Addressing the misconceptions in arguments used against the Pro-Choice stand and asserting a woman’s right to her reproductive choices.

The Right to Choice

When a human being gets pregnant, she has 3 choices – parenthood/adoption/abortion. This human being will always be a woman – the second sex as termed by DeBeauvoir in 1949 – and it still stands true today.

No thanks to puritanical leaders and a society obsessed with judging others if only to make themselves feel better – issues pertaining to sex and women are still dealt with much taboo and stigma.

The issue at core is human rights, a woman’s right to her reproductive choices.


Pro-Choice is not the same as Pro-Abortion

The Pro-Choice stand asserts those rights – it is not advocating abortion as the means to an end to public-health and social problems such as baby-dumping, teenage pregnancies, and certainly not as the method of family planning. What Pro-Choice stands for is the adult humyn’s right to choice to continue or terminate her pregnancy.

Civil society and human rights activists are always fighting for the freedom and right to choice – for the empowerment of certain groups in society – yet womyn are being stripped off their right to reproductive choices – and people are blind to this! We live in a world that has gotten so used to telling womyn what is acceptable and what is not.

To venture slightly off tangent – society nor the government are very supportive or sympathetic to pregnant teens – they do get expelled the moment they get pregnant. They also speak of adoption as if it’s like offering up a second hand book for takers – announce it and someone’s bound to snap the offer and pay for all your medical expenses?! It’s not like many of these women and teens from the lower income group have an iPhone to tweet up their offer.

I shall not go into defending abortion and the numerous desperate situations that drive womyn to abortion – it has been done here.

What about the Foetus’ rights?

All this talk about rights but what about the right of the foetus? Well, what about it? Pro-Lifers fall-back defence for its stand against legalising abortion is that “we need to defending the rights of those who don’t yet have a voice.” But at the expense of a person who is already fully formed? It’s a zygot, embryo, foetus, – not yet, not quite as humyn as its carrier.

The bloody images you see when you Google “abortion” does not win it any fans. We’re not fans of it either, (remember it’s pro-choice not abortion advocacy) but we also see beyond the butchering what our eyes can’t see – we see the womyn who is not happy but relieved that she needn’t bring an unwanted child to this earth.

While civil society has come together to laud sex education as the way forward, cogently arguing that not talking about sex isn’t going to stop anyone from trying to have sex – they fail to see the same about abortion. Legalising abortion isn’t going to send people into a frenzy of unprotected sex(isn’t this the same line of thought with condoms and sex education encourage “free sex”?) – it isn’t something women look forward to or wish for.

Like contraception – preventive measures are not 100% successful. Sometime a “cure” is needed. So while all this about focusing on preventive measures on the root of the cause after the recent spate of baby dumping is the right thing to do – and I don’t doubt that any person Pro-Life or Pro-Choice would object – cutting off a “cure” is just an act in denial of the facts of life.

The fact is that there will always be women who end up in the predicament where abortion is the “best” or only option for her and right now they are being forced to turn to illegal abortions that are often downright unsafe. Deaths and complications due to botched abortions is an issue of public health. Legalise abortion, regulate it, monitor it. Educating women and men alike about all three options and impressing the physiological and psychological risks of abortions is the way forward.

Womyn’s Rights Aborted

Sex is a basic human need. Womyn have sexual needs. No contraceptive is 100% safe. Unwanted pregnancies happen. There will always be the economically disadvantaged with little access to education. There will always be wives with no say in her family planning. Unwanted pregnancies happen.

Human rights is fundamentally about the right to choice. Take that away and any ensuing good intentioned measures would already be unjust to the subjected group of people.

The decision needs to be entrusted to the adult, the woman whose body it concerns, whose future is at stake. A caring society would support education, not stigmatise, not judge and not punish those already being punished by their circumstance.

Abortion is a personal choice, not a political or moral policing debate.

And people who will never ever possibly get pregnant – shut up or I’ll cut your reproductive choices too. Unlike another LoyarBurokker who has been biting in his statements, my bite can be quite literal.

[UPDATED 5.15p.m. 25 Aug 2010] Note: The writer is addressing the broader issue of womyn’s rights and believes that in the event that abortion is legalised, it should be consistent existing laws protecting minors.

LB: Ong Jo-Lene is a work in progress. To date, the pillars of social norms have been deconstructed, a yellow brick road is being laid and decorated with tid-bit information and tv quotes. When Lord Bobo isn’t mind controlling her, she goes astray at Mindfuxxx.

See Also:

ideologically promiscuous, morally flexible, gender variant, militant atheist.

23 replies on “Rights Aborted”

  1. Just would like to bring this up, to everyone saying that an alternate to abortion is adoption, in the case that the mother is not at risk.

    I don't know what it's like in other places, but in the U.S. the adoption system is farm from ideal. Currently, of all the children placed into the adoption system, 4-5% will be adopted to a 'good' home. Many will be placed into abusive homes, or will be sent back to be placed back up for adoption. Most will spend their entire childhood, waiting. Many will commit suicide. Interracial adoption is rarely possible. Gay couples are unable to adopt in 29 states.

    In some places, such as Australia, there IS no adoption system.

    Why would anyone want to put a child through the tantalizing process of adoption, at least in the United States?

  2. your article is great, except for one crucial inaccuracy. abortion IS LEGAL, but rectricted under the Penal Code Sec 312-315. that’s a crucial difference. technically, the law allows women to get legal abortions from government hospitals under certain conditions. but the reality is of course, that the service is not easily accessed for many reasons. but the more we inacurately term abortion as illegal, the more barriers we create in trying to remove the misconceptions around this crucial service.

  3. i strongly believe that one of our fundamental rights as a person is our right to CHOOSE. in fact, i consider this right to be sacred, the ultimate gift from God that even He is willing to let us use this right against Him i.e when we're presented with His words in His Holy Book, we're allowed to still CHOOSE to reject or follow teachings from the Book..or CHOOSE to follow Lord Bobo..or CHOOSE to follow other whatchamacallits.

    when we've decided to CHOOSE, it's important that our decision is an "INFORMED CHOICE". this is where i agree with the writer in this article that "Educating women and men alike about all three options and impressing the physiological and psychological risks of abortions is the way forward". education is key for us to make an informed choice.

    on the other hand, if we look at the option of abortion, it's stated in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person". in defending the right of the woman to choose, is it ok to deny the right of the child to live? whatever the justifications of abortion, is the zygot/embryo/foetus etc at fault in the first place?

    of course we all have different answers to these questions. we CHOSE those answers for whatever reasons we have. after all, we can do just that and it's our fundamental rights to CHOOSE.

  4. And people who will never ever possibly get pregnant – shut up or I’ll cut your reproductive choices too. Unlike another LoyarBurokker who has been biting in his statements, my bite can be quite literal.

    Gempak sial! mek Fuxxx rite abt pilihan tapi atitue itu cip@ mcm cip@ babi. Oi guys, jaga bro AntherLoyarBuroker! Kacian dia konek deh!wat de BDSM Master do 2 de ms.penggigit? get 2 other side ka? tidak caj jika u tidak menggigit! Din see Junior stared ArnoldsScwnger isit(1994)? Fooisheh!

  5. Well said Ladies, thank you for filling in the gaps.

    The doctors who perform abortions in America (where abortion is legal) are not mercenaries and money grabbing opportunists as they painted to be by detractors. Many have testified to what Munira and Kartina have opined as the reasons for doing what they do.

    They risk their safety as there have many reported incidences of harassment and even violence towards them. Doctors who perform abortions are easy to target as they often forced to operate in stand-alone abortion clinics because mainstream medical providers prefer to shy away from the controversy. Instead, many pro-lifers manipulate this by painting abortion clinics as abattoirs.

    They are doctors when their patients need them to be doctors, and not when it suits them.

  6. It sounded to me like you've never ventured out of your anti-abortionist perspective, is all. Only now that we on the other side are furiously posting here that you, ah, see new perspectives. So, so privileged.

    What you wrote in your first response can be summed up as what is called "informed choice" although there's still an element of moral blackmailing there.

    And please consider all my responses which can be summarized that what you're doing is telling women – adults and teenagers – what you think they should do to their bodies. And this, people, is entitlement.

  7. Hi Kartina,

    Seeing perspectives is not the same as agreeing with them. It does however mean that I understand all sides of the argument and am not the sort that will not even acknowledge flip sides of the argument.

    Also, I'm mostly referring to teenage pregnancies – please consider my first response which states that I feel teenagers may not be capable of making a choice.

    Munira, we choose a side based on experience, personal or not. For every argument for or against abortion, there are flaws and there will be flaws precisely because we have a welfare system that's not up to scratch plus other factors, too. And we need such to be in order whichever side we're on.

    This topic is too large for all concerned parties here to be clear on their position so there are assumptions about each other that we are making here (not that I blame anyone because something this important to women probably requires face-to-face dialogue).

  8. Here is my problem with people that believe adoption is the ideal solution for "unwanted babies" when it comes to arguing against pro-choice. It is not. The reality is that the welfare system is terribly flawed, despite its noble intentions…. Sure, Hollywood glamorises adoption what with stars lining up to offer fairy-tale happy ending for handpicked orphans. Imagine the psychology of children that feel unwanted. Not to mention the infamous "6-year-rule". What about the frustration that's bound to arise when foster parents and their adopted child cannot reach a mutual middle-ground? There are cases of foster parents returning the children they adopted to the home on grounds that they could not get along. What then? Are these anti-abortionists willing to see this side of adoption?

    Then there are also mothers that cannot come to terms with their unwanted pregnancy. The whole "motherhood comes naturally" is a fallacy. There are mothers that embrace it in due time. And then there are mothers that resent having kids they felt that they never wanted in the first place. The cycle of psychological abuse begins here. I've seen too many damaged lives that led me to conclude that anti-abortionists know nuts about what they're talking about, let lone argue about the "rights and choices of the baby". I think abortion is better than having children being raised in a hostile environment by abusive parents that will in turn damage them psychologically permanently. As a matter of fact – I think anti-abortionists are selfish because they do not even attempt to even understand the greater picture. All they care about is their higher moral grounds.

  9. Seeing new perspectives? You sure have been keeping solely to your own perspective regarding this issue. Funny what privilege can do to people.

    Humans have existed on this earth for how many years now? There's nothing to wait for anymore. We've come up with all the solutions. They may not be utopian ideals for you, but it's the women with the unplanned pregnancy that have to choose what's best for themselves. I repeat: THE WOMEN WITH THE UNPLANNED PREGNANCY. Not you. Whatever they choose, be it motherhood, adoption or abortion (or abandonment), it's not because they have to take your opinion into account, you who have no involvement in their lives – it's because they're doing what they think is best at the material time.

    If you're truly altruistic, you'd be concerned that a child is born to someone who doesn't want him/her and thus will not take the effort to invest in the welfare of the child. (The government is not giving child benefit anyway – it's everyone for themselves when it comes to child welfare, which is why people who can't fathom about the unpleasantness of an unwanted pregnancy should just shut up and listen when women speak up about this issue.) More drastically the baby will be disposed of – either by adoption or by abandonment, and we know the latter puts the baby's life at risk. Why did those women go through nine months of pregnancy and give birth to the babies only to abandon them, sometimes leaving them for dead? Only the women themselves know. One thing is for sure – they couldn't or wouldn't go for (illegal) abortion.

    And that, dear LN, is a bad analogy. Because if I get into an accident, people front, back and sideways will tell me to fix the unsightly dent on my car, not keep it (see? No respect for my opinion or my silent car here). Funny it works the other way around when it comes to unwanted pregnancy. Actually, not so funny, because I don't think the human body should be analogized to anything at all. These analogies just come out ten levels of wrong.

    There is no need for abortion centers to be set up because medical practitioners in existing hospitals do know how to abort. Most don't want to because they'll lose their licenses if they do. What is needed, which they'll have to do anyway, is to assess and counsel women who do decide to abort. Are they sure they want to do it? What are the possible consequences? Et cetera. You don't just do the abortion procedure without affirming all the circumstances.

    And one more thing. Why are we so sure that all the abandoned babies belong to teenage mothers? Anyone at all could have abandoned them, and that includes migrant workers. We're not covering all bases by ignoring a good part of the people who live in this country. We're silencing them, that's what we're doing. It's like they lost their human rights the moment they stepped onto our soil.

    Here, courtesy of Google:

  10. Jason, no problem. Glad to share.

    To the rest, I'm learning a lot from reading your comments, seeing new perspectives which are all valid.

    Perhaps I am altruistic. I don't trust that our government will be able to faciliate something as complicated and delicate as this matter, or even monitor laws that allow for abortion. Or ensure a proper support service in conjunction with legalisation.

    This is also what I meant by "conditions".

    We can argue that we can't wait, lives are at stake. But you know, before we can ask for the right to drive a car, we need to learn traffic rules but more than that, we need to be mature and respect the lives of fellow drivers. Same thing.

    Most pragmatic people don't believe in anything that suggests an utopian ideal. We got a problem, let's deal with it and forget about waiting for pigs to talk. But if we don't try, how would we know? Who on earth would have believed that we could invent a plane and fly like birds.

    Don't be hasty to legalise abortion. Some things are worth waiting for. Just like sex.

  11. I am pro-choice because I am pro-life. I think its hypocritical for anti-abortionists to call themselves pro-lifer because they refused to see the consequences of criminalizing abortion. When you make abortion illegal, you forced it underground. You denied women their basic human right of accesses to the best medical health services for their body and their medical needs. You give up on helping that one baby that is going to be aborted in some back alley clinic. If the procedure botched, two lives will be lost. On the contrary, if it is legal, abortion clinic become accessible to both the desperate women and those whom wanted to save the baby. Because I wanted a chance to save the baby, I am all for making abortion legal, albeit with the condition that information and aid must be provided to the women, so that they could reconsider and chooses adoption, perhaps. If they refused, then at least the door is open for the next baby to be saved.

  12. So what's the win-win solution?

    How about this. A woman who gives birth to a baby she doesn't want will not invest in the baby. Two victims.

    Yes, I'm well aware that some women have regretted their abortion. Thanks for reminding me. Obviously I'm forgetful like that, having a ladybrain and all. However that is still a moral stand – to scare women into going through with a pregnancy they don't want because not doing so will blanket them with a lifetime of regret. Hmm.

    If we want to talk emotions, people vary. Some regret aborting, some regret giving birth, some regret giving up their babies for adoption. And some don't regret their decisions, whatever they choose.

    So let's not be preoccupied with whether the womynz will regret their decisions or not. They know the possible consequences of whatever they choose to do. What's important in the first place is to provide women with options that are safe and legal so that they can exercise their own bodily autonomy. Because criminalizing abortion is a form of body-policing of women, period.

  13. I am pro-choice because there isn't such Utopian win-win option.

    Philippines have taught us that you can't stop desperate women/girls from aborting by making abortion illegal. You only forced them to seek help from a back-alley clinic, which is unsafe.

    But consider this: if abortion is legal, we could build abortion clinics that could provide aid, and counseling to women. Opening up their minds to the possibility of adoption. In this way, there is a legal channel and option for these desperate women, where pro-lifer could use to persuade them to change their mind. If they don't well, that's too bad but at least you let the door open for the next one baby for you to save. This is from a purely practical point of view. If abortion is illegal, the only option a woman/girl whom wanted to abort is via the back alley and pro-lifer would be denied their chances to save that baby and worse the mother too.

  14. My previous comment, and this article by Ong Jo-Lene, are not anti-education. Having said that, knowledge per se won't prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Values of accountability won't prevent an abortion. I've known women whose contraceptive failed them but were only too happy to be pregnant. I've known women who do respect life but decided to abort for so many reasons.

    The fact that this – everything that's written on this webpage – has to be written at all, is proof of how much women are not trusted to make their own judgment about their own bodies. That other people's opinions about the female bodies are better and more important than what the women themselves think. In short, it's just another sexist, body-policing crap.

  15. The facts remained that with abortion being illegal, there is no such choices for rape victims "or poor women in the slums who got duped by their bfs".

    The facts remained that by making abortion illegal, you can't stop people from aborting their pregnancies. Philippines has shown that to us.

    The anti-abortionists argument is always bothered on if we legalized it, we will open up a big can of worms because we would be encouraging sex and endorsing irresponsible behaviors. It is the same kind of religious holier than thou argument that by making condom more easily accessible we would be encouraging free sex.

    Legalizing abortion only gives women one more choice. Abortion clinic could offer services that allowed the women to choose between adoption and abortion. But such services could only be available if and only if abortion is legalized. Without legalized abortion, women who had decided that a baby is bad for her life have no legal recourse to such options. She is denied one of her fundamental right.

    As for teenagers, yes, they are immature hence higher chances that they will opt for abortion if it is legal. But this would be my mere speculation. If there were abortion clinics, pro-lifer could go to these clinics and offer counseling service to them. These teenagers might change their minds and opted for adoption. But these could only be available to these teenagers if abortion is legalized. If a teenager is going to illegal channel for abortion, how would anti-abortionists be able to help them and show them that they do have an option of adoption?

    So, for those who are anti-abortion get off your high horses of calling yourself pro-lifer. You are not pro-life. You are simply anti-abortion.

  16. Sorry but you can't talk about choices until you've ruled out conditions. There's too much Modern Mindfuck About Choice as well. Everybody has a right, right? In this town, in this era, everybody can pick and choose their way out of any situation but where do we draw the line? Everything's like a supermarket. Don't like this part of religion, I'll not do this part then. Don't like pregnancy? I'll opt for abortion, then. So what if there's a choice if the choice is faux empowerment. If we really want to empower women or men, empower them with knowledge and values of accountability. Empower them to respect life.

    I'm not talking about cases of rape here. Or poor women in the slums who got duped by their bfs. I'm just saying that before you fight for legalisation – which applies to all categories of pregnancy – think of the big picture. Think of how far the rabbit hole we want to dig. It's always harder to accept that humanity needs a re-education on the sacredness of some human acts, than fight for rights. The latest news is scientists want to produce embryos for bio experiments only to chuck them away. What do you say to that? It's the scientists' right?

  17. Are we talking about teenagers who are pregnant here? If so, I'm sorry but my opinion is different. Until we reach at least 21 years old, most of us are not mature enough to make those choices under those circumstances – most human beings, in those circumstances would pick abortion. Simply because we cannot ignore the panic or fear they will be in as the truth sets in…15, whole future to explore, and pregnant.

    Instead, parents and educators should be giving them a choice once they reach a stage of being aware of their sexuality. Puberty time is a time to explain to them the birds and the bees. We should be telling them that guys will be saying things to them, requesting for them to make out with them, with different reasons. Sure the choice will be theirs but don't forget that there are consequences that come with those choices. Tell them if they pick to have sex, and they get pregnant, that abortion is like killing another human being. Tell them these things way beforehand. Tell them they can choose to be happy for a few minutes of sex, or choose an early start to a lifetime of responsibility.

    It's too easy to compare a foetus to a fully formed adult, plus it's flawed. Sure the young lady is fully formed but this means she should also have the fully formed brains to know what she was doing (barring that she has totally been allowed to do whatever she wants and has not been educated on the topic of sex).

    I'm not saying that the women should be blamed and treated like a failure or whatever. My point is the women get all the attention/flak because unfortunately men don't get pregnant. By that same token, men also get away with a lot. We should focus on fixing that too. But let's not try to plug a hole that's just a symptom. In all issues we should try for a win-win situation. Education and prevention in concerted efforts by all, parents, educators, government will help lead us closer to a win-win situation.

    If you guys are cynical about this method because "the times have changed and teens don't listen anymore", then consider teaching teenagers basic family planning. You can even do it without contraception which has side effects by the way (don't tell me we trust pharmaceutical companies just because they say they don't have side effects?). It all boils down to the fact that women only have a small window of fertility every month. If your body is not producing hormonal secretions (which you can easily tell but I won't divulge all the graphic details here), then you're in the safe zone. This is not the best way forward because we shouldn't be sending signals that underaged sex is ok. But it is A way.

  18. I am not arguing from the point of the “opening can of worms” perspective. I’m not talking from the religious aspect either. I’m arguing for a win-win solution. Because abortion produces one victim and illegal abortion creates two but either way, there are victims! This win-win solution may not exist yet but I’m asking we all put our heads together to create one.

    Lastly, do consider that some “pro-lifers” are speaking from having gone through abortions. Some regret aborting their babies and they go insane carrying this on their shoulders for the rest of their lives, too.

  19. “When a human being gets pregnant, she has 3 choices – parenthood/adoption/abortion.”

    “Educating women and men alike about all three options and impressing the physiological and psychological risks of abortions is the way forward.”

    There. Jo-Lene may not preach much about sex education in this article, but then this is not an article about sex education. This is an article about the women’s right to CHOOSE how they want to live their lives.

    Have we forgotten the gory picture of Gerri Santoro that welcomed us here last week? That’s the result of an illegal abortion, and illegal abortion = unsafe abortion. Like Jo-Lene said, legalizing abortion isn’t going to send people into a frenzy of unprotected sex, and it isn’t going to make all women choose abortion either. We just want abortion to be legalized so that women who choose to abort can undergo the procedure safely with little risk of dying.

    15, whole future to explore, and pregnant? Sounds like a damn good reason to abort. We’re not exactly a post-sexist society here. Adult women have it tough enough everyday, from the fear of harassment while walking on the street to the fear of not being favored in a job interview to the fear of being terminated from their jobs because they get pregnant and thus are deemed as unproductive to the fear of everything else that can get them discriminated against just because they’re women. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that overnight we can become a “caring” society that doesn’t shame teenage mothers.

    I’m gonna have to quote one of my fave bloggers, Melissa McEwan, about the pro-lifers or more aptly, the exceptioneers:

    “The Exceptioneers are Very Concerned about exceptions for pregnancies as a result of rape or incest—always with the two separate and distinct categories, never connected with the more appropriate “and/or,” but treated as mutually exclusive possibilities, which might give someone who didn’t know better the impression that the Exceptioneers think a father impregnating his property daughter is only icky because of the potential chromosomal clusterfuck to our otherwise pristine gene pool (!)—and threat to the life of the pregnant woman. And they are very proud of their Highly Principled Concern, shouting these exceptions at anyone who listen, as evidence of their magnanimous compassion.

    They must trust that no one of any consequence will ever examine their position too closely, lest it become side-splittingly evident that they are merely mendacious opportunists attempting to straddle a compromise between the pro-choice and anti-choice positions that doesn’t exist, trying to pretend into being their imaginary Principled Moderate Middle Ground with rhetoric that’s absolutely nothing more than a classier way of saying, “Suffer the consequences, slut.”

    Only if you were raped (and provably so, in one of those infallible courts of law that never favors rapists, lest you think you can claim to have been raped and just handed access to an abortion like you have autonomy over your own body or something), or became pregnant as the result of incest, or you will probably die if your pregnancy continues, should you be allowed to have access to abortion. But if you want an abortion for any other reason under the sun, well, fuck you, you should have kept your legs closed.

    Leaving aside that “I don’t want to be pregnant” is all the reason any woman should ever need, the Exceptioneers’ position also excludes a multitude of things that are just as out of any woman’s control as any of their precious exceptions: If you were raped but can’t prove it, if you had a contraceptive failure, if you just lost your job, if you found out the fetus will die as soon as it’s born, if you’re pregnant by someone who became abusive, if you’ve been diagnosed with a non-life threatening illness, if your existing child has become ill, if your spouse has become ill, if your parent has become ill, if your psychiatric medication is incompatible with pregnancy, if you lost your health insurance, if…if…if any of these things, tough shit for you. Should have kept your legs closed if you weren’t prepared to RAISE A CHILD IN ANY CONCEIVABLE CIRCUMSTANCE IN THE WORLD!!!

    It would be genuinely hilarious that there are people who believe “Don’t ever have sex unless you will be absolutely prepared to parent in whatever circumstances you find yourself nine months from now” is a reasonable position, if those people didn’t have so much control over reproductive and health policy.

    What’s rage-inducing about the Exceptioneers is that they obviously haven’t given any thought at all to the inconsistency of their position (or spoken seriously to anyone who might inform their opinions with some “facts”) if they’re willing to concede that being forced to carry to term a pregnancy created by rape can totally fuck you up, but don’t understand how being forced to carry to term a pregnancy that you didn’t plan and don’t want can totally fuck you up, too.

    How ridiculously incapable of self-reflection can one be that one is able to acknowledge that rape (forcing a woman to do something with her body she doesn’t want to do) is a Terrible Thing, but the denial of abortion (forcing a woman to do something with her body she doesn’t want to do) is a Moral Imperative?”

    Read the rest here:

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