When it comes to social progression and women’s rights, the west typically believes that they have the upper hand, but that’s not true. There are many issues in which Eastern countries in Asia are, by all rights, more progressive than their Western counterparts. One such issue is abortion.
Abortion is a hot topic, and it can and has divided countries on opinion. What it has not done, however, is divided the global West, and the global East.
West and East: Abortion Laws
In the west, abortion rights vary drastically from country to country and usually on the divide of how religious the nation is. In America, it can even vary greatly from state to state. To learn about the laws in your area just Google “abortion information in Oregon City” or whichever are you live in.
Many religions in the region outright ban abortion as a sin, and there isn’t a clear West/East divide in the Western hemisphere either. The United States repealed Wade v Roe, for example.
In the East, on the other hand, only a small handful of countries outright ban abortion. Most will allow for abortion when it puts the mother’s health, and even well-being, at risk. Abortion is even completely legal for any reason in two of the largest countries in Asia, China and India.
Overall, it’s safe to say that abortion is less a matter between Western views and Eastern views but ultimately boils down to the religious rules held by the majority in each country. This resulted in large countries like China legalizing abortion, but then the Philippines outright banning it. The same can be said in the West, with more religious areas banning or restricting abortion.
Highly religious nations do not automatically mean abortion is banned, either. It depends on the religion’s views on abortion. Some religions do not have a specific call to action either way, whereas others outright condemn it as murder.
Difficulty of Access
The difference, of course, is access. Even in countries in Asia where abortion is legal, accessing those health services is difficult. The same can be said of many American states. Even when conservative states were forced to offer abortion services, access and funding were severely restricted.
The Importance of Abortion as Healthcare
It’s important that women have free access to birth control and women’s healthcare, and this includes abortion. Abortion is healthcare, even beyond the instances where a pregnancy is directly threatening a woman’s life. Having access to one of the safest and professional abortion clinic Sydney has to offer will do more for women’s rights and for the next generation than severely limiting access.
Women who have free access to healthcare and informative resources will have improved means to protect themselves against an unwanted pregnancy in the first place, both through birth control and the day-after pill. This immediately lowers the chance of unwanted pregnancies in the first place.
Offering women a safe, unbiased space for an abortion also saves lives. At most, it gives women safe access to a service that could put her life at risk if she tried it at home. Unwanted pregnancies can also result in a rise in domestic abuse which causes long lasting repercussions for society.