Abortion: My Body, My Choice | Emily Bashforth

Abortion: My Body, My Choice


Abortion and Planned Parenthood are controversial topics and so if you aren't comfortable with me discussing my views on it, please click away from this blog post as I would hate to make anyone feel uneasy with my writing. I have plenty of other content on my blog which I think you would enjoy reading! That being said, I would actually very much appreciate it if you would stick around for this one. I know that the contents of this blog post won't be everyone's cup of tea and the chances of some of you agreeing with every word I say are slim but I think it's important that we listen to the opinions we disagree with. It’s vital that we educate ourselves and open our eyes to the fact that not everyone thinks the same way and the world is not black and white. If you are prepared to listen to my views on a rather taboo subject then please continue reading. I would like it if you did. You may learn something.

Ah you're still here - great! Now, let us move on to the topic I'm almost dreading discussing. In real life, you know, that world that actually exists outside of the Internet, contrary to popular belief, I'd have no issue with this. I have no qualms when it comes to discussing politics or taboo issues with those closest to me. I believe it’s healthy to discuss prevalent issues in today's society. However, as I'm sure many of you can relate to, there's something about putting stuff out there on the Internet that's awfully scary. What you're saying cannot be deleted, it's there in writing forever, no matter how hard you try. There are people who will come for you with virtual pitchforks should you say something that they disagree with and you just never quite know what you should and shouldn't say, which is a terrible shame. I'm not writing this because I believe my opinions on abortion and Planned Parenthood are the ones everyone ought to have. I simply want to throw my views out there with everyone else’s and, if you like them, cool, if not, that's cool too. Life's just one big discussion, right? We all go through it, learning things from one another. If we don't agree with something, we question it and generate a discussion, which is perfectly normal and necessary. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of not feeling like I can discuss things that I feel passionate about, freely. I want to talk about things and I want you to know its okay to talk about things too. Some people will totally understand you, some will not, but that's life. We move on, we get on with things and we create a better world for us all. So, like I say, please don't hate me for this blog post, I just feel very strongly about this issue and I fancied writing a blog post on it.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, shall we begin? I was prompted to write this blog post upon learning that President Trump, within just a few days of officially taking office, has reinstated the Global Gag Rule. This rule means international health, nongovernmental organisations that receive US funding for abortion will no longer be able to do so.
The Global Gag Rule is also known as The Mexico City Policy and was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan back in 1984 in a bid to prevent organisations that offer a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options from gaining access to US funds if they mention abortion as one of their family planning options.
Since the Presidency of Reagan, the Global Gag Rule has been revoked and reinstated a number of times as soon as new Presidents take office. Bill Clinton repealed the rule, George Bush brought it back and then Barack Obama revoked it again in 2009. However, Trump opted to not stand by Obama's choice and so rescinded the act.
Coincidentally, Trump made this decision and signed these documents just one day after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that guaranteed a woman’s right to have an abortion, as well as a mere two days after millions of people turned out to protest Trump and his policies in women’s marches.

I completely accept that not everyone will agree with abortion, whether that be due to religion, morals, ethics, whatever it is, and I don't mind as I'm a firm believer in the fact that our opinions make us unique and beautiful - life would be boring if we all thought the same thing. I am also aware that you can pick holes until next year in the opinions I am about to express but these are my views which I am entitled too, especially as I am a young woman who may or may not be faced with the choice of whether or not I should have an abortion in the future.

When I learnt the news that Trump had reinstated the GG Rule, well, let us just say that I wasn't surprised, which is something I'm ashamed to feel the need to say about the President of the United States of America. I'm appalled, I am sickened, disgraced, utterly outraged but, due to the opinions this man has expressed regarding women and their bodies in the past, it comes as no shock to me that one of his first acts in office was to attempt to control them in some way. Life is a special thing and I want us all to be able to cherish it, however, I'm pro-choice and believe that, whatever the hell we want to do with our bodies, we should be able to do WITHOUT questioning from other people, especially the government.

Abortions, or just pregnancies in general, are such personal experiences - no two pregnancies are identical, therefore, I find it impossible to create any universal laws or rules surrounding the two. How can anybody possibly say that cutting abortion funding overseas is a good idea when women have abortions for such a variety of reasons? A woman may have been raped, contraception may have failed, she may be a teenager, she may be financially unstable, the chances of her baby living when born may be slim, she may have simply got pregnant by accident and has decided that she doesn't want to keep the child - whatever the reason, it is nobody else’s place to intervene and say "Actually, you shouldn't have an abortion." Whether you agree with the whole concept of abortion or whether it makes you feel sick to the stomach, it is never your place to try and dictate what somebody else does with their body. It’s just a fact of life that we will never agree with everything everyone does, why should we? But there's a line and we must never cross it. It’s one thing to offer friendly advice to a pregnant friend whose undecided as to whether or not she wants to continue carrying the baby, it’s something totally different to physically enable a woman to have an abortion if she so chooses, leaving her to live a possibly painful, depressed, tough life.

To be honest, this blog post isn't even about abortion and whether or not it’s right or wrong. This blog post is about the fact that a group of RICH, WHITE, STRAIGHT, MEN once again were put in charge of making decisions on behalf of women, the consequences of which could have detrimental effects on women's lives. I say could, but the fact of the matter is the Global Gag Rule WILL have devastating ramifications for women across the globe, ramifications which could so easily be avoided if these men in power chose not to attempt to control women's bodies.

A woman's body is a party which you are not invited to. What she chooses to do with it, good or bad, is something she will have to live with. Politicians are controlling everything we do. The media are controlling everything we do. Society is controlling everything we do. Can't we at least remain in control of our bodies? The one thing that we will be stuck with for the entirety of our lives, the thing which we should all aim to love because it’s such a personal thing. Everyone has a different relationship with their body and no one has the right to tell you what to do with it, politicians especially. These men made this rushed decision not caring about what it means for women. They were clearly ill-informed because, if they were well educated on the GG Rule, then they would have surely decided against it.

The USA currently spends around $600million annually on family planning and reproductive programs in foreign countries. It has been estimated that a loss of this funding would only result in 38,000 more abortions. Marie Stops International, one of USAID's biggest family planning partners, further estimated that the Global Gag Rule will result in an additional 2.2 million abortions worldwide. You see, the men who signed the documents to reinstate this rule must have believed that cutting the funding for overseas abortions would reduce the amount of abortions, and it would be that simple when, in fact, it'll do quite the opposite. Thanks to a loss of funding for abortion clinics, pregnant women seeking abortions will be forced to resort to unsafe measures in order to carry out the termination which, not only puts the unborn baby at risk, but also the life of the mother-to-be. Did you know that unsafe abortions account for 13% of maternal deaths? How anybody could sleep easily at night with this on their conscience is beyond me and I hate to think of anyone being so heartless as to not care about millions of women worldwide dying due to backstreet abortions. Do we really want to go back to those methods being the norm? Because, you see, if a woman really wants an abortion, she will find a way to have one and no rule can stop her. Therefore, why not simply allow SAFE abortions to go ahead properly, protecting the life of the woman?

Women may be no more than sexual objects to people like President Trump but we deserve proper health care and we deserve the right to choose what we do with our bodies. If we want an abortion, the facilities should be there in order for us to have one. If we do not want an abortion, we can choose to ignore these facilities and carry on with our pregnancies. If I choose to have children one day, I want to be able to experience my pregnancy in whatever way is right for me. I do not want a man telling me DON'T DO THIS and DON'T DO THAT when he will not be the one carrying the child. Trump has no place to decide that access to abortions will be restricted when he will never be in the position to even have one himself. Abortions are personal decisions, not legal debates. There are far more worrying things happening in the world, as we speak, that the President ought to focus on. Leave women and their bodies alone and get on with what you should be doing in order to "make America great again" because, frankly, I fail to see how you being responsible for millions of deaths of women worldwide is going to make anything great. You cannot wipe out the entire female population, Trump, oh no but you wouldn't want that, would you? Because, then, who would be on the receiving end of your sexism and misogynistic jokes? Honestly, I just see Trump's decision to bring back the Global Gag Rule as him sulking after the Women's Marches. Women stood up to him and he didn't like that so he did what he could to remind them that he holds power whilst acting like a pathetic little boy at the same time.

Speaking of the marches, I saw a sign at one of them which stated "The difference between health care and guns is that the government will actually take your health care away." And I hate how true this is. As a person of power, you have responsibility to protect your people and, in order to do so, you at least owe them ALL a decent standard of health care, not just the ones who are the same gender as you. Trump claims to be pro-life but how he can be when he's only going to have the weight of millions of dead women and unborn babies on his shoulders after reinstating the GG Rule truly baffles me. The President and his minions claim that this rule will show, not only Americans, but the rest of the world, what a value they place on life, which I find laughable and insulting. If you value life, then you would give the people who account for 50% of the world's population the freedom to choose what they do with theirs.

Pardon my language as I never use profanities, but I don't give a shit about whether this will protect taxpayers or blah blah blah. You may not see it as black and white but, to me, it is. I don't think anything in life is simple but this clearly is. The reinstatement of the GG Rule will kill women because they will only end up killing themselves. That is wrong and should be prevented.

On Monday, Trump signed an order, SURROUNDED BY MEN, (take a look at the photo below) that demonstrates his dangerous obsession with pulling back reproductive rights. Trump will never be pregnant and he will never have to experience the dilemma of whether or not he should have an abortion. Every year 50,000 women die from a lack of access to safe abortion and this figure is only set to soar thanks to his narrow mindedness, pettiness and fixation with controlling women.


International health care organisations shall now be left in a difficult position as they will not be able to fund abortions for women wanting them as well as STI screenings and birth control. Oh, what was that people were saying about Trump being President having no impact on anywhere other than America? You were wrong, my friends.

When women have control over their health and bodies, the world is a better much SAFER place and a man is never in a position to tell her what is right and wrong when it comes to her well-being. I now only hope for those with a voice to continue standing up to Trump. He is prioritising money over people and his ego over human rights. This is a bad man who is breaking down the stable health care of the world's citizens one day at a time and he has only been in office such a short space of time. He's playing with laws like they're toys and treating other human beings as dolls.

A man like this has no place in the White House and the rest of us have a duty to speak out against his corrupt policies. Make your voice heard. If you want democracy, you have to right for it.


Oh and Donald, keep your fascism OFF our ovaries.

For more information on the Global Gag Rule, I suggest watching this video, it is straight the point yet highly informative.



Love, Emily. :) xx

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