Abortion is a Woman’s Right. It must be protected – Democrat Article
Abortion in the US is a controversial topic. On the one hand, you have those that are very strongly pro-life. Whilst, on the other, those that are staunchly pro-choice. For me, it is definitely pro-choice.
It is up to no one but the individual/couple to decide for themselves if they are considering such a decision. Ultimately, they understand their individual circumstances better. In that respect, it is similar to many other private decisions. It is not for anyone else to make that choice for them, and nor is it for us to decry them as murderers for going through what can be a very emotional process.
However, Republicans seem to disagree with me. Several states have passed what is known as heartbeat laws, which means that abortions are banned as soon as a foetal heartbeat is detected. These, however, are effectively bans on abortion. Heartbeats can be detected often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Thus, these laws deny her a choice in the matter. Alabama attempted to ban the practice, despite the fact that this move is currently unconstitutional. Just recently in Texas, a bill was introduced that would put a woman to death if she had an abortion, even if that abortion was because she did not want to keep the child of a rapist or in the case of incest. This is horrific.
The fact that this law was introduced by a man or, to be more specific, State Representative Bryan Slaton, makes it worse. Men do not understand either the process or the effects of pregnancy. They are not the ones who will carry the baby. Men couldn’t possibly imagine or experience the toll it can take on someone’s body.
Abortion laws are a prime example of where women are continually told what to do by men, instead of being allowed to make the right decision for themselves. We do not have the right to tell them what to do. Surely women are able to make their own decisions? Apparently not.
These restrictive abortion laws are not born out of conservative ideology either. Instead of a minimal government and allowing for freedom of choice, Republicans are making the government bigger and intruding on one of the most private matters of what goes on within a family. These restrictions are instead born out of dogmatic religious principles. Arguably, religion should teach people to be more tolerant and accepting of different views. Yet the pro-choice stance is being silenced through restrictive law.
Imagine that this law in Texas passes for a minute. It will have several implications.
Firstly, it won’t stop abortions. Women will travel to other states where abortion law is less restrictive, just like people from Northern Ireland travelling to the UK to get abortions. This is not only costly to do, but the woman also can’t go through the process in a comfortable home environment. Instead, it must be done in an unfamiliar place.
As a side note, although abortion was finally legalised in Northern Ireland by the British government, lack of access has meant women have still had to travel to the mainland for one. This is not easily achieved during a pandemic, highlighting the need for access as well as legal protection. Clinics in places like Texas and Alabama are declining, showing that even though it is a legal right to have an abortion, practical obstacles are being put in the way.
The fact that it is costly to travel will make those who can’t afford it turn to backstreet abortions. Backstreet abortions are not safe. These practices will endanger life unnecessarily, which is precisely what pro-life laws try to prevent.
The other implication is that it directly challenges Roe vs Wade. This court case ensured that it was a woman’s constitutional right to get an abortion and it was reaffirmed in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood vs Casey. But some of the current pro-life laws are virtually asking for someone to sue on the grounds of being wholly unconstitutional. Republicans believe that if it makes it up to the Supreme Court then Roe vs Wade could be overturned. And, with the current makeup of the court, it could very well be overturned. This would be a historic defeat for women’s rights if this were to occur. It would completely remove the constitutional protection that is currently in place that enables safe and legal abortions.
While the more progressive states will no doubt keep their pro-choice laws, many of the more conservative states will not. Moreover, it will leave these progressive states open to being sued by Republicans attempting to find a way to constitutionally block a woman’s choice of abortion. This would be terrible, as it would leave women with no safe place left to exercise their choice in. I cannot understand why a pro-choice party would want to do that.
Written by Democrat Writer, Kieran Burt
Point of Information
We must stop legislating women’s bodies – A Republican Response
Breaking from my parties traditional stance on abortion, I must wholeheartedly agree with my colleague Kieran on this issue. Abortion must remain a legal option to women, regardless of why they choose to go through with an abortion.
Kieran is correct to highlight the hypocrisy of the GOP on this issue. On the one hand, they advocate for less government intervention. But, on the other hand, they feel the need to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her body. The fact of the matter is that if you truly value life, you must understand that illegal abortion is a dangerous abortion. The risk of death when a woman goes through an abortion procedure in a clandestine facility (or “backstreet abortion” as my colleague refers to it) is significantly higher.
Moreover, it’s also important to highlight the fact that outlawing abortion in the US would disproportionately affect minority communities from coast to coast. Non-Hispanic Black women are almost three times more likely to have an abortion when compared to non-Hispanic White women. Arguably, these sweeping abortion bans in certain states, particularly Southern States, might be targeted specifically at minority women.
It’s fine if you don’t morally agree with abortion; after all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But these pro-Life advocates often overlook the life of the mother. Legal abortions are safe abortions, and we must protect this fundamental human right at all costs.
Written by Chief Republican Writer, Sebastian Calcopietro