Why I’m Angry Today

  1. The detainment of Uighur Muslims (and others) in internment camps in China. Article 2, Article 5, Article 7, Article 9, Article 18
  2. The ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement risking the lives of millions through the spread of preventable disease and preventing children from accessing basic medical care. Article 25, Article 29
  3. The Flint Water Crisis. Article 2, Article 7, Article 25
  4. The abuse and separation from their families of children at the US/Mexico border.* Article 5, Article 9

For a little context — I currently live in a country where the following are true:

  1. There is no free contraception available, and condoms are the only option for someone like myself who is unable to use hormonal contraceptives.
  2. The ‘morning after pill’ only became available here at the end of 2016, and even now there are a limited number of pharmacies that carry it. It also costs around 30/35 euros, which is a prohibitive cost to some women who may need access (think of teenage girls with no income of their own as an example).
  3. Its is the only country in EU, and 1 of 4 in the world, where abortion is illegal under ANY circumstances with NO EXCEPTIONS. Both the EU and UN have expressed serious concerns about women’s sexual and reproductive rights here.
  4. If you travel abroad to end a pregnancy you can face criminal charges on your return (even so, the rate of abortion here is very much in line with other countries in the EU, with around 4% of women willing to take the risk of travelling for the procedure).
  1. No form of contraception is 100% effective — and the ‘morning after pill’ does not guarantee you will not fall pregnant.
  2. Not all sex is consensual — including within relationships. Consent includes the agreement to use contraception (or not).*
  3. Following point 3 — tampering with contraceptive methods is a known form of ‘coercive control’ used by men to control their female partners by causing an unwanted pregnancy. Honestly — it wasn’t something that had ever crossed my mind until one of my university lecturers brought it up in a seminar on violence against women but I have never forgotten it.

Oh and let’s add some abortion-specific ranting:

  1. Making abortion illegal does not prevent abortion. There is no evidence that this is the case. What it does do is limit access to safe, medical procedures for women who are already vulnerable. Regardless, forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is probably not going to have a positive outcome for anyone involved. Brilliant.
  2. Abortions, especially late-term abortions are also carried out on wanted pregnancies. Please do not add to women’s pain and grief by shaming them for doing what they believe is best for themselves / their baby / their family.
  3. In response to a specific comment on the post that initiated this — pregnant women do not owe you anything. I am truly sorry if you are struggling with fertility, and I wish you all the best, but that is not the responsibility of every woman who is able to conceive.
  4. If you don’t agree with abortion, you can choose not to get one.

Pro-choice does not equate to pro-abortion:

On a final note, I’d like to clarify that being pro-choice does not mean that I am ‘pro-abortion’. To be honest I can’t imagine it being something I would ever do, but I would really like to have the choice should I ever find myself in a situation where it seems to be the best or only option. And I certainly will not be in the business for shaming or condemning women for their choices.

Some References

  1. Detainment of Uighur Muslims in China: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-45474279
  2. Anti-Vaxxers listed in the top 10 threats to Global Health in 2019 by WHO: Listed in top 10 threats to global health by WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/ten-threats-to-global-health-in-2019
  3. Some facts on the Flint Water Crisis: https://michaelmoore.com/10FactsOnFlint/
  4. Border Crisis in the US: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/27/migrant-children-sexual-abuse-complaints-filed-documents-hhs
  5. UDHR: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
  6. UNCRC: https://www.unicef.org.uk/what-we-do/un-convention-child-rights/
  7. Information on contraception in Malta: http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-02-09/local-news/Maltese-reluctant-to-move-towards-modern-contraceptives-gynaecologist-6736203275
  8. Morning after pill becomes available in Malta: https://lovinmalta.com/lifestyle/living-in-malta/things-maltese-people-should-know-before-using-the-morning-after-pill
  9. Abortion rates in Malta: http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2018-02-04/local-news/300-to-400-Maltese-women-go-abroad-for-an-abortion-each-year-AD-chairperson-6736184440
  10. Malta criminalisation of abortion and changing attitudes: https://www.euronews.com/2016/05/12/malta-s-abortion-ban-i-m-not-a-criminal-i-m-a-loving-mother
  11. Effectiveness of contraceptive methods: https://www.optionsforsexualhealth.org/facts/birth-control/chart/
  12. Alice Smith’s Women’s Day Article: http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2018-03-11/blogs-opinions/The-last-12-months-as-a-woman-in-Malta-6736186020
  13. Article about reproductive coercion: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/09/reproductive-coercion-abuse-women-control-choices

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