Some of the reasons that make women abort and use contraception include:
- The need to advance one’s career
- Poverty or the inability to cater for new offspring
- To prevent an unplanned pregnancy
- An unsupportive spouse etc
The proponents of reproductive rights base their arguments on the the freedom of choice. I have always known the choice to kill or use abortifacient contraceptives is wrong. What I did not understand was moral responsibility for one’s choices and actions and the freedom to choose the responsibilities one will take on. Authentic freedom however, enables us to make moral choices.
Women have to choose between their careers and motherhood or to take on responsibilities that they are not ready for. Never mind that the argument has always been to abstain to escape the consequences of sex. As beings with free will, we have the ability to choose and are held responsible for our actions. It is irresponsible to bring forth offspring that one is unable to take care of just as it is unjust for people to be too poor to take care of their offspring. It is unjust for the work place to be indifferent to women’s nature.
Just as it is viable to plan for the future, women should be able to plan for number of children they are able to take care of. Nature has endowed women with regular cycles that can be monitored and harnessed to plan one’s family. For instance, we have NaProTECHNOLOGY. This is an ethical and healthy method as it does not work by killing one’s offspring or interfering with the hormonal balance. There are also various apps and initiatives such as FEMM. One is able to anticipate the future. But sometimes, accidents happen, it does not mean that one should murder an innocent person. A fruit of love from two people who chose to be together and understood the consequences that would come, can never be an accident even if unplanned for.
So what is the best way to give women an ethical freedom of choice? A multi-thronged approach is needed:
- The ingestion of hormones (through pills and other forms of contraception and genetically modified organisms is counterproductive and works to make the menstrual cycle irregular, not to mention the various diseases that come with hormonal imbalance.
- The workplace should be made to accommodate women
- There is the need to invest in technology that enables women to chart their cycles efficiently. This is already being done but is not accessible to everyone.
- Crisis pregnancy centres are helpful because no human person is an accident
- We need to teach men and women about the choices they make and the responsibilities that come with them
- We need social justice. So long as people are entrenched in poverty, they will always be tempted to make bad choices such as killing their offspring. People should be able to have the number of children they want and the ability to support them
- Interfering with the reproductive system is not reproductive health. Methods such as tubal ligation and the use of intra uterine devices can make women susceptible to infection.