In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit if you're interested in more recent writing.

Friday, February 06, 2015

The killing of children.

Murder is wrong. Barely anyone is going to argue with that. Yet abortion is legalised in many countries, and what is that but the murder of the unborn? Many arguments could be had I guess, about when a foetus is considered a human, of having emotions and feelings and the like. I used to be a little tentative about that, but am increasingly adamant that life starts from conception. It's impossible to define when a human embryo is deemed 'human enough' that aborting it constitutes murder of a fellow human.

I attended a talk earlier on The Effects of Abortion in the Developing World: An African Perspective by Obianuju Ekeocha, who's a biomedical scientist from Nigeria. Her main points were that women in Africa are pro-life, and their culture celebrates life - every child is precious, from conception. But foreign organisations are opening abortion clinics even in countries where abortion is illegal (the majority of African countries) and with their huge budgets, slowly spreading and somewhat forcing abortion on these people. And that's western imperialism which shouldn't be tolerated.

The other things she brought up, which I'm rather incapable of stringing together at the moment so will just present as paragraphs of related things she brought up. Some of my own thoughts in italics.:

Don't most countries celebrate having kids and life too? Telling people you're pregnant usually induces joy and congratulations. Do people who are for abortion not think that undergoing such procedures is tantamount to killing the child? Or by using terms like 'termination of pregnancy' and being very medical/sterile about it, they are trying to remove the emotions and desensitise from the action?

As sovereign countries, they should get to decide their law without external pressure. But pro-abortion NGOs set up clinics in rural villages, usually together with other aid agencies providing education, and clean water, and start off talking about planned parenthood and reproductive health, to reproductive rights, to abortion. Even in countries where abortion is illegal.
And I wonder whether is this a parallel to environmental regulation pressures? Trying to get countries to lower their carbon footprint, or have tighter pollution regulations etc. Putting pressure on countries to do what we know to be right, or the best, but which... they might not agree, for unfathomable reasons?

One of the reasons for legalising abortion that's often cited is the 47,000 women who die due to unsafe illegal abortions. But Obianuju said that abortions now are already done by doctors and medical professionals off the books, outside their working hours, to supplement their income. So legalising abortion would just make it a high street thing instead of back street, and not actually reduce those numbers. Also quoted some statistics about how instead of maternal mortality being reduced (as one of the benefits of legalising abortion), it actually increased in South Africa.

In Africa, those who go for abortion are those who feel they have no other options, and usually coerced by males to abort. Not so much because they'd rather focus on their career than their family. African women are raised with the mindset that they should get married and have a family, and are safest in a family setting.
That sounds like more of an issue of women being able to feel safe and independent all the time though, and not be prejudiced against or afraid? So more support for single parent families? But would this be kinda 'corroding' family values? Then again in today's (western) society, it seems like 'family values' don't exist anyway. One can't even define a family anymore. Drawing a 'typical' family as having a female mom, a male dad and children might result in you getting labelled a 'whatever-label-people-use-I'm-not-even-sure'. Even gender identity is being called into question. I try not to get into all these discussions, cos I feel like I'd rather spend my time and effort on things like biodiversity conservation, or poverty alleviation, but somethings things all muddle up and go together. I do think girls just being given dolls and not lego sets is wrong (cos I didn't like dolls at all) but biologically speaking, women are women and are meant biologically to give birth and have kids and so pass on their genes etc? But anyway that's another discussion in itself. And for saying all that, I'll probably be called out for being discriminatory and prejudiced and being against other people who are different from me. Which goes into the free speech/safe space spiel

Should abortion be a right? Would that not be the same as making murder a right? Medical professionals aren't supposed to have to do abortions. But in countries like Mozambique where it is legal, by objecting to it you're breaking the law.

African healthcare is already lacking sufficient support and is under severe resource constraints. Even basic healthcare is an issue, adding abortion procedures into the mix isn't going to help things. There also isn't enough support for associated increased risks with abortion (higher likelihood of premature births, cancer, psychological effects of abortion etc), unlike in UK where the healthcare system is able to cope with it (and dispenses 1.5 million anti-depressants every year). Besides, women in Africa aren't demanding abortion, they want education, a better life for the children etc. They aren't weak or stupid, they march for what they want and they've marched for all sorts of things, but abortion.

The foreign organisations are pushing African women into a culture they don't really want, without the necessary post-abortion support too. International programmes seem to be of the opinion that everyone needs to subscribe to the ideology that abortion is a right and that foetuses are not human. And by arguing against it, you're stigmatising women and abortion. Is it even right to push abortion, support, sponsor and provide it in countries where it's not legal?

Africa needs healthcare, education, life and peace. Not abortion, against the will of the people.

During the Q&A one of my friends mentioned a horrifying statistic that more black babies in the US are aborted than white babies. While I'm not sure that that is because more (poorer) blacks are forced to abort compared to (richer) whites, or that it's some form of eugenics, the idea that poverty could be (is being?) eradicated by not letting the poor reproduce through enforcing contraceptives/abortion was just absolutely appalling.

I'm not entirely taking everything she said as the truth, cos it is just one side of the story, it could just be her opinion and I'm not familiar with these topics, but even so, it was very interesting and thought-provoking to hear that perspective. And gut-wrenching too.

Humans are so strange. Provide huge numbers and we somehow get a little desensitised. They shock, yes, huge numbers of deaths appall us, but barely anyone will shed a tear when they hear of such tragedies. Plane crashes, madman massacres, terrorist attacks, natural disasters etc. But perhaps it's not personal enough, and when we hear someone's story, a child suffering from cancer, a parent losing a child, a disabled overcoming odds, (or even just one of these Chinese New Year ads) it touches us in the heart and well, I cry, not sure about you. I guess legalising abortion is just playing into one of that - taking that personal, human feeling away and turning the unborn into a statistic.

I'm crying tonight for the millions of lives denied the chance to ever life, for the poor and those suffering, the lonely and those without familial support, for all those without a voice. I just wish we lived in a more equitable world.

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