The abortion debate is often simplified into binary extremes: the ‘religious right pro-life’ versus the liberal ‘pro-choice leftwing faction’. This debate is packaged and sold to the left or right by politicians when electioneering. Mass producing this complex issue for audiences requires simplification of the many people effected.
Although abortion is an important political debate, only discussing this procedure in a political context dehumanizes the prodigious number of women going through the ordeal of an unplanned pregnancy.
Fighting over whether life begins at conception is an age-old question that we will never be able to agree upon. Our views on the meaning of life are so diverse and difficult to change. The debate’s focus on this ‘grey area’ is ignores women. What about the women suffering unplanned pregnancy –both the women who choose to abort and not abort.
Perhaps our lack of good sex ed is reflected in abortion statistics. Contraceptives awareness is lacking – many people only know about the pill (8% failure rate) and condoms (18% failure rate) which have inferior protection to some other forms of contraceptives. Notably these failure rate stats are talking about ‘normal’ use in real life when heaps of mistakes can happen like forgetting the pill.
Unplanned pregnancy is painted as the product of sexual promiscuity rather than an issue that reflects women’s lack of education, access and use of the best family planning resources. At Pink Portal, we fight for women to learn about family planning options so they reduce their chances of experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Long-acting contraceptives like Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs) and implants were shown to be much more effective with lower rates of unplanned pregnancies. Long acting contraceptives have a less than 1% failure rate while the contraceptive pill has about an 8% failure rate, with normal use, according to Marie Stopes.
Women should be able to feel confident when having sex that an unplanned pregnancy is not a consequences. Plan for the unplanned so you can do whatever you want with your body.