The topic of abortion is very controversial, but nothing has ever been learned by avoiding tough subjects. What are your views on abortion? Under what circumstances, if any, would you consider it? If you were a lawmaker, what would be your stand on this issue? (*In India, boys are valued more than girls and amniocentesis has become widespread. In one province, only one in thousands of abortions following: amniocentesis was that of a male fetus, the rest were females. How do you feel about abortion as a tool for gender selection? Suppose that one of the female fetuses in the previous example was also identified as having suffered severe mental and physical damage to the point that, after birth, the resulting child would mentally and physically be unable to care for itself. Would this information influence (change) your decision?)
There was a time when I was so against abortion that I thought anyone that would consider it was asinine and would consider them a murderer. Until I met Calista.* Calista was molested for years by her step-grandfather and became pregnant at the age of 11, I was only 14 at the time and couldn’t believe it was really happening. At this point I made the decision that in some cases I do believe there are circumstances that warrant abortion. Calista was given the choice by her parents with the promise of full support no matter the decision to either, abort the fetus, place it for adoption, or keep it. Calista chose to keep the baby and at 12 years old gave birth by C-section, due to being frank breach, to a healthy baby girl.
At 15 Calista became the victim of yet another convicted child molester and delivered a healthy baby boy. In both scenarios I would have warranted an abortion a 12 year old girl can hardly take care of herself and a 15 year old and with two kids under two especially since one was the product of rape was a recipe for disaster. Six months after her second baby was born both children were placed for adoption. I can tell you Calista has never fully overcome these traumatic experiences and I while I believe that abortion is very damaging to the psyche later in life I do not believe that Calista having an abortion at 12 years old would have been as damaging as her later choices. Calista is now in her late twenty’s and has still does not have much value in herself or much self-worth. I believe that her choices in life are a directly affected by her choices at 12.
Until I was in my twenty’s I was still against abortion for anything but medical reasons, or cases like Calista’s until I was approached for my opinion on abortion from a very dear friend I’ll call her Liz*. Liz had 2 daughters at home the youngest being only two months old she was in a very unhealthy relationship and she did not much of a support system, she did not know what she would do if she gave birth to another baby. She ultimately had the abortion and went on to have thirteen over about a 5 year period. This is the kind of abortions I cannot condone or agree with ever.
The sad reality is this happens more often than people want to believe, and in some places abortions happen simply for gender selection, girls are aborted in favor of boys. “Female infanticide was once accepted in almost every culture.” (Berger. Pg. 52). Thankfully this is not such a widely accepted practice anymore but I don’t doubt it still happens somewhere. If I was ever in a position of deciding the law I would not allow abortion to be legal except in cases like Calista’s cases of rape, incest, molestation, or in rare cases of sever genetic default or sever mental and physical damage which would leave the infant no matter the sex boy or girl unable to live a full healthy life with the knowledge and ability to care for itself. “But knowing more about conception has allowed couples to select sex before birth by (1) inactivating x or y sperm before conception, (2) undergoing in vitro fertilization, or (3) aborting XX or XY fetuses” (Berger. Pg. 52) all though ‘I do not agree at all with the third option I do recognize that it exists as an option in some areas. I do not feel at all that gender selection is a warranted abortion but I think all too often abortions are used as a means of birth control and are still used as a gender selection tool. There are so many couples out there just dying to be parents happy to have any healthy baby boy or girl that there is no reason for all the abortions that are going on and I am a firm believer in adoption.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy of individuals.
Berger, K. S. (2014). Invitation to the Life Span (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.