TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE A CHILD:
WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE
I wouldn’t hesitate to have the pregnancy terminated were I a woman and I found that I was expecting a child that my being was not ready to have and subsequently raise. Reasons for my decision being mine, and mine alone; coming from the deepest recesses of my being, where no one but me alone will ever reach, feel and know.
It’s a natural eventuality that the human race, as with numerous other species, shall propagate itself. But it’s not a given that absolutely all women shall, or must fall pregnant and be perpetual baby-making machines. Furthermore, it’s not a given that all pregnancies shall complete the normal nine-month cycle of foetal development to birth of a wholesome child: stillbirths. Neither is it a given that all children shall be born with perfect physical symmetry and neurophysiological functionality. Pure science.
To begin with, it’s not a given that sexual encounters resulting in pregnancies would have all occurred under ideal conditions. The latter being, amongst others, mutual consent, healthy woman and man, as well as a myriad of other biological and sociological factors. It has to be a woman’s prerogative to choose whether or not she shall carry will-be children in her body. That regardless of her civil status as an adult. Morality.
Especially decisions around minors’ pregnancies need to be attended to with absolute care under the guidance of relevant professional personnel across the board. It goes without saying that the same shall be made available to adult women as a matter of course. It’s only that minors’ and adults’ realities are non-identical, non-comparable. Ethics.
Child bearing is not an obligation. Child rearing is. The latter is primarily an obligatory venture between the parents of the child. The parents’ micro and macro villages shall render their assistance according to their abilities and prevailing social norms and values. It’s worth noting that modern society’s parental constellations are more than just about female-male/ same-sex in all sorts of cohabitation arrangements as married, single-living-together-apart; female or male single parenting. Also, artificial insemination enables pregnancy without direct sexual intercourse. Surrogate parenting and surrogacy options add more complexities to the dynamics of modern society’s parental constellations. Changing times. Inevitable.
A woman’s choice to abort a pregnancy does not have to be independent of the existence of the child-to-be’s father. That assuming earlier or current relationship of one kind or another between the two. Rape and other forms of abuse upon the expectant mother ought to preclude the rapist’s right to claim or seek to influence the sexually abused pregnant victim’s decision to terminate the condition. It’s bad enough for a woman to have to endure the trauma of rape in the first place. Compassion.
I hold the view that, having weighed her options, when of own volition a pregnant woman of normal faculties settles for abortion, she needs all the support and love from the sperm donor above all other relations. That to the extent that there is some form of functional relationship between the two, of course. Rapists and abusers need not have any part in this. Empathy.
Normal birthing is an ever so excruciatingly painful and precarious exercise. In fact, the entire pregnancy-to-birth journey is a high potential death affair. In non-ideal conditions of inadequate or non-existent, if not deliberately instituted limited access to, public or private health services infrastructure, the rate of maternal mortality rises exponentially. As such, it’s one monumental deal for a woman to decide to make the drastic choice of abortion despite the risks and actual attendant physical and mental torment arising. This leaves me in even greater awe of women as bearers of untold physical, emotional, and mental suffering. In this together. Solidarity.
I maintain that for a child-bearing woman to lose a child under any circumstance has to be an all-round tortuous experience no man can ever come close to comprehending. Then, who is any man, or another woman for that matter, to want to get in the way of a woman’s right to choose to keep a pregnancy or not? Justice.
Life to the living first. It’s the living thriving in environments and times of abundant love, wellbeing, liberty, equality, and solidarity that will create conditions for higher standards of living for the yet to be born children when their time, place, and opportunity to be part of humanity present themselves. Realism.
November 17, 2020
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[…] ntshitse mpa’ translates as ‘She has taken out the stomach’. Abortion is described as ‘Ho ntsha mpa’ in Sesotho, therefore. Graphically, ‘Ho ntsha mpa’ as a […]