After a historic weekend with the inauguration of the Cheeto, and the moving, momentous Women’s march, it was with a sinking heart that I read the new POTUS signed an international law defunding any groups (IE Planned Parenthood) from performing or talking about abortions overseas. Government funding for reproductive rights and health groups would cease if they promote any type of abortion overseas. This is one of the first of Drumpf’s moves, and it is disturbing.
For this policy to be re-enacted, when it was so recently rescinded (in 2009 by Obama), can only be described as backwards. The main question I have is, when you are busy running a powerful first-world nation, why is controlling a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body at the top of your list? Why not poverty? Why not homelessness? Why not corporate greed and creating a living wage?
So, for those readers who are “Pro-Life”, or as I like to say, “Anti-Abortion”, your opinion is invalid. Yes, I said it.
Your opinion is invalid because it is not your body. Your opinion is invalid because your feelings should not influence the safety of millions of people all over the world. Your opinion is invalid because this truly does not directly effect you in any way (unless you are able to bear children, then you should be scared that your reproductive rights are being stripped).
People who are pro-choice are not pro-abortion, we are for being in control of your body, for having the right to choose when it is right for you to have a child or if you want one at all. We are actually so “Pro-Life” that we care about the well being of a human being brought into this world and their parent. We are so pro-life that we are concerned about the welfare of the fetus, not just when it is in the womb but when it is five years old and experiencing abuse because they were put into foster homes because their birth parent couldn’t take care of them. We are so pro-life that we care about the 19 year old student who cannot imagine ceasing her whole life to have a child she is not ready for. We are so pro-life that we care about the child being born into a family that is not ready for it. We are so pro-life that we understand when someone simply does not want children and cannot imagine this responsibility in their life. We are so pro-life that we care about the welfare of the pregnant person so much so, that they did not need to experience abuse or incest first to gain understanding. We are so pro-life that we care about the 46 year old woman who cannot physically have this child without endangering herself. We are so pro-life that we believe you and only you have a proper say on what your body should go through.
I understand, you believe that abortion is murder. You believe that life starts in the womb, that killing a fetus is an immoral and irreversible sin. Well that’s fair. You believe in what you believe in. But why do you think your beliefs on life need to govern others? Are we all not capable human beings, able to make a decision that concerns the rest of our lives? Why does your belief on abortion have anything to do with me? Or anyone who needs one?
Having a child, especially when you are not ready, or are forced to (because of anti-abortion laws), can only be detrimental to the person having the child, the child, and society. Having a child is not something you can take lightly, this affects you for the rest of your life, your child is a living, breathing, thinking, human being.
So, if you are anti-abortion, do you continue to care for this child when they are out of the womb? Do you continue to care about them as they become children whose parents are absent/unfit/working/who resent having a child they didn’t want? Do you continue to care about this child as they enter adolescence? Or as they become adults who may or may not fit into your idea of a contributing member of society?
Or does your care for this human being stop when they exit the fetus? Does your care stop when, at last, you can look at the pregnant individual and celebrate that you saved one more life from the threats of abortion?
‘Now, not everyone who wants an abortion fits into all of these categories. Some people simply do not want to have a child. What is so hard to understand about that? What is so hard to accept that people should have a choice about their body? A right to choose to reproduce or not.
Why does a simple organism, a literal bundle of cells, have more rights than a human being?
Magnitude of the problem
- 21.6 million women experience an unsafe abortion worldwide each year; 18.5 million of these occur in developing countries
- 47 000 women die from complications of unsafe abortion each year.
- Deaths due to unsafe abortion remain close to 13% of all maternal deaths
from World Health Organization
The consequences of this policy are far reaching. Abortions happen, they happen naturally in nature and they happen when induced or chosen by someone, why are millions of human beings being put at risk for illegal and unsafe abortions? If you are so “Pro-Life” do these human beings not have the right to have safe access to health care? Do they not have the right to make decisions about reproduction? It is easy for someone to form an opinion on something that has nothing to do with them, so if you are of the anti-abortion mind, I ask, no, I implore you, stop and ask yourself, “Does another person having an abortion have anything to do with me?”
Once you’ve really thought about that, maybe ask yourself, what does it mean when a group of men that have no idea what it is like to experience child birth, to experience the fears of unwanted pregnancy; men that have never had to question if they have a right to their bodies, to their sperm, to say YES or NO, or to have the government tell them what they can or can’t do with their bodies, these men, why do they have the right to make laws that do not affect them?
And, to end with some logic: Poor sexual education and low access to contraception leads to more unwanted pregnancies, more unwanted pregnancies lead to more abortions, no access to safe abortions leads to illegal abortions which leads to illegal clinics, unsafe medical practices which leads to infections, spreads of disease, and death.
So, instead of targeting abortion, how about targeting sexual education? It has been proven time and time again that sex education lowers teenage pregnancies (Link), that affordable/free access to birth control reduces abortions (link), that legal abortions and access to contraception are beneficial, and that people in places that have the most restrictive laws on reproductive rights suffer the most (link).
Let’s end with the bottom line: Choices on your own body should not be regulated.
- “What Pro-Choice Really Means” – http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/articles/realchoice.shtml
Unsafe Abortion Article:
- “The Impact of Illegal Abortion” – http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/health-info/impact-of-illegal-abortion/
Article on Sex-Education:
- “National Data Shows Comprehensive Sex Education Better at Reducing Teen Pregnancy than Abstinence-Only Programs” – http://www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Feature.showFeature&featureID=1041
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