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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Abortion. Should we or should we not?

I never thought I'd be writing a post on a topic like this. Not that I'm an insensitive moron, but because it's not really in my nature. Yet, things change as I have come to understand, maybe a little bit too much for my liking. Anyway, that's a topic for a totally different post, so let's keep it at that and focus here.

What prompted me to write this is the death of a friend of mine. Well, to be honest she wasn't really a close friend, but someone I knew and was a good friend of my ex. In fact that's how I got to know her actually. We were just 'hi-bye' type friends, nothing more. But her death really shook me up, a lot more than I expected.

The unpleasant story in short is this.
She was only 23 at the time of her death. She had a boyfriend, who's the same age as she is - maybe a couple of months older. And in the last few months it seems that things have gotten a bit 'out of control' and she ended up pregnant. And obviously they weren't in a position to get married, let alone raise a child as they were both depending on their parents. So they'd chosen the only option left and went for an abortion. But apparently the doc was not someone who's really qualified and he had fucked up the things and she ended up paying with her life for the mistake she'd done...

And now the things have turned into a total chaos. Their parents hadn't known it until her death and the guy is in deep shit now. Everyone's blaming him right now, as if he doesn't have enough to deal with. As far as I knew, he was pretty much committed and really loved her. I'm sure he is the one who's TOTALLY fucked up now, even if nobody blamed him. I can pretty well understand how he's feeling, cos I myself have the beyond-imagination painful experience of having to endure the death of your most beloved person on earth...

I really do feel for the guy.

And, I couldn't stop thinking about this for the last couple of days. It kept coming back to my mind again and again. And all along the one thing I was thinking was, "who's fault was it?"

The couple?
Hmm... to a certain extent. Having pre-marriage sex is totally OK for me, as far as you're not stupid enough to not use any protection. Obviously they weren't careful enough. But should they (or her, really) pay for this mistake alone with their lives?

The doc?
Well, obviously he's a son of a bitch who should be sentenced to death or something, yet there is a reason why he is there.

Their parents?
Obviously the fear that their parents would burn them alive (OK, that's a bad joke) must have urged them to make this decision, yet again I think the parents behave this way because of a reason.

Finally what I could conclude is that the system that is in place, the way the society tend to judge the people in such situations should be the most responsible. I don't think anybody needs to be told how people look at an unmarried pregnant girl, even in this so called modern era of globalization. In most people's eyes, they are not much better than whores, if I'm not mistaken. And obviously (at least most of the time) they aren't. And the guy will be branded as a sex-crazy, irresponsible, uncivilized, unethical blah blah blah SOB.

On the other hand, bringing a 'dad-less' child into this society has another set of problems. It is indeed a problem for the child, growing up with not knowing a father. And inevitably he/she has to face the odd looks and questions all through the life. Not to mention the fact that a kid sometimes really needs a father. This is just the tip of the iceberg...

So what could (or needs to be) done?

The best thing would be to change the attitudes of people but that would be as hard as anything in my experience. You know how some people hang on to their opinions, even when the facts hit them straight on the face.

So I suggest it'd be a good idea to legalize abortion. Yes obviously there would be some hardcore protests - especially from the religious groups and so called humanitarians, and it'll need someone with balls to make it happen, but that doesn't mean that it can't be done. In my opinion, it should be done. Let's face it, just because it is illegal you can't prevent it. We all know that there are hundreds of places in and around Colombo alone where you could get an abortion done for a few thousand bucks. There are doctors readily available, if you are prepared to spend the cash. And like in this case, most of them are not exactly qualified for it which makes already a dangerous process even more dangerous.

Thus, by legalizing abortion I think there are many things to gain. For onc, we could avoid unnecessary and unfortunate deaths like this - of girls who are only just beginnings their lives. If it is legalized, it will be performed by qualified doctors under suitable conditions where the risk is minimized. Remember, most of these unqualified doctors go ahead with the abortion sometimes even when it is at a stage where an abortion is not recommended - just because of the money.

And for the argument that the young ones will be even less careful - I don't think so. I don't think that the girls will go get laid down every other weekend just because you could get and abortion if need be. They are smarter than that. Especially legalizing it doesn't mean that there is no risk involved doing it. On the other hand, legalizing it means you will have to go through the proper channels to get an abortion done. If anything this will lead people to be more careful, in my opinion.

What do you guys say?

P.S. I hope that guy will have strength to go through this (probably the biggest) crisis of his life and learn a lesson. And RIP for that lovely girl.



  1. When something as tragic as this happens, no amount of words can heal the pain or solve the situation.

    My heart goes out for the guy. It's a sad, sad world we live in, and one that cannot understand the concept of tolerance and acceptance when it comes to things like this. Nobody asks for these consequences. He has my support, and I really hope and pray that he will find happiness and closure someday. I also he has close friends around him who will hold his hand and help him through this, rather than ostracizing him.

    As for the parents and general society, shame on them for not even trying to look at the other side of the story. I suppose the emotions of losing a daughter can make people turn around and blame whoever they can, just to appease their own anger... but all they're doing is driving another young person to possibly taking his life due to trauma and depression. In an ideal world they should honour their late daughter's memory by supporting and helping the man she loved. But forgiveness doesn't exist in Sri Lanka.

    I hope everyone moves on from this torture and learn life lessons that will make them better as people....

  2. RIP for the girl indeed...
    we can't blame the girl for the decision she took coz I'm sure her mindset is way beyond what we can imagine...
    Some people have the strength to face such situations in a rational manner.. some don't..

    SOmetimes things happen for a reason and we cant do much about it... and I guess her timing was also really bad.

    Yes, people need to be more careful in pre-marriage sex, as you put it..:)

    We don't really know what happened between them.. perhaps if the guy was more supportive and responsible, the girl could've been more courageous and have faced the situation in a different way?

    And this abortions business is a whole new topic.
    I for one am against it, coz it's a sin to destroy another life. Another life that yearns to see the face of this earth. But if people still want to take abortion as an option, then yes do it in a safe manner and for heavens sake by someone who can do it properly and not get it done by doctors who are cheap and unreliable! It's a life at stake damnit!

    Sorry for the loss of your friend...
    Hope the family and guy gets through it..

  3. If someone else is planning to do such idiot things, s/he better get ready for the circumstances. I don't think both the guy/and the gal has ever been in to the place called SCHOOL where they meet peers to share the knowledge of sex. And so bad the education system don't give enough sexual education.

    I dunno how that guy is gonna face all those intricacies come to him thanx to just a single dumb act. Hmmm...but that's not my business.

    And for the moment I have to be worry about the death of my neighboring soldier kid. http://twitter.com/chanux/status/1020773721

  4. hmm - its a toughie. I'm against it as well. whenyou look at it - you can't really pin the blame on one particular person or party - it's more of a a bunch of collective mistakes and attitudes that lead to it, the way i see it.
    The couple should have been more careful if they were having pre-marital sex, and when shit happened - the reason they couldn't talk to their parents or someone senior and ask for advice or something was cz of how they thought the parents would react right. whats the first thing a parent would do?? go gaga about the whole thing right?? which is one of the insane reasons why kids can sometimes go to extremes.

    There are are a lotta places which u can get an abortion done for a few grand - like you said - but its all hushed up - and none of the places are probably fully medically qualified anyway. there's a serious risk of your life involved if you do it. and I'll bet anyone knows that. Making abortion legal would probably urge these shady lil joints to get proper equipment and do the medical procedures properly - but it still doesn't justify killing off an innocent life, does it.

    i really do feel for this girl - i just wish she had been brave enough to face the mistake - she wouldn't have had to pay for it with her life. there are a kazillion couples out there who cant have kids who would love to adopt. So that's always an option.

    It all comes down to what u believe.

    i dunno man - it's really sad.
    i hope the guy heals up ok....
    hug for him, and for her family.

  5. I firmly believe in legalizing abortions and having it available in a safe manner.

    Just because you make something illegal doesn't make it go away (drugs, prostitution, etc) it just makes it available in a more dangerous fashion.

    the moral and religious beliefs should be decided upon by the people involved (the girl and the boy) rather than society. after all, even though society screams and shouts about how wrong abortion is, they don't offer a viable solution to the girl either. All they offer is scorn and humiliation for the girl and the child.

    So let's legalize abortion and help stop these girls from going through the horror of unsanitary clinics and running the risk of death!

  6. to me its simple, and it might sound harsh,

    you do the crime you do the time. if you are not responsible enough that you have sex and then get pregnant you cant just back out cuz you are afraid of your parents.

    so what if they are pissed. they shud b, but you cant take away life. you are not god.

    if you fool around and get pregnant, you gotta take responsibility for your actions and own up. grow up and and deal with the issue.

    dont get me wrong, i am pro choice but i think the choice shud b 99% to have the baby, cuz if you really want to you can make it work out, get a job, make some money and get help from friends and relatives.

    the only case i think it ok to get an abortion is when it comes to ppl like druggies who cant even take care of themselves and are addicted.

    i mean once something this huge happens to you can go around worrying about what other people and society is going to think about you.

    you did fuck up. own and and take responsiblity.

    its a needless death IMO and could have been avoided. but thats probably not going to help anyone now.

    rip the girl, best of luck to your friend. lets hope this kind of thing never happens again.

  7. @ Damith S

    "dont get me wrong, i am pro choice but i think the choice shud b 99% to have the baby, cuz if you really want to you can make it work out, get a job, make some money and get help from friends and relatives."

    You sound like the typical "do gooder" who wants to chuck his own moral beliefs down other people's throats. You're comment marks you out to be anything but the Pro Choice person you claim to be.

    If you haven't faced a similar situation, then you're not qualified to make the rules.

    It's people like you who contribute to the deaths of girls like this who have no option but to put their lives at risk.

    Get a life and stop preaching...!!

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  9. There's nothing more human than making a mistake. Doesn't make that person a 'moron' or an 'idiot', just more 'human'. And no one should voice their self righteous opinions and start pointing fingers unless they've actually gone trough the painful and life altering process of going through an abortion. Getting an abortion is NOT the easy way out. Especially for the mother, who feels the heaviness of her breasts, the abdominal pains, the hunger pangs and the growth of life within, abortion is the hard way out.

    Society may scorn abortions on ethical and moral grounds, but it is that very same hypocritical society that will throw the first stone of scorn at a child born outside the bond of marriage. They argue that no human being should be allowed to destroy another life. They say it is immoral. How ironic. Isn't is equally immoral to give life to a person, to whom you know you will not be able to give the love she deserves?

  10. I totally blame the parents and us as society for all the stigmata we attach to it.
    The boyfriend must be strung up by his balls in Bamabalapitiya junction for one week as an example for every child, male or female.
    I have a daughter, I consistently make sure that my wife and I always advice her on sex; protected or not and drugs. She's academically brilliant, and we have very clearly informed her that as parents, if she was to have a unplanned pregnancy we would step in and ensure that the baby is our responsibility until she finishes her education.
    I am definitely pro-life. Abortion should be legalised, but properly where very approved centre would also have psychologists as full time staff to advice anyone who comes in. Or even a charity non-profit organisation like Sri Lanka Sumithrayo.
    At 23 they were not kids or even teenagers. I wish we had a proper legal system where the boyfriend would be tried in court for allowing this girl to make the decision of abortion.
    Abortion must be the last resort, but if it's legalised and done under proper conditions, so be it.
    At 23, the couple had many other options, all pro life.

  11. your blog very beautiful and more info ,make me excited. Congratulation!!

  12. Sorry to hear about your friend, hope you are feeling better. I had a very close friend who had to go through an abortion, and it was the most difficult decision she had to make. It was heart wrenching to see her coping with coming to terms with her decision. All in all, each situation is different, and it's not always black and white, and I believe no outsider can ever really judge the decision of the mother. I was against abortion once, but I have changed my views now. You can never really preach until you've been in that situation..

  13. This is an extremely sad story. I'm totally for legalising abortions.

  14. The choise of abortion (legal or not) is shaped by the morality and ethics of the given society. If you believe in creation, you loose the right to destroy a life. Seconds after the copulatory, if the sperm meets its egg, right that moment it begins to change, divide in to more cells and the life begins. So, if you are against abortion its not 3 weeks before (or whatever) or like that.
    To keep our complex human society secure we keep building moral codes and ethics. Time changes and new complexities arise. To fight them we then again have to update the old values, re-evaluate and rebuild. So, it is so useless to stick to what they think is right or what they taught is right.
    It has to be a personal choise, an ad hoc solution, not a generalized one.

  15. WOW so many comments!

    DramaQueen, yeah that's exactly what I'm worried too. The guy should learn a lesson, but there is no point really in blaming him all the time. He might very well end up deciding to end his miserable life too. In fact, I asked my X girlfriend's sister who's a good friend of both of them to keep an eye on him and be there for him...
    And yeah we must look at matters like this with an open mind if we are to avoid tragedies like this.

    LD, well actually I still don't know what exactly happened and what prompted them to go for a decision like this. There must have been many reasons.
    About abortion, I understand when you say it is immoral, but on the other side of the argument is strong too. I mean, bringing a child who's going to endure a lot of pain throughout his/her life for no fault of his/her, could be equally cruel, don't you think so?
    And thanks for your kind words...

    Chanux, to be honest sex-education in Sri Lanka is virtually nonexistant as far as I know. Besides, if we were in their situation who knows what we would have done?

    Black, yeah it is indeed. In fact I remembered you when I was writing this, as it must be a very sensitive subject for you too... And hats off to you for being so courageous to take the decision you took. But not everyone is capable of doing it, as you put it.
    It is indeed a very unpleasent and sad situation...

  16. Anon, exactly my thoughts.
    The very same society that bitches about how immoral it is, is the first to throw stones at an innocent child that happens to have no father. Its a complicated situation...

    Damith, is it a crime to have sex?
    But as I said above, bringing such a child to this world could be as cruel as destroying it. I believe it should be a personal choice and nobody should decide it except the mother and maybe the father too.

    Absent, exactly.
    I couldn't have put it any better.

    DD, shouldn't we cut the guys some slack?
    Yes he did make a mistake, but it's not just his decision I'm sure. Who knows maybe the girl was too scared and wanted to get rid of the child...
    But yeah I agree that abortion must be the last resort and indeed it should be legalized.

    Megat, thanks! Stay tuned for more.

    Spice, thanks yeah I'm OK.
    Oh I can understand how hard it must have been for your friend. Is she doing OK now? Hope so.
    It's so true when you say things are not always just black and white.

    Noorie, yeah it is...

    Ape Logic, yes it should indeed be a personal choice. But if somebody decides to I think having necessary facilities available - legally - so it can be done safely makes sense than having to go some illegal place and risk your life, I guess...

    Gee thanks everyone for your thoughts... seems it is a very very sensitive subject for most of us and clearly the opinions are devided...

  17. There are options in addition to abortion. There something far simpler - the Morning After pill provided by the Family Planning Association. If taken within 24 hours or 48 hours (I cant remember which) after unprotected sex the pregnancy is avoided.

    I believe the Marie Stopes Clinic is good at abortions.

  18. Jack Point, but they went for an abortion because it was already too late I think...

  19. @Jack Point: Marie Stopes was 'raided' by the police and was forced to close shop. There are other alternatives in some of the more expensive hospitals, if you have the right contacts.