Featured Opinions: Abortion
by Sophia Venables
I am not a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. I support policies from both conservative and liberal platforms. The prominent liberal bias at Tam definitely influences the degree to which I voice my conservative views, particularly regarding abortion. I do not support a woman’s right to have an abortion under all circumstances, because I believe abortions should be treated as a last-resort, emergency procedure utilized only in the cases of rape, abuse, or incest. Abortion is not a form of birth control.
As a supporter of aspects of the feminist movement but also a supporter of the pro-life movement, I struggle to commit to any specific political party. I disagree with the promiscuity encouraged by aspects of the feminist movement, because I don’t think people can accurately separate their feelings from their bodies. Having sex should be meaningful, because it is so intimate. If two people are respecting each other’s bodies, and they have talked about not wanting a child, then it is inevitable that the measures necessary to preventing an unwanted pregnancy will be taken, because there is substantial mutual respect.
The reason I support abortions only in specific circumstances is because I believe that unless sex is non consensual, then the woman consented to the fact that she might become impregnated upon having sex, especially in the cases of unprotected sex. Therefore, in the cases of rape, abuse and incest, the cause of the pregnancy was non consensual by the women, and an abortion should be performed.
In circumstances where there is a threat to either the mother or the baby’s life, I believe the pregnancy should continue its course, until a decision is made by a medical professional to perform an abortion. This way it becomes a medical choice rather than a moral decision to end the baby’s life. If America used this system, it would also eliminate a woman’s ability to abort a child once she finds out it may have physical or mental disabilities. I am especially disturbed by these kinds of abortions, and believe having clear rules regarding when an abortion should be performed would prevent the murder of innocent babies. Most people know someone who was told by doctors that their child would have disabilities, before the child was born. The decision to abort babies that could have disabilities later in their life is not only immoral, but prejudiced against people with disabilities. I cannot support this kind of blunt prejudice.
In situations where the couple simply cannot afford to raise a child at this moment in their lives, then I believe that the woman should continue the pregnancy, have the baby, and put it up for adoption. Having an abortion instead of continuing the pregnancy requires the woman to undergo a risky medical operation to kill a baby. A child is dying because the couple considered themselves mature enough to have sex, but not mature enough to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. And if the couple or woman gets attached to the baby during her pregnancy, despite previously thinking she did not want kids, then all it proves is that aborting the child was never the correct solution, and she does have the capacity to love her child. The value of a human life should not be jeopardized by people having unprotected sex and refusing to accept what that has resulted in. Most abortions are given because the woman or couple simply does not want a child, but there are thousands of other couples waiting to adopt. Unless the way the baby was conceived in an non-consensual way, an abortion is not the answer.
I want the stigma around people who support pro-life to be diminished. As a fairly liberal Catholic, I am completely torn between political parties. I don’t support abortion, but I don’t support the death penalty either. There is a difference between being conservative and being religious, but lately our culture has combined the two. It’s like if I lumped people who don’t believe in God into the same category as people who hate religion.
As I approach my eighteenth birthday and eligibility to vote, I desperately crave the formation of a third political party, based on the true religious morals of nondiscrimination and value of human life above all else. In a sense, I crave a gray area. I want to vote liberal and conservative at the same time. But for now, I cannot support the use of abortions unless in cases of rape, incest, or abuse.
by Arya Guinney & Nell Mitchell
As humans our ultimate right is to our bodies. From a very young age we are taught that our bodies are sacred. Treat others how you want to be treated and other phrases of simple morality speak to the fact that we deserve complete control of our bodies and anything that goes against that is wrong.
So then why, when it comes to women’s bodies, are there so many questions? When a woman becomes pregnant and is in a situation where she wants to get an abortion, whether it is because she was raped, having a baby is dangerous for her health, or wouldn’t be able to economically or emotionally support a child, the decision is hers to make. Every time. If a young woman is still pursuing her education and becomes pregnant, why should she have no choice in deciding whether to have the child?
As women who are pro-choice, we do not take the concept of abortion lightly. The decision to get an abortion is extremely emotionally and morally challenging. No woman wants to be put in that position. But to us, the idea that anyone other than that woman would make the decision, takes away the core value that our bodies are sacred and ours to control.
Pro-choice doesn’t mean disrespecting the women who do not believe in abortion on a moral or religious level. Pro-choice does not shame any women – it supports the individual right of every single woman.
For most who oppose abortion the issue is religion. And while anyone can have their opinion, America is a country that values the separation of church and state. The beauty of our country is that you can practice any religion, but the beliefs of one religion don’t govern every person in the country. Why should this be any different with abortion?
There needs to be trust that as women, we know ourselves. Beyond the issue of religion, women are shamed for getting pregnant and not wanting to carry the child to term. This argument fails to address the situations where women have used contraceptives and still end up with an unwanted pregnancy. If a woman knows she can’t successfully take care of another human being, our society has no business placing blame or judging her in any way.
For us, it’s hard to see any legislation other than pro-choice legislation as logical. Pro-choice legislation does not affect those who are pro-life when it comes to their decision about abortion – it may conflict with their morals but it does not actually impact their ability to live in accordance with their beliefs. But pro-life legislation does the opposite. It prevents any woman who might want to get an abortion from being able to make that decision, placing the restrictions of one point of view on every person.
At the end of the day, we deserve complete control of our bodies. Legislation should not dictate this, it is in the power of each American woman. It’s her body, her choice.