Issue - March 2007

March 2007

Read and enjoy the cocha-banner!

This month, Bolivian archaeology and tales of our people invite us to explore our cultural diversity and heritage.

An interview with Ema Paz Noya, and more...

March 2007

The Mandatory Retroactive Step in Judgement on Abortion

by Daniel Vanello

Have you ever tried to comfort a woman who has just come out of a clandestine clinic after an abortion (which was probably half the size of a bedroom with half its hygiene)? Probably not. Nevertheless, this is because you did not experience it- although the majority of people have not even seen a person who has lived this experience- but because you simply cannot comfort that person.

The psychological pain inflicted does not, unfortunately, cease at a particular time, as does the physical. It perpetuates through an infinity of situations marking each daily event by its thought. At least I think it does.

The latter statement refers to the fact that I am not a woman and so the “person” whom I am talking about is not a mere person. This is where that burning which perpetuates through situations originates from. If man could abort, women would not suffer as they do after such an experience. The reason for it lays exactly in the fact that Man prohibits it.

In a society like the one I was born in, patriarchal first of all, the woman is subjugated to man’s law. For most of time, man has designed the future of women from the first sign of her gender, and not sex, differentiation: the child - girl. She is made to think that the pick of her existence is bearing a child; the maximum expression of her femininity. Children are her destiny. If not she will be seen as an exception. Nobody likes exceptions, especially a woman exception.

A series of intermingled situations and circumstances throughout her life will prove to her how childbearing Teutonic function* is inevitable and necessary. These situations commence at a very early stage, especially if the mother is with child. The child notices and absorbs all the attentions the mother receives throughout those nine months. While growing up, what she is missing is not a male phalus, but the recognition of personal individuality, which is responsible for the healthy formation of a personality.

Finally, once she has the opportunity to have a child, not only can she feel something of her own, but that recognition will be bestowed upon her. Even the ecclesiastical institution, which has until then neglected all of her potentialities, will acknowledge a capability, which God has reserved only for her.

What then? Abortion? All of these years there was nothing else giving herself this sense of pride and now she must resort to other measures? What we are supposed to ask ourselves is why she must undergo such a dramatic experience. The answer is, in my opinion, that the same people who taught her what her life was all about, may take extreme actions against her if she does not. What if she is not married. Is her child considered a bastard? Stigmatised as such by those teachers I mentioned earlier. And if she cannot feed another child? Infanticide results where most of the times the mother herself has to perform the assassination.

Of course, I am only commenting upon inductive abortion, when the mother is not physically obliged to remove the foetus, but when she deliberately chooses to. For a woman to deliberately shatter the maximum feminine value –which as already mentioned has been created by a patriarchal society and then imposed onto her- is something many cannot grasp.

My main objective in this article was to focus the attention not only on the origin of the immeasurable intrinsic pain a woman may feel, but on the fact that many times we should take a step backwards before giving any kind of judgement on whether abortion should be legal or illegal. Taking this retroactive step, we will see that it is society itself, which indirectly imposes it on the woman. The examples already mentioned, such as a mother without economical capital to support the child and the religious influence on society to discriminate the absence of an irresponsible father, give us a view on the fact that it is not the woman the “assassin of a soul” (as the Church likes to put it), but the same one’s who prohibit it, the Church being the first exponent for this view and Man in general, since it is their influence in various ways which pushes the woman to take those drastic actions.

The woman should not find herself in the situation of worrying, and later on take drastic measures, about the possibility of upbringing her child. She should be protected and safeguarded by institutions, which pertain to the government or other huge organisations, by being given economical, social, symbolic and cultural capital**. Her children are hers first of all, but they are our future as well. Thus, we have the duty to secure them that future. And the Church, Roman Catholic in primis, will either have to adjust its attitude towards a mother without a father, or they have to make sure that the child has a father by calling the latter’s attention with more vehemence.

Having said this, if these mentioned steps would have already been taken, the mother more than probably would not even consider abortion.

Urban agriculture
A simple definition of urban agriculture would be 'the production, for consumption, of crops or raising livestock in urban and peri-urban areas'. In this definition a single lemon tree in a city backyard is considered urban agriculture...
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