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Supporting abortion to term.

(677 Posts)
VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:01:04

Asking this question in feminism because, 1. I don't want a pro/against bunfight and 2 because I have only ever seen this comment made by feminists. *

I have seen the comment made that someone would support an abortion up until term for any reason (so in theory just because they changed their mind would be acceptable I guess).

If you take this stance is it because you feel to decide a cut off date for abortions would be to choose an arbitrary date in a pregnancy and that we need legally to have free access to abortions... but actually if your mate said, "just found out I am 37 weeks pregnant really don't want it, going for an abortion" you would be horrified and because you know it isn't likely to ever happen


if in the above scenario would you happily (assuming it were legal) take your friend down to the clinic to get an abortion because you belive the mother's choice trumps the fetus/babies right to life?

I'm prochoice but I have a real difficulty with people saying that it's acceptable for any reason up till term. And in the above scenario (if it were legal) I'd support my friend's right to demand to be induced early for her mental health and to give the baby up for adoption but not for an abortion.

* disclaimer: I am a feminist but don't support this view

avenueone Fri 27-Jul-12 20:48:10

I have to add I can't think of any reason why if going to full term you would not want to protect your child's life having what I consider to be quite a routine operation (I had an emerg section it was absol. fine but I know there can be complications).

Shallishanti Fri 27-Jul-12 20:48:21

well, I couldn't say why exactly, but the fetus is held to have rights in the US, (a very slippery slope) but here not until it's born and breathing does a baby have rights

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:48:56

you're right minty but I assumed lrd knew that and was making a statement, so I didn't see the point in correcting her (apologies if I am wrong)

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:49:39

Why does the mother get to decide if her child lives or does past 24 weeks? At that point the child can survive without her... How is that different from deciding a week after birth? Or is it because as long as the baby is part of the woman's body... She owns her body?

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:50:17

x- post.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 27-Jul-12 20:51:32

vegans, you're correct.

eclectic - but why 24 weeks? When most of us were born, that might not have been true. And even now not all 24 weekers survive. sad

It could be technology in the future will push back limits even further (though I believe there's a big question mark over this).

I don't see how it relates to the mother's decisions over her body?

avenueone Fri 27-Jul-12 20:51:53

The right to choose sometimes means the right to be allowed or supported to continue with a pregnancy and for me, being a feminist is as much about that right as the right to abort agree

Margerykemp Fri 27-Jul-12 20:52:04


Eclectic- read some of the childbirth esp the home birth threads on here- women in the UK are routinely coerced into interventions which are detrimetal to their health but for 'the benefit of the fetus'.

C-sections are 'safe' but statistically not as safe as VB. If a woman died after a forced c-section then how would you feel?

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:52:31

I do think that hurting a pregnant women (and causing her to lose or damage her unborn a child) should be seen as a more serious crime, or as a hate crime

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:53:01

What is the argument for aborting up to full term? As the OP said, could the child not be adopted? Trying to figure out why it would be neccesary to change the law to allow abortion to full term.

KRITIQ Fri 27-Jul-12 20:53:21

Let's get this into perspective folks.

In the latest figures I could find, 79% of terminations take place within 10 weeks gestation. Only 120 abortions happened after 24 weeks in England and Wales in 2010 with only 29 at 32 weeks plus. We are talking about extremely rare events and very unusual circumstances.

From my understanding, very late abortions tend to involve a combination of foetuses that would not survive the birth process or long after birth and women whose health could be severely damaged or there is a considerable risk they could die if the pregnancy continued further and/or they had to give birth.

So, it is inaccurate and insensitive to suggest that any woman at 37 weeks who suddenly fancies not being pregnant anymore can have an abortion on a whim. Very late abortions happen because of compelling medical advice and the situation is extremely distressing for the families concerned.

I support the option of termination up to term for those extremely rare circumstances, usually where the alternative would mean the death or serious harm to the woman and severe suffering for the foetus if born naturally.

Mintyy Fri 27-Jul-12 20:53:50

Going to leave you to it and watch the Olympics opening cermony. I find it impossible to see such gigantic issues in black and white terms ... probably the reason I am such a failure as a Mumsnet feminist! Enjoy your debate everyone.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 27-Jul-12 20:54:07

I believe a woman has the right to have the foetus removed from her body ay any point until birth. But I don't believe she has any right to request it be killed. So if the foetus is past 24 weeks, she should have labour induced or a c-section, and the baby become the ward of the state, to be given up for adoption. I really don't see why termination of a pregnancy necessarily means the death of the foetus.

LineRunnerSpartanNaked Fri 27-Jul-12 20:54:11

I believe the argument is that a woman's body is her body, and that her body belongs to her and not to the state.

VegansTasteBetter Fri 27-Jul-12 20:54:35

Not necessarily calling the fetus a person, but saying that harming the pregnant women at that time is particularly heinous

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:54:46

I don't think there can be a general rule. C section implications, vb implications and the life of the baby, differ enormously depending on context.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 27-Jul-12 20:57:12

Reading how traumatised and physically injured women sometimes are after interventions during labour that they didn't agree to is really terrifying - I can't begin to imagine how horrific it would be if at the end of all that, you didn't have a wanted baby.

What on earth would you do, practically, anyway, if you were forcing an operation on a woman and she refused? It doesn't bear thinking about.

I simply do not believe that a woman would change her mind in late pregnancy without there being serious reasons or problems behind it. I know that saying that I'm running the risk of implying that it's somehow mentally ill for a to decide she doesn't want a child and that is not what I mean. But I think if a woman decides she needs an abortion at 39 weeks, something serious has happened to make her decide so late.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:57:37

I agree with kritiq, however, where does aborting due to gender come into this? If we had a society that favoured a particular gender?

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 27-Jul-12 20:58:11

kri, thanks for that reminder.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 20:59:10

See your point LRD... Still finding the concept difficult.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 27-Jul-12 20:59:32

I think if society favours a particular gender, you tackle that, you don't take away women's rights. I'd say that's scapegoating women for a problem that's part of wider society (and the examples in the real world being what they are, it's scapegoating women for society discriminating against women, which is doubly horrible).

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 27-Jul-12 21:00:40

Btw, I find the concept horribly difficult. I would think most of us do. But then I also find the concept of (eg) cadaver dissection or brain surgery difficult, when I think about them. There's things it's right react viscerally towards, but still not right to criminalize. IMO.

EclecticShock Fri 27-Jul-12 21:03:00

That makes sense LRD and I have re read Kritiq's post and see she only supports abortion to full term when it's death or serious harm to mother or child.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 27-Jul-12 21:04:18

Sorry, I'm posting in too much of a flurry.

SardineQueen Fri 27-Jul-12 21:05:38

I agree that it is an issue related to rights of people with disabilities.

At the moment abortion is allowed to 24 weeks (I think?) if signed off by 2 doctors due to mental/physical issues (remember we do not have abortion on demand in the UK legally), but to term for "disability" again with doctors saying whether it is "allowable" or "advised" or not.

Also don't forget that abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland which is a part of the UK and that is disgraceful frankly.

Anyway the stats on abortion are wiki:

"In 2004, there were 185,415 abortions in England and Wales. 87% of abortions were performed at 12 weeks or less and 1.6% (or 2,914 abortions) occurred after 20 weeks. Abortion is free to residents,[32] 82% of abortions were carried out by the National Health Service.[34]"

As abhorrent as the idea of abortion to term actually is, the fact is that women are (on the whole) not emotionless evil weird types who would suddenly start going around asking for late abortions on viable pregnancies. The stats show that the vast vast majority of abortions in the UK are carried out before 12 weeks with only 1.6% after 20 weeks (which is still within the timeframe) and it's safe to assume that the vast majority of those abortions were carried out for a good reason.

So it's a kind of logical thing. It is illogical that the time is different for two different types. If it were only conditions incompatible with life in a fairly immediate way that might be different, but its not. And women are not on the whole bananas. The idea of carrying a pregnancy until the very end then deciding to abort for no reason - the fact that people even think it will happen on a relatively frequent basis is (and it's not a word I use lightly) mysoginistic.

logically from a feminist perspective and in view of our current laws surrounding abortion the only thing to do is support abortion til term.

Yes of course it is a horrible awful thought.

That's my view anyway.

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