Consider this post a feeble attempt at gathering my thoughts.
Le Trio Bleu: Bringing love back into the wardrobe since 2013!
— I wish to register a complaint!
Damn, I feel as if I just moved to Texas! The latest hot controversy in Norway has to do with abortion, and a recently introduced law passed by the newly elected conservative three-party government (the three blue ones: The Conservative Party, the Progress Party and the Christian Democratic Party), which grants general practitioners the right to reserve themselves against referring female patients who are seeking abortion, to abortion clinics or hospitals. They may also refuse to prescribe contraceptives, such as birth control pills or spiral, under cover of having what they consider the higher moral ground.
It was (of course) the Christian Democratic Party who put forth this law, and the other two noddingly agreed in exchange for support in a few other minor matters of their own. I don’t know what those matters were, but I doubt that they were anything close to compensating for this trespassing on women’s rights. This is far lower than I had expected, even for a religiously motivated political party.
Strangely, I have heard nothing at all about doctors reserving themselves against having to refer men to vasectomy surgery. Apparently that’s a completely different thing, presumably because those patients are … *drum roll* … men!
If by this point you are beginning to get the impression that I am opposed to the whole thing, then you’re not entirely wrong.
Now, there already exists a law allowing medical personnel to reserve themselves against actively participating in abortions, as in getting their hands bloody or having to watch and assist the procedure. I can understand that. But this is not the issue at hand. The issue is that some doctors seem to think that it’s their right and their duty to act as moral barriers in what to most women who find themselves in such a situation is one of the toughest choices they’re likely to make in their lifetime, about something that may in some cases severely impede on their health or their future lives.
I’m not talking about the inconvenience of becoming a mother. I’m talking about the inconvenience of possibly dying from complications during pregnancy, or having to live with and care for your rapist’s offspring, or your own father’s incestuous heir. I’m talking about when abortion is the lesser evil.
My two cents: If, as a general practician, you are not prepared to do the job you signed up for, perhaps you ought to find other work, and free up room for someone who is willing to give female patients the help they require.
I mentioned Texas. I’m watching a debate where the arguments employed by those in favour of restricting access to abortion strongly remind me of Republicans. It’s hard to stomach that, even in this day and age, there are still people who are convinced that women are baby-making machines who should have neither will nor opinion of their own.
(Unlike in USA, no abortion surgeons have been assassinated, no abortion clinics have been set on fire, there has not even been a single major anti-abortion protest rally.)
— Ah, the Norwegian Blues? What, er, what seems to be wrong with them?
— I’ll tell you what’s wrong with them! They’re bloody brain dead, that’s what’s wrong with them!
With apologies to Monty Python.
A few minor points salvaged from the confusion:
- Women in need of abortion can contact the hospital directly, there is no need to go through a GP to get “permission”. This is however not widely advertised! In fact, it seems to be actively hushed down.
- The pro-reservation side of the debate seem to think that doctors are about to lose a right they’ve had “forever”, though it was introduced mere months ago.
- The anti-abortion vocalists largely seem to think that abortion is something women do for sport, as a number one choice for “late contraception”, which is false. The fact that the reservation right would adversely affect women and girls who are victims of rape and/or incest is for them a non-topic, or at best an afterthought.
- Most pro-reservation speakers cite religious reasons why pregnant women should be denied abortion.
- Those in favour of reservation consider the rights of doctors who quite willingly became general practicians, more important than the rights of women who unwillingly became or were made pregnant.
I strongly believe that …
» EVERY WOMAN has the right to decide whether she wants to become pregnant.
Neither husband, partner, family nor anyone else have any right to force such a decision on her.
» ANY WOMAN who has been forcefully or wrongfully made pregnant has the right to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy.
This includes, but is not limited to, rape, incest, sex in the face of extortion or intimidation.
» ANY WOMAN whose health or life quality is severely threatened by pregnancy has the right to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy.
No one has the right to force her to go through with something that is likely to either kill her or leave her permanently disabled or suffering.
» EVERY WOMAN has a right to know what can or will make her pregnant.
Including but not limited to letting young girls—and boys—know that the old “you can’t get pregnant the first time” is a lie, often told to inexperienced girls by boys or men who want sex but don’t want to use a condom.
» ANY MAN OR WOMAN who wilfully or out of poor judgement choose to have sex without the use of contraceptives, even if it is not for the purpose of making the woman pregnant, must be prepared to stand up and take proper responsibility as parents if it results in pregnancy.
This includes, but is not limited to, being overly impulsive, overcome by lust, or simply drunk.
I do however not believe in abortion as a simple and practical way out of trouble if one has been reckless and careless in love, or in lust. It should never be an easy decision. But the moral considerations of that choice must be left to the woman who makes it, not the doctor whose job it is to see to it that she gets proper help with her decision.
A few rather well formulated points regarding abortion: