To the next president of the United States,
When I began researching this topic, I thought I knew where I would end up in the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate, but as I learned more I realized that this topic has many complexities that I hope you’ll take into consideration should you need to make decisions relating to abortion legislation.
As I was researching, I started off by looking up how many abortions actually take place yearly in the U.S. The number I came across the most was approximately 42 million abortions per year. While I was reading blogs and other letters to the future president, most of the arguments were that abortion should be banned and made illegal. Now when you think about illegal things like drugs no matter what they still happen, so what would make abortion different?
If we would make abortion illegal in this country again like it once was, there would be more deaths just because women would would do it themselves through “self inflicted abortions,” or “self induced miscarriage’ and to be honest with you they can be even more graphic than what people think abortion actually is. There are two main types of abortions: surgical and medical. Medical abortions normally take place within the first 49 days of pregnancy and can cause a lot of cramping and bleeding while at home, after many appointments at the clinic. Surgical abortion is the most popular type of abortion. If it is done within the first trimester the procedure only lasts a couple minutes, whereas when it is in the second or the third trimester it can last for a few hours while the woman is under anesthesia. Back before the 1970s women would do things like trying to remove the fetus with a steel wire hanger, or try stabbing the child with knitting needles or other sharp objects. They would also douche with things like bleach and lye. Even if the law would change and say that abortions could never happen, it still would happen, just illegally.
The number of women who die from complications from unsafe abortions in the developing world is 47,000 per year (prior to Roe vs. Wade it was as many as 5,000 per year in the U.S.). Advocacy groups maintain, and I agree, that women should be able to make choices about their health without risking their life. Abortion became legal in 1973. And in the 1950s and 60s the death rate of the mother was 200,000 to 1.2 million deaths. This means that the mother died due to having the abortion, and I know there will be people out there say “Oh, it serves her right. She was the one who wanted it anyway.” Now what if she didn’t? What if she was the one in the relationship that wanted to have a family? What if her parents or even her boyfriend told her to or they would disown her? Even if that wasn't the case, it’s her body, isn't it?
Many people believe that abortion isn't necessary because there are so many people that want to adopt. I agree that this makes sense but it’s not very affordable for everyone in the country, and our government has to approve of you (as an adopter) in order to pass and get a child through the process of adopting through the foster care system. The process of adoptions price can range from 1,000 to 50,000 dollars depending where you're looking to adopt. Adoption can also take years upon years of a family to be given the opportunity to get their child. Plus if you are saying that the mother should have the child there is no guarantee that her child will get adopted, so he/she could be in the foster system until they are old enough to get out if it. Children can be abused, mistreated, assaulted, broken (mentally or physically), possibly disowned due to their sexuality, etc. in the foster care system.
Changing the law won’t change the heart of the woman making the decision. We must do a better job of offering pregnant women who don’t know what to do, not just open arms, but a community that helps after the choice for life is made. We must be a safe place. And then, we must be prepared to not only walk with them down the road of life, but down the rest of the path after their decision to keep the baby is made. Because the choice to keep a baby isn’t the finish line for the women. It is the beginning of the journey. We should begin to see women right where they are, and then start walking right alongside them. Help them see that they can take care of their child. We must make it so easy for women to choose life that it doesn’t make any sense for them to abort the child.