The demands and sacrifices required of a woman in order for her to adequately care for her unborn child are difficult for men to fully comprehend. The emotional, mental, and physical effects of a pregnancy can at times reportedly seem unbearable. Women therefore cannot be fully compensated for their role in perpetuating the human race.
A supportive husband is an important component of the pregnancy process. His support is mainly emotional as his wife experiences times of anxiety and fear in response to changes to her body. A husbands’ reassurance of love towards his wife and unborn child, and his commitment to their marriage, can help to eliminate these fears. Without this support, the anticipated disruption and the imagined loss of physical attractiveness can lead a woman to contemplate terminating the life of her unborn child.
Barbadian young women cannot escape being bombarded with messages that promote premarital sex. The popular songs, television shows, movies, and role models encourage this behaviour. It is also promoted as being normal at many national entertainment events and secondary schools. The excessive pressure that we have placed on this generation of teenage girls to engage in premarital sex can only result in a relatively high rate of unplanned pregnancies.
Various surveys have shown that many of our teenage girls are sexually active. The practice of vigorously promoting this behaviour among our young women therefore seems to have been effective. As expected, many of our single young women have also found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy.
Pregnancy was previously viewed as a responsibility to care for the unborn child. Pregnancy is currently being promoted as an opportunity to make a choice of whether to end the pregnancy, or to allow the baby to be born. Information is therefore provided on the options available, both through counselling and literature. However, there seems to be an imbalance in the type of information provided to young women, which does not allow them to make an informed choice.
There is ample information provided to young women that supports terminating the life of her unborn child. Some of the topics can include: population control, unplanned pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy, lifestyle disruption, financial ability to adequately care for the child, and the physical, mental, and emotional effects of the pregnancy on the mother. In addition to these, the baby is described as mere tissue, which can have the effect of minimizing the consequences of aborting the pregnancy.
The choice of whether to end the life of an unborn child is perhaps the most critical decision that a mother can make. The emotional effects of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy are complicated by the absence of a supportive husband. This emotional state does not facilitate rational decision-making. Providing the mother with unbalanced and misleading information during this time, and then expecting her to make an informed choice is irresponsible.
Before our young women are confronted with such a decision, they should be provided with balanced information. This can include information about the options available to her if she decides to keep her baby, the stages of development of her unborn child, and the procedures that are used to terminate a pregnancy. The main option available is to give the baby the opportunity of being loved and cared for by adopted parents. There are many such persons on long waiting lists around the world.
The stages of human development are as follows. On the day of conception, the sperm joins with ovum to form a living cell that contains the genetic information for every detail of a person’s development, including their sex, height, and skin colour. At this point, the woman becomes a mother with a responsibility of caring for this new life. The baby’s heart begins to beat by the 21st day. At 8 weeks old, everything that can be found in an adult human is found in the unborn child, and its body responds to touch.
Three methods of ending a pregnancy are currently being used. It would not be appropriate to describe them here. However, many doctors who have watched video footage of the reaction of babies to these abortion procedures are reportedly horrified at what they have done.
Grenville Phillips II