To think that just because I'm pro-life doesn't mean I hate feminism?

(813 Posts)
TinkerSailerSoldierSpy Sat 18-May-13 12:38:25

Friend and I were having a discussion, I'm 18 weeks pregnant, and it was a bit of an inconvenient surprise, considering I've started a new job just 2 months ago.I mentioned that it wasn't going to look good, me taking maternity leave after not even being there for a year, and she suggested perhaps considering there was no dad on the scene and my new job, I should terminate. I felt a bit uncomfortable but told her that I could never do that as I'm pro life and view it as killing a child. She then proceeded to stare at me like I had an extra head and ask me why in a shocked voice. I explained my reasons and views and we got into an arguement about it, the usual stuff, what about in cases of rape and if the woman's not financially able to support the child, to which I countered but is it right for a woman to get an abortion just because she wants to continue a party lifestyle? And she stormed out the house shouting that I was misogynistic and women have the right to their own bodies. Let me be clear, I certainly would never stop anyone from making their decision about an abortion, I just can't seem to get over the idea of it, it repulses me. But I wouldn't judge a woman who got one. I understand the other viewpoint but I can't agree with it myself, and in all other respects I would say i was very liberal about womans rights. When I mentioned it to other friend she said it was my views but they were quite outdated and misogynistic. Are they? I need advice, should I apologize to friend A?

eccentrica Thu 23-May-13 15:18:03

feminist5 Seriously, what is so different about pregnancy? You think doctors should just be there to obey your command, why limit this to medical procedures relating to pregnancy? All medical procedures should be available on demand, right? after all, what is medical school and years of experience for, if it's not to be ordered around by someone who simply by being female knows more than they could ever hope to?

eccentrica Thu 23-May-13 15:19:48

You are living in a fantasy world where whole surgical teams will be mobilised simply on your say-so and against medical advice. It's ridiculous.

MooncupGoddess Thu 23-May-13 15:26:09

I demand an appendectomy now!

I agree that pregnant women should have the right to refuse medical procedures (even if it puts their foetus' life at risk) but the idea of having a right to demand medical procedures is quite odd.

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 16:46:46

I think I should clarify. Firstly, demanding an abortion is also demanding a medical procedure and technically no doctor is obliged to perform that either.

Secondly, I am not referring to random procedures like an appendectomy which will have no benefit to mother or baby whatsoever, I am referring to women have equal choices in childbirth and pregnancy.

For example, if a low risk woman wants to have a home birth and she has made an informed decision then medical professionals shouldn't be able to stop her.

Or if a well informed woman planning on a small family or a woman who has tokophobia has made a choice to have a cesarean, then her choice should be respected.

If a woman wants an epidural, then she shouldn't be left screaming in pain for hours or denied that choice entirely.

I am not talking about extreme choices like forcing a doctor to impregnate you with sextuplets, just reasonable well informed choices that pregnant women should be able to make.

It is very important for pregnant women to have more control over their bodies than health care professionals do.

I know a rape victim who was forced to abort her pregnancy because she wasn't "allowed" to have the kind of birth that would prevent flashbacks.

Despite NICE guidelines that say that women can choose home birth and cesarean, women are still having to fight to make these choices.

So I'm just referring to giving women more choices during pregnancy and childbirth other than just the right to terminate the pregnancy whenever.

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 16:49:05

I'd also quickly clarify that I am not saying women should be able to order medical professionals around, but then it shouldn't be the other way around either (which is quite what it is currently).

Being pregnant is different than not being pregnant and no matter what the baby has to come out somehow. The way I see it, the woman should have an informed say in how that happens without health care professionals being able to override that choice.

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 16:50:46

Pleas excuse the grammatical and spelling errors, I am typing in a hurry!

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 16:54:52

And yes, doctors are human too. They have rights. Which is why so many of them in the USA are refusing to perform abortions simply because they don't want to.

Doctors certainly have rights- the doctors treating Savita in Ireland also had the right to go by their religious beliefs and not perform the abortion. Which is exactly what they did.

Doctors have rights and will always have rights. I am just concerned about those rights overriding the pregnant woman's.

MooncupGoddess Thu 23-May-13 18:00:42

Hmm. Shouldn't women be able to have their informed view taken into account when undergoing any type of medical treatment? I don't see why pregnancy/birth is a special case although obviously the presence of a foetus makes it easier for doctors to override a woman's view by presenting the foetus' alleged needs as more important.

Also, there is a difference between having a view taken into account, which I'm sure we'd all support, and the woman having an absolute right to demand a particular medical procedure.

seeker Thu 23-May-13 18:13:38

Oh, look, we're talking about late term abortion again. Now how did that happen?

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 18:25:22

"I don't see why pregnancy/birth is a special case although obviously the presence of a foetus makes it easier for doctors to override a woman's view by presenting the foetus' alleged needs as more important."

I think you just explained it yourself. Pregnancy tends to be disempowering for women in that they are taken less seriously and are more likely to be manipulated. Doctors tend to be partial to fetal rights and end up taking away the woman's right to make choices about her own body.

Furthermore, childbirth is different because the baby has to come out somehow and I would rather that the lady had a say in how that happens.

There will never be an absolute right to demand any procedure including an abortion. I personally think that in the event of a disagreement, the woman's own choice about what should happen to her body should override anyone else's but I don't think that will ever happen.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 23-May-13 18:30:29

On virtually all of those points I agree feminist 5 the early induction thing I found hard to swallow since there is a whole other person involved whose health needs to be considered but the rest makes absolute sense to me.

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 18:32:18

^

Personally, I wouldn't go for the early induction myself but since a lot of us here were supportive of abortion up until birth, I found it odd that they would suddenly oppose an elective induction.

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 18:32:51

I've started a thread on this topic in the feminism/women's rights chat forum if anyone is interested.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 23-May-13 18:37:23

Personally, I wouldn't go for the early induction myself but since a lot of us here were supportive of abortion up until birth, I found it odd that they would suddenly oppose an elective induction.

I on the other hand do not support abortion up until birth but I do support the choice of abortion up until the viability of the foetus so at least I am consistent in my inconsistency smile

Feminist5 Thu 23-May-13 18:54:16

Fair enough then! smile

My thoughts are very similar to yours.

BobblyGussets Thu 23-May-13 22:41:56

Why did Marie Stopes make me wait until 10 weeks pg for a surgical termination? I went there at 7-8 weeks and they said it wasn't "big enough" or some such thing (sorry, it was 9 years ago, memory blurred),so I had to wait another two weeks, vomiting and looking after my 8 month old baby, knowing I didn't want to be pregnant and feeling my PND coming on strong again. Sorry to derail, I just wondered if anyone knew the reason here, seeing as we are discussing termination.

MaterFacit Thu 23-May-13 23:24:19

I think its because when the pregnancy is smaller and earlier there is a risk that the procedure isn't successful and you can remain pregnant. They prefer to offer medical termination (pills) up to 9 weeks and surgical termination after that.

I was given the choice two and a half years ago at Marie Stopes and had a surgical termination at 5+4 and had it explained to me then. I couldn't get childcare for the second medical termination appointment so opted for it, but I had to sign a form saying I was aware of the fact that it was less reliable.

I'm so so sorry that this wasn't an option available for you then, I found it hard enough to wait a week knowing that I was pregnant (I also had a small baby and a history of PND/depression/anxiety), it must have been many many times harder for you.

differentnameforthis Fri 24-May-13 04:08:39

Do you consider a 10 year old to have morally more right to life than a 3 year old?
Do you consider a 3 year old has morally more right to life than a newborn?

Aside from the fact that your argument is invalid, because we are not talking about live, already existing children, I'll bite... My existing children had more rights than the foetus growing inside me, yes!

They had a right to have their mother be the best mother she could be, and I couldn't promise that if I had three kids. As it was, being pregnant sent me into a spiral of anxiety & depression, of which I have never suffered before & that took some time to pass post termination.

They have a right to live as comfortable a life as I can allow, with another child, that comfort would have been reduced.

They had the right to have a fully functioning healthy mother, I don't know where it would have sent me if I had to continue my pregnancy.

If you think those things aren't important, that's fine. But to me they are, massively so. Because I grew up with a parent who didn't want me & she couldn't hide it & it damaged me & our relationship so much, that we haven't spoken for over 20 years. So if it is all the same to you, I will be the one to decide who comes first & who is more important in my family.

BasilBabyEater Fri 24-May-13 08:27:49

That question has just reminded me of my neighbour, who had a heart condition and got pregnant twice with her sons.

Both times she was told that her risk of dying as a result of this pregnancy was much greater than the average.

The second time, she was told that her risk of dying this time round, was even higher than in the first pregnancy. But this time round she had a little boy who needed his mum. She came under an enormous amount of pressure both from family, friends and HCP's to abort for the sake of her son.

Did her son have more rights than the foetus she was carrying? Damn right he did. But did he have more rights than her, should she have been forced to abort so that she kept herself alive for him? Absolutely not, her body, her choice. It's not a choice I would have made, but I'm not her and she had the right to make that choice.

Anyway she died. sad

That's a terribly sad story Basil.

differentnameforthis Fri 24-May-13 10:05:49

Presumably a baby can be delivered by C-section at almost any point. IF this leaves a viable baby then so be it

So now she has to go through an unwanted surgical procedure to make sure the baby lives, so it can be placed in care. What a utterly bollocks solution! Do you know how hard c section recovery can be? Probably not, otherwise you would never have suggested that!

that guy in America recently prosecuted for killing multiple infants after the late term abortions he carried out Little bit different to carrying out late term terminations, as he delivered them alive, then killed them.

but if they are not essential they are an offense against all that being a woman means. I can't even get my head around that kind of thinking! What does being a woman mean? That we should not use contraception & automatically want every single foetus that grows inside us? That just because we carry & bear children, we should love/care for/want all children? Please explain, because I am lost with that remark!

But when the fetus is becomes viable then abortion is infanticide, medically if not legally Infanticide is the killing of a infant OVER a day old, but under a year old. So no, termination isn't ever infanticide.

Forced scans, as in some US states, seem extreme to me, yet I believe women should be aware of what they are aborting So you are happy to force a woman to see what is inside her before she terminates? I was aware of what I was terminating. I have 2 children, so it was no mystery to me what was going on inside me. It is rather insulting to suggest that a woman has no idea what she is terminating unless she is forced to look at it. Women know, they only think, in some cases that they are aborting something different due to propagander used by anti-women lobbies who try to tell us that an 8 week foetus is as big & developed as a new born baby

intelligent position somewhere in between The only intelligent position is to let a woman choose what happens within her own body.

eccentrica Fri 24-May-13 10:37:58

"intelligent position somewhere in between The only intelligent position is to let a woman choose what happens within her own body."

Er, no. That's your opinion. It's astonishingly narrow-minded and rude to just state that as if it's fact. There are plenty of intelligent people (as discussed over and over again on this thread) who find the idea of late abortions problematic.

I feel like over and over again people are trying to make out that having any sort of qualms about late abortion is exactly the same as trying to ban all abortion, and that there is a stubborn refusal to recognise the reality of what it means. Being heavily pregnant is not a simple case of being a single person with a 'growth' inside you. I'm sorry, it's not easy, but it's still true. A foetus does not have legal personhood but that doesn't mean that a full or nearly full-term foetus should be seen as unproblematically a non-person who can be killed without any moral or emotional difficulty.

The irony is I think very few people pushing that position even believe it themselves. There is this stupid insistence on absolutism and this idea that absolutely extreme, completely un-nuanced views are the only valid ones.

BobblyGussets Fri 24-May-13 13:37:26

Thanks Mater, for answering that. It was a hard thing to wait, but it was at the time and still is the right choice that I made.

Here here Eccentrica, you articulated what I feel really well. I nearly hid the thread because of all the absolutism; I am a feminist and pro choice, but if I not absolute about everything in my life, as most people aren't, I don't see why I would have to be so black and white about this issue. Rape/party life style has nothing to do with it for me. I don't like suffering for women, and I don't like it for any other life form.

MooncupGoddess Fri 24-May-13 14:29:55

I find this whole question of late abortion really difficult and would be interested to read some philosophical reasoning about it. Certainly I find the idea of administering a lethal injection to a 39-week-old foetus abhorrent, but then lots of people find the idea of abortion at any stage so I don't think that my instinctive reactions have much validity.

I would say that a woman who wants an abortion has to get the foetus out somehow... and I'm not sure there's much difference physically between delivering a live 39-week-old foetus and a dead one? So I would take the view that in that case it makes moral sense to allow the foetus the chance of life, even though that means the mother has to make the difficult decision of whether to keep the baby or have it adopted. But is it harder to decide whether to keep one's baby or have it adopted, or to decide whether to let it live or die? The latter seems like an even bigger decision to me.

mathanxiety Sat 25-May-13 05:05:06

I on the other hand do not support abortion up until birth but I do support the choice of abortion up until the viability of the foetus so at least I am consistent in my inconsistency

Neun, I think that is the best way to express the illogicality of that position.

Eccentrica -- you describe the problem very eloquently. (But this I feel like over and over again people are trying to make out that having any sort of qualms about late abortion is exactly the same as trying to ban all abortion, and that there is a stubborn refusal to recognise the reality of what it means. is not what I am doing here). Realistically, most people share your views, though there is an inherent illogicality to them. The problem arises when anyone tries to legislate with availability and autonomy and viability and the gnawing moral question of the baby in mind. How to keep all those balls in the air at once? Ireland has managed to duck the problem and may still do so by making abortion illegal but at the same time turning a blind eye to Irish women going abroad for abortion. My mother used to say that tough cases make bad laws and I think that whatever way it is legislated abortion law is going to be pretty bad.

MooncupGoddess -- I think it would be very interesting to unearth the foundation of the assertion that has been seen here (both explicitly and implicitly) that a given person has a right to any particular sort of life or quality of life.

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