right to termination for women actively dont want, and have tried to avoid, becoming pregnant would create horrific situations.

I am also appalled at the way the pro-life lobby wash their hands of any sense of societal responsibility when a woman who didnt terminate is struggling with motherhood, either emotionally or financially. Having a baby isnt simply being pregnant and giving birth, it is a lifelong commitment. The sooner the anti abortion lobby realise this, the better. If that means that they start to support women after birth for as long as they need it, then great, they are putting their money where their mouths are. But all I see at the moment is "Good, we persuaded you to not have an abortion, now off you go"

Karoleann Sat 18-May-13 22:05:35

OP its such an emotive subject, if you were them one who was raped, had a scan that showed your child was seriously malformed, you may feel differently. That poor woman in Ireland who was refused a termination for ununsavable baby, and then died. It's the sort of thing you imagine happening in Afghanistan.

But, to terminate a perfectly healthy baby after 12 weeks, when its not just a bundle of cells, but a human with arms and legs and a healthy beating heart, just because its an inconvenience, surely isn't right. I don't want any more children, but if I did get pregnant again, I can't imagine killing my own child, just to fit in with my lifestyle.

hopkinette Sat 18-May-13 22:10:11

to terminate a perfectly healthy baby after 12 weeks, when its not just a bundle of cells, but a human with arms and legs and a healthy beating heart, just because its an inconvenience, surely isn't right

Pregnancy isn't "an inconvenience." Being a parent isn't "an inconvenience." Not being able to find a parking place is an inconvenience. Stop being facile.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:12:53

Karol Who has terminations because the baby is "inconvenient"? No one I know, I certainly didnt. I spent weeks trying to convince myself that it would all be ok, but I knew it wouldnt be and in the end I did terminate. I felt that I had no choice as I couldnt bring a baby into the horrible life it would have had at that time.

Do you really think that anyone goes into it without thinking seriously about whether it is the best thing to do? To say that a 27 year old who got pregnant on a ONS (say) so would be a single mother and isnt ready for parenthood is terminating for conveniences sake is insulting in the extreme.

And why the 12 weeks cut off? Why not 10, 8 6?

CoalDustWoman Sat 18-May-13 22:13:22

Karoleann, you don't have to.

manicinsomniac Sat 18-May-13 22:14:58

Exactly coaldust.That attitude makes me feel like my daughter is less valuable than other children because her 'father' raped me. The idea that a child could be aborted just because s/he was conceived unwillingly is so foreign to me. It's still a child.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:15:07

Karol to put it another way. What if your husband left you for another woman, left the country and cleared your accounts (this happened on MN not that long ago). You have the children you currently have, no money, cant afford the rent and will be soon made homeless. You then find out you are 10 weeks pregnant by him. Can you honestly say that you wouldnt consider abortion?

CoalDustWoman Sat 18-May-13 22:17:37

And, yes. That there exists this myth of the casual abortion seeker makes me grimace.

Yup, I stand by my contempt for anti-choicers, or let's just call them what they are: woman-haters.

Because anti-choicers really do hate women. They love foetuses because foetuses aren't actually people; foetuses don't answer back, or pinch money out of your purse, or listen to unsuitable music, or throw up on the new carpet. They consider women to be walking incubators, who cannot be allowed to prioritize anything (their jobs, their homes, their health, their lives) over their duty to breed.

But the key indicator that anti-choicers are moronic, woman-hating scum is this line they are always trotting out about women having late abortions 'for convenience.' In their eyes, women are all capricious, selfish and cruel, and would all decide to abort at 39 weeks on a whim unless they are controlled by men wiser authorities.

edam Sat 18-May-13 22:22:11

A 12 week old foetus isn't a human being. It's a potential human being - 8cm long and 14g. It does not and cannot have an independent existence and does not and cannot have more 'rights' than its mother.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:24:14

Pro-Life is the most misogynistic campaign ever. You only have to look at the protesters, a couple of young women with their own children in buggies and a plethora of elderly women and middle aged men.

Men have NO RIGHT in the abortion argument, none at all. I dont care that it is an unpopular view but thats how I feel. It sickens me when I see footage of a middle aged man spouting forth on the rights of the child, etc. They day men can have babies is the day they get a say in what we do with our bodies, not a second sooner.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:25:09

sorry that should be "Men have NO RIGHT to be involved in the abortion argument"

Blistory Sat 18-May-13 22:25:18

Women are either legally entitled to terminate a pregnancy or they are not. Doesn't matter why they want one or when they want one or how many they have. Women either have autonomy over their bodies or they don't.

It took me a long time to reconcile my feelings of horror over the possibility of late terminations with my views above but I firmly believe that 'as early as possible, as late as necessary' is the only way to ensure that we respect the rights of all women over their bodies. Either abortion is an acceptable option or it isn't.

I would prefer that no woman ever had to choose to terminate a pregnancy but we don't live in a perfect world.

girliefriend Sat 18-May-13 22:27:13

When I was at university one of my housemates had 4 abortions in 3 years. This was very much because she in her own words was 'rubbish with contraception.' I found this difficult and I am very pro choice.

When I found myself pregnant and on my own quite a few people suggested it would be better if I had a termination shock not sure who it would be better for...... hmm

Callycat Sat 18-May-13 22:30:21

I am also appalled at the way the pro-life lobby wash their hands of any sense of societal responsibility

Agreed. But it illustrates that an anti-abortion stance is rarely about concern for the potential offspring. It's about keeping women in their place. It's much easier to sit in your armchair and squeal about nasty women murdering babies than it is to get of your arse and help raise the unwanted children who you insist should be born.

Callycat Sat 18-May-13 22:30:59

"Off", even. Gah.

hopkinette Sat 18-May-13 22:31:28

That there exists this myth of the casual abortion seeker makes me grimace

Fair point. However, I also think it's problematic that women should be expected to agonise endlessly over the decision, because to me that seems to perpetuate the idea that all women actually do want to have children. I don't want to be pregnant and I don't want to be a parent. I know this. I have an IUD but if it failed I would seek a termination, and I don't anticipate that there'd be any hand-wringing involved. It makes me uneasy that we are expected to qualify the belief that women should be allowed to have abortions with the condition that they feel appropriately sad about it.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:31:36

I would prefer that no woman ever had to choose to terminate a pregnancy

I am sure most of us would agree with this, pro life or pro choice. Because it would mean that there were no abusive relationships, more support, more acceptance, less judgement and 100% reliable contraception.

But there isnt sad

twofingerstoGideon Sat 18-May-13 22:33:17

MediumOrchid can't you see that I find it as insulting to be called anti choice as you do to be called anti life? Much better to stick to pro/anti abortion!

The phrase 'pro-abortion obviously suits your rhetoric, but it's an inaccurate way of describing pro-choicers.

I strongly object to being called 'pro-abortion' because it suggests that I would actively advocate for abortion in all circumstances when the point of being pro-choice is that you believe in a woman's right to autonomy over her own body (ie. you take a stance of non-interference, unlike most anti-abortionists/anti-choicers I've come across.)

thegreylady Sat 18-May-13 22:34:00

I know this isn't a popular viewpoint but if someone becomes pregnant through carelessness,doesn't bother with a morning after pill and then doesn't bother until she is over 12 weeks pregnant; I don't see why a baby can't be adopted by someone desperate to have a baby. There will always be cases to argue. No baby is a 'parasite' and no mother merely a 'host'.
Society can accommodate all pov and help should always be available. I just don't think abortion should be regarded as back up contraception which is,sadly, the attitude of many .

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:34:17

Hopkinette do you mind if I ask if you have ever had a termination?

I was very black and white about it, until it happened to me and then I realised that it really wasnt as simple as "having something removed". I did feel a huge sense of responsibility, and I wanted to be sure that it was the right decision.

rainbowbrite1980 Sat 18-May-13 22:34:30

YANBU - I am also pro-life, and for me it is not the woman's choice to make, to end another person's life. However, I think you could have been more sensitive in the way you expressed the viewpoint. I do know people who have had terminations because the pregnancy wasn't convenient, but I don't think it was an easy experience for them. And it's worth considering that your friend might have had experiences you don't know about, hence her reaction.

Blistory Sat 18-May-13 22:35:52

Because you cannot force a woman to continue with an unwanted pregnancy. It's not humane.

MinnieBar Sat 18-May-13 22:36:19

girliefriend I don't think it's a massive leap to assume that your university friend had more, deep-seated issues going on than just 'being crap with contraception'.

hopkinette Sat 18-May-13 22:38:11

Bogey yes I have. The instant I knew I was pregnant I knew I wasn't going through with it. I would have killed myself if I'd not been able to terminate.

MinnieBar Sat 18-May-13 22:39:59

Also, being pregnant has a huge impact on the health of the woman. SGM wrote/linked to a blog post about all the many long- and short-term issues that pregnancy can and does have. And no one has the right to force a woman to continue with a pregnancy, even if it's going to end in a 'good' outcome of adoption.

Bogeyface Sat 18-May-13 22:40:37

grey But it isnt the attitude of "many". It is the attitude of some, yes and that is unfortunate, but rare.

"Just have them adopted" oh, if only it were that simple. I had my eldest when I was 17, I was very anti abortion then and decided I would "just" have him adopted. Nice easy choice. I was that naive. I cant believe now, looking back, that I thought it would be that easy!

It is impossible to describe sitting in a hospital room with my parents, my mother telling me it was for the best and my father fighting back tears that he might never see his newborn grandson again, deciding whether to walk out without him.

Your suggestion is terrifyingly close to the forced adoptions that happened to many many women in the last century. Being sent away, having the baby and then having it taken away because you wanted an abortion and couldnt have one, or take home the baby you know love but are in position to take proper care of, until it is taken into care. You really think that that is an acceptable thing to suggest?! I am appalled, I really am.

ActiveTopics Sat 18-May-13 22:42:46


CoalDustWoman Sat 18-May-13 22:43:31

hopkinette, I totally agree and didn't expand as I should. I don't care why a woman wants an abortion, providing it is her decision. And i would like her to have support if she needs it. And for her not to be berated if she's matter of fact about it.

When I was pregnant, more than one person suggested I think about terminating. I decided not to do so, and have a lovely DS. But that was my choice. Something I formerly used to say to all the bucketheads insisting that 'contraceptive failure' was some sort of moral failing and that promiscuous women shouldn't be allowed abortions was: maybe the fact that I never had an abortion was because I wasn't fertile - after all, you don't know how fertile you actually are unless/until you start trying.

I have never had an abortion and can safely say I never will (I can safely say that now because I am nearly 50 and menopausal so will never concieve again). But I still support the right of every woman to choose for herself whether or not to continue a pregnancy. As early as possible, as late as necessary.

BasilBabyEater Sat 18-May-13 22:49:02

You're not pro-life, you're pro-forced-birth.

Own it.

Those of you who don't believe women should have the right to have legal, safe abortions, are arguing for forcing women to go through with pregnancies and birthing experiences against their will.

How incredibly cruel and inhumane.

None of you would force a man to go through the things women have to go through for during pregnancy and birth for the sake of another human being's welfare and life. Men have the right to put themselves and their interests first, but women don't - because women are lesser beings than men, not quite as fully human as them.

That's why being in favour of forcing women to give birth against their will, is incompatible with being a feminist. If you believe that women should be denied safe, legal abortions under certain circumstances, then you believe women's lives are simply not worth as much as men's. Men can't even be forced to give blood against their will in order to save another human being's life, much less use of their kidney or heart or any other organ. But a woman can be forced to risk her own life and lend crucial parts of her body for someone else's benefit when she really doesn't want to? And that's feminism? Funny sort of feminism IMO.

Also: I was adopted as a baby. I was born three years before abortion became legal in the UK. I suspect that I was a forced adoption, and while I believe that continuing a pregnancy and having the baby adopted is a valid choice (and one I considered when I was PG), I am just as glad that it's now feasible for a woman to raise a child without a male partner as I am glad that women can (mostly) choose abortion if that's the option that works best for them.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 18-May-13 23:18:16

If feminism means you have to support fullterm abortions I would rather be a mysoginist any day of the week. I do not equate abortion and feminism because many feminists I know would not consider abortion themselves but would never judge another woman for having one. What is stopping them I cannot say for sure more than likely personal cultural and for them their personal moral considerations. You do not have to be willing to consider having an abortion yourself to be a feminist.Personally I sit in the grey areas for abortion they are appropriate in some situations and inappropriate in other situations like late pregnancy.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 23:24:12

Grey, you argue against yourself when you say "if someone becomes ... over 12 weeks pregnant; I don't see why a baby can't be adopted by someone desperate to have a baby. There will always be cases to argue. No baby is a 'parasite' and no mother merely a 'host'."

In that scenario, you have designated the woman as a 'host' or incubator for a child which another parent will rear (or an institution.)

I wonder what you thought of Bogey's story? I was about to evoke it theoretically, Bogey, I'm so very sorry you went through it for real.

garlicgrump Sat 18-May-13 23:29:32

many feminists I know would not consider abortion themselves but would never judge another woman for having one

Yes - that's being pro-choice.

See, this is the harm that dishonest slogan, "pro-life", does. It makes people suppose the opposition's as controlling as them; trying to push a 'pro-abortion' agenda. Not so. Pro-choice means pro CHOICE.

OxfordBags Sat 18-May-13 23:33:47

Anti-abortion nuts are all about the grief porn, and the needs of semi-sociopathic inadequate personalities to create some smokescreen appearance of caring around themselves, IMHO. Far from being all about caring, the dignity of life, human rights, love, all of those very wonderful things, look at what they say, look at what they focus on, look at what they want, look at what they prioritise: the misogynist judging of women and their lifestyles, as though only feckless young slags who think abortion is as easy as taking a paracetamol ever get terminations, talk of women getting rid of babies so they can keep partying or whatever (totally overlooking the fact that why someone has an abortion is none of their fucking business), the way they get upset at the idea that abortion might not cause suffering to women who have them, the innate belief that women do not have the final say in what happens to their own bodies, or that motherhood must be an inevitable outcome for all women, the fixation in their literature and rhetoric about the more gruesome aspects of termination; tiny broken bodies and so on, way beyond what could be considered even remotely reasonable as part of their argument, going on and on about embryos and foetuses as though they are exactly the same as living humans outside the womb, the casual throwing about of adoption as a magical cure-all, as though the pregnancy matters not a jot to the woman forced to maintain a pregnancy she does not and can not go through with, the absolute refusal or inability to consider what might happen to an unwanted child if it is born to parents or a parent who is resentful, unwilling, perhaps unable to parent decently, whose life is ruined as a result of having an unwanted child. Even if they do a decent job, why should they have to? It's very easy to focus your attention on the unborn and try to kid yourself and others that it means you are a caring person. But what really matters is reality, who exists right here and now, and their needs. There's something truly fucked-up about a person who cares less about real people than a bundle of cells.

The world is so full of damaged, unhappy people, making others unhappy because they were parented badly, even by parents who actively wanted them; why introduce more of this into society? I'm not suggesting that having an unwanted child automatically would make someone parent badly, but it's not the best start for anyone involved. If people truly care about the rights of children, they want children to have the best starts in life , the best parents possible, to be wanted and loved, etc.

Life is not about everyone possible being born, it is about taking good care of those who do get to be born.

OxfordBags Sat 18-May-13 23:36:54

Good point, Garlic. I cannot imagine ever having an abortion, and am lucky I have never (yet) been in a scenario that would require that decision BUT what I would do has zero bearing on what anyone else has the right and need to do. CHOICE is the key here.

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 23:41:24

"I don't see why a baby can't be adopted by someone desperate to have a baby"

Because 'just having a baby' is not like picking up a loaf of bread from the supermarket. It is pregnancy, childbirth, agony, pain, potential illness, potential death, permanant changes to your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

I am not going to go through that against my will for anyone, born or unborn.

CoalDustWoman Sat 18-May-13 23:42:20

If you can't imagine a scenario where you might consider not wanting to continue a pregnancy, then I would suggest working on your empathy and imagination skills.

What about the situation I mentioned above? Where a stranger staying in an adjoining hotel room came into your room and penetrated you whilst you were sleeping because he "thought" you were his girlfriend? If you became pregnant from that situation, what would you do? What would your thought processes be?

CoalDustWoman Sat 18-May-13 23:45:14

And he was found not guilty of rape, so the I'll-say-that-rape-victims-are-excluded-so-I-don't-sound-totally-heartless thing won't work.

Oxford - great rant!

MoistPlinth Sat 18-May-13 23:47:14

I am against abortion but would not judge a woman for having one. Although I find abortions over the 12 week limit particularly's a proper little baby then and not just a cluster of cells. I don't think my views are outdated, I just find it hard to deal with the concept of killing a little thing (not saying that anyone else finds this easy's a tricky one)

I think YABU about the party lifestyle comment.

YANBU to have the general opinion that abortion is wrong - everyone can have their own opinion and you haven't tried to force your views on anyone.

MoistPlinth Sat 18-May-13 23:48:03

I would just like to add that I was raped and had to consider the possibility that I was pregnant...

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 23:51:31

"It's a proper little baby then and not just a cluster of cells"

No it isn't. It looks recognisably like a human baby but it is still underdeveloped and cannot survive on it's own.

Blistory Sat 18-May-13 23:51:38

I think you'll find that most feminists who believe "as early as possible, as late as necessary" are only arguing that the woman has the right to terminate the pregnancy, not to thereafter terminate a viable foetus. So a woman in week 30 has every right to request the pregnancy be terminated but it doesn't mean that the baby cannot be delivered alive.

And late term terminations are extremely rare. I can't imagine there are many women who WANT one but there are women who NEED one, for whatever reason.

And I'm a little tired of hearing how a termination has to be a traumatic, emotional experience that scars women. Women shouldn't be made to feel guilty or less of a woman for being able to cope with a termination. Ending an unwanted pregnancy is very different from miscarrying a wanted pregnancy. Many women are simply relieved but it's not socially acceptable to admit that.

So in answer to the OP, my view is that you cannot be a feminist and not support the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy.

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 00:02:47

Garlic my main problem with my experience having my son is reconciling my pre birth thoughts of "Oh, I'll just have it adopted" with the knowledge of how I felt once I had had him.

At 17 with no experience of babies, no urge to be a mother and no ability to care for him properly, I loved him. The second I saw him I would have died for him. Thankfully, when I decided (decided! it was a done deal the second he was born) to take him home, my mum helped and supported us both. I was very lucky and so was DS. But many young women dont have that support and it terrifies me that the "just have it adopted" view would end up with many young women taking home babies that they love but cant care for. Or back to the "Well, he needs a proper family so we are taking your baby and giving him to Mr and Mrs Wantababy".

Its going back to the bad old days.

I will never ever forget that day though. I cant describe it, but "just have the baby adopted" turns my stomach every time I see it.

mathanxiety Sun 19-May-13 00:43:45

I think it's really important to stop slinging mud at each other over this issue, to drop all references to 'convenience' and 'lifestyle' and even 'rape' and 'forced birth'. It's important to dial down the rhetoric and find some way to come together to improve life for all women beyond anything we recognise now. Until life is changed drastically to the point where keeping the baby is always going to be the easiest option there will be abortion. There has always been abortion, whether legal or illegal, and there always will be as long as the odds are stacked against women and for money and those who tend to have it.

We should focus on the hopes we have in common. We should make it a priority to seek the welfare of all women. Nobody else is going to look out for us but ourselves -- that is the one lesson that history teaches us.

mathanxiety Sun 19-May-13 00:44:42

By 'rape' I do not mean to imply that rape is 'alleged rape'. I used the quotation marks to quote.

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 00:46:25

YY, Bogey: the shocking contrast between "Just have it adopted" and the realities of birth; flooding emotions; the terror of either having your baby taken from you or facing lonely destitution with a helpless child. I'm so glad you were supported by your parents. Many aren't, and that's such a dreadful risk force on a young woman ...

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 00:53:43

What really pisses me off is that many of the people who moan about the blight that young single mothers are on society hmm are the same pro-lifers!

If the support was there then you wouldnt have young women struggling to bring up their children or seeking abortions because they cant go it alone.

Again: 'pro-lifers' hate women. The more aggressive and involved they are in anti-abortion activism, the more they hate women. Their position is not even about 'loving the unborn', it's about wanting women to be legally designated subhuman and placed in the ownership and under the control of men. These are the people who will state, publicly, that women don't get pregnant if it's 'real rape'. The next time you hear (or indeed spread) some scaremongering shit about drinking alcohol in pregnancy, it's come from these people, who want it to be illegal for women of childbearing age to drink alcohol, in case they are pregnant. These are also the people who want to ban sex education that isn't abstinence-based, the morning after pill, contraception, state-funded childcare and any state assistance to single mothers. None of it's about 'loving life'.

mathanxiety Sun 19-May-13 01:06:46

Similarly, arguments about what is or isn't a human being or how long a foetus would survive without a mother are moot -- there are many grandparents who couldn't survive without 24/7 support from their carers after all, and many people with disabilities who also couldn't survive without constant support. If you were giving birth to a puppy or kitten then having it taken away for adoption or the prospect of taking care of it mightn't be as daunting. The visceral No Way feeling that arises when the idea of adoption is proposed indicates that the matter is not as black and white as it may seem. I think a position like StuntGirl's is quite extreme and doesn't really take into account the gut reaction of most women when faced with a pregnancy that poses a problem. The same women in different circumstances rejoice if the prospect for the baby seems positive, and are happy to call it a baby and hear their friends and family do the same.

Society can accommodate all pov and help should always be available. I agree with this comment from TheGreyLady.

Angloamerican Sun 19-May-13 01:14:31

OP, you have nothing to apologise for. Your friend, however, does. I am dumbfounded that she thought it appropriate to suggest to a woman - who is almost halfway through a pregnancy - that perhaps she should kill her child.

Because this is the crux of the issue: abortion is killing a child. How you reconcile the notions of a woman's autonomy over her body versus a child's right to life is your business (general you). But don't kid yourself a that abortion is anything other than killing a child. These ridiculous "bunch of cells" arguments do nothing but reduce the standard of debate to junior-school levels. Be pro-choice all you like, but be adult enough to say that you support a woman's choice to kill her child.

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 01:16:49

SGB I read the "real rape" argument, based on the concept that the female body wont allow pregnancy from rape. I was so sickened that this was being put over as fact.

I feel that a person can declare themselves against abortion because of their beliefs regarding life, conception, their religion etc. I dont agree with them, but I respect their beliefs. However, declaring oneself as "Pro Life" isnt a belief, it is a political statement and one that is misogynistic. Pro Life used to mean being opposed to abortion but not anymore. Now it means using a womans ability to choose bear (or not) children as a stick to beat her with. I do think that the Pro Life movement started with good intentions but was appropriated by those that seek to put us in our place and saw a good tool with which to do that.

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 01:19:10

I did not "kill" my child. I ended a pregnancy.

Your emotive bullshit is no less "junior-school" than the bunch of cells argument.

StuntGirl Sun 19-May-13 01:22:58

Oh gosh, I don't think my views are the most extreme on this thread by a long way!

Angloamerican Sun 19-May-13 01:23:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

StuntGirl Sun 19-May-13 01:27:07

Anglo, while that is your opinion bogey and many others do not subscribe to the same opinion. Please do not try to guilt or shame her over having a different opinion to you.

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 01:28:19

What about my many "children", then, none of whom stuck long enough to reach the third trimester? Did I kill them? Did they commit suicide? How far do you take this ludicrous fallacy of the independent foetus?

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 01:29:01

ACtually, I had to abortions. But neither time did I kill my child.

I have six children. I havent murdered any of them, so no, I have not killed a child.

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 01:30:02

two not to

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 01:31:59

Garlic I would like to know that too, I have suffered many miscarriages. Perhaps they were my punishment....

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 01:37:01

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garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 01:41:11

I'd like Anglo to consider some less-than black/white questions. Once you broaden the definition of 'killing', as you have done, Anglo, then you're obliged to explain whether you consider some 'killings' more acceptable than others.

So - miscarriages; did I commit murder by accident? Were they suicides? If neither, how would you define them?

How about my friend who, carrying triplets, was told they were suffocating each other and had to choose whether to abort one or face the likelihood of all three dying? Did she kill that triplet, or do you have another word for it? Had she decided not to abort and they all died, would she have been more or less of a murderer?

Think of young or fragile girls, pregnant before their bodies are strong enough, at very high risk of death in childbirth. Who do you prefer to kill: mother or child?

If you find these questions offensive, it's because your choice of terms is offensive.

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 01:41:49

Bogey, you're being courageous here. I salute you.

Angloamerican Sun 19-May-13 01:42:34

Assuming you didn't willingly undergo a surgical intervention with the primary purpose of "ending the pregnancy" then no, you didn't kill them. And I'm sorry for your losses. I've been on that same path and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. That still doesn't change the truth of anything I've said.

And please note the lack of "trying to shame" someone over a lack of agreement between our opinions. I said on my initial post that how someone reconciles the woman vs. child question is down to them. I simply feel it necessary to point out that the dialogue about "bundles/ bunches of cells" or "it's not a child, it's a pregnancy" is disingenuous, at best.

StuntGirl Sun 19-May-13 01:47:35

If I were newly pregnant right now this very second, those first few cells dividing away would not be a person. They would become a person eventually, sure, but they would not be a person in their own right. I am. Therefore I would get to make the decisions about what happens.

I really honestly don't mind someone believing life begins at conception and basing decisions on their own pregnancies on that. But you do not get to control my womb with the same logic, just as I cannot (and would not) force my logic on yours.

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 01:59:29

And I feel it necessary to point out that someone ending a pregnancy is not killing a child.

Why does the fact that you deem termination as murder make it true?

Angloamerican Sun 19-May-13 02:10:31

Believe me, I wouldn't want to take control over anybody's womb. And I can tell that my hopes for intelligent discussion were in vain (unless being told that my opinions were "bullshit" several times counts as intelligent debate around here.)

As for your questions, garlic - the fact that these are terrible questions to ponder doesn't make the answer any more palatable. I have been in a very similar position to the mother of triplets that you reference. My daughter had a condition which was, to use the medical terminology, incompatible with life. I was given the choice of waiting for my daughter to suffocate to death inside me, or "undertake surgical intervention." We "ended the pregnancy" surgically. I would make the same decision again, if I were in that position again. My sole focus was limiting my daughter's suffering. My reasoning, my motivation does not change the fact that I killed my daughter. As I have stated numerous times, how we each reconcile the decisions we make is our business. But it doesn't change our reality, either.

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 02:10:37

Don't salute me garlic. Sadly this is just a life badly lived! I just get very angry when I read comments that use the old BS of "killing children" "lives tossed away" "have it adopted".

I wish it were that simple, but it never is.

Angloamerican Sun 19-May-13 02:11:54

And garlic, I don't find these questions offensive at all. I think these are the very questions that are illuminated and better resolved if we at least be honest about what we are dealing with.

Bogeyface Sun 19-May-13 02:15:44

I didnt say that your opinions were bullshit, I said that you saying that a termination is killing a child was bullshit.

I respect your beliefs against abortion. I dont agree with them but I respect them. But I am incensed that you take it upon yourself to judge me a child killer.

You truly believe that you killed your daughter? I am sorry for you that you will carry that self induced burden to your grave, because that is not what you did.

ClairityVerity Sun 19-May-13 02:31:54

I don't agree with abortion.

I respect other women's choices, and I don't think being pro life is anti feminist. Feminism is not about following rules - it's about openly discussing the choices we make in the world we live in.

Having brought two children into the world I am well aware of the weight of responsibility that that entails. For example, having a family has seriously damaged my career, which is a huge deal for me as a WOHM - career, finances, self-esteem, etc all tied up together. At the same time, were I to have an unplanned pregnancy now I don't think I could bear to terminate it. It's one evil over another - loss of a growing human life vs loss of a huge part of my human life. I think it's an impossible decision and I don't think any woman takes it lightly, whatever she decides.

But assuming that pro life means you're anti-feminist is as absurd as assuming that pro abortion means you're a slapper, and it is wrong to judge us for making whatever choice is right for us.

LittlePeaPod Sun 19-May-13 05:36:28

Tinker at first I thought you may not have articulated your position properly and clearly regarding the party lifestyle. Which if it was your actual opinion would in itself be repugnant. But then I read your last note which comments on woman who just can't be arsed to be a mother.

At this point I realised you are extremely out of touch, old fashioned (in the worst possible way) and you have no understanding or comprehension of the feminist movement that resulted in giving all women rights and liberties that you seem to take for granted. Pro-Choice is one such right. You may not agree with this but please try to articulate your position in a way that does not flippantly brand those women that made this difficult decision as murderers or too lazy to take ownership and responsibility for a child. Otherwise you sound stupid and deserve to be flamed and lambasted on here...

sashh Sun 19-May-13 08:16:42

Let me be clear, I certainly would never stop anyone from making their decision about an abortion, I just can't seem to get over the idea of it, it repulses me.

Then you are not 'pro life', you are pro choice, maybe not 'pro abortion on demand' but pro choice.

There is a woman in El Salvador carrying an nonviable foetus, she has lupus, hypertension and kidney disease, the pregnancy could kill her and she is fighting in the high court to be allowed a termination. If you were prolife you would be calling her a murderer.

seeker Sun 19-May-13 08:21:58

if you do not believe that a woman has absolute control over her own body, then you are not a feminist.

This is very difficult, but fundamental.

printmeanicephoto Sun 19-May-13 08:46:34

I agree with OP and am pro-life. I only believe in termination in certain circumstances such as rape or if having the baby would threaten the life of the mother. Don't really care if that makes me a feminist or not. If someone was having a termination for another reason such as having a baby doesn't fit in with their lifestyle / they don't want a baby then I would believe that their decision was morally wrong. I do have friends that have aborted and when they have told me I have listened and been understanding of their emotional pain post-terminaton because what's done is done. However if they had asked me if I agreed with their actions I would have had to be honest.

thegreylady Sun 19-May-13 08:51:17

There is no 'just' in what happened to you Bogey. In your case you exercised your right to choose. Miscarriages are completely different from selected termination of a pregnancy. I doubt we will ever all agree. I will continue to find the deliberate ending of a potential human be,cause it is inconvenient, abhorrent. I hate the way some people are just careless about getting pregnant because abortion is seen as an easy option. Many of you would be distraught if your daughters chose to harm themselves yet it would be her body, her right to choose. So often we make choices which are born of desperation. They aren't always the right choices.
I agree with some abortions, I agree that what others do is none of my business. I will never agree with late abortion of a healthy child by a healthy mother but my opinion is only that. You make your own choices and live with them.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 19-May-13 09:05:00

Women are 'life' too you know, but you are obviously not 'pro' them.

I hate the term pro-life, it's propaganda of the worst kind, intended to confuse and divide.

Just say you're anti-choice or anti abortion next time.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 19-May-13 09:12:16

ClarityVerity, your comprehension of feminism must be very limited.

You are speaking from a position of deep ignorance if you think that being forced to give birth to children could ever be compatible with feminism

seeker Sun 19-May-13 09:13:10

Agreed. I hate "pro life" too.

Generally speaking "pro life" seem to regard life before birth as more important to life after

Mapal Sun 19-May-13 09:14:57

A lot of people on here saying they are 'pro-life' as they would never have an abortion themselves, but then go on to say they wouldn't judge others for having. one. s.
These ople are therefore actually pro-choice surely?

fancyanother Sun 19-May-13 09:15:59

I havent read the rest of the thread so apologies if I have repeated something, I think if you are 'pro life' or 'anti abortion' per se, that what you are saying is that other people (governments and the church- male dominated institutions) should have control over womens bodies. Anti abortionists usually want abortion to be illegal. If you wanted this, I dont see how you can be feminist. You seem like someone who just wouldnt have an abortion, so not 'anti abortion' per se. Although your reaction to the question about rape is offensive.

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 19-May-13 09:17:47


Just another reminder of our talk guidelines.

We will remove any posts which are personal attacks, we will also remove any posts which contain snippets of the personal attacks depending upon the words used, as it's pointless removing the first otherwise.

Many thanks,


StuffezLaYoni Sun 19-May-13 09:21:42

Yes, in particular I'd delete the posts that personally attack someone for "killing their child"

I want to respond to these points:


Similarly, arguments about what is or isn't a human being or how long a foetus would survive without a mother are moot -- there are many grandparents who couldn't survive without 24/7 support from their carers after all, and many people with disabilities who also couldn't survive without constant support.

These two situations are in no way comparable to a pregnancy. Elderly and disabled people are not solely reliant on one person's body. If caring for someone with a disability or an elderly relative was causing your mental, emotional, physical and even financial health to suffer, then someone else can care for them. That is absolutely not the case for a pregnant woman.

The same women in different circumstances rejoice if the prospect for the baby seems positive, and are happy to call it a baby and hear their friends and family do the same.

Of course women are happy when they are pregnant with a wanted fetus and call it a 'baby'. Baby is a term of endearment, I've called ex-partners 'baby', I was never pregnant with them. Pro-lifers use the term baby because they know it evokes images of an actual newborn infant, not this. That's why pro-choice people object to it, it is an appeal to emotion specifically used to upset women considering abortions, those that have had one and those that support them.

thegreylady Sun 19-May-13 11:25:40

Sorry but that image looks quite human to me. You need to start a few weeks earlier still if you want a bunch of cells image.

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 11:34:20

Can someone explain to me how the rape exception is going to work in practical terms?

Has anyone who's graciously conceding that they will allow women to exercise bodily autonomy in the case of rape actually given any consideration to the practicalities of how that would work?

Chunderella Sun 19-May-13 11:45:59

OP, if you 'certainly would never stop anyone from making their own decision about abortion' then you're pro choice, not pro life. You think women ought to be able to choose to end a pregnancy rather than be obliged to continue with it. That's what defines pro life or pro choice, not your personal feelings on the matter. Being pro choice doesn't require you not to have catsbumface or to refrain from idiotic comments about party lifestyles. So YABU not to understand what pro life actually means. And your friend was being beyond offensive to suggest termination to a woman 18 weeks into what is clearly a pregnancy she has elected to continue with. I'm really struggling to decide whether that or your party lifestyle remark is more objectionable.

Oh, someone suggested upthread that being pro choice requires one to support 40 week terminations. It doesn't. I support a woman's right to have a foetus, baby, lump of cells or whatever else you want to call what's in her uterus removed at any time she likes. This is because she has absolute right to agency over her own body and that trumps everything. The born have absolute priority over the unborn, in the event of conflict. Once the contents have been removed, the mother does not have any rights to demand what happens next because it is no longer affecting her agency over her own body. What will happen to the contents depends mainly on the point at which the pregnancy is ended. Clearly at 8 weeks, nothing will survive outside of her whereas at 37 weeks it almost certainly will. I support a woman's right to end her pregnancy at 40 weeks if she wishes, this does not require me to support her right to do whatever she wants with the baby once delivered. As soon as the foetus is out, it has the same rights as any other human being including the mother, regardless of whether it has reached the point of viability or not. It has none before this point.

OxfordBags Sun 19-May-13 12:16:25

Chunderella makes some superb points above. Her post should be cut and pasted in all discussions on this topic!

Being pro-choice doesn't mean you like the idea of abortions, or don't really care abut what happens during them. It doesn't mean that you can't hate the idea for yourself, or sometimes feel judgy about it (I remember being outraged a few yrs back at the case of a women who aborted because her foetus had a cleft lip, but it was no-one else's business but hers). It doesn't mean you don't feel sad that abortions happen for whatever reasons, or wish they didn't have to happen. It just means that regardless of what you'd choose for yourself faced with the dilemma, you would not tell another woman what to do because you do not believe that your personal opinion should come into it.

And anyone who suggests that pro-choicers all support, or have to support, 40 week abortions is just embarrassing themselves with primary school-level black and white thinking.

OxfordBags Sun 19-May-13 12:28:02

Also, I want to address things AngloAmerican raised in her posts. Firstly, I am so sorry that you had to make the decision you did, and even more sorry that you (wrongly) think you killed your child. But you said something that I don't think you understand the importance of in the wider context of abortion: that you did what you did to save your child from suffering.

All abortion is to save someone from suffering. Whether that's because the foetus will be in agony due to extreme disability once born, or because a woman in an abusive marriage with multiple children already can't bear the thought of bringing another child into the world, or because a 14 yr old girl is not ready to be a mother. The suffering of the living woman is more important than that of a living thing that only survives because it is inside her. That is simply not living or being real in the same way.

If people are call themselves pro-life, why do they focus their concern on the unborn and not on the child once it is truly, properly, legally living? What about the rest of their life? Bringing an unwanted child into an unhappy and unsuitable environment, with the effects on it that the struggle and resentment caused to the parent or parents will have, is actually far crueller and offensive to human life than abortion. Unhappy, unwanted children all too often go on to have problems that adversely affect other individuals and society as a whole. If a pregnant woman knows that she does not want that child, that she is not in the right place in her life to do her best for it, and so on, then to have an abortion is the most loving and caring option. It is the most mature option. Human life is not so important over all other things that people should be given that life just to suffer and make others suffer. What's caring or pro-life about that?!

thegreylady Where in my post did I state that embryos didn't look human? hmm I was pointing out the vast differences between an embryo at 8 weeks (around when the majority of abortions take place) and an infant.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 19-May-13 12:40:44

Oxford and Chunderella are exactly correct. If you take the pro life stance it means you want to have abortion laws like the republic of Ireland, where victims of violent rape are forced to have their rapists child or travel abroad for treatment.
Or women die of septic shock waiting for natural miscarriage to happen because doctors are too afraid of the law to remove the foetus even though they know that foetus has no chance of life.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 19-May-13 12:48:01

Hear hear Framey

WhatKindofFool Sun 19-May-13 12:52:06

UANBU and you shouldn't have to ask for validation of your views. In my opinion they are not outdated. I don't know what you said to your friend to make her storm out but there are plenty of people who think that pro life does not conflict with feminism. I believe that Germaine Greer is one of them.

Lazyjaney Sun 19-May-13 12:54:20

Seems to me the OP is largely pro choice, not pro life from her post, but explained herself clumsily, and her friend was determined to be offended.

TheBigJessie Sun 19-May-13 13:22:26

Germaine Greer doesn't think feminism conflicts with transphobia, homophobia, support of FGM, or rape-denial.

Chunderella Sun 19-May-13 13:29:48

Thanks Oxford and Framey.

WKOAF, I think what Germaine said is that certain pro-life activity can be feminist. She gave the example of the RC Church in Scotland offering financial assistance to women who were otherwise going to have to abort due to money concerns. And yes, this is arguably feminist because it assists women. It's also pro-life, because if you want there to be as few abortions as possible (most pro-choicers do too!) the way to do it isn't to make abortion harder/illegal. Women still have abortions, whether legal or not. We know that some of them are for financial reasons. The way to prevent these abortions happening isn't by making laws- at the end of the day, if you're desperate enough you'll give yourself an abortion with household items, or get hold of some plants. It's by ensuring women have access to the money they think they need to raise the child. Alternatively, don't do this and be ok with women choosing abortions for financial reasons. It's one or the other, though. Anyone who is actively facilitating option 1 is helping women. There are women who have been able to keep pregnancies they would otherwise have ended solely due to money worries thanks to the initiative Germaine was talking about. This is an unmitigated Good Thing.

Conversely, you can be pro-choice and still hate women. They're not mutually exclusive. You might be a massive misogynist and still see that you yourself are better off living in a society where women aren't forced to see out unwanted pregnancies.

DizzyZebra Sun 19-May-13 13:46:32

Anyone against abortion should go and live in a country where is is illegal. Experience the consequences before you wish to shove them onto the rest of us.

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 13:47:16

Anglo, I'm replying to you without catching up - I hope I am duplicating other replies!

Thanks for your clarification that all of the scenarios I outlined - and your own - describe the killing of a child, in your terms. By inexorable logic, then, you consider some child killings more excusable than others.

This is very interesting. I may find it chilling, but I'm still eager to hear your developed thoughts on how you determine some child killings less-bad than others. How far do you extend this meritocracy of murder? Could you construct any kind of matrix, showing which lives are worth more than other lives?

BlessedDespair Sun 19-May-13 13:48:28

I know this is going to be unpopular but a woman chooses to have sex, and pregnancy is always a risk of having sex - that is its purpose. People seem to think that having consequence free sex is a right, but sometimes the consequence is an sti, and sometimes it's pregnancy, no matter what protection you use.

So the only sensible solution would be for everyone to be homosexual unless they wanted to 'breed' where by they would find a suitable member of the opposite sex 'do the deed' and then go back to living a homosexual life. 50/50 custody of any resulting child?

Or only have vaginal intercourse if you are intending to 'breed' and anal at all other times. Only being allowed to 'breed' if you are in a secure relationship.

There would be less need for children to be taken into care ect... as all children would be much wanted and be planned?

Both the above ideas are daft and not really feesable. I'm pro choice - do what ever you want with your body, choose whatever you want, but don't try and make my choices for me :-)

* I will continue to find the deliberate ending of a potential human because it is inconvenient, abhorrent. *

But how do we define an 'inconvenience'? Had I fallen pregnant last year, whilst in the midst of awful PND, PTSD and psychotic episodes, I would have aborted, because it would've been inconvenient - it would have been inconvenient because I was trying to recover and look after a small baby, and trying to support my amazing OH (in job and mental health terms). It would not have been productive for anyone, at that point, for me to have another baby.

It may inconvenient for another woman to have a baby for a variety of reasons - her career, her family life, her partying lifestyle, her education, - whatever. Where on Earth do you draw the line here?

The key word here is always CHOICE. You may not support abortion and may not be able to do it yourself, but by taking away the choice from other women you are essentially stating that women are not 'good enough' to make their own decisions. You are anti-choice, whether you like it or not.

WhatKindofFool Sun 19-May-13 14:17:47

No woman has complete choice over her body. The time limit for a legal abortion is 24 weeks.

Angloamerican Sun 19-May-13 14:20:09

How I consider "child killings" excusable or not is entirely irrelevant. As I have stated (I think this is the third time) how an individual reconciles her choice to terminate is entirely her business. Not mine. I simply believe the language of "bundle of cells/choice/autonomy" is disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst. My argument is really rather a simple one, although you seem determined to misunderstand me repeatedly. No matter.

gordyslovesheep Sun 19-May-13 14:21:39

not in all cases - if the mothers life or mental health is at risk or if the child is at risk of serious health problem there is no time limit

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 14:29:20

I don't think I am deliberately misunderstanding. I'm disputing your assertion that it's more honest to use the word 'kill' when speaking of embryonic terminations. 'Kill' is a word used specifically to describe the deliberate ending of an already extant life. In relation to fellow humans, it is a serious crime called murder.

You are not playing with words, you're using deliberately inflammatory language to imply that abortion is equivalent to murder. I gave you opportunities to qualify your view but you've chosen not to.

As you say, no matter ...

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 14:30:02

(Overuse of 'deliberate' there was not deliberate, just lazy!)

itsonlysubterfuge Sun 19-May-13 14:41:12

I know someone who has had more than one abortion to continue a party lifestyle. I also have heard teenage girls talking about how you don't need to practice safe sex because "it's all right you can just have an abortion." I think people need to be educated about what an abortion actually entails. How physically and emotionally painful it can be. It should be seen as a last resort rather than an easy alternative. I'm of course not speaking of the women who have been raped, I'm speaking of consenual sex.

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 14:47:34

It can be easy for some. One friend of mine had half a dozen abortions (roughly; I didn't count.) She wasn't traumatised by them. Despite a slight shuddery feeling on a personal level, my only rational response is "It works for you, so why not?"

Angloamerican Sun 19-May-13 14:50:47

My last post on this, because I think my ears are starting to bleed. Killing is exactly what you're doing when you terminate a pregnancy.

(And you are incorrect, for the record, in your definition of killing as deliberate. You can kill someone without it being a deliberate act.) Another reason I'm leaving this discussion. I'm trying to discuss language with someone who clearly has a limited understanding if it.

gordyslovesheep Sun 19-May-13 14:51:59

so even if it is killing it's still safe, legal and needed - so it doesn't change anything!

notbotheredreally Sun 19-May-13 15:49:51

its the person having the abortion whose opinion is the only one that matters .why should they give a stuff what anyone else thinks , their body their choice at the end of the day .

gordyslovesheep Sun 19-May-13 15:58:13

I actually dislike the term 'choice' when it comes to abortion - it's not a choice it's a NEED - women don't 'choose' abortion glibly like choosing shoes - the have terminations because they NEED to

notbotheredreally Sun 19-May-13 16:03:09

some people need , some choose , up to them smile

gordyslovesheep Sun 19-May-13 16:09:11

well of course it's up to them!

gordyslovesheep Sun 19-May-13 16:09:53

although I doubt very much women have terminations if they don't need to! smile

WhatKindofFool Sun 19-May-13 16:10:50

How do you define "need"? For example; Do I need chocolate or do I want chocolate?

Do I need to have an abortion or would my life be better if I had one?

LineRunner Sun 19-May-13 16:10:52

I'm not exactly loving the idea that we might take young women who have had a termination and who do not feel crippled by guilt and emotional turmoil, and 'educate' them into feeling that way.

Decoy Sun 19-May-13 16:10:56

> Killing is exactly what you're doing when you terminate a pregnancy.

You also "kill" something with no functioning brain, nervous system or consciousness when you uproot a plant. A ball of cells isn't a human being.

WhatKindofFool Sun 19-May-13 16:12:09

When does a ball of cells become a human being?

Decoy Sun 19-May-13 16:15:18

> When does a ball of cells become a human being?

Look at it the other way around. If someone at the end of their life becomes "brain dead" then they are considered to have died.

In exactly the same way, when a foetus develops, they're not yet a person before their brain exists and begins to function.

WhatKindofFool Sun 19-May-13 16:18:26

At what point does the brain exist and function?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 19-May-13 16:20:08

What you define as 'exist' and 'function'?

Cloverer Sun 19-May-13 16:22:54

I don't think it's helpful to reduce the abortion argument to 'it doesn't matter, it's a bunch of cells'. It's not really though, is it? Maybe in the first few days/weeks, but at 12/16/24 weeks it is a foetus.

A foetus has a brain, it has brain function. I am still 100% pro-choice though.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 19-May-13 16:30:27

I completely agree cloverer

LineRunner Sun 19-May-13 16:34:33

And anyway it depends what kind of answer you are looking for. Neurological? Theological? Legal? Philosophically Socratic?

They are all human-made answers in the end, that vary across the globe and through time.

It always comes back to bodily autonomy.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 19-May-13 16:39:22

BlessedDespair, you say women choose to have sex and pregnancy is a consequence.


Women do not always 'choose' to have sex, rape, women with mental health issues, marital rape, sex workers women trapped in abusive relationships women with learning disabilities. Do they 'choose'?

Where will you draw your line if you make abortions illegal???

I wish people would use a little thought before jumping on the opinion bandwagon.

StuntGirl Sun 19-May-13 16:49:46

Good point linerunner.

LoveItLongTime Sun 19-May-13 16:51:07

Do I have to support the choice to terminate at term if I'm to be allowed to call myself a feminist?

The rest of it I can do. Not third trimester though.

thegreylady Sun 19-May-13 16:51:41

It is interesting that in the Ariel kidnap case in America there is talk of the death penalty for murder because he apparently caused his captives to miscarry.This is in a state where abortion is legal! Either it is ok to kill a foetus or it isn't-it will be an interesting legal case I think.

thegreylady Sun 19-May-13 16:54:01

Framey my personal line would be at 18 weeks if there were a bloody good reason and never ever after 22 weeks but you don't have to sgree,in fact I know most of you don't.I want any woman who wishes to keep her baby to have the choice to do so in comfort and with support.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 17:15:50

Loveit, it's not a particularly feminist to stance to put criteria on when women have autonomy over their bodies. Either they do or they don't.

The logical end consequence of that is that termination at any stage has to be allowed. I am entirely uncomfortable with late term terminations but do believe that they should be legal in any circumstance. I do however think that termination of a viable foetus should be done in a way that allows for the removal from a woman's body in a manner that preserves life if possible.

WhatKindofFool Sun 19-May-13 17:29:23

I do however think that termination of a viable foetus should be done in a way that allows for the removal from a woman's body in a manner that preserves life if possible

Interesting. A live termination.

Cloverer Sun 19-May-13 17:32:08

I agree with Blistory that there is no logic in putting a gestation limit on abortion - it will always be arbitrary.

Legally, you can abort in the third trimester already, for foetal abnormality, and risk to the mother (both physical and mental).

If the law was simplified to allow for abortion on demand throughout pregnancy, I very much doubt it would change the number of third trimester abortions. How many women would choose to put themselves through giving birth to a dead foetus if it wasn't something they desperately needed to do, for the foetus' health or their own?

I feel the only feminist position is as early as possible, as late as necessary. All women should be able to access safe, legal abortions as quickly as possible without having to wait weeks. However, if a woman needs to abort at 24+ weeks, then yes she absolutely should have that right.

cornflowercrabtree Sun 19-May-13 17:42:34

There should be a distinction between what your personal emotions to abortion are and your rational, 'bigger picture' understanding. I personally could never have an abortion and the idea of it revulses me at a primal level. HOWEVER, I would 100% support anyone wanting an abortion, for whatever reason. Pregnant women are alive, with hopes, dreams and the ability to feel fear, danger and they need to have control over their own bodies. Foetuses, especially at ages that the vast majority of abortions occur at, are little more than parasites, with no independent thought or self awareness. Foetuses have the potential to become a fully formed baby, but the reality is they are not viable under 23 weeks.
My ovaries are full of potential babies that will never be alive, and 70% of fertilised eggs are aborted naturally. Abortion is a natural process.

Women are alive and our focus should be entirely on them and their choices.

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 18:01:57

It makes no difference whether it's a zygote, an embryo or a foetus; it doesn't matter if it looks like a ball of cells or a cute little baby. Its status as person or human being is irrelevant. It could be the second coming of Christ and it would STILL have no rights to use anyone's body without her consent.

I do however think that termination of a viable foetus should be done in a way that allows for the removal from a woman's body in a manner that preserves life if possible

But that's not really abortion is it?

Sorry, pressed enter too quickly...

That's not really abortion is it? That's giving birth to a live baby which will either go on to be adopted, put into foster care (because we all know how easy those options are), or be bought up by the woman who didn't want the pregnancy in the first place. How is that abortion?

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 19:12:20

What is the legal limit now ? Meaning how far gone can you be and still have an abortion by choice not for medical reasons??

24 weeks.

The problem that some people have with this limit is that babies can now survive from 22 weeks (I think maybe some babies have even survived from 21 weeks).

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 19:27:17

A woman aborts a pregnancy. I don't see why we can't separate the pregnancy that occurs within a woman's body from a foetus capable of survival out with the womb. They could be two very distinct things where medically possible.

Kithulu Sun 19-May-13 19:28:18

My sister had an abortion so she could continue her party lifestyle. She is 48 now and still morns that child. She never managed to conceive again.

I am still pro-choice, especially in rape/ health cases. But, in the case of my sister, I wish, I don't know, if anything would have made a difference to her at the time, counselling/ support??

I don't know if that would be a good idea really Kithulu - isn't that almost like guilt-tripping a woman into keeping her pregnancy?

Kithulu Sun 19-May-13 19:35:55

You are right, I'm not sure what would have made a difference at the time. Only that she is still so sad about now sad

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 19:36:05

Surely unless medically needed, women will make their decision near enough straight away. 24 weeks is quite far gone.
I know the rarity of late discovers does still happen. Other than that I do not think women would suddenly decide to abort that far into their pregnancy.

There's a research paper out there somewhere about later-term abortions, includes a few 24 weeks, and a few over that time as well which were given for various reasons.

I think that the vast majority of abortions happen before 12 weeks.

Kithulu - it is very sad about your sister - but she wasn't to know at the time that that may her only chance to have a baby. I'm sure she did what she felt was right at the time, she made the correct decision for herself then. Hindsight can be both fantastic and awful.

And still, taking away the choice to have a late-term abortion is not right.

I think that any woman, regardless of her reasons, should be able to terminate her pregnancy when she wishes to. Until that child leaves her body, her rights should always take precedence over that of an un-born baby.

You can disagree with abortion all you like, but you should NEVER ever take away a woman's choice not to give birth.

thegreylady Sun 19-May-13 20:12:13

Most women do have a choice-visualise-they can choose not to have unprotected sex.
You talk about the baby not having the 'right' to use a woman's body without her consent hopkinette-as if the embryo-foetus whatever makes a choice to do that!
I have rarely read anything here or elsewhere which disgusted me as much as that statement.I was enjoying the debate but that is too much.I will now hide this thread.

MediumOrchid and angloamerican - you both mention that you feel abortion is 'killing a child'.

I give you this:

I am holding a test-tube with a fertilised egg in it. I am also holding a newborn baby. Someone points a gun at me and says I can choose which will live.

If you are truly pro-life, then you can't choose. Because that group of cells means as much as the baby.

I am pro-choice, all the way.

(PS - that example isn't from me, but it resonated when I read it.)

loopsylou Sun 19-May-13 20:18:34

At 40 weeks the baby can feel pain, and think, and reason. It's a fully formed human being, and you think that it's acceptable to murder it because the mother doesn't want to go through having to give up the baby for adoption?!?

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 20:22:23

You can disagree with abortion all you like, but you should NEVER ever take away a woman's choice not to give birth.

But the law does take away that right. Unless there is a medical reason. The reason the law is against abortions passed a certain development stage is because that baby is alive, yes inside the mum but still alive.

There is no real need for anyone to wait so long to have an abortion unless it is medical.

loopsylou Sun 19-May-13 20:24:18

I agree partly with the OP, I support abortions for those raped, or if the mother or childs life is in danger. However, if abortions are freely allowed and tolerated at any age, can you honestly justify a 21 year old woman who wants to live life and party and play, who gets pregnant because she doesn't use contraception, and they kills a child at 38 weeks so that she can keep up her desired lifestyle. And all because, it's her choice, it's her body. So what, the baby, who at that age can think and feel, doesn't get a choice in their body because they don't have the brain capacity to hold or express views? Should we treat others who don't have that brain capacity the same way? Oh look, a disabled child is being a drag on this mothers life, lets kill him because he can't say anything about it and he "belongs" to the mother.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 19-May-13 20:24:42

Blistory, agree with what you say 100%

loopsylou Sun 19-May-13 20:25:07

And what about the rights of the father? They don't get a choice in the matter?

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 20:36:36

No, the man has no say whatsoever.

And as for the dramatic language being used, no one wants to see 40 week terminations happening. But for those of us who think a woman has autonomy over her body, then yes, they should be legally possible. Ideally without sacrificing the life of the foetus.

No one gets to say what grows in my uterus except me. By all means have an opinion but you don't get control of my body even if all I want to use it for is partying.

You want to force a 21 year old who wants to party go through pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Why? To punish her for having a good time? Or don't you think there are enough half arsed parents neglecting their kids and you would like to see more of them?

When men go through pregnancy and birth then yeah they would get a say.

CoalDustWoman Sun 19-May-13 20:37:52

Hehe at the party girl having an abortion at 38 weeks. Some of you are so wrapped up in your nasty women rhetoric that you're not even making sense.

Back to the abortion is ok for rape victims stance. Can anyone answer my question, please?

Who decides if the woman was raped and therefore eligible for an abortion? Because most rape cases don't even get reported, let alone get to trial. And trials often happen months later. And if a jury couldn't say it was rape beyond reasonable doubt, then they are found not guilty, even if rape actually occurred. What about the woman who found herself being penetrated by a man who claimed he thought she was his girlfriend and was found not guilty of rape? What if she had become pregnant?

Cloverer Sun 19-May-13 20:45:48

A 21 year old who wants to continue her party lifestyle should be offered an abortion at the soonest possible opportunity. Most women who are not ready to have a baby would want an abortion in the first 8 weeks.

Think about why a woman might need an abortion after 24 weeks - it's not going to be because after being pregnant for 6 months then she decides she doesn't want to be a mum.

Rape or abuse victims who have been in denial about the pregnancy (or too young to understand what is going on) might not realise until they are starting to show.

Women whose partners become abusive, or increase the level of abuse (pregnancy is a common trigger for DV) might need a late abortion.

Serious foetal abnormalities might not be discovered until late in the pregnancy.

Somehow the idea that party girl is going to wait til the 3rd trimester to seek an abortion doesn't ring true, does it?

Good questions, coal dust - and it shows what meaningless rhetoric the 'except in cases of rape' thing is. They mean, "we're not totally heartless - if a woman has sex unwillingly then we might support her, but anyone who willingly has sex must be punished"

FJL203 Sun 19-May-13 20:48:17

"No, the man has no say whatsoever.

And as for the dramatic language being used, no one wants to see 40 week terminations happening. But for those of us who think a woman has autonomy over her body, then yes, they should be legally possible. Ideally without sacrificing the life of the foetus.

No one gets to say what grows in my uterus except me. By all means have an opinion but you don't get control of my body even if all I want to use it for is partying."


Absolutely and unequivocally, this.

EglantinePrice Sun 19-May-13 20:52:02

Loveit, yes as blistory said if you believe that women have autonomy over their bodies and should have the final say over what happens to their own body then you have to accept that terminations may take place at 40 weeks.

This seems pretty black and white to me (although I believe someone upthread referred to this as primary school thinking hmm the poster didn't suggest an alternative). If we have autonomy then it doesn't just stop at 23 weeks.

The law does take away that right - but that doesn't make 'right' in my own opinion.

I agree with a PP, who said that in the unlikely event of women being allowed to abort up to 40 weeks, it wouldn't suddenly result in hundreds of women suddenly deciding at 36 weeks that they didn't want the baby any more and having an abortion. And I do agree that where possible, it would be best if a woman who did not want her baby at 40 weeks, then it should be adopted - but that wouldn't be termination would it? Seeing as that baby would be born alive.

Oh and as for the dads - sorry, not their bodies. Until men can bear children, they shouldn't get a say in what happens.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 20:54:41

It does not make sense to me at all.

I women has the right to stop a pregnancy turning into a baby. Yes
I women has the right to kill a fully formed, living baby. No

That is why there is a law. Correct?

Sorry sunshine , I don't understand what you're saying.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 20:57:55

A women rather

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 21:01:30

I don't see how it would ever need to be done so late on. Unless a medical issue develops.

Are you saying that a woman only has a right to abort once the baby has become a baby that can live seperatley from it's mother?

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 21:02:09

argh... why rather stupid phone!!!

MaterFacit Sun 19-May-13 21:03:58

Here is a list from 2008 from BPAS. Its a list of reasons given by 32 women for wanting an abortion over 22 weeks over the course of one month.


EglantinePrice Sun 19-May-13 21:04:57

Well someone may change their mind, or their circumstances could change or they may have been in denial and the reality really kicks in... These are just reasons off the top of my head, of course no one should have to explain.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 21:05:46

Well it is not just about the mother's right is it. If a baby is fully formed and is therefore alive what would happen about the right's of that baby.
I cannot get my head around why anyone would wait so long. That's all, why try and change a law that enables women to wait so long. It just does not sound right.

LineRunner Sun 19-May-13 21:08:38

Read MaterFacit's link.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 21:11:46

So the majority of those women aborting after 22 weeks were teenagers. Looks like education still isn't working and young girls need a hell of a lot more support.

I think it would be a teeny tiny minority who would have a 3rd trimester abortion without a medical reason. I'm thinking that possible reasons may be financial or relationship issues. But even if the current limit was removed, I honestly do not think there would be a sudden jump in very late term abortions.

EglantinePrice Sun 19-May-13 21:14:30

No blistory only 10 of the 32 were teenagers.

Yes, it is JUST about the mother's right. The moment you take away her right to decide if she wants to become a mother, you are making her a 2nd class citizen, you are removing her ability to choose for herself.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 21:18:05

Sorry you're right but still much younger ages than I expected.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 21:18:06

They are all very sad cases but again if given the proper education and care they should of received it wouldn't of needed to get that far.
Making it legal does not make sense.

RedToothBrush Sun 19-May-13 21:20:30

The really disturbing ones on that list for me, are the couple where the doctor had initially deliberately given the woman incorrect advice and that she had to continue the pregnancy.


Cloverer Sun 19-May-13 21:22:28

sunshine, abortion til term is already legal if the foetus is disabled or the mother's physical or mental health is at risk.

EglantinePrice Sun 19-May-13 21:22:38

Well 8 of them didn't realise they were pregnant so no amount of education and care would've helped them have an earlier abortion..

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 21:23:57

So very few simply because of a change of heart or desire to carry on partying then. There are some truly heartbreaking reasons there - how much does anyone want these women to go on suffering ?

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 21:25:27

Yes I know it is legal in rare cases.

BobblyGussets Sun 19-May-13 21:45:13

That list is heartbreaking. Those poor women and I say that as someone who fliches at the technicalities of late termination.

I am a feminist and pro-choice, but very uneasy about late termination. I can't think of one reason not to give any of those woman help in the form of a termination. It sounds as if society hadn't given any of these women much help before they got to this stage.

It does fuck me off, however, when people on MN say you absolutely can't be a feminist if you don't support the idea of termination at term whatever the reason.

PearlyWhites Sun 19-May-13 21:48:37

Yanbu thanks

OxfordBags Sun 19-May-13 21:50:20

All this focus on late-term abortions from anti-choicers is not just embarrassingly obvious and immature attempts to keep the discussion in the realms of manipulative and non-factual emotion, but more importantly, part of the misogynist rhetoric of anti-abortion, because it posits the notion that women are so irresponsible, immature and self-centred that they would choose to wait until the foetus inside them was potentially viable to seek abortion. I mean, that makes no sense whatsoever to anyone with a shred of logic or humanity, but when it comes to the fixation with embryonic life being more important than existing life, well, we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

eccentrica Sun 19-May-13 21:56:30

loopsylou Sun "can you honestly justify a 21 year old woman who wants to live life and party and play, who gets pregnant because she doesn't use contraception, and they kills a child at 38 weeks so that she can keep up her desired lifestyle."

Except that would never happen, and only someone who has never thought about the reality of late-term abortion would suggest it.

mathanxiety Sun 19-May-13 22:03:57

CrapswithBrars -- yes, baby is a term of endearment, a pet name for a foetus, like tummy for stomach, and foetus is the correct medical term. But my point was that there would be no fuss about the question of abortion unless there was some acknowledgement of the humanity of the foetus and all that that implies for life outside of the uterus for all concerned.

Someone upthread pointed out that to be pro-life requires ownership of all that entails, and realistically to be pro choice requires ownership of all that entails too, including termination at 40 weeks as the rights and welfare of the mother always trump those of the foetus in the pro choice view and not just up to a certain point of pregnancy (which is illogical). There are many, many people in both camps who would baulk at the idea of abortion on demand up to natural birth. There are many in both camps who baulk at the idea that a woman (or girl) who is impregnated by means of rape should have to go through pregnancy, birth and the decisions about the baby's upbringing after that.

Most people say 'I am pro life but...' or 'I am pro choice but...'. You rarely hear someone expressing the logical conclusion of either party's position as clearly as StuntGirl does. She understands her position and all of its implications. Many people are actually far more on the fence than they think they are. However, when a matter becomes the subject of laws it is necessary to make one law for all. Otherwise you get the tangled mess of the Irish situation (where all that guides citizens is a court ruling because no political party has the will to tackle legislating the matter).

eccentrica Sun 19-May-13 22:24:37

er but mathanxiety, it's exactly because people do not on the whole hold the ridiculous extreme versions of those positions that the law - like all laws - is a compromise between the rights of different entities. That compromise being the point at which the foetus would be viable outside the mother's body - not because that will actually be put to the test, but because it's an acceptable compromise between two extreme and essentially nonsensical views.

There is no obligation - moral, ethical, logical or philosophical - to hold the most extreme version of any view. There is nothing wrong with having complex, nuanced opinions. To be anti-abortion does not entail saying there is no difference between a fertilised egg and a month-old baby. To be pro-choice does not entail saying that a woman should be able to abort right up to full-term.

It is not illogical to say that the woman has the right to abort up to a certain point, and not beyond. Just like it's not illogical to say that you can drive up to 70mph on a motorway, but not faster than that. Or to say that you can drink alcohol and drive, but only up to a certain limit. Or that you can buy alcohol, but only over the age of 18.

Tooearlyintheday Sun 19-May-13 22:33:56

Mathanxiety I think that's an important point. There's nearly universal acknowledgment on both sides of the debate that abortion is, in many (most?) cases, an extremely difficult, traumatic decision to make. if the foetus was in fact merely a bunch if cells and nothing more you'd imagine the decision would not be so fraught - it would be on par with getting a mole removed.

Conversely if "pro-lifers" genuinely believed that abortion was equal to murdering babies then you'd imagine they would be obligated, as citizens. to storm abortion clinics and stage violent interventions as you would do if you actually saw an infant in danger of death.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 22:35:44

I don't think the extreme view in this case is anything other than a logical one. If a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy then it's logical for that right to exist for as long as the pregnancy exists.

How can a termination be ok at 21 weeks 6 days but not 21 weeks 7 days ? How does any prolife stance justify that ?

Surely it's less ridiculous to say that termination is legal throughout but we address what happens to the foetus based on medical reality. That way a woman retains autonomy over her body and a viable foetus is able to live.

If termination is unacceptable at 8 weeks, 12 weeks whatever, surely the logical response for pro lifers is that it's not acceptable at any point.

None of it is ideal, it's actually pretty gruesome but the extreme views are the only logical ones. Everything else is entirely emotive, understandably so.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 22:43:50

When it stops being a "bunch of cells" and actually is a little tiny living baby. That is a very big difference and that is why the law is set out that way. It is a life.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 22:48:53

The current law is illogical and outdated. It should either be legal to have a termination or not, regardless of circumstances.

There should then be much more support in place so that very few women ever need to consider it.

BlessedDespair Sun 19-May-13 22:49:22

* FrameyMcFrame*
*BlessedDespair, you say women choose to have sex and pregnancy is a consequence.


Women do not always 'choose' to have sex, rape, women with mental health issues, marital rape, sex workers women trapped in abusive relationships women with learning disabilities. Do they 'choose'?

Where will you draw your line if you make abortions illegal???

I wish people would use a little thought before jumping on the opinion bandwagon.*

Eh??? The highlighted bit in my post is a quote from someone else not my own thoughts....

The bit underneath that is my view, sorry if that wasn't clear in my post


BlessedDespair Sun 19-May-13 22:51:01

And it still isn't clear as it hasn't highlighted that one :-/

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 22:51:56

You talk about the baby not having the 'right' to use a woman's body without her consent hopkinette-as if the embryo-foetus whatever makes a choice to do that! I have rarely read anything here or elsewhere which disgusted me as much as that statement.I was enjoying the debate but that is too much.I will now hide this thread

Sheltered life, much?

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 22:57:20

*When it stops being a "bunch of cells" and actually is a little tiny living baby. That is a very big difference and that is why the law is set out
that way. It is a life*

A teeny tiny little living baby _

Does your argument boil down to "it's cute!"? Really?

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 22:58:32

I am not saying make it illegal. I am saying there is a reason why there is a recommend limit. Because we know that babies at a certain stage of development in the womb begin to function i.e are fully formed, therefore is a living being.
Why anyone would want to wait 24 weeks into it just to abort the baby is not even worth thinking about. (I have already mentioned medical issues)
Women have the right to abort a progressing pregnancy, but they are advised to do so before it has produced a fully formed baby. Why change that. confused

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 22:59:48


Not once did I say it was cute. I said it was alive. Which it is at that stage of development it is a baby.

EcoRI Sun 19-May-13 23:00:26

So here's something I've been mulling over while reading this thread.

I am 100% pro-choice. 100%.
But If I were a doctor and if a women came to me and asked for a late-term abortion then I don't think I'd be able to perform it. Actually, I know that I wouldn't. I'd refer her on though.

I feel weird about this dichotomy. Any thoughts?

If you think that abortion is OK when the woman has been raped, but not otherwise, then you are still a woman-hater. Because, if you were a genuine foetus-worshipper who believed that every embryo has more rights than the actual woman pregnant with it, you wouldn't be able to cope with the idea of an 'innocent baby' being terminated because a woman was raped. If you want abortion restricted except in cases of rape then your actual position is that women who have consensual sex are irresponsible sluts who should be forced to have babies, because that will disabuse them of the idea that they are free human beings and put them in their proper place: breeding animals and domestic servants.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 23:03:12

Because the law as it currently stands doesn't actually give any woman the right to terminate. It needs changing.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 23:03:55

There is no need for the victim of rape to wait till she is 24 weeks gone though. That is all I was saying.

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 23:04:30


It makes no difference what you call it. It's irrelevant. No person - born or otherwise - has the right to use any other person's body without their consent.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 23:04:50

It is legal to have an abortion up to a certain development point.

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 23:05:18

There is no need for the victim of rape to wait till she is 24 weeks gone though

From a practical point of view, this is unworkable.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 23:05:42

Eco, what if there genuinely was an option to end the pregnancy but save the foetus ? Could you do it then ?

As much as I support it, I struggle with it as well but there is no acceptable alternative IMO

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 23:06:22

It's legal sunshine but it isn't a right.

mathanxiety Sun 19-May-13 23:08:31

I don't think any law reflects any commonly held position unless a referendum is held to determine exactly what it constitutes.

The extremes may be 'ridiculous' but they are the logical conclusions of positions held. If pro life then keeping abortion illegal under all circumstances is the logical conclusion. Likewise, if pro choice then accepting the absolute right of the mother to abort at any stage of pregnancy is the only logical conclusion.

Law has to draw a line and it has to be a line applicable to all. In the case of abortion, law reflects a squaring off of two rights, that of the mother and that of the foetus. Determining when a foetus is viable as been used to determine the cutoff date but so has determining what constitutes a threat to the life or health of the mother. Right now the de facto situation is that a woman can abort up to the time of natural birth (though that eventuality is rare) depending on the view of her doctor. It's not really an acceptable compromise from a legal pov. There is room for debate and contention and the right of the mother is not specifically legally acknowledged -- depending on one's doctor's pov is what it boils down to. Otoh, as in the case of girl X and a few others in Ireland, a woman could well face a court and require a judge's ok, or in the case of Savita, a woman could end up at the mercy of an overzealous doctor.

The 'extreme' views are in fact the logical ones and law without logic tends to always leave room for controversy. It really is illogical to say a woman has a right to abort up to a certain point and not beyond. If a woman has in fact autonomy over her body then she has autonomy over her body full stop. It can't be autonomy with an asterisk. That is illogical. The implications of the right to autonomy need to be owned.

After the legal point of no return, abortion-speaking, has been reached, the foetus remains in the uterus, perhaps able to survive outside (albeit with massive medical intervention and poor prognosis for future quality of life depending on when exactly it is delivered) and perhaps not, even once the 22 or 23 or 24 or 25 week point is reached. There is no difference for the pregnant woman, who is still carrying a foetus within her and who still faces the prospect of birth and decisions about the products of conception she will deliver.

Tooearlyintheday -- this used to happen frequently outside US clinics where abortions were performed.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 23:09:22

It makes no difference what you call it. It's irrelevant. No person - born or otherwise - has the right to use any other person's body without their consent.

What a weird thing to say.

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 23:10:27

Is that genuinely a new concept to you?

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 23:11:12

Weird ? How so ?

I would have thought it a fundamental point in human rights .

mathanxiety Sun 19-May-13 23:11:58

SGB also understands and accepts all the ramifications of the pro choice stance.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 23:12:13

No. However this thread is about pregnancy. You make it sound very dirty and wrong.

CoalDustWoman Sun 19-May-13 23:12:18

sunshine, how do you decide that a woman has been raped? Do you wait for a court case? Even if a trial could be had in the time being a woman finding out she is pregnant and your 24 week cut off, do you want a woman to go through all a trial entails AND a later abortion than she would have decided otherwise? That doesn't seem very nice of you.

Although, I agree with SGB on this one. The except in cases of raper-ers only say that to make themselves seem a smidgen less heartless. Except it doesn't work.

hopkinette Sun 19-May-13 23:14:12

However this thread is about pregnancy. You make it sound very dirty and wrong.

Forced pregnancy is wrong, in exactly the same way as forced sex is wrong. "Dirty" is a strange thing to be seeing here though.

CoalDustWoman Sun 19-May-13 23:15:19

I do too, math. I'm not comfortable with it, but not in any way close to how uncomfortable I am with the alternative. I trust women, you see. I don't think any take this lightly, even if they don't walk away from a procedure wracked with guilt and remorse. That some may seem flippant is only a reflection of what they chose to share with others.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 23:18:01

Excluded the result of an sexual assault. By having sex you are exposing yourself and therefore your body to risk of pregnancy.
It is off the point anyway. I truly believe it is every women's right to chose about going through with it, but I don't see why they would leave it so long.

CoalDustWoman Sun 19-May-13 23:20:22

They don't, in the way that you are thinking.

Why do you think otherwise?

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 23:23:02

Sunshine, I almost envy you your naivety. Life isn't that simple.

Do you have any idea how horrible is it to be pregnant when you don't want to be ? When your doctor won't refer you ? When your partner suddenly leaves you ? When you find that there are medical issues incompatible with life ? When you're 14 and scared ?

It doesn't all neatly happen within 8 weeks.

sunshine401 Sun 19-May-13 23:23:58

Most people know about it before 24 weeks. Yes there are some exceptions.
Morning after pills are given/offered to rape victims and I know again some people do not always report rape.
There are always exceptions. A women who has been raped has the same rights to an abortion as everyone else. I don't see your point. I understand why there is a cut off point. That was all I was saying.

Blistory Sun 19-May-13 23:26:58

Well, those exceptions need addressed to. They are entitled to the same control over their bodies as everyone else. That is why there is no logical cut off point. None whatsoever.

sashh Mon 20-May-13 05:26:18

* I think people need to be educated about what an abortion actually entails. How physically and emotionally painful it can be. It should be seen as a last resort rather than an easy alternative. I'm of course not speaking of the women who have been raped, I'm speaking of consenual sex.*

Don't you think it is equally hard / emotional / painful for a rape victim?

sashh Mon 20-May-13 05:35:03

* I think people need to be educated about what an abortion actually entails. How physically and emotionally painful it can be. It should be seen as a last resort rather than an easy alternative. I'm of course not speaking of the women who have been raped, I'm speaking of consenual sex.*

Don't you think it is equally hard / emotional / painful for a rape victim?

seeker Mon 20-May-13 07:06:10

"* I think people need to be educated about what an abortion actually entails. How physically and emotionally painful it can be. It should be seen as a last resort rather than an easy alternative."

Where is your evidence that people don't know this?

ButchCassidy Mon 20-May-13 07:37:01



Im a feminist and 100% pro choice.
My body my choice and no one will dictate or make me feel shit about the decisions I make for it.

ButchCassidy Mon 20-May-13 07:45:18

And Ive reported the thread as OP is claiming to be 15 on another thread she started so wouldnt be 2 months into a job.. Unless im cynical

itsonlysubterfuge Mon 20-May-13 08:13:33

My point was that exactly, that it isn't an easy alternative. I never said rape victims shouldn't use it if you actually read my post it says I'm talking about consensual sex only.

My evidence people don't know this is real life? I don't have links and trials to back it up, just experience with teenage girls, which I also stated I had heard loads of girls say that you could just get an abortion if you don't use a condom and get pregnant.

By having sex you are exposing yourself and therefore your body to risk of pregnancy.

What about in cases of contraception failure? What about in cases where the woman doesn't find out she is pregnant until it's almost the legal deadline?

AND, you are still stating that pregnancy is a punishment for having sex. Funny, seeing as the blokes won't get punished...

Who decides at what point the bunch of cells becomes a baby? What happens if you go in for an abortion, and they say 'sorry love, can't do it, it's a baby now'?

You may have heard teenage girls say that 'you could just get an abortion', but I wonder how often this happens (or how often it happens repeatedly?).

FrameyMcFrame Mon 20-May-13 08:31:40

BlessedDespair, Sorry I misunderstood your post blush Speed reading through the whole thread badly.

SGB, exactly right about the woman hating.

seeker Mon 20-May-13 08:37:13

You may have heard loads of girls say that. I hear teenagers say lots of extreme, shocking, show offy things. Whistling in the dark for the most part.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 20-May-13 09:11:49

MaterFacit's link is very sad reading. I feel incredibly sorry for all of those women and I think BPAS is doing a great job.

itsonlysubterfuge Mon 20-May-13 09:53:15

Where I'm from we have one of the highest rate of teenage mothers and they do not teach about abortion so my views may be skewed. I have personal experience with family members who have had abortions as teenager/young girl because they were/are irresponsible and didn't bother with birth control and would rather party ever night instead of have a child. I still believe that you should educate people, I don't understand what the problem with learning is? Knowledge is power, telling people that abortions hurt and aren't easy isn't a bad thing. Why should you leave people in the dark about anything? In order to make an informed choice, you should know all the facts.

Why is abortion an acceptable means of contraception? It should be seen as a last resort, not any easy way to fix a mistake. Yes, of course it's the woman's choice to have an abortion, that however does not stop me from feeling like she's taken an innocent life. My feelings to another woman should be irrelevant though.

hopkinette Mon 20-May-13 09:54:05

I think people need to be educated about what an abortion actually entails. How physically and emotionally painful it can be

Yes, because unwanted pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood are a walk in the park.

DottyboutDots Mon 20-May-13 09:59:15

YABU and, just FYI in light of the more recent comments, I've had two abortions and barely blinked an eye over either. The circs made it very easy for me to choose. Both times were with different men and split condoms on either end of my cycle with no access to MAP.

I know have 3 children that I cherish but still no guilt over the abortions and the recovery at the time was fine too.

DottyboutDots Mon 20-May-13 09:59:42

Gah now, not know.

Blistory Mon 20-May-13 10:01:56

At the risk of sounding callous, having a termination does not have to be physically and emotionally painful.

I had one at 6 weeks. It wasn't painful, it wasn't traumatic, it was just a procedure.

That doesn't mean that I took it lightly but I don't have a single regret. The only thing it left me with was a sense of relief and responsibility that I have to live my life is such a way that it wasn't for nothing.

I knew all about contraception but he was older, I was a teenager, I was intimidated, he didn't care and I didn't really want to be having sex for the first time in that way. If I wasn't capable of actually telling him 'no' then I certainly wasn't capable of telling him to put a condom on it. Again, life isn't simple.

hopkinette Mon 20-May-13 10:05:26
xylem8 Mon 20-May-13 10:12:02

i share your viewpoint that abortion is abhorrent and should only happen where a mother's life is at risk by continuing the pregnancy or when the baby is such that it will have no quality of life. However i am very careful about expressing my views in public and would never have made such insensitive comment about rape.

WHat I really don't get about the antichoicers is what the fuck it's got to do with them in the first place what choice a woman makes. THere are real, documented examples of women dying unnecessarily because of the misogyny and stupidity of anti-choicers - Savita Hannapalah, Angela Carder etc, but nothing other than vague third-hand anecdotes about all these 'selfish' women who decide to wait till they are seven months PG and then terminate because they want to go to a party. Antichoicers are more upset by hypothetical 'murdered' babies than by the deaths of real women.

EglantinePrice Mon 20-May-13 11:21:05

Oxfordbags you have been on this thread twice now to tell us how embarrassing and immature the discussion is. Is this going to be the limit of your contribution or would you care to add something intellectual and mature?
The discussion about late term abortions is going on between both pro and anti abortion posters. Its not 'non-factual emotion' its real, it happens, we've just looked at a list of some of the many reasons it happens. Are you suggesting we shouldn't discuss it? Or that it doesn't happen?

itsonlysubterfuge completely agree people should be educated about abortion. We don't normally require evidence of lack of knowledge seeker to educate. It should be the norm. Not just one side - that obviously isn't education. The negatives/risks as well as the other side such as blistory told above.

EcoRI me too. Thing is, the right of the woman trumps the right of the baby. But that doesn't make it pleasant.

Badvoc Mon 20-May-13 11:29:32

That list is really sobering reading sad
How awful that so many of them were given incorrect advice from their own gp!!
And how awful that so many of the young women were so ignorant about contraception.

xylem8 Mon 20-May-13 11:51:19

SGB- I don't speak for all pro-lifers but to me once fertilisation has taken place, then a genetically unique human life has begun.So if you substitute new born baby in all the pro-life arguments then you can see my POV.

xylem8 Mon 20-May-13 11:55:39

WHat I really don't get about the antichoicers is what the fuck it's got to do with them in the first place what choice a woman makes

well that is true of many wrongs in the world.Should I just turn a blind eye to children being abused because it is the parents' choice and nothing to do with me? who speaks for that human embryo being murdered?

. THere are real, documented examples of women dying unnecessarily because of the misogyny and stupidity of anti-choicers

I don't think even the most hardline pro-life supporter would say that a pregnancy should be continued where the mothers life is at risk

StealthOfficialCrispTester Mon 20-May-13 11:59:57

xylem but you've just contradicted yourself. In your first post you say that as soon as fertilisation has taken place then the baby is a human in its own right and should not be killed. But then you say if the mother's life is at risk then the baby can be killed. Surely in that scenario, both are equally important?
(I summarise, apologies if you feel I've misquoted)

sashh Mon 20-May-13 12:11:30

I don't think even the most hardline pro-life supporter would say that a pregnancy should be continued where the mothers life is at risk

Then you have not met many.

After Savita Halappanavar died there many demonstrations, a sign at one said "Must millions of babies be murdered because of the death of one woman?"

There is a woman in San Salvador appealing to the high court for a termination. What she is carrying, whether you describe it as a child, baby or fetus, it will not live.

Pro life means no abortion no matter what the circumstances, and if you are identifying as pro life you should make yourself aware of what happens when abortion is outlawed.

In Mexico if you have a miscarriage, you have to prove to the police it is that, and not a termination. That is the reality of pro life.

Pro choice, on the other hand, is not fixed, it is a spectrum of people some who believe abortion at any stage should be legal, others only under certain circumstances.

MaterFacit Mon 20-May-13 12:13:33

'I don't think even the most hardline pro-life supporter would say that a pregnancy should be continued where the mothers life is at risk'

But thats exactly what happened with Savita? The mother's life was at risk but the pregnancy was continued.

Here are some tables from the USA. Under 'public opinion' . There is a percentage of between 4 and 25% that believe there should be no abortion even if the woman is at risk.

seeker Mon 20-May-13 12:17:58

"I don't think even the most hardline pro-life supporter would say that a pregnancy should be continued where the mothers life is at risk"

You can't have met many then.............