Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Abortion as Birth Control
"I'm pro-choice because a woman can choose what to do with her own body. If that's what she wants [abortion] to do to it, then she can."
"I'm pro-choice, but I don't think anyone should have more than one."
"I'm pro-choice, but I don't get it when people are irresponsible with their birth control."
"How could anyone refuse starting a birth control method on the day they're having an abortion? How could anyone want to do that again to themselves?"
I'm sure you've heard these statements before. You might even agree. Probably a lot of people do. I just don't happen to be one of them. I realize that abortion as a birth control method is taboo and no one really wants to talk about it. Some pro-choice organizations even try to dispel "abortion as a birth control method" as one of those "myths" that antis like to drum up; the fact of the matter is, abortion really is the ONLY birth control method. Contraception ("birth control") prevents pregnancy; it doesn't "control" it. The only thing that actually controls whether or not a birth takes place is abortion. The other fact is - like it or not - some women do use abortion as their method of birth control.
Personally, I don't see what all the hoopla's about. Big deal if a woman refuses contraception on the day of her abortion! So what if she gets pregnant and has an abortion again (gasp!)! Yes. You read that right. I am asking you, "so what?!" The fact of the matter is that if she decides she wants to have an abortion, I don't care if she ends up having only one in her lifetime or if she ends up having 27. It's her choice. And it's my opinion that abortion may actually have fewer long-term and short-term side effects than most hormonal contraception anyway! (Double gasp!) Many women gain weight, experience mood swings, have crazy bleeding, get acne, stop wanting sex, deal with headaches, get bloated, become dizzy at times, experience sore breasts, and/or get nauseated at some point when taking hormonal birth control (obviously, this depends on the type of hormones used. And no, I am not anti-contraception). I don't know about you, but I get a little nervous when I hear the birth control pill adverts out there warn about stroke and heart attack if you smoke and are over 35. Newsflash: if you smoke and are over 35 and have an abortion, you're not at risk for stroke or heart attack.
I think that when we say things like "abortion should be the last resort" or "women should get on birth control so they don't have to have another abortion," we're basically saying there's something intrinsically wrong with abortion. I'm saying there isn't. I'm saying that if a woman wants to use abortion as her birth control method, then so be it. Let her. It isn't hurting her. Abortion doesn't hurt people. Okay, well, maybe you're uncomfortable for about 10 minutes (max!), but it's nothing that a little pain reliever can't help with.
I don't mean to be flippant. I know very well that for some women - and some couples and/or families - abortion is a huge decision that is not taken lightly.at.all. I also know most women feel grateful/relieved and don't regret their abortion decision. Sure, there are some who have a different experience (ambivalence and a lack of support are red flags); but just as we give a voice to those who had wanted pregnancies, or were raped or whatever, I think we should give voice to the few that actually do use abortion as contraceptive. It's not common, but it exists. And, I, for one, honestly see nothing "wrong" with it. And I argue that anyone who does, then must believe there is a line that's crossed when abortion becomes "wrong." This Abortioneer, however, doesn't see that line.