Taking The Taboo Out of Miscarriages and Abortions

By Paige Stewart

I usually open my articles with a quote to either trigger or intrigue the reader, but when I searched quotes about abortions and miscarriages - I was the one who became triggered.

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There were quotes essentially shaming women for having abortions and very narrow-minded pro-life quotes that don’t take other factors into consideration. If you are pro-life this is not an attack on your beliefs or to make you feel wrong, it is just my view.

When talking about abortion or miscarriage a lot of emphasis is placed on “choice”. Either that it is the woman’s choice what she does with her body or that the unborn fetus would undoubtedly choose to live. Both are understandable and neither are wrong. If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-choice because if I ever end up in a situation where I cannot bring a baby into this world or simply do not wish to - I want the option at least to be able to do that.

Many pro-life people believe that if a victim is involved then it’s not your choice and you shouldn’t end another’s life for selfish reasons (the vegans reading this are probably thinking what I’m thinking - “but majority of them eat animal products which is then also ending another’s life for selfish reasons” but never mind, that’s for another article).

I’ve heard many pro-life people argue that the unborn child would want to live and be loved just like its mother was given the opportunity to, but I ask you this; would that unborn child want to live knowing its father raped it’s mother? Would that unborn child want to grow up in the system because its mother was not able to raise him/her all alone? Would that unborn child want to grow up knowing it wasn’t wanted?

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A while ago a fellow Funky Feminist, Julia Stonehouse, wrote an article about The Trobriand Islands. The natives to this island believe that when a spirit wants to return to the physical world, it transforms itself into a fetus spirit, hops on a leaf and floats into a woman’s vagina while she is bathing. While we can agree that is not necessarily the way a woman falls pregnant, I think a lot of us will agree on the next part. If a woman is not wanting a child at that moment, she uses herbs to induce an abortion. She is not judged or shamed as she has done nothing wrong - you cannot kill a spirit. “They don’t think of it as death, but as postponement and redirection because the spirit-baby will return and enter another woman.”

Taking the taboo out of abortions or miscarriages can do no harm, to stand by women in general is so important and supporting their decisions is a huge step to achieving full equality.

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My body - my choice. Her body - her choice. Say that until it sinks in. Say that until you realise you have no say in what other women do with their bodies. By all means, have an opinion, but by NO means are you to share that opinion with her without her asking for it. I’m not really phased if you’re pro-life or pro-choice or pro this or pro that, shaming another woman for her decisions in her own life shows me exactly who you are as a person. I’m telling you now, it’s not who you want to be.

Try to understand where the other person is coming from before you judge them. If you cannot understand why they made that decision, ask until you do. But ask to learn - do not ask to judge.

Abortions and miscarriages aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so instead of trying to hurt women who go through abortions or miscarriages, let’s support them? Let’s make them feel safe and loved just as we would want to feel if we were in their situation.

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