The Price of Abortion


If a well-supported, financially secure woman holding a healthy newborn in her arms can physically experience post-natal depression, why not a woman ending her physical pregnancy in less stable or happy circumstances?

The duration of the pregnancy is not relevant; the fact of pregnancy ending and hormonal change is what counts to the body and mind.

The fact that, by social convention, a women aborting her child must cope in private with the normal hormonal shifts at the end of pregnancy (not to mention any personal grief or stress about the status of her relationship, career and life circumstances), would surely make detrimental mental health outcomes more probable.

A rational and modern society would be one in which the total set of physical challenges of womanhood are acknowledged and respected. It would also be one where the limits of contraception and sexualised relationships are more openly acknowledged. Girls who meet and marry their lifelong Prince Charming-Responsible-Wealthy-and-Caring after the first chaste kiss are in the minority in Western culture. Relationships appropriate for raising a child or children are hard to establish.

An intelligent Western community would be one where women are more consistently nurtured through the practical and economic reality of each life stage; rather than picked up and discarded as casual workers, dabbled with as sexual playthings and then briefly cultivated and cherished when vessels and carers of a willing man’s genetic heritage.

In a smarter world, women would be granted more respect, more work options and more control?- in singledom as well as in pregnancy.

Medicine learns more and more about the health needs of a foetus in the first weeks of gestation â ‚¬  before most planned pregnancies are detected. This creates conundrums and responsibilities for everyone paying tax.

Can young unemployed women afford iron and folate supplements if they cannot afford proper food? (Once a woman from a low socio-economic background is pregnant a charity might step in – but it would be too late). Likewise, the prerequisites of healthy pregnancy must be taught at puberty.

Raising a disabled child is challenging for secure adoptive parents, let alone a struggling single parent. There is much evidence that Australians are reluctant to carry the full cost of caring for and managing the behaviour of the country’s physically, emotionally and intellectually disabled citizens.

My mildly disabled son requires and receives very expensive and essential early intervention therapies; none of which are covered by Medicare, Centrelink, DADHC or any other agency. Is Tony Abbott able to spare an annual $60,000 for each disabled child’s therapy, and then add on more to cover respite care, physical needs, transport and extras?

If the full need for, social value and expense of abortion was acknowledged, it would follow that Medicare cover not only the physical procedure but also thorough counselling – days, months and years after any form of termination.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.