Not A Toaster, Not A Soldier, Not A Saint

Yes, this is another post about abortion. Because I’m fed up with the discussion. I’m fed up with one side yelling murder, and the other yelling about bodily autonomy and clumps of cells.

When does life begin? Which religion says what about it? My body, my choice? Stop it, people. The way we’re having this discussion, if you can even call it that, is wrong.

I don’t ever want to hear another rendition of “If you don’t want your baby, you can give it up for adoption.” or “If you’re pregnant, it was God’s will.” Sentences like that are proof that far too many people believe that pregnancy is really no big deal.

A woman is not a toaster. You don’t push something in, and a while later something else pops out, and the toaster is none the worse for the experience.

Women die of pregnancy and/or childbirth related issues, and if they survive are stuck with post partum health issues for the rest of their lives, even in countries with pretty good health care systems. Per 100,000 pregnant women, 2019 figures show 3.2 deaths in Germany, 6.5 in the UK, 17.4 in the US, for reasons such as severe bleeding, infections, high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), complications from delivery, and yes, unsafe abortion. Look here for details. If we don’t die, we suffer from anemia, urinary tract infections, hypertension, diabetes, nausea, vomiting, heavy bleeding, abdominal cramping, constipation, hemorrhoids, chills, night sweats, difficulty going to the bathroom, engorged breasts, back pain, headaches, pelvis pain, incision pain (if the woman has had a C-section), pain and difficulty walking (after an episiotomy or tear), depression, anxiety, and exhaustion, incontinence, symphysis pubis dysfunction (pelvic girdle pain, which can be debilitating), and pelvic organ prolapse (when weak muscles allow organs to fall into the vagina), not to mention diastasis recti (seperation of the abdominal muscles). The list goes on. Ask the mothers you know. Or look here, here, and here for more details. None of them are pretty. I refuse to issue a trigger warning. You should read and know these things. Oh, and all the risks are that much higher for pregnant kids and teenagers.

Long story short, the discussion should not be about how far on into the pregnancy a woman should or should not be allowed to have an abortion, or about whether she wants the abortion because she is a 10-y-old girl who was raped by her own father or a grown up woman who simply had unprotected sex for fun.

There should be no discussion at all. Instead, there should be a question. Are you willing to risk your life and health for another human being? And we should respect it if the answer is no.

We wouldn’t expect anyone who is not a trained soldier to fight in a war. We wouldn’t push anyone who isn’t a trained fire fighter into a burning house to save the people trapped within. We wouldn’t ask anyone who isn’t a cop to step between a crowd of innocents and a nutcase with a gun. And yet, we expect our women to die. Because we’ve put them on this pedestal where every woman is a saint ready to sacrifice everything for her children.

Oddly enough, despite everything, if you look at birth rates, a vast part of the world’s women is indeed willing to make that sacrifice, and we will continue to do so. All we’re asking is that you let it be our decision.


About angelikarust

My name is Angelika Rust. I was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, I live in Germany, with my husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza delivery girl to HR consultant, I now make a living knowing English. No, I haven’t yet figured out what I want to be when I grow up, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I write the occasional book.
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1 Response to Not A Toaster, Not A Soldier, Not A Saint

  1. Thank you for your reasoned, thoughtful post. It does seem crazy – and beyond crazy – that the same body of – men?? – that say, “Abortion can be ruled illegal” can also say, “Yup! The Constitution protects our rights to bear arms…”

    So you have “no right” to decline to proceed with pregnancy, but every right to “protect yourself,” with arms. Sexist laws?? Not being controversial here, but…

    Liked by 1 person

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