7 out of 10 Americans across the United States believe that abortion should be legal, and I agree. When I think of “pro-life” all I can think of is the pure ignorance that comes with that title, it baffles me that another human being thinks it’s okay to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body and what’s growing inside of it. I personally offer my full support on the side of pro-choice; when we look at what it means to be “pro-choice” it’s important to understand that it represents an individual who truly believes that if a woman chooses to terminate her pregnancy then she should be able to get an abortion if/when she decides to. “Being pro-choice means understanding abortion as a moral choice among numerous moral and morally defensible choices about pregnancy.” (Jacobson 2011) Abortions should be legal because pregnancy should never be mandatory if you aren’t ready, bodily autonomy is a basic human right, and women should have access to safe abortions.
Denying a woman the ability and right to choose what to do with her body when and if she decides to, is a reprehensible attempt to control it. In 2008 alone, “41 percent of all pregnancies were reported as unintentional, in other words, 85,362,000 pregnancies were completely unplanned,” (Lunsford 2016) and without the option of abortion, this equals a portion of 85,362,000 children being either illegally/unsafely aborted, put up for adoption, or abandoned. If we keep abortion legalized, this means that over 85 million women will have a voice and a choice. A lot of people say “if you can have sex then you can deal with the consequences” well let’s be honest, sex is a natural aspect of life, everyone participates in this act and sometimes accidents happen, an accident doesn’t and shouldn’t force you into parenthood. There are so many reasons why women either can’t or don’t want to be pregnant or have a child, here are a few: pregnancy could be life threatening, the pregnancy is product of rape or incest, there’s an inability to care for the child financially and physically, mental health issues, etc. there are so many reasons why women can’t/don’t want to carry out a pregnancy, even if it’s the simple reason of a woman not being ready to care for another human life, that is okay! Pregnancy should not demand motherhood if you as a woman are not ready to take that on personally.
Trying to take away a women’s rights when it comes to what she can/cannot do with her body is denying her of her own bodily autonomy, which is a basic human right. A woman’s body is an autonomous being, and since a fetus is “biologically dependent on the mother for sustenance, it has yet to acquire bodily autonomy as it cannot self-govern due to this dependence.” (Lunsford 2016) In other words, a fetus is not its own being, it is a body, that’s undeniable, but it is not a biologically or physically independent body, so we cannot look at it as that unless it is past a point to where it can live and sustain itself outside of the mother’s body. If a woman chooses, she shouldn’t be forced to take responsibility of a fetus, if a woman has the intentions of carrying a pregnancy and bringing a child into this world then they have taken on the responsibility to protect and care for the fetus, but in the same breath, if a woman has no intention of carrying a pregnancy or bringing a child into this world then they are not under the same obligations.
When looking back in our history, during times when abortions were illegal in the United States, we see the realities of unsafe abortions. During the 1950’s and 1960’s between 200,000 and 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed per year. “Unsafe abortion is common in places where abortion is illegal. Nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe.” (Contributors 2014) A lot of people with a pro-life outlook seem to be under the impression that if they help create restrictive abortion laws that there is going to be lower abortion rates; when in reality, women will just get unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortions are a huge problem because women can injure themselves internally, hurt themselves physically, or even die due to complications. We need to have access to safe abortions, there is absolutely no way around it, women need options and carrying a child isn’t always the right one.
I am pro-choice because abortions should be legal. Legal abortions are important to me because pregnancy should never be mandatory if you aren’t ready, bodily autonomy is a basic human right, and women should have access to safe abortions. What a woman does with her body is her choice completely, there should be no laws restricting a woman from aborting a fetus and society shouldn’t force women to be mothers if they aren’t readily able to take care of a child. We need to focus less on taking basic human rights from women and focus more on offering support to women going through such a traumatic and difficult situation.