Dear Next President,
Abortion is and always has been a controversial issue around the world. People have disagreed on whether or not a person should have the choice to end a pregnancy, arguing that the fetus’ potential lives should come before the people who are pregnant with them. I am incredulous when I think about people putting the life of a fetus before the life of a developed and independent human being, trying to use laws to limit or even outlaw abortion based on the idea that inducing abortion is the same as killing a child, which is untrue. Historically, “abortion was not considered a criminal act as long as it was performed before "quickening" (the first detectable movement of the fetus, which can occur between 13-25 weeks of pregnancy)” (procon.org). This law is limiting abortion without outlawing it completely, mirroring today's abortion restrictions that make it hard for people to get the care they need to live their life. Abortion restrictions should be lifted and clinical abortion should be accessible to everyone across the entire United States.
Abortion is not about the fetus. Most abortions are performed earlier than 8 weeks, when the fetus has barely developed (Mayo Clinic). At this point the fetus doesn't look anything like the tiny babies people imagine, and they most definitely don’t have feelings. The fetus doesn't have thoughts, or toes, and is only half an inch long. If the fetus is aborted, it isn’t developed enough to even notice, but the person carrying the fetus will benefit immensely. Abortions save women from nine months of intense stress on the body and mind, much of which will change them forever. When a person doesn’t want to raise a child, they shouldn’t have to keep the pregnancy out of obligation. The future child deserves a family who wants them. And yes, adoption is an option, but it still shouldn’t be the only option. Women should be able to choose. Even if you may not want an abortion, it should still be an available option for everybody.
Regardless, laws against abortion are proven not to work. As “Dr. Paul Van Look, director of the W.H.O. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, said in a telephone interview. ‘What we see is that the law does not influence a woman’s decision to have an abortion. If there’s an unplanned pregnancy, it does not matter if the law is restrictive or liberal’” (Rosenthal). If a person really doesn’t want a pregnancy, she will find a way to end it - be it in a doctor’s office or a back alley, when someone chooses not to have a baby, she won’t have a baby.
So how do we find a way to make it safer and easier for people to access abortions when they need them? It is simple. We need to lift all restrictions on abortion clinics on a federal level, making it easier for abortion clinics to give people access to all their options regarding pregnancy. We need to remove laws forcing people to hear a speech on why not to get an abortion before getting an abortion. And to help prevent the accidental pregnancies that lead to abortion, we need to expand sexual education in states where the law currently dictates abstinence only education, which doesn’t work as well to prevent pregnancy as comprehensive sexual education (Planned Parenthood). With this plan, abortion will be less common, but when it is requested it will be easily accessible.
Saint Paul, Minnesota