Maintaining the Right to Choose
Keeping abortion legal and safe is crucial for sustaining gender equality.
3 November 2016 Reproductive rights
Dear future president,
I’m writing to you about about a topic that is extremely important to me, a woman’s right to choose. There is a misunderstanding in the USA that having an abortion is killing an innocent baby, when the reality is that terminating an unborn fetus is not killing a person at all. Women in certain situations such as victims of rape or girls who are far too young for their bodies to carry a healthy baby deserve to have the choice to get rid of a pregnancy. Our country needs more resources and easily accessible clinics to aid women (and men) in making smart decisions regarding their sexual health. To ensure this, I believe that our government needs to fund Planned Parenthood and create more opportunities for safe, professional clinics to practice abortions legally.
According to the World Health Organization, 21.6 million women are subject to unsafe abortions each year, and 47,000 women die of unsafe abortions each year in the USA alone. We need to have better policies on educating women about what options they have if they are experiencing an unwanted pregnancy. If abortion is made illegal, women will continue to have abortions in unsafe, dirty, painful ways such as going to unlicensed “doctors” or attempting to perform at home abortions with clothing hangers. According to an article in the Star Tribune, a man was recently charged for manslaughter in New York for botching the abortion of a local woman. “He performed the procedure carelessly and she ended up dying from excessive bleeding.” (startribune.com) These types of incidents are not uncommon in places with little access to family planning centers and clinics that offer safe abortions by licensed professionals.
One of the main causes of postpartum depression in women is giving birth to a baby that they do not want or have the means to care for. Postpartum depression is classified as, “a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) after childbirth.” (Mayoclinic.com) It’s effects include, “feeling a loss of control in your life, anxiety, trouble handling even minor problems, and feeling a loss of identity.” (Mayoclinic.com) This has in turn lead to mothers committing suicide, and babies can end up severely neglected. These effects can end up taking teen mothers out of school and thus taking away their education and opportunities to succeed in life.
One crucial way to begin to combat this is to establish better sex-education in schools. Teenagers need to know about the importance of consent, and the many different birth control methods that are available other than simply abstinence and using condoms. In these classes students need to be taught that abortion is an option if one ends up unintentionally pregnant.
It is also important to teach boys and men that is a women’s right to choose what she does with her body, and it is not up to a man to make the decision to terminate or not to terminate a pregnancy. The BBC states in an article in favor of a pro-choice society, “women need free access to abortion in order to achieve full political, social, and economic equality with men.” (bbc.uk)
When the government takes away our freedoms as women to have control over our own bodies and control over the decisions regarding our bodies, then women are no longer given the same rights and freedoms that are given to men.
Leila Lowry, St. Paul Minnesota