....Happy International Women’s Day!
In England, we’re world leading for promoting women’s rights and striving for equality. As a woman in her mid-twenties, I’m very grateful for all the ways I benefit from this that other women before me haven’t and many women around the world still don’t.
- there is so much about this that confuses me.
- there is so much that remains unaddressed.
Typically, England’s feminist quest lauds women in the workplace and ‘reproductive rights,’ but does little to celebrate motherhood, women prioritising their families, and our unique and incredible ability to bear children in the safety of our bodies.
As a charity we celebrate life:
- Life growing inside the womb
- New life gazing in awe at the outside world
- Girls and boys, women and men…at all stages
Our work grew out of a fervent call for equality and celebration of human lives in all their unique and beautifully different forms.
But today, in particular, we celebrate women. As a prolife charity, we are mainly sought after and needed by women.
How is this in oh-so-feminist c21st England?
1. For all the women’s marches there is little support for women facing the most profound situation a woman can: that of discovering she is bearing a new, tiny, unique little human within her.
2. For all the shouting about being pro-choice abortion provision is only one choice and a choice that, fundamentally we all know, ends that tiny life.
3. For all the #metoo exposure of sexual assault there is a resounding silence with regards to abortion being disgustingly convenient for an abuser wanting his crime to go unnoticed.
To be prolife is to be prowoman
No amount of rhetoric or women’s marches will change the fact that biologically, we do bear children inside us, and
these children, right from the moment of conception are alive, unique, human and growing.
They are not our bodies. They have their own little and rapidly developing bodies.
They live in our bodies.
- So we need to talk about support for women during pregnancy – that’s what we’re passionate about at Life.
- We need to talk about all the other options, support, advice, benefits, grants and services that can aid a woman in these situations.
- We need to stop thinking that allowing her to have that little life ended and forcibly expelled from her womb is empowering her as a mother.
- And we need to talk about the fact that, in so many cases, abortion serves men.
Abortion serves abusive men
I could talk about all the women that come to our services saying they would keep their baby if only their boyfriend would stick by them.
I could talk about the women that tell our counsellors they don’t have a choice; their partners will hurt them.
But I actually want to put the spotlight on the underage girls who have been brought to abortion clinics by their abusers, had abortions, and put right back into the hands of those same men. Multiple times in some cases.
Last year I painfully sat and watched the BBC drama Three Girls, based on the true, famous and disgusting Rochdale grooming scandals. This included a 13-year-old falling pregnant, taken for an abortion and suffering continued abuse.
A parallel case in Rotherham saw a 14-year-old girl being forced her to abort her baby conceived in rape, against her wishes. She had told her parents and they planned to have a paternity test done to prosecute the rapist. He threatened her and forced her to abort to cover up his crime. An abused and pregnant child, cruelly stripped of her autonomy and her baby.
Or what about the case in Telford? Where a 15-year-old girl was raped by two men repeatedly and over after years of repeated abuse was forced to have three abortions and remained trapped in the abuse.
Or the 12-year-old in Oxford who was raped by multiple men and was forced to take abortion pills at home, to keep the abuse secret without anyone asking any questions. She must have bled, alone, horrified and had to dispose of her own child, expelled from her body, created and killed by these men against her will.
And each one points to girls’ bodies being used and abused by men for pleasure. And the natural and biological result, the baby, being forcibly removed.
- Aborting the baby is an attempt to remove the consequences of their actions.
- Aborting the baby is ending the life of that poor new mother’s child.
How many millions of women have been used and pressured into having abortions or left alone to deal with the resulting pregnancy? In the fashionable push for ever more lax abortion provision we veer further and further from a feminist society.
Abortion exists to allow sexual pleasure ‘without consequences.’ It is misogynistic men who benefit from abortion most.
Devastatingly this ‘no-consequence’ solution has had the most profound and awful result of costing over 8 million lives in England and Wales since 1967.
This is not what empowerment for women looks like.
Women’s liberation cannot come at the cost of our children. Bearing children is female.
We have to be empowered without the bearing of children being something to be thwarted.