01 april 2012

A long comment resulted in a whole post about the US in the eyes of a Swede

This entry is inspired by and dedicated to this post by Soraya; mainly regarding the response she got from some people. I started to write a reply to a (stupid) comment, but I had so much to say I decided to put most of it into words here instead.

I wish that I'd saved the links to all of the comments I wanted to reply to, as I can't find them anymore. She gets so many new comments every day.

Soraya's post is a truly upsetting one on the subject women's rights in some US states. Sure, some of the facts aren't really spot-on, and some of her views aren't really the same as mine, but it's still a very relevant issue - and the main point should be heard.

We're worth more than cattle. Actually.

I live in Sweden, which has a totally different view of women's (and human) rights, and what Soraya speaks about is extremely alien and unbelievable to me. Even though the US does already have a bad reputation in the rest of the world, it can still surprise me.

Of course I don't believe everything I read, I prefer to check the facts, and I do not judge everyone in all of the US for something that happens in a few states because of a few crazy people.

Is having a child a punishment?
A punishment stupid people should "have to live with" for being stupid? "Hannah" wrote that you should be punished when you do something stupid. You have to "pay for the consequences of being sexually active" and be punished for not wanting to deal with the consequences.

Agreed, you should always think of the consequences of what you're doing, and in my opinion you should in this case use contraceptives if the unwanted consequence is a child or a disease. But if you get pregnant anyway you should not be forced to keep the baby as a punishment! A child should be a wanted and good thing in your life.

If you don't want a child or can't take care of one for different reasons, you should not have to give up sex for the rest of your life to avoid children, no matter if you're married or not. Contraceptives are not wrong or shameful to use. Sex without the intent of getting pregnant isn't the same thing as "slutty" sex (if that is what you're having trouble with accepting), it can also be safe sex in a committed relationship. In a marriage too.

Why would contraceptive only exist for those who aren't married?
In many comments (such as Peter's) it was mentioned that contraceptives makes adultery, "sleeping around" and "sluttyness" easier to get away with. As if those are the only ones who have use for contraceptives?

And someone said "it promotes sex before marriage, it will ruin our teens".

What?!

Are contraceptives only for what you call "slutty people"? And should be banned because of those who have sex without being married? If you're married and have three children, can't afford more, or don't want to give birth to more, should you stop having sex with your husband? If not, are contraceptives only for married people - and therefore a religious view forced upon others? Not everyone believes marriage is the only right thing.

An unmarried person can be in a committed relationship for his/her whole life. Longer than many married people.

But how many people someone has sex with is no-one's business, except for maybe their possible partner. Sure, I personally (for safety reasons) might not want to have sex with someone who's had sex with hundreds of people, but I wouldn't see that person as a bad person and it's my choice to back off sexually in that case if I want to. And it's that person's choice to sleep with as many as he or she wants. Without being judged by people who don't even know the person.

People who are (as someone said) "stupid enough to risk things" will not stop being stupid and stop risking things because protection is taken away from them - plus if it leads to a pregnancy which is not allowed to be aborted - what life will that child have? It could be (and often is) born into a life with parents who are "stupid" and don't want them.

And I believe "slutty" people will be who they are with or without protection.

Teens/adulterers and others will not stop having sex if you take away their protection or (in teens' case) if you stop talking about sex in schools. It will only lead to more teen pregnancies and diseases. Give them INFORMATION AND EDUCATION about the subject instead and let them have as much protection as they want, because some of them will still do it - protection or no protection.

I don't understand and never will understand how people can think that no education will stop anyone from doing anything. How will they know why they shouldn't do this or that? And if people just say "Don't do it because I tell you to not do it" - you know how that ends.. "Oooh! Forbidden is fun!"

About Transvaginal ultrasound
Soraya mentioned the awfulness of Transvaginal ultrasound, and I have a few comments about that.

As far as I know Transvaginal ultrasound is sometimes necessary because it is more accurate searching for/looking at something that is too small to see with a normal ultrasound (like an early pregnancy), or when it's positioned where it's hard to "reach" with a normal ultrasound.

But, of course no-one should have to go through a transvaginal one without consent. And absolutely not be forced to do it as a punishment because you have done something that someone else doesn't agree with. But do you want to have a safe abortion the doctor will most likely need to use ultrasound (of an appropriate kind) to find out what abortion method is the best/safest in your case (since it's different from case to case) - and sometimes that requires a transvaginal ultrasound.

How can miscarriages be the same thing as, and as illegal as, an abortion?
This is just too weird for me to even try to understand. Some kind of punishment if the death of the baby (baby, not fetus with no brain activity) is the mother's fault, and not an accident, sure, maybe, but murder? No. And to make miscarriages illegal overall? If that is what is intended it's absolutely wrong, but I can't believe that's what's intended.

About abortion, pro life and pro choice
I am pro choice, which means that I want the woman to be able to decide whether or not to keep the fetus. And this is within the time period where the fetus is a fetus, not a thinking baby.

I have been pregnant and given birth to a child myself, and I can tell you: I would never do it if I couldn't keep the baby or couldn't take care of it! It is hard for both the body and the mind. And no-one should or will make my decisions for me when it changes my body for ever. Period.

And as someone said: "If someone doesn't want to get or be pregnant she will find a way, and teenagers will find a way to have sex without protection". So taking away the protection or safe legal abortions doesn't stop people from doing it.

But it makes it a whole less safe. People die from illegal abortions every day.

To not be able to chose whether to abort or keep a fetus created by rape is beyond me. Just the thought of having to carry the rapist's child for 9 months, reminding you, changing your body, and then give birth to it - it is a horrible thought. Sure, you can absolutely start to feel love for it and decide to keep it, but you should absolutely have the choice.

When it comes to giving birth to the baby because the law makes you: what life will that baby have? Sure, some parents will love the baby and that baby will have a wonderful life. But there are so many unhappy children out there because of this, adopted or not.

Why do you think there are so many bad parents everywhere? Most of them wouldn't be parents if they had the choice. I wish they had the choice.

Not being able to have an abortion for medicinal reasons? Risk the mother's life to save the fetus that's not even a person yet? That is just.. what?! You're pro life, but want to kill the mom? For a fetus that might not survive anyway? Some people don't think at all.

When it comes to life being in the sperm already.. what's your view on masturbation..? No more comments about that, it's just laughable.

As Bearthoven quotes:
Up until the 1970's the Evangelical/Fundamental Churches didn't consider a fetus human until it was able to live outside the womb. St. Augustine wrote "it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body" if it is "not yet endowed with senses." Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: "before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.

Still it's often the religion that makes people against abortion nowadays.. well..

Someone asked which countries Soraya meant by "the rest of the world" (in her title)
One reply mentioned a few countries and their abortion laws, but kind of negatively put because of their restrictions. That it's as bad as anti abortion to have a time limit on abortions, and that it's horrible to make the women go to therapy before the abortion.

This was going to be my reply to that:
I think you misunderstand the restrictions in those countries. They require therapy because of the woman's mental health during an abortion, to help her deal with the possible sorrow/hardship of having an abortion. Not to try and convince her to keep the baby, they aren't even allowed to try and convince the woman to do anything.

The therapy is also required to educate and to help prevent people from using repeated abortions as a contraceptive. They give information about the consequences for the body when you have repeated abortions, and recommending good contraceptives so that they hopefully won't have to have an abortion (or unwanted baby) in the future. Still not to get the woman to keep the baby.

The time limit is quite long (three months, a third of the pregnancy), and is there for health reasons, as it is a much harder task for the body to go through an abortion in the late stages than in the first trimester. Plus that the baby has developed so much more after that time, that it actually has thoughts and can dream and is considered a "real baby". It's closing in on the "age" where it can survive outside of the womb.

By three months the mother must have had enough time to realize she's pregnant and think about her choices, in my opinion.. but of course it happens that they discover the pregnancy "too late" - it will still be up for discussion, it all depends on the situation.

As mentioned in the comments about this, in these countries you can get an abortion if you want to, it IS your choice. But you can't just show up at a doctor's, get a pill, and leave - for good reasons, physical and psychological. There's no religion, unwanted (or unkind) lectures, rapes or force involved. This is all a very good deal, and something the rest of the world (the countries against abortion) should take after.

As someone else wrote:
If you want to see a reduction in abortion, then advocate for sex education for all adolescents, male and female; affordable health care for all women; prenatal care for all women; low cost birth control for all women; the education of young men on the role they play in unwanted pregnancy; support for Planned Parenthood; access to the morning after pill; reduction in poverty; and last but not least, placing value on human life from birth.


Word.

.. and as a friend said: "A lot of the time we judge we do so from a distance, but when we are in a situation how much harder must it be not to form an opinion?"