ABORTION ! - Thou shalt not kill. Thou shall not leave the innocent to suffer! Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:00

Abortion! A cliché topic, every woman and man in this world knows a little about. It can happen naturally or induced to a mother, a girlfriend, a wife, a friend or a sister. In whatever case, no case of abortion is a nice one; since the body not only takes on a physical turmoil but also an emotional one. My questions are thou, how do we feel about abortions? Should we be against it or should we just allow every individual to use their own discretion and human right to decide what they want to do with their bodies? Should it be legalized?  Should a person have a child if their life is at risk, if the child was conceived of rape or if the parent simply just cannot maintain it?

The bible condemns abortions. Under the Ten Commandments it states boldly ONE SHALL NOT KILL. So we will not kill but we will let live in horrible circumstances. Some people would tell you they would have been better off dead than born. Some would say anything is better than death. Many say life over death anytime though they have never been in the situation. Living in cardboard houses, being abused by a stepfather as a child, having nothing to live for but suffering. Is that really life? Why does the mother not have a choice over her body? Why bring a child into the world when deep down inside she knows the baby will without a doubt suffer?

 Each nation has its own laws in regards to abortions.Most countries in the European Union for example allow abortion during the first trimester. After the first trimester, abortion is allowed only under certain circumstances, such as risk to woman's life or health, fetal defects or other specific situations that may be related to the circumstances of the conception or the woman's age. For instance, in Austria, second trimester abortions are allowed only if there is a serious risk to physical health of the woman; risk to mental health of the woman; immediate risk to life of the woman; serious fetal impairment; or if the woman is under 14 years of age. In Barbados similar reasons apply. Abortions can be done for a variety of reasons, including socioeconomic and health ones, but a woman needs an authorization to have such an abortion.

Belize women are no less different than those in other nations. Many women do not want to or cannot have children for the very same conditions mentioned above. Imagine being twelve, pregnant in standard five, having six younger siblings, a dependent drunkard father, a low income worker mother who is physically abused by the father, and a pin head boyfriend. Imagine having no possible help to work, to study, in all to maintain this child when all in all what you need is help for yourself. It does not make sense to bring a child to suffer. Other mothers run the risk of dying upon giving birth; others are raped. I respect those mothers who decide to have their children regardless of the sacrifices. There are mothers that use their children as their motivation and if you are so determined then you can. But for the other mothers who are not willing to take so much risks then why should they not be given the right to determine what they should do with their own bodies.

So why cannot we adopt similar laws? Why cannot we legalize abortion and place similar or more detailed restrictions? I mean if we really study the statistics of abortions in Belize even though abortions are illegal according to Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Dir. of Maternal Services, K.H.M.H.  COUNTRYWIDE there are about FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY ABORTIONS, K.H.M.H attending to the after effects of about THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY TO FOUR HUNDRED per year and out of that number, under calculated guess  about SIXTY PERCENT ARE PROVOKED ABORTIONS. Most women walk into the KHMH with serious complications. Dr. Fernando Cuellar states that some patients come with significant bleeding which then opens avenues to  simple infections leading up to tetanus and other infections. He also mentions that some women appear with perforated uteruses or perforated wombs which require emergency surgeries to be done on the womb. Due to the use of improper abortion procedures all these are the cases witnessed by the government hospital doctors states Dr. Jose Guerra, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at KHMH. he goes on to say that some patients come into the hospitals with incomplete abortions which is when products of conception are still in the uterus or some are septic which means that there was interference by an outside force of the fetus and uterus. Abortions are real. They are happening now and affecting women more because they are not properly dealing with their health.

The illegality of this action does not matter when a person needs help to live. In some cases there is no real way of proving a provoked abortion.  Hence if it is happening in such high numbers and it seems that women regardless of the laws, are deciding to commit abortions. Why then not give them the right to perform abortions legally using the right doctors and not doing under the water activities? This would rid women of the life risking activity that is more than half the times performed wrongly.

As a solution to abortions many would argue that a mother can have a child even if she does not want it. Maybe the child can be put on adoption. Truthfully, I don’t believe that this is a solution. There are hundreds of orphans that have no parents. Hundreds of children grow up longing for attention and without love. Why then would a mother intentionally choose to give her child a life like that?  In Belize people prefer to have children than to adopt.
So with adoption out of the way only two options are left: 1.) While women are sexually active, there should be strong advocacy for the use of contraceptives especially with the young girls and 2.) Legalize abortions at very early stages while at the same time educating women about its effects and possible options.
In all, abortions sound harsh but when you come out of your bubble and look at how rough the world really is, you will realize that is it not such a bad choice. Everyone has freedom of choice, so let’s be the true democratic nation that we claim to be and allow women to choose their own futures.