Feb 09
DRayma Queen's picture

A Pro Choice Opinion Piece

The right to choose has been something long debated for years. The right to allow women to make a choice about their own bodies. A choice that could change their life forever. The right to allow someone to decide something for themselves that affects their life more than anyone else’s. Abortion has been being discussed as something that is bad. The idea that women make their own choice about their own bodies is being thought to be wrong. Abortion being legalized at the federal level is extremely important. If we allow state's control of abortion laws they will continue to chip away at the right to choose and to a safe abortion that should be afforded to all. 
Women are needing to put themselves in danger because some states (almost all states before the Roe v. Wade case) are not providing the service of safe abortion. 

Before Roe v. Wade women were dealing in back-alley abortions that were almost always dangerous and possibly life threatening. According to World Health Organization, “Estimates from 2010 to 2014 showed that around 45% of all abortions were unsafe worldwide.” After a bill to decriminalize abortion was rejected in the Argentine Senate, 34 woman were reported dead as the result of attempting to terminate their own pregnancies. This isn't what we want in the U.S. 
In addition, teens are having unprotected intercourse because schools are not teaching students about safety when it comes to sex. Teens are needing to have abortions because they are not being educated about safe sex and then they too are often having unsafe and illegal abortions as the result. According to the World Health Organization, “Almost every abortion death and disability could be prevented through sexuality education, use of effective contraception, provision of safe, legal induced abortion, and timely care for complications.” 

Often potential parents will feel the need to have abortions for many reasons such as: The mother may have health conditions that make them unable to take care of a child, they may not be in a position economically to clothe and feed another human being or they may be attempting to get an education or pursue a career. In addition, pregnancy can be dangerous in certain health situations and abortion can be necessary. Conditions such as high blood pressure; lung, kidney, or heart problems; diabetes; autoimmune disease; STDs; or chronic infections such as HIV can be dangerous for the mother and/or the unborn child.  
You may say that abortion kills children but the simple truth is that it does not. As stated by the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, “the word ‘person’, as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn,” and fetuses are not counted in the U.S. Census. In addition, we measure our birth dates based on the day we are born, not the day of our conception. 
Moving on to perhaps the most disturbing point. If a young girl is raped will she be forced to keep her child? A girl that might not even be out of middle school becoming a mother at such a young age against her will? Not only having a child but perhaps having one that she has traumatic associations with. No one, especially not a preteen, should have to deal with the choice of abortion let alone not being allowed to have one. 
Abortion is a right. A right protected by the right to privacy as proven in the Roe v. Wade case. A decision to have an abortion will never be easy. The decision will be challenging and stressful. A 17-year-old named Veronika from a state requiring parental permission to have an abortion wrote about her experience in Teen Vogue. Veronika states, 

“When I was 17, I found out I was pregnant. I knew immediately that I needed to have an abortion. I had just gotten into [college] and was ready to change cities and start working toward a career in electrical engineering. I knew I definitely wasn't ready to start a family. But in my state, the law said I needed my parents' permission to have an abortion. My father is religious and conservative, and I knew I couldn't talk to him about it. I feared what would happen if I told my mom I got pregnant and wanted an abortion. We weren’t close and I was scared she would kick me out. The law was forcing this decision for me. I cried because I knew I needed to get an abortion but didn’t know how.” 

Veronika eventually reached out to a nonprofit organization that helps minors obtain abortions through a judicial bypass. Veronika had to work with this nonprofit through many stages, they had to compile evidence and reasons for wanting an abortion before they even went before a judge. Finally, the judge ruled in Veronika’s favor but having all these steps in place to prevent minors from having abortions caused her to get much further into her pregnancy. Veronika states, “When you add the delay of having to appear before a judge, it's even longer before you can get the abortion, pushing you further into your pregnancy, and making the cost even higher.” 
The right to choose should be a right given to any person. If the government doesn't allow abortion, what's to say that they won’t start regulating our chooses concerning other medical operations. Currently, the only medical procedure being regulated by the state is abortion. This is discriminatory because men's reproductive health is not being regulated in any way. There is a very fine line and the truth is that women have a right to choose. The choice over when and whether to have children is central to a woman’s independence and ability to decide her future. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.”  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissenting opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart that restrictions on abortion infringe upon “a woman’s autonomy to determine her life’s course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature.” A woman has a right to choose. Choice is something that on all levels should be protected. It gives women rights, gives women autonomy and gives women a choice. 

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About the Author: DRayma Queen