archiesfrog: (feminism)
[personal profile] archiesfrog
So, jumping on the blogswarm bandwagon of world health day: abortion is not a crime, it is a health issue.

First off I thought, I didn't have anything to add to this discussion. Because, yeah, abortion is not (should not be) a crime. That needs to be said, a lot, aloud. But it's been said many times, in many better ways than I could manage.

But then I thought maybe I do have something to say. Because there is one bit of this I have a strong opinion on, and haven't seen much comment around. People say (many people, whom I think highly of, and agree with in most things - and even, just to be confusing, in this thing too, mostly) 'abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor'.

A woman and a doctor. This is the bit I get stuck on. Because honestly, I don't get why we add the 'doctor' bit in there. Yes, if you're contemplating something like an abortion (or a pregnancy, or anything which will effect your health/body in a big way) talking with your doctor is clearly a good - even essential - idea. But you know what? what I do with my body is not up to my doctor. A doctor can say they won't do something for me - ie. they themselves won't perform an abortion for me. That is their choice. They can even tell me they think an abortion (or any other medical procedure) is a bad idea for me.

But no doctor gets to tell me what I do with my body.

Because at the end of the day the body is mine. The decision is mine.

The doctor can advise. They can agree. They can disagree. But they don't live my life. They aren't in my body. And they don't get a vote. This is a personal opinion, based on personal life experience that has taught me, over and over again, that a doctor is just a human being, and any doctor almost certainly knows a lot less about my body and my life than I, the person living it, does. So, should I need an abortion, in my ideal world I would go and talk with my wonderful GP, and she would tell me if this was a procedure she personally felt comfortable doing for me. And if for her own reasons (be they ethical, medical whatever) she decided this was not a procedure she would go for me - I can, will, go to another doctor who will help. Because my doctor doesn't get to tell me what to do.

Just to reiterate, this is a side issue in a country where abortion is still in the crimes act, in Aotearoa NZ where we don't have abortion on demand (where, in fact, not one but three doctors have to agree before an abortion can occur). But, for all those women who just need help, advice and medical procedures from their doctor and instead find themselves being told how to live their life:
the doctor isn't all knowing, they have their own agenda, and it's your life.

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archiesfrog

December 2012

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