To Amba Foster-Miles, it does not matter why a woman wants an abortion, she should be allowed to have one.
Including as a method of birth control.
A native of Ireland living in New Zealand, Foster-Miles recently wrote a column for Stuff New Zealand defending her own abortion.
“I am not a child killer and I am not anti-life, I was just a young woman who was not ready to let her body go through a pregnancy nor raise a child alone,” she wrote. “I am pro-choice and I have never regretted my decision.”
Foster-Miles said she got pregnant at age 24 while she was single and living in Ireland. She said the situation was difficult, not because she was considering ending the life of her unborn baby, but because abortions were illegal in Ireland at the time and her sister was happily pregnant with her first child.
Simply, she said she did not want to be a mother. So, she bought a plane ticket to England and scheduled her abortion appointment at a facility near the airport.
“The only reason I chose to terminate was because I did not want a baby at that stage in my life,” Foster-Miles wrote. “There was no health concern for me or the foetus, the situation was a mistake, nothing else. As soon as the test showed positive, I knew I would not go through with the pregnancy.”
She said she saw the ultrasound images of her unborn baby but did not feel upset by them; she was sure of her decision, and she felt relief afterward.
Foster-Miles used her story to advocate for an end to New Zealand’s abortion restrictions.
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Last year, before the election, I heard an interview with Jacinda Ardern saying she would take abortion out of the Crimes Act if she became Prime Minister. I was shocked to learn that in New Zealand, abortion was considered a crime unless certain criteria were met.
This criteria included things like if the pregnancy poses a risk to life, mental or physical health, foetal abnormality or if the pregnancy is the result of incest. However, there is no criteria in the Crimes Act for a woman who wants to terminate an unwanted pregnancy for her own reasons.
Therefore, she has to convince two certifying doctors that she meets one of the criteria to be eligible for a termination; so in most instances, she has to lie.
Even if the process is easy to complete, it is dishonest and reinforces the stigma and shame that has been associated with women’s choices regarding pregnancy for too long.
I wholeheartedly believe that abortion should not be in the Crimes Act. I believe that as women, we should be able to choose to terminate a pregnancy, whatever our reason.
Research indicates the vast majority of unborn babies’ abortion deaths are for purely elective reasons. Some women openly admit they had abortions because they were just sloppy about using birth control. Others offer no other reason for ending their unborn babies’ lives than that they just do not want the responsibility of motherhood. Some even have abortions because their unborn baby is not the sex that they want or because the baby has a simple defect like a cleft lip.
Legalized abortion allows death and discrimination against the most vulnerable members of society: babies in the womb. And yet there are those like Foster-Miles who advocate for it openly and proudly.