Women’s Rights to Choose

Every person in the United States is granted inalienable rights, whether it be to practice their own religion or vote, which should include autonomy over their own bodies.  A woman should have the right to choose what she does with her own body, and in 1973 that became a possibility for American women.  In 1973 Roe v. Wade made it possible for women to legally choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies within their first two trimesters.  The government finally took into consideration the health and safety of young women that wanted nothing more than to be able to make choices about their reproductive health.

Before women have gone through gruesome procedures in order to get abortions in the past and still do today in countries that have banned them.  Women have taken pills to kill their baby, and every person has their own reasons for their decisions.  There have been many arguments and battles to get Roe v. Wade overturned but they have all fallen through so far.  Some pro-life supporters argue that abortion is murder and that life begins at conception.  Other significant arguments would include abortions cause mental health issues and selective discrimination against a baby is wrong (Abortion).  While these are good arguments, and everyone is opinionated in their own way, there are a lot of reasons someone may want or need an abortion.

I feel that women should be entitled to make their own decisions regarding their bodies.  Women that become pregnant unexpectedly get abandoned by their partner, kicked out by their parents, or simply cannot afford to have a child.  When you have a child your every thought must be about their child and put them first constantly, and some people are not ready for that responsibility (Abortion).  In countries where abortions are banned women risk dying or ruining their bodies in order to get an abortion.  If the United States were to revert to illegal abortions it would hurt the health and safety of so many young women across the nation.

Often, the pregnancy is terminated when women find out that their baby may have birth defect.  In the United States alone, sixty seven percent to ninety percent of unborn babies diagnosed with down syndrome are terminated.  There are a lot of pro-life supporters that feel this is selective discrimination.  There are also studies that show people with special needs are completely happy with their life and same for their parents (Raymer).  So, if having a child with special needs could potentially make you happier in the long-run, why do so many families decide to terminate them?  While special needs children are a joy to be around and really do bring happiness to their families and close friends, it is hard for some families to accommodate them, explaining why they may decide to terminate the pregnancy.  Cost adds up with a special needs’ child and as a parent you may need to take a lot of time off work to be with them and not everyone can afford those things (Coleman).  I am not stating the fact that if your child has some sort of special needs that you should abort it or that they would be a nuisance on somebody’s life,  I applaud the family that does go through with their pregnancy.  I feel women should have the choice to terminate their pregnancy if their child may suffer from a serious birth defect because they may not be able to accommodate the child as well as they need and deserve.  People often argue that the child can be adopted by a loving family but often children end up in the system and not all foster homes are as caring and loving as they should be.

A very known argument is that abortion is murder.  It is very sad to think an innocent human being is being killed and never got to live, what could have been, a wonderful life.  But what if the parents could not have provided them with a wonderful life?  Often, teen moms are left by their partners or abandoned by their own parents in that terrifying time.  Young adults are left to make their own decisions or make them before someone finds out.  Women often feel that they will be discriminated against by their loved ones and society, and let’s be honest, sometimes they are (Mehta).  Sometimes it is a joint decision between the mother and father about what to do.  Parents can’t always afford to have a child, are too young or maybe even too old.  Young adults in high school and college can’t always keep a baby due to hospital bills, diapers, and food but they also need to get their education while trying to raise a child and take care of themselves in the meantime.  People that are already parents may be in debt and simply cannot afford to have another kid.

Another argument made by pro-life supporters is that abortions can cause psychological and health issues later in life.  It is possible for a mother who lost their child to develop psychological issues later in life, but none have been linked to abortions.  Studies found that women who have gone through with abortions feel that they made the right choice, while women denied abortions feel resentment.  When parents do not want the child, neglect and abuse are more likely to follow (Kurzman).  The risk of death is fourteen percent higher during childbirth than it is to have an abortion.

There is no evidence that abortions themselves do not cause psychological problems later in life doesn’t mean that the abortion stigma does not.  Studies have shown that one in four women will terminate their pregnancy at least once in their life.  Other people hold judgement against women whom have had these procedures, and that judgement is what causes the mental health complications later in life (Mehta).  The community needs to work together to accept women during hard times, not bring them down and belittle them.

Abortions made life significantly safer for women that are considered a lot older to be having children, when it is dangerous for them to be baring a child.  Abortion rates have dropped overall since 2011 and are used mostly by women in an older age bracket, teens, and unmarried women.  Although the abortion rate has decreased over the years, twenty percent of pregnancies still end in abortion (Jones).  This decrease in abortions overall could result from birth control and other contraceptives where women are able to plan their pregnancies (Wind). It is such great news to see that the numbers have lowered over the years, but women are fourteen percent more likely to die during childbirth than while the chances of death during termination are point six to one-thousand.

Another reason that I feel women should be authorized to have legal termination of pregnancies in the United States is because a lot of women not given permission for a legal abortion, will go the extra mile to get one.  Latin America is one of the more well-known regions to outlaw abortions.  Because abortions are illegal, and women cannot easily obtain them, they go through rigorous and dangerous procedures in order to get one (Shepherd).  Usually, it is the lower-class women that are getting illegal abortions because they can barely maintain life for themselves, there is no way they would be able to support a child as well.

Too often are women hurt or killed in attempt of having an abortion.  There is a pill used in the United States to get rid of ovarian cysts.  Just like any other medication, you take it in specific doses and there are side effects and consequences for taking this medication.  In Latin America, women will try to obtain this medication called misoprostol, to try and have a natural termination of pregnancy (Goldberg).  This can have major health effects on the mother if she does not take the medicine properly, and since she isn’t using it for its actual purpose, more likely than not, they are taking it incorrectly.

The main point of abortions is to provide health and safety options for young women (Roberts).  We have lost too many young women to illegal termination because the government didn’t take their health and safety into consideration.  How often are children left in the streets or put into the system?  If you cannot afford to have a child, you shouldn’t.  If you don’t have the responsibility to care for another human being, then don’t allow yourself to set them up for disappointment.  Children should be cherished, loved and accepted for who they are and their flaws.  Just because you accidentally got pregnant or got someone else pregnant doesn’t mean there isn’t options.  If you are not ready to be a parent, explore the other choices you have available and make the decision you want to make, not the decision someone else has given to you.  Take control of your own body.

I’ve learned that society needs to stop judging individuals who have made mistakes and we should work harder to change the stigma of abortions.  There are hundreds of reasons people need an abortion and it should be their decision, because it is in fact their body.  As a community I hope that we can throw the stigma out the window and instead learn to comfort and accept those who need it.

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