Why can’t Indian Society normalize abortion instead of making it a discussion of morals and pride? The stigma around abortion restricting woman from safe abortions
‘Good News, Good News’ – The interpreted meaning of ‘Good News’ is generally pregnancy. As the term, ‘Pregnancy’ sounds to be something to hush-hush upon, it is generally seen as good news only. Well, it can be wonderful news obviously, but only if it is wanted. A pregnancy that happens out of a will is certainly not ‘good news. But as we are super obsessed with what society thinks, this notion of pregnancy, always being good news is certainly affecting the mentality of the pregnancy bearers and leading to unusual stigmas around abortion. Before we know about the stigmas around abortion restricting women from safe abortions, let’s discuss abortion itself first.
Abortion – Abortion can be simply defined as the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Where the mechanism is terminating the pregnancy, there can be so many reasons, why a person chooses abortion.
Some of the possibles reasons can range from – Not being financially prepared, bad timing, not ready, or unplanned, poor relationship with the partner, abusive partner or wrong partner, not being emotionally or mentally prepared, health risks, not independent or mature of the baby, doesn’t want a baby, want to focus on the existing child(ren), etc.
While these are all good enough reasons, for which a woman should be free to choose if she wants a pregnancy or not, the societal stigma around abortion puts an added pressure on a woman with the idea that she is ‘killing’ her own child.
The two common stigmas around marriage arise with the fact that a woman is married or not.
– For an unmarried woman, pregnancy is a huge question on her character. Firstly, she is questioned about being sexually active before marriage, then judged for not using birth control (irrespective of the fact that birth controllers can also fail at times), and then, if she chooses to abort, she is put on the pedestal, where her morality will be tested.
– For a Married woman, the situation is even worst. If a woman is pregnant, marriage is always and always treated as good news. This is something that the Indian Society has fixed as a default thing. There is no decent consideration to the fact that the couple wants it, or the woman wants it or not, are they in a stable mental, physical and financial status to hold on to pregnancy or not. If a married woman gets pregnant, she is deemed to take the pregnancy forward, because of course, it will make their family complete.
So, what should be done to normalize abortion-
Stopping morally policing a woman for aborting their child –There is nothing good or bad about the idea of abortion. Abortion is just a matter of choice, a child bearer or a couple should be making if they feel like the pregnancy is unwanted. There is no moral code that they will be unfollowing if they choose to abort because they just don’t find the time to be right for them to bear a child.
Just as Katha Pollitt writes in Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights — “In the end, abortion is an issue of fundamental human rights. To force women to undergo pregnancy and childbirth against their will is to deprive them of the right to make basic decisions about their lives and well-being, and to give that power to the state.” Choosing abortion is a basic right no woman should be deterred access to.
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