Just a thought: Do women really have a choice?

This post was written by Casey Luluquisin, Vice-President of the University of  Toronto Students for Life

A study published in The Journal of Adolescent Health, “Are pregnant adolescents stigmatized by pregnancy?”, conducted by Constance Wiemann et al. found that “two of five adolescent mothers felt stigmatized by their pregnancies”. This article further outlines that “stigmatized women are more likely to feel isolated”; “were more likely to report feelings of abandonment by their partner (one quarter of adolescents reported experiencing a negative change in their relationship as a result of pregnancy), placing these adolescents at increased risk for mood disorders”; and “that pregnant adolescents may experience assault from parents, peers, and intimate partners. Thus, ‘stigma’…for some adolescents may actually reflect fear and abuse.”

It’s no wonder there are 100 000 abortions every year in Canada. I mean who would want to be subject to isolation, abuse, and depression. This brings me to my next thought: is there really a choice then? This scenario does not really present much choice to women. It seems that your only choices are to keep your child, struggle, and be subject to suffering or abort. If this is the case why wouldn’t you choose an abortion? Obviously it’s much more complicated than that and to me it seems that abortion is just another “Band-Aid” solution. My concern is that abortion does not do much to make significant changes that benefit women. Abortion doesn’t help women to get support from men – it gives them a way out. It doesn’t allow society to see the dignity within each person and decrease the stigma a woman receives for getting pregnant. It doesn’t induce governments to install more social programs to help support and care for women who already have children or actually want to give their baby life. If we want to give women a real choice shouldn’t there be more options? A woman debating whether or not she should bring her child to term should not have fear as a factor in her decision. If fear is driving her decision is it really her own choice? I certainly don’t think so. To really give a woman a choice she should be able to freely make a decision that is not restricted by the thoughts of others and the maltreatment she might receive by society, peers, and family. She should have a system that can help give her financial, emotional, and mental support and empowers her to finish her education and raise a child – not one that demoralizes her and gives her despair. A lot more should be done than just giving her the “choice” of abortion.

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