The following is based on a true story for your kind consideration.

Sara is 19, a beautiful dark-haired Hispanic, college freshman and daughter of a single mom. Recently, she’s traveled to Colombia to spend the holidays with her boyfriend. Few days before her return to the US, she discovers she’s pregnant. She’s surprised, confused, and really not sure her boyfriend is the father (because, you know, the sky is blue and shit happens under). She’s totally freaking out because she’s not ready to be a mother. Her own mother is a devout Catholic who’ll strangle the life out of her if she were to find out. Maybe there’ll be a few hugs and kisses after the strangling, the one thing Sara knows for sure is this: There’ll be a lot of strangling! She calls up a friend who had an abortion several months back. Her friend says: “Sara, you’ll be fine. Just make it go away”. She spends a few days thinking. Her pregnancy is 5 weeks in. Finally, she decides. She’s back in the US, anxious. She hasn’t told anyone except her friend. Now she’s ready to take her friend’s advice. She wants it out because she’s worried mostly about her education. She doesn’t want to be forced to cope with the stress of raising a child while pursuing her degree — and, of course, the strangling. Moreover, she’s convinced her current financial situation can’t accommodate this unexpected addition to her life. In her own words, she’d consider keeping the baby if her overall circumstances were different. But right now, she’s made up her mind.

The Question:

Does any pregnant woman, under any circumstances, reserve the exclusive right to decide whether her unborn child should live or die?

The Answer:

Quite tricky, John.

Let’s Take A Few Steps Back

Before hurrying to wear a pro-choice badge or hurl a curse at Planned Parenthood, first you need to ask: “What kind of question is this, really? Is it a moral one or a legal one? We’ll get into that a little bit.

“Hey, let’s all come together and agree on what a life is and when a fetus can reasonably be considered to be a human being?”

Speaking of Abortion Law

We’ve briefly seen the limited supervisory role that state law played with respect to abortions in the past. How is it, then, that we now live in an an era of sophisticated formal legislation on abortions? Where did it really start from?

  1. Understand the rationale behind some of the laws that were enforced.
  2. Be informed about the current laws taking effect across some sovereign states today.

Taking It One Step Further

Today, if you truly understand politics, the pandemic liberalization of abortion — particularly in Europe and the US — wouldn’t surprise you at all. It is true that Roe vs Wade drew the thick historical line that clearly separates the pro-abortion and anti-abortion movements in the US — and by significant extension, the modern world. But lets face it, elections must be won and must continue to be won. Simply put, if the demographics of the pro-abortion camp would tilt polls in your favor, you might just find yourself promising to ensure abortion-on-demand for all — whether or not you agree with them on moral grounds. And vice-versa.

The pregnancy must constitute a direct threat to your own life

This makes it sit comfortably in the league of countries with the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.

Punches, Blocks and Counter-Punches

While some have argued that governments have the constitutional powers to determine the legality of abortions and thus enforce appropriate laws for people to abide by, others strongly believe it is a purely moral decision that should be made on a personal level with state interference limited only to the regulation of processes and procedures. Hence, another question to consider:

Does any government, under any circumstances, reserve the unquestionable right to make a pregnant woman deliver a baby that, for reasons justifiable or not, she does not want?

C’mon man. My head is starting to hurt
Oh this is getting good
Oh my God! Are you kidding me?

Getting A Bit More Rational

In countries where restrictive abortion laws reign supreme, women still seek to have and, in most cases, successfully procure abortions. In other words, despite state rules and the brutality of the consequences they prescribe, their abortion rates effortlessly compare with those of countries with lesser to no abortion restrictions.

“Quacks rule the day in a society where abortions are made illegal because there is minimal to zero supply of qualified professionals willing to provide a service for which there is unrelenting demand” — Dimeji Padonu

This explanation, however, fails to answer the question of moral justification. Bear in mind that in the US alone where abortions are legal, majority of abortions are actually performed on healthy mothers with healthy babies as compared to those performed out of concern for catastrophic fetal malformations, rape, incest, and socio-economic hardships.

So, Back To the Original Question:

Does any pregnant woman, under any circumstances, reserve the exclusive right to decide whether her unborn child should live or die?

The Answer:

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Medical doctor | Reader of books | Drinker of wines | Editor of The Long Run