A Choice that Matters

Women deserve the right to their bodies, including the right to have an abortion

By Taryn Womack

With all of these new laws coming into place trying to define how a woman should be able to use her own body, I wanted to put my own voice into it. As a woman, I firmly believe all women should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies. If it is not my body, it does not affect me, therefore I should not have any say in what a person does with it. By that definition, you can probably tell I am pro-choice.

There are two bills that I bring up when discussing this topic, both on complete opposite ends. Ohio is trying to pass a bill called the Heartbeat Bill that would criminalize women for having an abortion after a heartbeat is detected. The bill does not allow exceptions to cases of rape; this means if a woman were to be raped and get pregnant, she would not be allowed to get an abortion after about six weeks when a heartbeat is usually detected. Firstly, this bill would make it impossible to get any type of abortion because most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks. The fact that it would stop rape victims from getting an abortion as well, only adds to the ever growing rape culture we have of victim blaming. It is completely unconstitutional and defies the Roe vs Wade Law that allows women to have the right to an abortion. Even anti-abortion groups, like Right to Life, find it unconstitutional.

The other bill that has recently become a law is the Late-Term Abortion Law in New York. I am all for this law because it allows women to have a choice. Despite what some people might want to think, this law doesn’t allow abortion without a reason, women have to have a medical reason to have a late term abortion. Whether the baby is dying, or dead, or the mother’s life is at risk if she were to carry to term. I believe this bill should be shared nationwide because so many women lose their lives, and their child’s life, because they didn’t have a choice in the matter. They were forced to carry to term and had to watch their baby die, or they both died.

Of course, it is important to hear the other side. A friend of mine, who is a pro-lifer, stated the argument that if she was told her child had a two percent chance of living and if she carried to term, she would die, she would risk her life for that baby. Now I’m not a mother so I personally don’t know that feeling. But my counterargument is, why risk your life for a child that will probably die? Why make your other children motherless for a child that will probably die? Are you saying that you are so against something that could save your life and keep a family together, that you would risk all for it? I would rather that unborn child stop suffering, and I keep living than both of us dying.

Another argument that comes up is that a baby is not part of a woman’s body so therefore the woman has no say. I believe that’s wrong. The fetus is attached to a woman’s body, a fetus is growing inside a woman’s body. It is all about that woman’s body and what she does to it. I saw someone make an argument about bodily autonomy, meaning we have complete right to our own bodies. That because of it, even if it means saving the life of another person, we do not have to use our bodies to save someone else. This means blood transfusions, that mean organ donations. What pro-lifers are saying is that a dead person has more bodily autonomy than a living woman.

No one longs for abortion to happen, it’s devastating when a child dies. So, I have a solution for pro-lifers. Go to a Planned Parenthood that offers abortions (because not all of them do) and tell the women that want an abortion not to worry because you will take care of everything. You will adopt the baby and pay for all of the medical necessities. And while you’re at it why don’t you start funding for better contraception for males and females as well as better sex education that isn’t abstinence-based so people know how to have sex safely. Stop using the lines “if you didn’t want to get pregnant then you shouldn’t have had sex,” and “you can always put it up for adoption.” That sex line never works, because people are going to have sex, that’s life. And there are over 100,000 children already in the foster system who need families, there is no need to add more.

I’m not saying the only option is to have an abortion. Again, I’m pro-choice, meaning I believe you have the right to choose whatever you want, whether it’s abortion, keeping the baby, putting it up for adoption, and whatever else. What I’m saying is that a woman’s choice should never be limited. You have no idea what she’s dealing with. She may have been raped, she may have had protected sex but the condom broke and she’s just a teenager, she may not be ready for a baby, she may not be able to take care of it, she may not be mentally stable enough for it; you never know why a woman does what she needs to do, but that is why she needs the choices that are offered. Because banning abortions doesn’t stop them, it just makes it more dangerous for those that need them.