Many women in the west believe that choice is their right; they’ve the right to choose abortion. But we live in a world of commodity, a world of economics, where being part of the communal economic stream, those same women also think things like “abortion is good because there are too many children living in poverty.” Women in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad don’t live in this world, and I’m getting pretty frustrated that people keep thinking they do.
…according to Newsweek, “Women have no legal rights in Chad and most marriages are arranged when women are 11 to 12 years old.” […]
In the aftermath of its devastating civil war, certain parts of Congo continue to be terrorised by militias and rebel armies. Rape, sexual abuse and brutal violence have become common forms of oppression. In a bone-chilling indictment, Newsweek states that “more than 1,100 women are raped in Congo every day”.
So when I read this from the NY Times, I was of course angry that people still don’t realize that in a country where rape is normal, where it occurs regularly, committed by spouses, soldiers, and boyfriends, that abortion for these women could never be a choice. If you live in a country where you have little or no control over your sexual acts, you will certainly have little or no control over your sexual health. To introduce abortion into such a country, without elevating the state of womanhood to bona fide personhood, would only result in further victimization. Abortion does not miraculously create some unique space where a woman suddenly stops being abused if all around her is violence.
Andrea adds: I thought Jennifer’s words at the end there were worth repeating, emphasizing. “To introduce abortion into such a country, without elevating the state of womanhood to bona fide personhood, would only result in further victimization. Abortion does not miraculously create some unique space where a woman suddenly stops being abused if all around her is violence.”
We also fail to pay attention to the fact that for many women living in DRC, while rape is horrible, so too is abortion. Women there may not see it as the “solution” it is presented as in the West.by