Tuesday 20 February 2018

Termination on financial grounds is an abuse of a freedom so dearly fought for

If you can't afford the cost of raising a child, then make sure you don't get pregnant, writes Emer O'Kelly

UNPLANNED PREGNANCY: Contraception can fail, but it happens in only a small number of cases -- such as forgetting to take the pill or using a condom incorrectly. (Picture posed by models)

There are many reasons for considering termination of a pregnancy. The overwhelming majority of those reasons strike any civil libertarian, male or female, as entirely legitimate. The canted phrase "a woman's right to choose" is misleading in that context: it makes women seem irresponsible, giddy, and feckless.

But a pregnant woman, however young, doesn't decide lightly to have an abortion. She may decide immediately, and be steadfast in her decision, but that is due to her conviction that it is the correct thing to do in her circumstances. If she is the kind of person who can think about ethical behaviour despite her fear and worry, she may also believe that it is the only moral option. Or that's what I've always believed.

Undoubtedly attitudes toward abortion vary among women from country to country. The Seventies "Californian option" where many women used termination as a seemingly handy method of contraception is long ago discredited, where women chose to go for a hysteroscopy (what used to be called a D and C) every three months, thus ensuring that if a pregnancy was in place, it would be aborted.

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