Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Term time

The 10-minute bill through parliament which suggested the maximum term for abortion should be cut to 21 weeks has been rejected. Not that ten minute bills ever make law anyway but nice to know most MPs are opposed to the concept. The suggestion was that there should also be a compulsory ten day "cooling off" period. Now I think other people telling me what I can and can't do to my own body sucks but one thing that really really sucks about the bill is that they say: "a woman should be given access to information and counselling about the medical risk of termination as well as of carrying a pregnancy to term". Yeah - it is much more dangerous to carry a pregnancy to term than it is to have an abortion. Furthermore the later one has an abortion the more dangerous it is so a ten day cooling off period would kill some women.

Nadine Dorries, the MP who tabled the bill also said that "Such a cooling-off period is necessary, because the decision to terminate a pregnancy or not is one with which the woman concerned will have to live for the rest of her life" by which arguement cooling off periods should also be introduced for moving in with a partner, tattoos and piercings, getting a dog or a cat and in fact deciding to have a baby, right? Or is it just women not prepared to raise a child in an environment when that will more or less certainly cost them their career whoshe wishes to have victimised in this way?

There is a very interesting article in the Guardian featuring the stories of nine women who've had abortions. None of them regret it and one says without it she would have killed herself. I've never met a woman who's regretted an abortion. And I have met some who've regretted having kids!

If you want to reduce abortions, make it compulsory for employers to provide adequate child care, chase up absent fathers who don't pay maintenance on time, provide proper benefits, chase up companies who push out pregnant employees and drag them through the courts so it really hurts.

2 comments:

MissPrism said...

Don't forget comprehensive sex ed, freely available contraception including emergency contraception, and some attitude changes so that more men take "no" or "not without a condom" for an answer without arguing the toss.

I've often thought that pregnancy, childbirth and abortion should be covered in sex ed too. Our sex ed classes stopped at climax, so to speak, and I think I'd have been more careful as a teenager if I'd heard of episiotomy.

Braganza said...

I agree that a ten day cooling off period is inappropriate. Women who have reached a timely, informed and rational decision should not be delayed further at risk to their health. Although some women will make hasty decisions based on uncertainty and doubt under pressure from close relations, the luckier half should not be placed at a disadvantage. It sounds to me like a further extension of the nanny state in which people who know their minds and are willing to take risks are hindered by interfering do-gooders.
SO. What can we do for the young girls who don't pay attention in sex education class, who don't listen to good advice about contraception and who may be under pressure from less than ideal relatives or partners? More education and more access to contraception may not be the whole answer?