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Contraception and abortion – back at the top of the agenda?

July 11, 2012

I once had a discussion with someone about whether contraception should be given to a girl under the age of 16 without informing the parents. In the end Image
we did not reach an agreement.

However at no point was there any discussion over whether the contraception should be made available in the first place.

Melinda Gates has recently (previously and continuously) hit out against countries and religious leaders that prevent or condemn the use of contraception. In the campaign to get family planning across the globe the Gates family have been an extreme asset to the cause and today’s conference which brings together 250 delegates including those from the most affected countries from these issues has high hopes for progress and an emphasis on voicing the opinions of thousands of unheard women.

My personal opinion on contraception, family planning, abortion etc is almost irrelevant because no matter whether I believe it is right or wrong, I’ll always believe and stand by that there should have been a choice. Activists and Protesters against contraception across Africa and Asia often say that the contraception is not wanted. And? Ok, so its allegedly not wanted, that still doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be made available.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/11/sexual-health-roundtable?INTCMP=SRCH – Breaking down the barriers to birth control (Guardian Website).

On a related however slightly different note, the state of Mississippi USA is waiting to see whether its only abortion clinic can remain open following a long court process mainly led by the anti abortion campaign. Many conservative states in America have tried to take these steps and many doctors are being ostracized
for pro choice decisions.

As a Brit, abortion is something I accept as available if its needed and can be accessible. Although I admit Ive never had an abortion or never actually thought about it that much I do know people who have had abortions in the past either because they were not economically dependent and felt they could not cope or it was the result of a sexual assault. They have gone onto to have future children and they do not regret the previous decisions they made. I accept that there will be some people who will simply have an abortion because of a ‘mistake’ and there will be people who will regret it however I find it comforting that the choice is there. I do not want to get into the complete pro life/abortion debate because I can argue for and against it in my head every time it comes up in conversation!

But I find it unpragmatic to close the only abortion clinic in a state.

If a woman is that desperate to make this heartbreaking difficult decision, if she cant do it legally in a safe environment; she will go somewhere else. I would rather that the choice of abortion was there for a woman instead of having to resort to more extreme measures.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/10/mississippi-only-abortion-clinic-protest?INTCMP=SRCHMississippi’s only abortion clinic fights to stay open (Guardian Website).

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to these issues – it is subjective and each case is different. I admire some people’s religious strength to condemn abortion or contraception however I don’t admire the ability to ignore how the weakest and poorest are being affected by certain decisions.

Something may be condemned however at least let it be an option even if it is an option which is advised against.


“Over and over again women have told me that all they want is to be able to put time between one child and another child. It’s a universal thing to want to feed your children and to educate your children, and women know that the only way they can do that is not have so many. And this campaign could give them the tools to make sure they can do that.” Melinda Gates

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