A young woman cradles herself, alone and terrified. Her frantic thoughts are searching desperately for solutions but she is afforded no options. The country she lives in is bound by ignorance to her situation. All that is known, is that she must continue to endure the unspoken shame she carries.
For thousands of women around the world, this is an all-too-common scene that results in agonising consequences. From as near as Ireland, to the far corners of Brazil, it is thought that just over 25% of the world’s population currently lives in countries that advocate severely restrictive abortion legislation.
Now, with the recent surge in right-wing conservative thinking, it may not come as a surprise that women’s reproductive rights are even been threatened in previously liberal countries like France and the United States. It is times like this, that may lead us to ask; what does this mean for women on a global scale and more significantly, what are the forces behind the scenes, that are invoking these changes?
Let us turn back the clock to January 20th, 2017. When, amidst uproar from leftist democrats, Donald J. Trump became the 46th President of the United States. A few days later, surrounded by six other men, President Trump played his first move by passing an executive order, which effectively bans all federal money that facilitates international groups, who provide information on abortions as a form of family planning.
This is particular order is relentless and has puts added financial strain on organisations in developing countries who are already battling cultural and educational barriers. Given the magnitude of influence a country like the United States holds there has also been growing fears, this order could create a knock on effect in other countries.
The move is yet another example of conservative thinking. Its roots are deeply embedded in religious fundamentalism, which has been the guiding force behind restrictive abortion legislation in predominantly Catholic countries like Mexico, Malta, Venezuela and other Latin American regions.
Just as it may seem like all hope is lost and the world is taking three steps back in time, a number of pro-choice campaigns are now beginning to gather momentum, particularly in countries Ireland and Poland.
In 2015, Ireland made history when, thanks to a majority of young people voters, the same-sex marriage act was passed. Since then, there has been a growing demand for a new referendum on female reproductive rights, particularly concerning women’s ability to access abortion options. Similar campaign trends are now occurring across many cities in Poland.
Ultimately, women pursue abortion options for a multitude of reasons from; financial troubles to foetal abnormalities, incidents of rape, failure in contraception to possible risks to the mother’s life, among many others. We often live our lives throwing judgement and ostracising those we see as imperfect. We can never truly know how difficult someone’s situation is. It is important to continuously aim to be more thoughtful and open-minded. By doing this, we have the ability to make women and men alike feel less alone, when making these difficult decisions.
photo:// rampage.us & empowering-women & huffingtonpost