Article By: Yoomee S.
Edited By: James Y.
Visual By: Erica N.
A 13-year-old girl is raped. She attempts to carry out an abortion but is denied as hospitals reject her. A 17-year-old student’s condom breaks. She discovers her pregnancy and is forced to undertake motherhood without the mental, emotional or financial preparations. Deciding when to become a parent is arguably the most important decision an individual can make. It is a lifelong commitment, yet cases like these are becoming increasingly common due to the influx of abortion restrictions in the US. Republican-led states, including Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Alabama had recently passed the “Heartbeat Bills” that prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected– often six to eight weeks into pregnancy. However, reproductive rights advocates interpret this as a total ban, since most are unaware of their pregnancy at six weeks.
Most consider Alabama’s abortion ban to be the most restrictive in prohibiting the procedure save for when the woman’s life is in danger. Even in the cases of incest and rape, doctors may receive up to 99 years in prison for conducting abortions. This controversy has split parties into two sides: “pro-life” against “pro-choice”. Pro-life advocates for the dignity of human life, where even unborn babies are sacred and considered human. However, this sparks a new question: Under which circumstances, are unborn babies considered a person with rights? Does the unborn baby possess his/her right to life or the mother with her right to choose?
To that, I say that political/religious authorities should not impede in a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court declares abortion to be a “fundamental right” via the Roe v. Wade Court in 1973. The U.S. Constitution supports the “right to privacy” that protects a woman’s freedom to choose whether or not to end her pregnancy. Furthermore, the freedom to control childbearing is fundamental to female empowerment. One’s plans, aspirations, responsibilities, and dreams, no matter how significant, may be hindered by pregnancy.
A women’s right to control her own reproduction is essential. She should not be legally obligated to support another life at the expense of her own body, health, wishes, or even her life. A woman’s body should not be used against her will. Forced pregnancy/childbirth is immoral and cruel. While children should be cherished, births should always be an occasion of joy. Therefore, I stand by pro-choice because I believe if a woman decides against undertaking motherhood, she should be able to do so. If she wants to terminate her pregnancy, she should have safe access to the means to do so.
The safety of women begins with a choice.
The empowerment of women begins with a choice.
Her body, her choice.
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