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close this bookMezzo: For Young People by Young People (IPPF, 1997, 52 p.)
close this folderHEALTH
View the documentPlaying it safe. Use your head (please)
View the documentFOCUS ON: abortion. Mezzo looks at both sides of this controversial subject
View the documentWhich contraceptive? We give you the low-down on the contraceptives around today
View the documentMaking decisions. Do you want to have sex?
View the documentBetter sex guide. We suggest, you decide
View the documentJoin our club. Which team do you support?
View the documentIrish coffee talk. Irish young people discuss some big questions
View the documentHe loves him, she loves her. Get your facts right about sexuality
View the documentSo what about you, sugar? Find out your rating in our sexperts' questionnaire

FOCUS ON: abortion. Mezzo looks at both sides of this controversial subject

Thinking it trough

Pro-life

· The unborn fetus has a right to life. Therefore abortion is murder.

· Abortion is selfish - the unborn fetus did not ask to be conceived.

· Most religions forbid abortion.

· People must accept the responsibility and consequences of sexual activity.

· Abortion is not a contraceptive.

· The child could be adopted after birth.

· The unborn fetus has a potential contribution to make to society - e.g. could become an influential leader, scientist, etc.

"Truly I would feel very hurt if a friend had an abortion, because her baby did not ask to be born. I think we have to use a lot of contraception to ovoid unwanted pregnancy.
17, F, Mexico

"I'm radical about it, I do not agree with it. Nobody has the right to have an abortion. There's a whole life there. The baby is not guilty."
19, F, Panama

"Everyone has a right to be born to this world and we can't destroy a life for our own convenience."
21, F, Sri Lanka


Figure

Questions to consider

How do I feel about being pregnant?
How do I feel about being a parent?
How do I feel about abortion?
What will the abortion be like?
Haw might this decision affect me in 5 years? 10 years?
Who can I talk to about my decision?
How does my partner feel?

Pro-choice

· It is a woman's choice whether to go through pregnancy and birth since it is her body.

· Pregnancy and childbirth may be harmful to a woman's physical and mental health.

· Many women die (70.000 each year) during illegal, unsafe abortions or are Left severely disabled.

· Unwanted children may be abused or neglected.

· Abortion is a humane practice because it cares for the individual well-being of women.

· No contraceptive is 100 per cent reliable.

· A child born out of wedlock may lead to social rejection of the mother.

· Pregnancy/parenthood can jeopardize educational opportunities.

· If abortion is unlawful, it blames the woman for the unplanned pregnancy even though the man is equally responsible far the conception.

Times today are difficult. Pregnancy when one is still in school means a year or more of setbacks. If one falls pregnant accidentally then they should not, if they do not want to have the child. There are too many expenses."
21, F, South Africa

"It's the woman's choice. I would support her 100 per cent."
16, F, New Zealand

I see now that it should be legalized, for the simple reason that these contraceptives sometimes fait and people cannot afford to have unwanted children or unplanned children."
20, F, Lesotho

No regrets

I was 21 when it happened. I was using contraceptives -the pill - but sometimes I forgot to take them. I didn't really worry too much about it since I wasn't involved with anyone at the time. Then one evening I met a guy and we went out a couple of times. I wasn't in love with him but we had a good time together...

When I missed my period, I panicked. I knew that abortion was an option but I didn't have a due what to do. The hardest part was telling the guy. But he was cool about it. One thing was clear - I didn't want to be pregnant. I was still studying and I didn't love the guy. Yet I felt so ashamed. I felt stupid and guilty.

When I went to the abortion clinic, the best thing that they did was to help me get rid of these feelings. It was easy to make the final decision with them. I was still scared of what would happen. During the abortion, the female doctor kept on talking to me and a nurse held my hand. I still remember it. it was very touching. It felt as if they really cared, I have never regretted my decision, but it's still not easy to talk about it...


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