OP/ED: The Ongoing Debate Of Abortion And Reproductive Rights Are Headed In The Wrong Direction
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Abortion has been a controversial topic for decades now, religious and personal stances have caused an ongoing debate on whether abortion should be legal or not, and under what terms.
Oddly enough, abortion wasn’t such a taboo topic up until the 1880s. Even the church didn’t disapprove of it, at conception and early stages of pregnancy, no one believed human life existed. By 1880 abortions were criminalized, unless when necessary to save the mother’s life. It wasn’t until then that the church disapproved of it and became such a controversial topic.
Abortion didn’t become legal again in the U.S. until 1973, sparking debate until this day.
Politics have been especially involved in this debate. Not only politicians have strategically used abortion to get votes, but their stance on abortion is a crucial part of their campaign.
Although abortion is the main topic of discussion, the issue goes beyond that. Sex education, safe sex and sexual health are all related to each other, yet the conversation usually doesn’t go past abortion.
Trump’s presidency has sparked some fear and debate over reproductive rights. This administration’s clear stance on choice, abortions, sexual education and reproduction, has resulted in many men and women fearing bans, blocks and defunding on procedures that are not only fairly accessible now, but also could save a women’s life.
A few weeks ago President Trump, surrounded by men, singing an executive order that bans federal funding for international health organizations that perform or promote abortion services sparked off some controversy. It is 2017, and there is still a group men debating and deciding on what women can and cannot decide and control about their bodies and well beings.
Personal views on abortion is one thing, everyone has the freedom to chose what happens inside their bodies or not. However, condemning abortion and reducing reproductive rights to only a matter of abortions is an entirely different thing.
Some people seem to forget that sex education, birth control and regular check ups to prevent health issues associated with reproductive organs are all part of the reproductive rights conversation.
When looking at countries were abortions are illegal or heavily restricted, it is easy to point out that making abortion illegal doesn’t stop women from getting them but rather puts women in danger. According to the world health organization an estimated 21.6 million unsafe abortions are performed every year, and around 47,000 women die from complications of unsafe abortion each year.
An abortion has physiological and psychological consequences. No woman wants to get an abortion, however, life complications, financial problems or simply the desire to not want children, puts women in this unfortunate situation. When abortion is legal, it simply means women will resort to dangerous and illegal means to have abortions.
According to planned parenthood, 3 out of 10 women in the U.S have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old. Women in the U.S exercise their right to choose everyday, personal views might get in the way of that if abortion becomes illegal.
People against abortion have seem to link someone in office against abortion to result in less abortions, when in fact, history has shown different. During Obama’s presidency, abortion rate hit an all time low in 2014 since the legalization of abortion. A president who advocates for choice managed to reduce the number of abortions. The answer? Prevention and sexual education.
Organizations like planned parenthood have been under fire by the impression of being “abortion centers,” although abortions are available, birth control, STD screenings, sexual education and overall accessible through organizations like this.
Some politicians in office today, believe that abstinence only sex education and making birth control inaccessible are the way to prevent abortions, which is not only an outdated but also dangerous mentality.
Truth is, abortion should be a last resource, adequate sex education and access to safe sex are the answer. Personal views might lead one to disagree with someone else’s choices but personal and religious views shouldn’t determine the law.
Lives can be saved by keeping this procedure available and legal.
Why does society shame sex? Why is Viagra, a pill mainly to be used for a man’s sexual pleasure covered by most insurances, but it’s somehow a problem if birth control is included as well?
Realistically, it is easier for a men to run away from an unwanted pregnancy then for a woman, so it doesn’t make sense to have men debating a problem that can’t intimately understand. Teen pregnant girls aren’t the only ones getting abortions as the stereotypes might lead to believe. Abortion is never something to be celebrated, or something a women will ever look forward to, but sadly, something that in some cases has to be done.