Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Monday, 11 April 2011
Myth-Busting Monday: 'If everyone had access to birth control and all the methods were 100% effective, all pregnancies would be wanted'
This week we're borrowing another myth from the brilliant Scarleteen article How to (un)Pack for a Real Discussion About Abortion. Thanks again to Heather Corinna at Scarleteen for giving us permission to reproduce this extract entitled: 'If everyone had access to birth control and all the methods we had were 100% effective, all pregnancies would be wanted and we would have no abortions'.While some women have very firm and consistent feelings before and during the whole of a pregnancy that a pregnancy is wanted, not everyone feels that way. Given how much pressure expectant mothers are under to express nothing but joy about a pregnancy, we can’t even accurately say how many women have mixed or mutable feelings: we just don’t live in a world yet which allows women that kind of honesty around pregnancy.
Even if every wanted pregnancy remained wanted, we can be certain that many women would still want and need abortion. Life doesn’t just stay put while we’re pregnant, so our circumstances can always change, and some of those changes can seriously alter our plans, previous wants and needs or the status of our pregnancy. In fact, I think it’s pretty strange to talk about a process which is about nothing but constant change – for a developing, as well as for a pregnant woman – as if it could be unchanging.
That said, birth control access and efficacy is a huge issue, and given that in America alone, nearly half of all pregnancies which end in abortion are unintended, we know that lack of access to methods, not knowing how to use methods properly or having a lack of cooperation around contraception in sexual partnerships and the level of effectiveness methods provide does very much contribute to more abortion than we would see otherwise. Those earnestly looking to help reduce the number of abortions drastically should absolutely be working to increase birth control access, awareness and the development of reliable methods of contraception, since this is the one thing we know would make a huge difference which does not in any way diminish or remove women's reproductive rights.
Monday, 4 April 2011
Myth-Busting Monday: All independent pregnancy advice centres offer women impartial, balanced pregnancy decision-making support
The Right to Know site claims that:
An amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill would guarantee that all women considering abortion have access to independent advice and counselling - provided by someone with no vested financial interest in the outcome of their decision.
Our question is – just who would be providing this service? What is the alternative for a woman who doesn’t speak to her doctor or a counsellor at an abortion provider?
Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPCs)
There are already a number of independent pregnancy advice centres across the country. Some are upfront about operating with a specifically anti-abortion agenda, some aren’t. Some are transparent about religious affiliations or funding organisations, some aren’t. Some may be providing evidence-based information and impartial support to women facing an unplanned pregnancy but we know of many more which aren’t. Our own research, coupled with the insight of the many professionals we speak to across the UK suggests that a good number of these centres are not offering women a balanced discussion of their pregnancy options but rather serving misinformation, health myths, overblown statistics and, in some cases showing women anti-abortion videos. This Channel 5 news report gives an idea of the kind of misleading information which may be given by a CPC.
Our concern is that suggestions that women need to look for independent pregnancy advice could open up the capacity of centres which offer biased information, driven by an agenda. Perhaps not the ‘financial incentive’ Dorries accuses abortion providers of, but an agenda nevertheless.