A dangerous ideology

Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.

Eugene Ionesco

Ideologies can be dangerous. They are fixed, abstract, unreal and have little or nothing to do with life. With the way things really are.

The “right to choose”

An ideology grew up after the sexual revolution of the 1960s that women must have the right to control their own bodies and their own fertility. The legalisation of abortion was a fundamental part of this and the “woman’s right to choose” slogan is now everywhere accepted as a natural feature of a modern, democratic society. One can debate whether our bodies are really are “own” (do we make ourselves breathe, for example?) but, that aside, did people really think that by introducing this new belief, this new ideal, that women’s natures, biology and emotions would all obligingly change to fit in with it?

Condoning suffering

They do not, of course. The idea is nonsensical – and yet, amazingly, it is what we have been culturally conditioned into believing. Women must have the right to choose, abortion is a symbol of freedom and of women’s liberation. What does that mean in practice? It means that all a woman’s natural and deeply ingrained instincts to bond with and nurture must be denied or belittled. It means that in the name of an ideology, much suffering has to be endured and condoned.

Why can we not talk about the agony into which the “right to choose” places many women, who then have to decide whether or not to have their own child destroyed if the world is not welcoming of their children? “But it’s not a child, that’s just emotive, manipulative language!” is the angered cry of those who believe in choice (or do they just believe in abortion?) above all. Well, it is a woman’s child – that is just a simple statement of fact. What else could it be? Why must we pretend that black is white to suit the convenience of women and men for whom that is too uncomfortable an idea? And why must women’s grief and guilt after abortion be dismissed or even ridiculed?

A brutalizing experience

A young woman describes on camera her experience of the abortion of her 16-week old baby (http://www.careconfidential.com/Reannons_journey.aspx). Her face is contorted with pain and she cries as she describes the baby’s developmental stage. What brave new world is this in which a woman has the glorious right to have her baby dismembered in the womb? Of course we are not allowed to talk about that, either. That too is emotive, manipulative language. But what if it were the simple truth? We must not talk about the actual process of what happens in an abortion, even though it is a horrific and traumatising thing for many women that has real effect on their psyche. Why must women not be told about that beforehand, as their right to all the information before they give their consent?

The network of influence

Why are we so in favour of abortion? Why, when a woman is fearful and uncertain in a situation of unexpected pregnancy, do we encourage only the option of abortion? People, again, say, “No, no, that’s not true, a woman can do whatever she wants.” This notion is deeply flawed – because we are social animals, deeply influenced by the people in our surroundings and the influences to which we have been subjected. Advertisers are all too aware of this in their drive to get us to consume what they want. If women were counselled and encouraged to keep their babies, that is what a large proportion would do – and why is that any less desirable than their having an abortion? What if it were actually much better for women, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually, as well as much better for the developing fetus?