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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Pro-life/ Pro-choice?

146 replies

thefinerthingsinlife · 16/05/2011 09:21

I am a very vocal supporter of pro-choice. It's a women's body therefore it is her choice whether she continues with a pregnancy.

I've come across alot of pro-life supporters lately who put the right of the baby above that of the mother, which I think is madness.

I was wondering what everyone else thought

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themildmanneredjanitor · 16/05/2011 09:29

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thefinerthingsinlife · 16/05/2011 09:33

I totally agree janitor. Sex ed. and safe sex should be taught properly to children/teenagers as part of their education. Of course it should be taught at home too but sadly many parents don't bother.

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LadyClariceCannockMonty · 16/05/2011 09:54

Pro-choice and think 'pro-life' should be renamed as it seems to imply that people who are pro-choice are in some way anti-babies or pro-death. Hateful.

I once came across a stance on abortion which was that while a foetus is reliant on the woman's body to keep it alive, it's her choice what happens to it, but once it gets to the stage where it could survive outside the womb it becomes a person with a right to life. I am very much in favour of if there must be an abortion it should be early, and this stance has always made a lot of sense to me. I do realise though that sometimes a late abortion is the only option and wouldn't think badly of anyone who had one.

Proper sex education is of course essential.

MoChan · 16/05/2011 10:25

I think it's a shame that if you find abortion dreadful, that you are labelled 'pro-life' and categorised along with people who are narrow, unbending, or even gun wielding nutters.

I don't think abortion should be illegal. I think women should have access to it if they need it. They shouldn't be made to feel bad about doing it. There do have to be limits, though, I think. A cut off point.

I think it would be better if we could try and reduce abortion rates because it's not a nice thing for anyone to go through. Plus, I know for sure that it's an agonising decision for many, but I'm aware there are also many (probably younger) people who practically view it as contraception; I have come into contact with a girl in her late teens, for example, who had already had around 10 abortions, and whilst I appreciate that it isn't the norm, I think these attitudes need to be discouraged, if only because the process could ultimately be damaging to the people who do this.

Sex education should be better, IMO. Support for ANYONE struggling with an unplanned pregnancy should be better. We have to get away from negative attitudes towards the use of contraception.

ExpectoPatronum · 16/05/2011 11:15

I think that we should do everything possible, as a society, to reduce the number of terminations that are carried out each year.

So that means much better sex education. It means ensuring there is ready, free access to effective contraception for people of all ages. It means improving the support that there is for people who find themselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy. And I feel very strongly that it's also about raising girls' sense of self-worth and their ambition. Why do so many young women measure their own attractiveness and self-worth in relation to attracting men? Why do so many young women feel that they have to agree to sex with a new partner in order to keep them? What can we do to change those attitudes?

(and I don't advocate celibacy before marriage, just being very selective!)

I think having my own children has made me feel more strongly that abortion is something to be avoided if at all possible. If we see an early foetus as 'just a bunch of cells' that can be destroyed, then how do we then reconcile that with a wanted pregnancy where the foetus is seen by the mother as a 'baby' from the second she gets a positive pregnancy test result?

I don't like the 'pro-choice' / 'pro-life' labels either. I think that we need to ensure that people who have really no choice at all are not denied access to safe, legal terminations, but we should do everything we can to ensure that these people are few and far between.

thefinerthingsinlife · 16/05/2011 11:24

Why do so many young women measure their own attractiveness and self-worth in relation to attracting men? Why do so many young women feel that they have to agree to sex with a new partner in order to keep them?

This is what we need to be challenging on top of sex ed. etc! There are so many things behind terminations we need to address.

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SuchProspects · 16/05/2011 11:58

I'm really not of the "as few abortions as possible" camp. I do (very, very much) agree that contraception is better than abortion. And I think the law and our institutions should be totally aligned with a woman's right to do as she sees fit with her own body (i.e. no hoops to jump through and no coercion). But I wish socially women considered abortion as a matter of course for an unplanned pregnancy. I think there are too many families pushed too close to the edge over stretched resources and women trying to fit into a "good mother" mood. Safe abortion and access to contraception and fertility treatment give women the ability to mold their lives (in relation to their roles as mothers) in a way that has not been possible before. I wish we would embrace it more.

I also think the focus on teenage mothers and abortion is a bit of a ted herring, not that there aren't issues with young women who feel they have few options in life, budiku understanding is that teenagers aren't the ones having the most likely to get pregnant.

DaisyHayes · 16/05/2011 12:01

Hmmm. I am pro-choice. And actually, I think that means that no-one has the right to tell a woman what to do with the contents of her own private uterus - ever. I think that abortion should be available right up to term.

The vast vast vast majority of abortions do - and still would, reglardless of time limit legislation - take place before 12 weeks.

The right of a woman to choose what happens to her body must always outweigh the rights of the foetus, imo.

SuchProspects · 16/05/2011 12:01

mood mold (and probably others Blush)

ExpectoPatronum · 16/05/2011 12:04

seriously, Daisy, right up to term?

From a medical / physiological point of view here, wouldn't the woman in question still need to give birth to the baby? So in that case, couldn't she give birth to a live baby and give it up for adoption rather than terminate at 40 weeks?

RamblingRosa · 16/05/2011 12:05

I'm firmly pro choice.

I would hate to have an abortion myself and thank my lucky stars that I haven't ever had to.

I would never, ever deny that choice to another woman though.

I believe that all the evidence shows that making abortions more accessible actually has the effect of decreasing the number of late term abortions. Good sex ed and contraception/family planning services all essential in keeping abortion rates down.

PrinceHumperdink · 16/05/2011 12:07

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PrinceHumperdink · 16/05/2011 12:12

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DaisyHayes · 16/05/2011 12:56

expectopatronum - Yes, right up to term.

The circumstances of such a procedure (yes, it would involve labour) would be so incedibly traumatic, only the tiniest, tiniest minority of terminations would take place at this point. Almost certainly most women would choose adoption (or, more probably - if I remember my stats correctly- to keep the child) as an alternative to this.

Doesn't mean they still shouldn't be able to choose termination as an option.

DaisyHayes · 16/05/2011 13:00

A woman's body belomgs to her and to her alone. The (patriarchal) state should have no right whatsoever to force any woman to do anything with her body that she does not wish to do. It actually seems very clear cut to me.

DialsMavis · 16/05/2011 13:02

Pro-choice here. Not something I can ever imagine doing but would stand up for others right to. I think they should be done as esrly as possible though and I would like to see the limt reduced by a few weeks.

NeverSayPie · 16/05/2011 13:02

I don't believe you can be a feminist and be "pro-life", though I've met plenty of people who consider themselves to be both: I think they are fooling themselves.

PrinceHumperdink · 16/05/2011 13:04

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Straight2Extremes · 16/05/2011 13:05

Pro-choice although I am a bit Confused at the thought of abortion right up to term.

Housemare · 16/05/2011 13:10

I believe in abortion as a lesser of two evils. I agree with those who say using it as contraception is unpalatable.

I am neither pro- choice nor pro-life and cannot comprehend how anyone can believe killing a fully formed baby at 40 weeks is acceptable.

There are options long before abortion, contraception, MAP. Some women would be wise to remember those.

I could never live where abortion was illegal but I also shudder at the cavalier attitude towards it form some quarters.

ComeAlongPond · 16/05/2011 13:18


I was reading an article about abortion in America and the Roe v Wade case that argued the 14th Amendment, which is what they used to say women had a right to privacy and therefore control over their own body, was a weak argument because, if the baby was considered a 'person' from the moment of conception, it would be protected under the same amendment and given a right to live. The article said if they'd used the 13th amendment, which outlaws slavery and forced servitude, they'd have a much stronger case because it would completely remove the 'is the fetus a person' debate - forced motherhood would equate to a form of unwilling servitude and, person or not, the fetus would have no right to 'enslave' the mother. It was very interesting.

PrinceHumperdink · 16/05/2011 13:24

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SuchProspects · 16/05/2011 13:25
candleshoe · 16/05/2011 13:27

Pro choice definitely! And I would defend late abortion in the case of illness, severe disability, rape and other extreme circumstances too.

wigglesrock · 16/05/2011 13:32

I am pro-choice. I live in NI, and have had seen three of my friends go through the agony of having to travel to England for abortions, the hell these women have had to go through to arrange the abortion, travel over and travel back, often on the cheapest method of transport, - bus and boat. It literally is barbaric that they need to do this. I have just had my third daughter and I pray (yes I do know how at odds this may sound) that my daughters will grow up with the same choice that other women in the UK have.

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