Yeah, you’d think that would be an obvious statement. I mean, who wouldn’t want women to have options and choices? Well, bigots wouldn’t. Oppressors wouldn’t. Abusers wouldn’t.
And what is one of the choices which I think women should have? Sorry to quote something legal but: “the timing, number and spacing of their children” is something I strongly advocate for. For those who are interested in reading more, this quote is taken from CEDAW – The convention on the elimination of discrimination against women. It’s a human right’s convention which the majority of the world has actually signed. Including places you’ve probably never heard of.
There are many ways in which a woman can have control over the timing, number and spacing of her children. The first one to come to mind would be contraception – you know, the pill, condoms, that kind of stuff. So in that regard, we’re good.
The second option which would come to mind is abortion. This is a heavy debate, with the world split between the pro-lifers (ie. those who are against abortion because they see it as the murder of a human life), and the pro-choice (some of whom see it as the ending of a potential human life for the benefit of a grown person, or as an option women should have, regardless if the fetus is a human life or not – especially since that is a philosophical debate and not a scientific one).
Since abortion is such a heavy topic, one which most people cannot discuss without going into a rabid rage, we need to find something which has more efficacy than regular contraception (or say, the condom broke, or a woman was raped), but not the same heatedness as abortion.
Nothing comes to mind?
Well….emegency contraception. Ie. The morning after pill, like EllaOne or Levonelle (I’m not advertising anything here).
But wait…isn’t emergency contraception also abortive?
Well, no. It’s really not.
First off, what the Morning After Pill (or, MAP) does is delay ovulation. Sperm can live inside the female for up to 5 days, so by delaying the follicular rupture, and thus delay the release of an egg, one would hope that the egg and sperm never meet, never fertilise, and a zygote (or life, if you’re pro-life) is never formed. If this fails, the MAP has mechanisms in place to avoid the sperm and ovum from fertilising, but of course this isn’t fool proof.
Should the woman have ovulated and the sperm and egg fuse, then nothing happens. The MAP is effectively useless, and the woman will most probably become pregnant once the fertilised egg implants.
So you’re pro-choice? Then the MAP is a great choice for women to have, especially if their first method for protection has failed.
So you’re pro-life? Well the MAP is perfect then. The MAP, if successful, removes the need for abortion of an unwanted pregnancy, because there is no pregnancy to abort.
Pretty awesome, isn’t it ?