Dear Future President,
For decades, abortion has been an issue that has divided our country. As time has progressed, the issue hasn’t gotten any better. Even after the Supreme Court declared abortion legal in 1972, increasingly strict state laws and restrictions passed since Roe v. Wade have prevented women from having access to abortions. Why would anyone want to go back to a time where “back-alley” abortions were the only way to terminate a pregnancy? It should be a woman’s choice to do with her body as she pleases. Throughout the United States, abortion is not only legal, but should be readily available and accessible to all women.
While abortion is legal in the United States, restrictive state laws, are preventing women from having access to abortions. These laws are limiting women from having a procedure that, as a result of the Roe v. Wade decision, was declared to be a woman's Constitutional right. This decision dramatically changed the lives of many women; they no longer had to rely on illegal abortions. In fact, according to JustFacts.com, in the year after Roe v. Wade, the death rate from abortion dropped from 39 deaths to 26 deaths. The risk from actual childbirth happens to be almost ten times as high as the risk of death from abortion, proving that the majority of legal abortions in the United States are perfectly safe. Why would a woman want to risk her health and possibly her life just to give her unwanted child up for adoption? If abortion were to become illegal, women would still seek out abortions, legal or not. As a country, why would we want to unnecessarily sacrifice the lives of many women because we did not grant them this right? Legal abortions are a perfectly safe way for women to deal with unwanted pregnancy, and it is not up to us to take away that right.
While abortion was declared legal decades ago, more recent cases such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, stated that states have the right to pass restrictive laws as long as they do not constitute an "undue burden" on the woman. This court case challenged the Pennsylvania 1989 Abortion Control Act, which, according to PBS, forced women to wait a 24 hour period before getting an abortion and required having parental consent for minors. The Supreme Court ruled that these conditions were constitutional because they did not completely prevent women from getting abortions. Even though they didn’t completely prevent abortions, they certainly seem to act as insurmountable obstacles in their way. Ob. Gyn. News reported that states have since passed laws, such as Texas’ TRAP laws, forcing health care facilities that provide abortions to maintain hospital-like standards.These laws are ridiculous and absurd. Most small facilities cannot possibly meet the standards. States like Texas claim that these laws are aimed at protecting the lives of women receiving abortions, but according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these laws are not medically necessary, and have resulted in the closing of many facilities. This poses serious health risks for women, forcing them to drive extremely long distances to receive abortions, receive more late-term abortions, and even not have an abortion at all. As a result of these laws, three-quarters of abortion facilities in Texas have been closed, leaving the women in those areas no access to abortion facilities. How do these laws not present an “undue burden” to women? How can states pass these laws, which very clearly violate the Supreme Court, and not face consequences?
To be honest, abortion would not be necessary if women had easy access to birth control. The Centers for Disease Control make the connection that abortion rates are lower for women using reliable birth control methods. If women to do not have access to birth control, the abortion rate will continue to rise. As states place more restrictions on facilities that perform abortions, they are closed down. These facilities are the ones that provide other health care services for women, including prescribing birth control. If these states truly don’t believe in abortion, why would they take women’s access to birth control away? This seems quite counterproductive and hypocritical.
In 1992, the Supreme Court, ruled in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that it was legal for states to pass laws that placed restrictions on a woman’s constitutional right to abortion as long as they posed no “undue burden” for women. One-by-one, many states have passed laws making it increasingly harder for women to have, what used to be, legal abortions. These laws have closed facilities that provided women, not only with abortions, but other health care services as well. Not only do these laws pose a medical danger to women, but put them more at risk for unwanted pregnancies and other health care issues. As President, you have a responsibility to American women. You must appoint Supreme Court justices who will not only uphold the Roe v. Wade decision, but will strike down these unjust and dangerous state laws. We cannot go back to a time where women had to travel out of the country to receive abortions or go to an unlicensed practitioner to have a dangerous “back-alley” abortion. Throughout the United States, abortion is not only legal, but needs to be readily available and accessible to all women.