For me, the biggest problem with denying women access to safe, legal abortion is in the terrible risk to their health it presents. And the realisation (which sneaks up to put you ‘back in your place’ when you occasionally forget it), that despite warm words to the contrary, your value to society is really quite low.
This undervaluing of women happens all over the place, even here in the mainland UK where some of us have it relatively good (not the women of Northern Ireland, of course). You just have to look at the number of women killed and injured by their partners to see how little we are valued even in this country of supposed equal rights.
But rarely do you see so stark an example of how little female life is valued relative to its reproductive potential as this case, reported by Abortion Rights:
The reality of Nicaragua’s total ban on abortion was starkly revealed yesterday as Amnesty International reported that a 27 year old woman, known only as ‘Amalia’ who is suffering from cancer, is being denied medical treatment for her condition because she is 10 weeks pregnant. ‘Amalia’ was diagnosed with cancer on 2nd February, and it is feared that her cancer may have already spread to her brain, lungs and breasts. Her doctors have advised that she requires urgent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment but have refused to initiate these because they may cause unintentional harm to the foetus.
Here’s more from Amnesty on how you can help.