THE BLOG

Choosing Choice: Abortion

16/07/2014 10:40 BST | Updated 15/09/2014 10:59 BST

Everything in our lives is based on a build up of our decisions. Choice - it's the very basis of our humanity. We can't call ourselves free unless we have the freedom to make our own choices, and how many people lived and died for the right to that freedom? The right to forge our own paths in this life. The right over our mistakes as well as our triumphs. The right to choose. The most basic of things that a human being should be entitled to; but in some places we are being denied that right to choice. In countries where abortion is illegal thousands of women every year are denied their human rights and forced into motherhood. We don't deny the right to freedom, we actively encourage it; so why deny the right to have an abortion?

"Murder." "Inhumanity." "Selfish!" Just a few of the pro-life cries against abortion; but the real inhumanity lies in making abortion illegal. It's inhumane to force your opinions on someone else; it's inhumane to be denied the right over your own body; it's inhumane to make this kind of oppression law. Besides, laws have never stopped abortions, they have only ever made them more dangerous for the women involved. When abortion is made illegal, death rates soar as panicked women scramble to get them in any way possible; and there's a plentiful supply of back alley clinics waiting to make quick money out of desperation. Making something that should be a basic medical procedure illegal only increases the number of otherwise law-abiding people having to look to illegal means to get what they should be entitled to. Abortion isn't the easy way out, a woman wants an abortion like a trapped animal gnaws at its cage to be freed. It's the last resort - pure desperation; and in the minds of those who consider themselves 'pro-life' those who get them are no more than common criminals, on par with murderers in cells. How can that be right?

Possibly one of the most ludicrous things about the pro-life movement is that many of their most affluent supporters are men. 77% of all pro-life campaign leaders and law implementers are male, and forgive me if my knowledge of human anatomy is wrong, but 100% of them will never be pregnant. Why should men - whom the issue will never affect - get any say as to the legality of abortion? In fact it shouldn't be down to anyone other than the woman in question. Not a politician, not a religion, not anyone or anything. It's such a personal and difficult decision already, why should anyone else feel the need to get involved?

A mother, tragically denied an abortion suffers complications due to the pregnancy - both she and the baby die. Two lives lost when there was only ever the need for one. A pregnancy that resulted from a violent rape is forced to be continued; and the poor girl can do nothing but relive the trauma every waking minute. A 15 year old has no choice but to live with her poor decisions, a new born baby and only the memory of a future that can now never be. And anti-abortionists call themselves 'pro-life'? The lack of access to abortions doesn't save lives, it ruins them. Labour is dangerous enough as it is, but when the mother doesn't even want the baby it becomes traumatic. Studies have shown that carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term has a whole host of mental health complications, and that's before even factoring in other traumatic reasons like rape or the youth of the mother. In some countries abortion is even denied in cases where the mother is fatally in need of it; how can that ever be justified? It's such a popular pro-life view that life begins at conception, but looking at cases like these it's becoming ever more likely that they believe it ends at birth.

In countries that pride themselves on being religiously diverse they cannot take the ideals of one religion and put them into law for a whole country. Taking a mainly catholic view point and putting it into law for all other represented religions in the country is morally wrong, more wrong than it could ever be to give a nation a choice. The backbone of the pro-life movement is the Catholic church, and if they want to continue being so spectacularly intolerant let them, but their self righteous and frankly sexist views should not be enshrined in law and imposed on a population who do not completely agree over it. Religion should not have a place in politics, the last time that happened thousands were burned at the stake. Would you ever want a religion you don't even belong to governing the rest of your life? Would you even want your own religion dictating what you can and can't do?

There will always be unwanted pregnancies in the world; there will always be cases of rape; there will always be health complications associated with pregnancy. And as long as these problems exist there will always be a need for abortions. As long is there is the demand then it needs to remain a safe and viable option for any woman, no matter her race or religion. Even if 99% of the worlds population was completely pro-life, then abortion should still remain legal to protect the rights of that 1%. Because when it boils down to it choice is almost the only thing we really have and to deny it is oppressive and tyrannic and wrong. You are perfectly within your right to have your own opinion on the morality of abortion, but remember that others also have the right to theirs - and that is precisely why it has to remain legal for everyone. So, pro-life versus pro-choice; it's your turn to make your decision - just do it while you still have the chance.