The Answer to the “Women’s Choice” Issue
I know I’m going to be accused of hating men with this article but nothing could be further from the truth. I like men for a variety of reasons, the least of which they can be very good friends. Yet, for some, the very mention of “women’s health”, “abortion”, or any variation thereof and automatically a woman is labeled “a man hater”. For those, it’s obvious that nothing anyone can say will ever change their minds. For men, with a more open-minded and fair attitude an explanation may not even be needed at all. In this case, however, I’m going to try once again to reach the former group with a little personal experience and some common sense.
Let me say, up front, I do NOT think abortion should be on demand. Women requesting an abortion should be required to seek advice from doctors, social workers, etc., and reconsider their decision for a number of days to prevent abortion being used as a method of birth control. Yes, each woman has her own personal circumstances and those issues deserve to be given consideration by friends and professionals. Rape and incest, however, should automatically qualify for abortion without question or hesitation.
At the same time, men who want control over the decisions a woman makes behind the closed doors of her doctor’s office should have to earn that right. Earning the right to dictate what a woman does with her body, especially a woman he doesn’t even know, just seems fair. Nothing in life, worth having, comes without cost. This is especially true when the woman will be forced into living the rest of her life with the decisions men make for her.
Earning the right to dictate the rules of another person’s life, at least in this case, could begin with making sure there are no future unwanted pregnancies. For example, men who disagree with abortion under all or most circumstances should be required to undergo a non-reversible surgical vasectomy. Those who have already had a vasectomy could be required to do lengthy community service at a shelter for battered women. This would at the very least show these particular men the circumstances involved in both sides of their beliefs.
As for myself, I was faced with the issue of an abortion at one point in my life. No, I was not the victim of rape or incest, thank goodness. Yet, the circumstances involved in even considering an abortion were quite substantial and fairly complicated. Yes, members of my family and I have discussed the issue a few times. Yet, I’ve never told them exactly when I faced this decision or who in the family this decision involved, and I never will. Considering an abortion is NEVER an easy decision for any woman. In fact, from personal experience, I can say it is probably the single most difficult decision a woman will be faced with. The English language is simply not extensive enough to explain the depth of feelings and the seriousness of all the circumstances involved, in making a decision to have or not have an abortion. In considering everything involved I sought the advice of the aforementioned professionals as well as friends who knew me. In the end, I took the advice of friends, which was my right to do so. Since then, I’ve come to realize one very important fact though. Taking the advice of friends, instead of following my own gut, was the absolute worst thing I could have done for everyone involved. So, yes, I have always regretted my final decision.
That abortion decision is why, to this day, I will follow “my own gut feeling” or my “sixth-sense” over the advice of friends and family. In fact, I’m famous in my family for saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling about this.” If I follow that “gut feeling” I’m usually right on target or at least close to it. If I don’t, I end up living with the regret from that point on.