I couldn’t not get involved in the new changes to the abortion laws sweeping across the USA as we speak. Laws that are essentially restricting and preventing women form being able to access safe abortion services even in cases of sexual assault and incest. And that these decisions are being made by an overwhelming number of white men who cannot possibly hope to relate to the sorrow and anguish all women face when they make the decision to abort. For example, in the state of Alabama, though women make up 51% of the population, its lawmakers are 85% male.
As a doctor who looks after women and their reproductive abilities, I feel if there’s one thing all my experience to date has shown me, it’s that no matter what the circumstances of conception, there is no woman I’ve ever met who hasn’t grappled with the anguish when deciding to terminate her pregnancy. But the truth is that these are the hardest decisions my patients, and some of my friends, have ever had to make because they chose to put the welfare of their child and their families first. In fact, it is sometimes the most selfless decision that a woman has to make.
My job to help to create human life is something that carries enormous responsibilities, responsibilities that have never been lost on me. And because I value and understand the sanctity of human life, is precisely why I support women having a choice over what to do with their own lives and bodies. Without the freedom to access safe abortion services, this practice will be dragged further underground, with many more lives potentially lost to the consequences of unsafe abortions done by unqualified practitioners, and many more women forced to seek treatment abroad without access to help or support from their loved ones.
No country should be shaming, manipulating and forcing women into pregnancies that they do not want. Because for as long as men continue to abuse our gender and go unpunished, whilst we are made to carry the consequences, there is no justice and, instead, a complete regression on any progress that generations of female trailblazers have risked their own lives for, so that we may have bodily autonomy and freedom.