Claire M. California

Keep Abortion Safe and Legal

Roe v. Wade should be defended by whoever takes the Oval Office.

Dear Future President,

I am disappointed that in the year 2016, I still feel absolutely obligated to write a letter on the topic of abortion. However, I will continue to actively defend the reproductive rights of women in the United States so long as the decision of Roe v. Wade, one of the most fundamental liberties that secures my future as a woman, remains in jeopardy. In less than a month, our president-elect could work to strip me of this right—and ironically, if Mr. Trump is elected, the person pushing this change on millions of women will be male. Personally, I cannot understand why the legality of abortion is in question at all, because of the separation between Church and state that Americans hold so dearly; because of the nonsensical manner that men believe they can dictate a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with them; because allowing the option of an abortion does not force a decision on anyone, while restricting this choice does; and finally, because outlawing abortion will only make it more dangerous, not end it.

Without a doubt, the case made most frequently among pro-life activists is that abortion is the killing of a defenseless baby. I am in absolutely no place to even attempt to sway the opinions of anyone who believes this to be true. I consider the morality of abortion to be a postulate: Either you believe abortion is killing, or you don’t, and no matter how long two people scream at each other from either end of the political spectrum, it is highly unlikely anyone’s mind will be changed. I think we can also agree that this postulate is affiliated with one’s religious beliefs. More often than not, people believe this because their church, their parents, and their communities preach that abortion is murder, which is completely constitutional. What is not constitutional, however, is applying this religious conviction to the law. Even Fox News, a firmly right-wing source, has stated, “Women seeking an abortion tend to be more certain of their choice, even after the procedure, than people making other healthcare decisions.” It is apparent that many women rely on abortion and firmly disagree with the argument that abortion is immoral. Thus, the government is obligated to respect this difference when making laws.

Statistics show that women are generally more open to abortion than men are, and men continue to press for the illegality of the procedure, despite the fact that it is impertinent to their lives. According to a poll conducted by Gallup in 2015, 54% of women identified as pro-choice, while only 46% of men did. While watching the vice presidential debates, I was distraught to see the way that Mr. Kaine and Mr. Pence discussed abortion. They both agreed that the procedure was unethical, and Mr. Pence criticized Mr. Kaine’s running mate for thinking otherwise, making her sound as though she was out of touch and radical (which she most definitely is not). I could picture the millions of American households watching the debate, thinking, “If only one out of the four names on the November ballot are pro-abortion, then clearly something about that Hillary Clinton is off, right?” Well, no. Not even close. She just happens to be the only woman. Please refer to the statistics at the beginning of this paragraph to refresh your memory. These three white, Christian men who seem to be occupying the vast majority of the media’s time are not an accurate representation of the American people. Furthermore, the concept of men overpowering women on the topic of an explicitly female right continues to stump me. A man will never be pregnant. He will never have to physically display the outcome of a sexual blunder to everyone whom he encounters on a daily basis. He will never have to take a leave of absence from school because of this mistake. He will never reach an age when having a child becomes indisputably more dangerous, for both his child and himself. And if, god forbid, he is raped, he will never have to live with the constant reminder of the awful crime committed against him. He has none of these fears. So, I continue to ponder why he can confidently say that women should not be allowed a solution to these problems that he will never know. I urge you to consider the likelihood that more women are “pro-choice” than men because they are much more knowledgeable on the topic of pregnancy, and they realize that putting a baby up for adoption does nothing to address the difficulties of pregnancy, before giving birth. Ultimately, abortion only applies to women, so we need to hear more women speaking up and expressing their opinions on this topic.

Lastly, I would like to emphasize the fact that abortions will continue to happen, no matter what has been decided by the government. Women who believe the procedure is justified and desperately need it will continue to seek it out. Once the government deems abortion unlawful, it will become taboo and dangerous. Right now, abortion is one of the safest procedures performed, but this could be completely reversed if government funding to Planned Parenthood is cut off. To suddenly restrict abortion is not a solution.

I’m scared, Mr./Madam President. I'm scared to live in a country where women feel they must break the law in order to complete high school. I need you to consider each and every girl when taking your stance on abortion. Identifying as pro-choice does not encourage abortion, it merely acknowledges that not all Americans have the same opinion, gender, or religious background, and the law should reflect this diversity of beliefs. Keeping abortion as a viable, safe option seems to be the solution that allows each woman to follow her own beliefs, and ensures that no matter what they may be, she will be supported and treated equally under the law.

Thank you immensely for reading this letter and for taking my humble opinion into consideration.

With great respect,

Claire Mutchnik

Marlborough School

AP World History Period H

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