15 Sep Is Abortion Good?
“Is abortion a good thing? Is it something you would wish upon your own daughter?” These are common questions regarding the morality of abortion. A common challenge advocates face from anti-choice or “pro-life” advocates is the challenge of wishing abortion upon one’s own daughter.
So, if abortion was such a good thing, should we wish that our daughters or sisters undergo one?
Of course not.
Abortion is not a “good” thing in the same way that a good education or a good career is. Any person would obviously wish that their sisters or daughters get a good education, or a good career.
And, no, obviously, I wouldn’t want to have an abortion, especially if I didn’t need one. However, I wouldn’t want to have an invasive surgery to remove my appendix either, especially if my appendix was fine. However, if my appendix was infected, I would want nothing more than a safe and legal means to have it removed.
When we ask whether or not we wish our loved ones to have an abortion, we’re asking the wrong question.
A real question that matters is, “If your sister or daughter had to undergo an abortion to improve her quality of life, or save her life, would you like her to have a safe and legal abortion, or a dangerous one that could kill her?”
Given that question, the answer becomes much simpler: “Yes, if one of my loved ones had to have an abortion, I would prefer that they had one that was safe and legal.”
No one would prefer to undergo an abortion, just for the sake of having one.
It’s not a happy, enjoyable experience. What “pro-lifers” don’t see, however, is the reasons for why some women choose abortion, and what they could potentially avoid by making this difficult choice.
Some women choose abortion because the procedure enables them to continue their studies or their careers. Would I want my loved ones to be able to continue their studies and pursue their careers unburdened by an unwanted or an unplanned pregnancy that could compromise their futures? Yes, I would.
Some women choose abortion, because the procedure allows them to avoid or at least lessen the burden of poverty. Would I want my loved ones to avoid poverty and acquire a semblance of financial security before they take on bigger, more expensive, responsibilities? Yes, I would.
Some women choose abortion, because they were victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault, and the procedure would help them heal physically and psychologically. Would I support a procedure that could help my loved ones recover from the trauma of an assault? Yes, I would.
Some women choose abortion, because their bodies aren’t prepared for a pregnancy, and the procedure is safer than labor and delivery. Would I want my loved ones to have a risk-free delivery in the future when she is ready? Yes, I would.
Some women choose abortion, because they would die otherwise. Would I want my loved ones to avoid life-threatening pregnancy-related issues? Yes, I would.
This is exactly why we need safe and legal abortion. We need it, not because we want all our friends and family to have one, but because we want them to be safe, should they need one.
You wouldn’t wish that one of your loved ones had to undergo orthopedic surgery, or physical therapy, or even a simple dental extraction. But if you had a loved one that needed these things, wouldn’t you prefer a situation where these procedures were safe and legal?
That’s the only question we need to answer with regard to the necessity of safe and legal abortion.
For more resources on abortion please visit: EnGendeRight’s Policy Briefs and Fact Sheets
Padilla, C. R. (2016, December). “Access to Safe and Legal Abortion and Post-Abortion Care Can Save Filipino Women’s Lives.” Retrieved on: August 29, 2017.