My Body Equals My Choice

When I started this blog, I was 100% sure of the topics I wanted to write about – fashion and fashion photography, music and music videos, pop culture and make-up. Later, I realized shutting myself into my ivory tower (like most of fashion bloggers do) was pointless and harmful. “You’ve Got No Reason Not to Fight” was the first step I took towards a different direction and I’m glad I took it. It’s true I’m a fashion blogger, but first of all I’m a human being, a woman, a wife, a mother, a teacher, who can’t pretend everything is fine in the world and who doesn’t shun from expressing her thoughts because “this is not the right place to do it”. I don’t want to hide myself behind pretentious excuses, so here I am.

This post has been lingering in my mind for a long time, but now I think the right moment has come. As you may have understood from the picture, my intention is to explain briefly why I support the Law 194, which allows women in Italy to terminate a pregnancy by the first three months of  gestation. The law, approved in 1978, has been put at risk several times. Despite being still legal, getting an abortion is becoming more and more difficult: pro-life movements are still trying to repeal the law, and in hospitals most of gynaecologists (70.7% in 2009) are antiabortionists. For all these reason, the law has been actually emptied of its meaning, since it’s very hard to find a doctor who accepts to apply it.

In addition to these difficulties, things are getting worse: on June 20th, the article 4 of this law will go under the scrutiny of the Constitutional Court, whose members will decide if it violates the article 2 (inviolable human rights) and 32, paragraph I (health protection) of the Italian Constitution, and if it prejudices the foetus’ right to life [1]. If the Court decides the law violates one or both articles, just imagine the consequences. I know things are worse in the United States, where 20-week abortion bans are being turned into law in many states (Louisiana is just the last of the list), but in this case it’s not true that a trouble shared is a troubled halved.

One can be against abortion for many reasons and religious beliefs, but you know what’s the point of the whole question? There’s a real war against women going on – against their free will and against their right to take the best decision for themselves, a decision for something that regards their own bodies. It’s clearly a question of religious extremism, but at the same time I think it’s a political problem. Making women among the first victims of economic crisis is not enough: men want to have a saying in what happens in their bodies and in their minds, too. Don’t believe those who say abortion is often used as a birth control method: abortion is always a terrible experience for a woman and many are the reasons why a woman decides to get it. She may be victim of a rape, or realizes her child has malformations, or realizes she doesn’t want to be a mother in that specific moment of her life (I know this is hard to get if you’re a mother, but just try to think out of your box, it’s not that difficult). One can be against abortion, but why can he/she erase the chance for women to be free to choose the best for them? One is free to think whatever he/she wants – that a foetus can feel pain at 12 weeks of gestation, so that you’re killing a human being in fieri if you get an abortion [2] – to follow her religious beliefs, if she has them, and to decide for herself. If you don’t want to be forced to get an abortion, so why should one be forced NOT to get one, if that is her decision?

I’m a mother: my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter were the best moment of my life, and I thank God for giving me the chance to live such a beautiful experience, but this is MY experience and I’m well aware of the fact that life can take different turns. I’ve often asked myself what I would do if I discovered I was pregnant with a unhealthy child, or if I didn’t want to become a mother. Supporting and protecting the Law 194 is fundamental for this reason: whatever your own experience as a woman, you must protect the right for  other women to choose. If we let the guard down and let them take this right from us, what will come next?

[1] I’ve translated these legal details from here.

[2] There are no scientific studies demonstrating this. This doesn’t mean it can’t be true for you.

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10 comments

  1. Mi trovo completamente d’accordo con quanto hai scritto.
    Per me, diventare madre è stata la cosa più bella ed emozionante della mia vita; penso che non vorrei mai abortire volontariamente, ma non posso sapere quali scelte mi si porranno davanti nel futuro.
    In ogni caso, dev’essere diritto di ogni donna poter scegliere.
    Mi fanno salire il sangue alla testa quelli che vorrebbero arrogarsi la facoltà di imporre la loro opinione in questo caso (per non parlare dei medici obiettori in pubblico e abortisti in privato).

    1. Quello è il punto: nessuno può sapere cosa riserva il futuro, nel bene e nel male. Personalmente, non mi sentirei di mettere al mondo un figlio non sano, quindi in quel caso che farei, se non avessi la 194 dalla mia parte? Molte persone che conosco dicono che i figli vanno accettati così come sono, ma in pratica poi le cose sono molto meno prosaiche e nessuno penso abbia il diritto di giudicare chi decide di interrompere una gravidanza per questo o altri motivi.
      E’ vero che molti medici antiabortisti in ospedale poi diventano, come per magia, abortisti in clinica privata. Le donne che abortiscono vengono accusate di non avere coscienza, invece questi medici la coscienza (e la coerenza) dove ce l’hanno?

  2. Penso anch’io che non mi sentirei di mettere al mondo un bimbo con dei problemi di salute (anche se neppure questo posso dirlo con certezza: bisogna ritrovarcisi, nelle situazioni), ma, qualunque sia il mio pensiero, non può essere un ostacolo per l’altrui libertà di scelta.
    Va anche detto che, da quando è entrata in vigore nel nostro ordinamento la legge 194, il numero di aborti è andato decrescendo.

    1. Certo, ma questo evidentemente non interessa a nessuno. Bisogna tornare alle grucce e ai decotti di prezzemolo, alle pillole abortive di contrabbando, per esercitare quello che è e deve rimanere un diritto? A giudicare dal credo di certa gente, sì. Stiamo davvero tornando indietro di secoli: le donne continueranno ad abortire, basta che non si sappia e che lo stato se ne lavi le mani.

  3. Completely agree and the worst thing is that in Italy even the Vatican takes a great part in what the law decides. Priests and nuns that never have been and never will be fathers and mothers, abuse their power to decide what’s better or worst for common people.
    Abortion is never an easy choice psychologically so let’s at least make it easy be taken without external pressures. A baby is none business but mum and dad.
    So that’s why I completely agree with the abortion pill as well.

    1. Yes, it’s true the Church’s influence is behind pro-life movements, but I think most of the problem is political. Like Elisa said, many doctors who are anti-abortists in hospital (because they want to follow the herd and do what their directors tell them to do), suddenly turn into abortists in private hospitals, where obviously they get paid to do something they should do for free. That is the point: I don’t think all the anti-abortist doctors are really against abortion, but it’s more a question of (economic and social) convenience, which is probably even worse.

  4. Teresa (scusa ma in questa occasione mi viene spontaneo chiamarti per nome), complimenti: questo post è uno dei pezzi più lucidi, onesti e condivisibili che abbia mai letto sull’argomento.
    Ll’ho letto tutto d’un fiato ho condiviso ogni singola parola.

    Bravissima!

    1. Ti ringrazio. L’ho scritto di getto, se mi fossi messa a pesare le parole probabilmente non l’avrei mai scritto.

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