Abortion Denial Is Often About Privilege
Whether you’re in the US, Finland or Argentina, opposing abortion often comes from living in a bubble.
When I moved to Argentina, I was shocked to find out the country, as most others in Latin America, didn’t allow for women to terminate their pregnancies legally and safely, in a hospital.
Do I want to live in a country that doesn’t allow women to have full reproductive rights? It was a tough pill to swallow.
I had lived in a type of privilege bubble in Europe all my life, having been born in Finland, one of the first countries in the world to give women the right to vote and where abortion has been legal through my entire life.
When I started talking about the issue with people at school, I was shocked to realize many of the people I considered friends thought abortions should remain banned.
Argentina is a Catholic country, and I shouldn’t have been surprised by this. A lot of people do still have considerations about the immortal soul of a fetus, and they quote the Bible to express their opinions. I didn’t want to be culturally insensitive, but some of the stuff I heard was just mind-boggling.
“They should think about what they’re doing before they start having sex.”
“We should just improve sexual education first, otherwise all the girls will be getting an abortion.”
“In your country, there are probably not as many abortions as here, because you have decent sexual education and the girls aren’t trying to become mothers at 15.”
It’s okay if you feel the temperature rising between your ears because of these comments. I sure did. But apart from that, what I couldn’t stop hearing in these comments was privilege. They were always directed at “those people” who are poor and have no education, and who have sex with each other like animals. Not the good, middle-class people, those who always protect themselves.
Contrary to some of the people I talked to, my stance on legalizing abortion formed because I knew girls who needed it.