By: Alexandra Kinias
I hate everything about seafood: its texture, smell, and taste. The idea of swallowing any creature, raw or cooked that had once lived under the surface of water is creepy. I live in nightmarish dreams that one day I would wake up to find that the government had passed a law that forces people to eat seafood twice a week, without consideration for people like myself. If you think I am paranoid to believe that, then explain to me the reason that qualifies food to be a personal choice, but not abortion.
The Pro-choice battle is not just fought in America, but coincidentally there is another war of the same magnitude being fought in Egypt. It is a meaningless war that should not have been taking place if the concept of freedom of choice was fully adopted.
Muslims regard abortion as wrong, but many accept that it may be permitted in certain cases. Abortions were always performed in Egypt and it was left to the discretion of the doctors to decide on performing it or not. However, It doesn’t seem that that would last for long. On March 22, 2010, Religious scholars rejected a draft law that, if adopted, would authorize abortion and the sterilization of women for financial and health reasons, labeling it anti-Islamic.
The war to regain back women’s control over their own bodies has a long way to go because those who are responsible for this loss are standing under the banner of religion; let it be Christianity or Islam. They are always advising women on what to do as if women could not decide for themselves. But what is most unfortunate is that there are women who also want to decide for other women, forgetting that it is a personal choice. I am not pro or anti abortion. I am pro – respecting and accepting other’s decisions even if they were different from mine. I believe that a woman should have the right to choose, have control over her body and make her own decisions. For pro-choice never meant pro-abortion.
It is juvenile and irresponsible that at this time and age women are still looked at as weak and irrational creatures incapable of thinking or making decisions for themselves. A quick review of the last fifty years would prove this wrong. Margaret Thatchar served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for eleven years and will always be remembered that she ruled with an iron fist. In April 1982, after Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, Thatcher sent a naval task force to recapture them back. Argentina surrendered on 14 June and the operation was hailed a great success. She was the Commander in Chief.
Thatcher is not an exception. Women have been movers and shakers all over the world. Angela Merkel was elected the first female Chancellor of Germany. Hillary Clinton’s profile needs no introduction. Ireland, Finland, the Philippines, Chile, Germany, Argentina, Mozambique, Liberia, Haiti, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Croatia, Gabon and Iceland all have or had females as presidents or prime ministers. And one should never forget Indira Ghandi who ruled over one billion people, for fifteen years, Benazir Bhoto who was elected the first female Prime Minister of an Islamic country, and Golda Mair who was known as the iron lady of Israeli politics.
In 2009, Forbes magazine announced that the 20 richest women on the planet have a combined net worth of $160 billion derived from a diverse string of industries including manufacturing, finance, real estate and commodities. Isn’t it pathetic that these women who have control over countries and financial institutions should have no control over their bodies?
The argument of the pro-life advocates is that the right to life is the most basic of all rights, and applies also to the embryo in a mother’s womb. That’s a great argument, no doubt about it, but are societies being blinded to the right of life of those who are already outside the womb? Women outside the womb are real and still suffering. Let us put the energy and passion in protecting the right of life of an unborn fetus into empowering the life of the women who are already suffering. Let us unite our efforts to punish rapists. The fight for girl’s rights to be educated is not over yet. Let us protect girls who as young as twelve years old are being forced into marriages and often die in childbirth. Let us eradicate violence and abuse against women, and stop FGM and sexual exploitation.
A woman’s right to education is no different than her right to choose what to do with her body or her right not to eat shrimps, lobsters or crabs. It is all about choice.