Choice or coercion?

It is sad that the rhetoric of choice is often used to disguise what could more easily be described as very coercive circumstances for women. These stories below from a Madison Magazine article in October 2009.

Samantha didn’t want to be a single parent and had an abortion at 34.

“When I had an abortion, I had only been in my relationship for five months and my partner didn’t feel we were ready to have a child. I didn’t feel like I had the right to force him against his will. I only want to bring a baby into the world if the child is wanted and in a happy home and I wasn’t confident I wouldn’t end up a single mother.On the day of the abortion, I was shaky and teary, but once it was over, I tried to get on with life as if nothing had happened – but three weeks later I started crying when I saw nappy ads or babies in prams.

I felt betrayed by my partner because he didn’t want to have the baby with me. Over the next six months, I cried and screamed at him. Even though he tried to support me through it, our relationship became very shaky. I’m still strongly pro-choice, but feel we need to do more to warn women you don’t just walk in, have an abortion, walk out and move on.”

Anne had an abortion at 35:

‘I used to think abortions happened to other people, not grown up women like me. Except that they do. I was 35 and childless when I met a dishy divorcee just after I’d left my short lived marriage. It still stuns me I slept with him on our second date. We didn’t use condoms (at his request) and to my immortal self reproach, I got pregnant.

When I told him, he went into nuclear meltdown, shouting he wasn’t ready to be a father. I laid on the bathroom floor feeling petrified. My life was a mess, and although termination never entered my mind until then, I didn’t fight to have this child.

Two days later, I had an abortion. I was so shocked I didn’t even cry. Two months later, we broke up. Unbelievably, he later told me he wanted to have another go at our relationship and try for another baby. The pain I’d buried bubbled up. I would have had the child if he wanted to, but it was far too late.”

The above stories, are examples that the pro-abortion lobby use to justify the need for legal accessible abortion services. Why don’t we lobby for raising the responsibility and compassion of men? Why do they not see what I see in these stories.. women subject to the whim, and violence of men? Why should women be forced to choose abortion, because they don’t wish to force parenthood on an unwilling partner, or don’t have supports?

Is that really the best kind of ‘choice’ our society has to offer women?.

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