Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion

Since the Supreme Court’s historic decision Roe v. Wade, the issue of a woman’s right to an abortion has fostered one of the most contentious moral and political debates in United States history. With the passing of New York’s Reproductive Health Act, people are up in arms, passionately defending their opinions. Social media feeds have become a revolving door of overly simplified arguments, emotional personal anecdotes, and people defending their closely held beliefs. Conservative Americans, including many students at BYU, often misunderstand the pro-choice stance.

No One Is Pro-Abortion

Pro-choice advocates are not pro-abortion, but pro-choice, and that is an important distinction. We believe that every woman should have access to quality reproductive care, including abortions when necessary, and that abortions should be safe, legal, and rare. And by rare, we really mean rare. While it is impossible to consider all the potential circumstances that might elicit consideration of an abortion, this phrase generally refers to instances of rape, incest, when the life of the mother is jeopardized, when a fetus is no longer viable, or when the circumstances or environment of the child would be severely damaging or abusive. The idea that women seek out abortions because they love being sexually promiscuous and they just can’t be bothered with a baby is a lie, a misperception unrepresentative of why women seek abortions. Most women don’t make the decision to have an abortion casually. They often wrestle with the decision in profound ways in consultation with their spouse, family, close friends, religious leaders, or medical professionals.

Pro-choice advocates also strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child. This can be done by ensuring women have safe and healthy pregnancies, by providing services during pregnancy and after childbirth, including adoption and social support services, as well as providing protections for women against pregnancy discrimination [1].

A Symptom of the Problem

We can all agree that abortion should be a rare necessity, and the only way to accomplish this goal is to prevent unplanned pregnancy in the first place. This can be done by providing comprehensive sex education in schools and religious communities, ensuring access to accurate information about contraception, and making contraception more affordable and widely available [6] [7]. The current administration has cut funding to such teen pregnancy prevention programs and has instead proposed allocating millions of dollars towards failed abstinence-only programs that often rely on scare tactics and inaccurate information [8] [9].

Since Roe v. Wade, the definition of the right to choose has evolved and expanded, but the principle of women’s autonomy has remained the same. In a subsequent Supreme Court case, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor stated that “the ability of a women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives” [2]. An ability to control reproductive life includes access to comprehensive sex education, family planning and contraception, adequate medical care, a safe environment, the ability to continue or end a pregnancy, and the resources that make that choice possible.

Are we giving women the resources that allow them to make the choice to keep a child? Have we given them the support services that they need? Often pro-life advocates fervently support the child in the womb, but they abort the child in other ways as soon as it is born. They abort the child through lack of healthcare, education, affordable housing, welfare programs, and other life-sustaining necessities.

Limiting Access Is Not a Solution

The most prominent proposed solution among pro-life organizations and supporters is to limit access to abortions. However, even if the United States outlawed all abortions, women who desperately needed an abortion would still have alternatives, but those options would be extremely unsafe and unsanitary. Before abortion was legalized, women frequently tried to induce miscarriages by using coat hangers, knitting needles, radiator flush, or by going to unsafe “back-alley” abortionists [3]. The World Health Organization estimated that unsafe abortions cause 68,000 maternal deaths worldwide each year, many of those in countries where safe and legal abortion services are difficult or impossible to access [5].

Echoes of Oppression

The abortion debate highlights an idea that has long been upheld and promoted around the world: that women never take priority. Throughout history, the U.S. government has told women what they can and cannot do. Women were told that they couldn’t own property, open a bank account, vote, get divorced, attend college, or work outside the home, among many, many other things. For so many women, the pro-life argument echoes the underlying principle that perpetuated the subordination of women for hundreds of years: that their rights are secondary. Women’s rights have never been prioritized. With abortion, the rights of the woman are being considered secondarily, if at all. To focus solely on the rights of the fetus negates its mother’s value, personhood, and human rights. We should, therefore, give great consideration to mothers’ rights as well as to those of the unborn.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1]https://democrats.org/about/party-platform/#reproductive-health

[2] https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-744.ZO.html

[3]http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/25/news/la-ol-the-coat-hanger-symbol-of-dangerous-preroe-abortions-is-back-20140324

[4]https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2003/01/public-health-impact-legal-abortion-30-years-later

[5]https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42976/9241591803.pdf;jsessionid=FC4673BED7C61B20B8123E60FFA80D23?sequence=1

[6]https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0024658&utm_source=AOL&utm_medium=readMore&utm_campaign=partner#s3

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194801/

[8]https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/23/545289168/abstinence-education-is-ineffective-and-unethical-report-argues

[9] https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/grant-programs/funding-opportunities/index.html

[10] https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/abortion.htm

The following two tabs change content below.

Katie Clements

Katie Clements is a senior from Boise, Idaho studying Political Science. Katie is passionate about Harry Styles, reusable sandwich bags, Boise State football, happy meals, and constantly challenging her opinions. In her freetime Katie reads Bobby Kennedy biographies and the short stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. She religiously watches Meet the Press and the Bachelor because they both keep her “well-rounded.” After graduating, Katie plans to move to Washington D.C. to work in Congress, but her ultimate career goal is to become a lobbyist for a major refugee agency.

Katie Clements

Katie Clements is a senior from Boise, Idaho studying Political Science. Katie is passionate about Harry Styles, reusable sandwich bags, Boise State football, happy meals, and constantly challenging her opinions. In her freetime Katie reads Bobby Kennedy biographies and the short stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. She religiously watches Meet the Press and the Bachelor because they both keep her “well-rounded.” After graduating, Katie plans to move to Washington D.C. to work in Congress, but her ultimate career goal is to become a lobbyist for a major refugee agency.

3 thoughts on “Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion

  • March 14, 2019 at 9:38 pm
    Permalink

    Katie, I write the following statement to educate you and anyone else who reads this. I have no hostility or ill will towards you, but the beliefs you express here are very wrong. Please don’t take it personally; I once believed many of your claims. I want to help you change like I did.

    You claim that “no one is pro-abortion”; that claim is totally false. If no one was pro-abortion, then leftist comedians wouldn’t make comedy shows about abortion, like Michelle Wolf’s “God Bless Abortion”. The Democratic Party removed the phrase “safe, legal, and rare” from its party platform in 2008. Thus, you cannot honestly write “*We* believe… abortions should be safe, legal, and rare”. It simply isn’t true. Maybe you believe it, but the pro-abortion politicians and judges don’t.

    You write “We can all agree that abortion should be a rare necessity”. This is also false. Abortion is NEVER a necessity. Some medical circumstances may necessitate the early delivery of a child. Or, a medical procedure on a mother may tragically claim an unborn child’s life, despite the best efforts of doctors to save the lives of both mother and baby. This is COMPLETELY different from an abortion, which is a unique procedure that deliberately murders an unborn child.
    Most people don’t know that abortion is never necessary, because they have been lied to for decades by leftist media outlets and politicians in both parties.

    Horrifyingly, you also say that an unborn child can be killed “when the circumstances or environment of the child would be severely damaging or abusive”, or when the child’s father is a rapist. Take a step back and think about how evil that statement sounds. When you meet someone who grew up in an a “damaging” or “abusive” home, or someone whose father is a rapist, do you look at them and wish they had been killed before birth? Who are you to decide that someone’s life is so difficult that you can kill them? Are you a tyrant who holds someone else’s life in your hands?
    You do NOT get to decide whether or not another person’s life is worth living.
    Additionally, if a baby is “no longer viable”, why should we kill it? If the child is to die, they will die on their own, after our attempts to save life. The frequent misdiagnosis of “serious fetal abnormalities” means that choosing to kill a child might be killing a child that would survive.

    You also dishonestly(I do not accuse you of intentional deception) compare the deliberate killing of a child to a life without “healthcare, education, affordable housing, welfare programs, and other life-sustaining necessities.” You say that a life without these things is “abort[ing] the child in other ways as soon as it is born”.
    This is beyond ridiculous and it is untrue, and you know it. Abortion is intentional homicide, which results in DEATH. Life without the aforementioned commodities is LIFE(No killing babies necessary!).
    Besides the obvious fact that affordable healthcare, education, housing and welfare ARE available, none of that matters! A life without any of those things is better than being murdered by your parents.
    If we believe that people without healthcare, etc. are eligible for unilateral slaughter, we could genocide millions of people in poor countries throughout the world right now.

    Starvation deaths in the United States are so rare that they are not even reported by the CDC. Public school is available for every child in the USA. Homelessness and lack of healthcare are tragic, but we can deal with those issues separately. They have NOTHING to do with abortion. To claim that an anti-abortion person like me also commits abortions because societal problems exist is laughable on its face.
    There are people who understand these obvious facts, and there are people who will not.
    Which one will you be?

    You distract(Intentionally or not, I do not know) from the wholesale murder of innocents by the millions by invoking the deaths of mothers who die in abortions. There is a very easy way to not die during an abortion: DON’T HAVE AN ABORTION! We should not worry about making it “safe” to murder children, just like we shouldn’t make it “safe” to rape someone or rob a bank.

    You say that one of the ways to reduce abortions is through “comprehensive sex education”. To those who don’t know what “comprehensive sex education” is, allow me to explain. A great example of “comprehensive sex education” is California’s Healthy Youth Act of 2015, which teaches children to masturbate with fruit and/or vegetables and participate in a “comprehensive” array of other depraved sex acts. Of course, these comprehensive sex education programs also encourage abortion.
    In some areas, such as Orange County, California(and coming soon to a district near you!) pulling your children out of these evil sex education courses is not allowed. Comprehensive sex education is one of Satan’s favorite new tools for destroying the souls of men and women.

    Abortion should be completely illegal in every circumstance. Will it stop abortions? No. People always break laws. But a just and good society must be governed by laws that guarantee the natural rights of human beings. All human beings have a natural right to life. Thus, the law must punish those who kill innocent people, whether born or unborn.

    Katie, I urge you to repent of your sinful support of abortion. No one is perfect. I’m not perfect, but I don’t support abortion. You can change and turn away from this evil.

    P.S.
    The state of Florida records a reason for every abortion that occurs within its borders each year. In 2015, there were 71,740 abortions in Florida. This table lists each reason and the percentage of abortions that occurred because of it.
    .001% The pregnancy resulted from an incestuous relationship
    .065% The woman’s life was endangered by the pregnancy
    .085% The woman was raped
    .288% The woman’s physical health was threatened by the pregnancy
    .294% The woman’s psychological health was threatened by the pregnancy
    .666% There was a serious fetal abnormality
    6.268% The woman aborted for social or economic reasons
    92.330% No reason

    P.P.S.
    “The exercise of natural rights has no limits but such as will ensure their enjoyment to other members of society.”
    – Marquis de Lafayette
    Under the above definition, abortion is NOT a right, because it destroys the right to life of another person. “Women’s Rights” or “Reproductive Rights” are dishonest perversions of the true concept of natural rights. Just as leftists refer to abortions as “Reproductive Rights” today, Democrats in the 19th century referred to slavery as “Southern Rights”.
    So, when someone tells you that abortion is a “right”, you can explain to them why they are wrong.

    Reply
    • March 19, 2019 at 5:41 pm
      Permalink

      So you really think that a mother should endure the heartbreak and trauma of delivering a baby that will die in childbirth or shortly after instead of having a safe abortion? Not to mention having an abortion can potentially save the fetus from a painful death. I do not think you understand that struggle and pain women go through when deciding to have an abortion, especially in cases like this.
      You are also contributing to the whole “abortion problem” if you seriously think we should get rid of comprehensive sex education. A proper sex education WILL reduce abortions. Not to mention that fact that nothing is evil about teaching children about healthy sex habits. What is evil is depriving them of knowledge of their own bodily functions, including masturbation, which is perfectly healthy.

      Reply
      • March 22, 2019 at 3:14 am
        Permalink

        Yes, I really do think that a mother should endure the heartbreak and trauma of delivering a baby that “will”(Usually there is no certainty of this) die in childbirth or shortly after instead of having an abortion. Better to endure heartbreak than to murder your own child.
        Also, no abortion is “safe”. Anything designed to kill is inherently unsafe.
        I do believe that abortion designed to “save the fetus from a painful death” should be illegal. As I mentioned above, “life-threatening fetal abnormalities” are often misdiagnosed.

        Based on your comments, I assume that you do not believe in God. Therefore, my definition of “evil” is probably very different from yours.
        I can promise you that masturbation, fornication, and adultery are evil. They are a violation of God’s commandments. I am extremely opposed to schools teaching sex education to children.
        Sexual depravity, including masturbation, is not healthy. I am not an expert on the subject, because I mainly think about issues involving natural rights. However, I know that there is a large body of evidence that details the psychological damage that sexual overindulgence does to the human mind.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *