October 26, 2018
As women, we have fought long and hard to be able to have the right to vote, to be counted as a human without a man being attached and the right to decide about their body. Abortion is the medical procedure of inducing expulsion of a human fetus to terminate a pregnancy prior to the embryo being able to survive independently. Abortion is one of the most divisive issues facing the country today (Sowers Jr, George). Supporters and critics of abortions will usually define themselves as being strictly pro-choice or pro-life. Pro-choice means they support the woman’s right to decide on her body. Pro-life means that they believe that the fetus is human and should not be destroyed (Head, Tom 2018). Laws prohibiting abortion prevents women from making decisions that enable them to live the lifestyle of their choice (Gale Opposing Viewpoints 2017).
The idea that a woman has the choice to do what she wants with her body is pro-choice (Hammersley, Margaret 1976). It should never be the choice of the state or other individuals about a woman’s sexual health or her reproduction. Having a baby is a lifetime commitment and should not be forced upon anyone. Forcing a woman to be a mother before she is ready can go horribly wrong. Unwanted pregnancies are at an all-time high, statistics show about 1 in every 2 pregnancies are unwanted (Castillo, Stephanie 2015). Studies also show that unwanted pregnancies may be detrimental to a woman’s mental health. To name a few; depression, anxiety, and resentfulness. Post-partum being one of the biggest, coming to terms with being responsible for another human being full-time cause some women to lash out and find themselves hurting these unwanted babies if not killing them once they are born. Forced motherhood should not be used as a punishment for having sexual intercourse.
Opposing abortion and the reasons behind it simply describe pro-life. They believe that the government has an obligation to preserve all human life, regardless of intent, viability, or quality of life concerns (Axelrod, Megan A. 2015). As one pro-life advocate stated that “Being pro-life means being pro-adoption, pro foster care, and pro-social programs. Stating that pro-life believers are concerned about the living conditions of children in this country (“Olson, Erin 2015”). A woman’s reproductive system should be of no concern to any persons including the government. Statistics show about 14,000 women get abortions after being raped or molested (incest). For example, a woman is raped by a man and becomes pregnant with his child. She decides to not keep the baby, because the idea of raising her rapist’s child is too much to bare mentally, emotionally, and physically. Pro-life believers would label her a murderer with no regards to the situations or the reasons (Terzo, Sarah 2013). They do not support the idea of induced abortions under any circumstances. These people who defend this are blind to the reasons why women make these life choices (Henderson, James 2018).
Notwithstanding, It came as no shock to most people that women would eventually gain the right to be able to make decisions of one’s body. Consequently, due to the landmark case of Roe vs. Wade, a woman’s rights to choose abortion is identified as a “fundamental right” in which was finally recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 1973. (N.E.H. Hull and P.C. Hoffer 2001) The court ruled 7-2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion. However, Texas at that time had abortion laws that made it a crime to have an abortion without the medical advice of a doctor. Nevertheless, Roe felt otherwise, she then instituted a federal action against the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas Henry Wade. This case prompted a national debate that continues to this day about whether abortion should be legal and who should decide such. The case of Roe vs. Wade reshaped national politics driving much of the United States into pro-life or pro-choice (“www.en.wikipedia.org.wiki/Roe_v_wade”).
However, if abortions were not legally available, they would most likely still occur and be performed unsafely and these women would die, so the idea of supporting pro-life is contradictory. For example, it would increase the number of back-alley butchers, uneducated staff, non-sterile equipment and countless deaths (National Abortion Federation 2017). Worldwide 48% of induced abortions are unsafe. Maternal death can occur during complications from childbirth or within 42 days of termination of a pregnancy. Most commonly the woman may have picked up an infection during unsafe abortion procedures. “Some 46 million women face an unwanted pregnancy each year and 20 million women may risk an unsafe abortion as a result of these over 70 thousand will die (Gwyneth, Lewis 2008). It has been estimated that there are 43 million abortions a year. The poverty level in the world is at an all-time high and is very overcrowded. Imagine that those abortions had not occurred in the world would have quickly become overpopulated and other resources would soon deplete. Not to be harsh but, conversely, abortion is and has been beneficial to the planet regardless of one’s religious or personal beliefs.
Ordinarily, as a woman who supports the empowerment and advancement of women, I would consider myself to be a pro-choice advocate. “I respect and accept a person’s decision to seek abortion care no matter the reason.” The decision for me to become a mother was life-changing in many ways. I was young, scared, and did not know what to expect. It was far more than I ever expected and fulltime job if you may. Motherhood was more than I could have ever imagined from the sick days to the birthdays, some good and bad. With everything that goes into being a mother this decision should only be made by the woman who it affects for a lifetime (Cunningham, Amy 1994). If you are not going to properly provide, and care for a child then you should have no say so in what goes on with their body. The decision the woman makes is one that only she has to deal with. Pro-choice defends and protects women whose life it would affect and no one else. Who would the government be to take that away from us? We live in a country that is based on freedom and equality, so women should have and continue to have the freedom to make decisions about her body on her own without fear of persecution. “In many parts of the world, what ought to be a wondrous event in a woman’s life can be equivalent to a death sentence” (Oxfam Press 2008). Moreover, for someone else to force their opinion or beliefs onto what a woman can and should do to her body is doing just that.
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