Sarah H. Washington

Not Your Body, Not Your Call

Abortion is the choice of the mother and no one can tell her what to do with her body. It is a basic human right to have control over your body, the comfort of few does not outrank human rights.

Dear Mr. or Madam President,

When abortion was criminalized (except in the case of saving a woman’s life,) in the 1870’s women status was significantly lower than it currently is today. Women were having a harder time in society staying on an equal footing with men. As told by Willis, society is “Actively hostile to women’s ambitions for a better life. Under these conditions the unwilling pregnant woman faces a terrifying loss of control over her fate." To these women abortion is self defense. Many women who seek an abortion have been sexually abused. In 1969 two women filed a suit against the Dallas Court District Attorney because Texas state law prohibited abortions that were not due to rape or incest. The historic ruling known as Wade v Roe was settled by the Supreme Court under the decision that the Texas law was unconstitutional and it violated the right to privacy found in the Ninth Amendment. Many feel that the Supreme Court should have legalized abortions on the grounds of equality rather than privacy. The result of Roe v Wade preserved the idea that “a woman’s desire to end a pregnancy was not enough in itself; it had to be approved by a respectable authority figure, at the time almost always a man.” But, it’s the 21st century, surely by now we would have accepted the simple concept of don't tell other people what to do? You can’t tell anyone what to do with their body but with the topic of abortion being such a big controversy, a woman’s control over her womb has become a fundamental political topic. I believe that no one can tell anyone what to do with their body, and it should be a constitutional right to dictate what happens to your body. Women have the right to dictate what happens to their body. It needs to be a constitutional right to have control over your body. Women deserve the piece of mind that comes with dictating what happens inside of their wombs. Their right to control over their wombs needs to be constitutionally protected.

Opponents to abortion express moral concern for the contents of women’s wombs, considering an unplanted fetus is a baby. Many think abortion is immoral and can cause the fetus pain. They also believe that abortion has lasting physical and psychological repercussions. However, there is no credible evidence that supports this theory. In fact, studies have shown the symptoms of depression and anxiety in women who had an abortion stayed the same or decreased in a two year period. While the women who were turned away suffered from ill effects, including higher rates of hypertension and chronic and chronic pelvic pain. Abortion is safe both mentally and physically, most scientists agree. And even later abortions may be safer than childbirth. So, why criminalize something that helps women? This freedom to choose what is best for themselves is what makes America great, to have freedoms that may not granted everywhere, and this freedom to choose gives a woman peace of mind and helps her stay on the same playing field as men who have always have had the upper hand in society.

If a child is wanted they are more likely to be successful than those who are not. Children born of unwanted pregnancies have significant disadvantages over those from wanted or planned pregnancies. The children from unwanted pregnancies are breastfed for shorter periods, are slightly but consistently over weight, have more instances of acute illness and lower grades. They are found to be less capable in social situations, they are less popular with teachers and even with their peers. Whether a child was wanted or not was a good indicator of the child’s future qualities. Even that connotation indicates how the child will do; are you wanted or not. A wanted child will nearly always do better than one who is not wanted. This data is based on a study done by Henry David in Czech following the liberation of their abortion laws.

Women deserve control over their body's. “A woman’s body has never wholly been her own. Historically, it has belonged to her nation, her community, her father, her family, and her husband - in 1973 when marital rape was legal in every state. Why shouldn’t her body belong to a fertilized egg as well? And if the egg has a right to grow and develop in her body, why shouldn’t she be legally charged with a crime if she uses illegal drugs and delivers a stillborn or sick baby?” (Pollitt). When will a woman have unmitigated control over her own body? Have women not earned the right to make their own choices and have something that is wholly her own? Shouldn’t she own her body at the very least? If she can’t have the choice of having a child or having an abortion she does not have control over her body. If you get pregnant and it is unplanned the law says you must have the child even if you can not financially support it, you are put in a very difficult situation. An unwanted pregnancy is similar to a tumor; the person will want it removed, they did not ask for it, they did not plan for it, they may not be able to financially compensate for the inconvenience, it may be threatening their life or well being. However, there is one major difference; it is perfectly acceptable to remove a tumor but to remove an unwanted fetus it is extremely frowned upon. Why is that? Because men still see women as a tool for reproduction. If they didn't then women would get to dictate what happens to their wombs, but because they see women in such a way they do not allow women to have an abortion.

Pro-choice is a cause that believes no one but the woman who is pregnant can decide what to do with her body because no one else will go through exactly what she will go through and what she will continue to experience. “ “Trust women” doesn’t mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision - not you, the state legislature or the supreme court - chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot.” This perfectly sums up what pro choice is about. You can think abortion is wrong and be pro choice, you just have to accept that you can’t tell anyone what to do with their body.

Abortion isn’t a choice everyone could make, nor is having the child, it all depends on what you want for yourself. Many women say that having a child made them unable to finish their education leading to them having to settle for a lesser paying job. And when women are forced to have the child, they are being forced to pay hospital bills and go through the emotional toll pregnancy brings. All in addition to the potential pain of giving birth. It doesn’t seem fair to force someone to pay money to go through pain they don’t want. Before abortion was legalized abortions where a closeted thing. If abortion is once again made illegal it doesn't mean there won’t be any abortions, it means there won’t be any safe abortions. Without safe abortions it is not only the pregnancy that will be terminated, the women is put at rick as well. To keep women safe we need to accept abortions. There needs to be a constitutional amendment assuring that women will have control over what happens to their wombs. This isn't a superfluous idea, it is a basic human right to have control over your body. Your personal feelings and comfort do not come before someone’s human rights over their own body.

Sarah H.

West Seattle High School

3rd Period LA9H

Hopkins Honors Intro to Literature & Composition

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