The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Before abortion was legalized with the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973, unsafe abortions accounted for 17% of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute – however that number accounted for instances that were officially reported, meaning that the real number was likely much higher. As a young woman, these figures scare me. Right now, legislators in states across the US are pushing forward legislation that almost completely bans abortion. In 2021, 19 states enacted 108 abortion bans. Since January 2022, 525 abortion restrictions have been passed in 41 states. According to The New York Times, both sides of the abortion debate anticipate that the Supreme Court will have overturned Roe v. Wade by July of this year, meaning that the ruling won’t reach its 50th anniversary.
Much of the reason abortion is such a hotly-debated topic is because of the arguments surrounding its morality. Having healthy, substantive conversations about moral disagreements is positive discourse, but chasing each other around in circles trying to prove whose moral compass is pointing in the right direction won’t get us anywhere. There are a lot of misconceptions around the pro-choice argument. First, pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion, it means that everyone should have the right to have a say over their own body. As a pro-choice woman, I’m not going to go around encouraging my friends to get abortions because it’s not my body, and it’s also none of my business. I’m not here to convince you that abortion is morally right – I think it’s one of the most permanent gray areas in our modern world. Frankly, I don’t care whether you are pro-life or pro-choice because this isn’t about that. This is about you, about us, about women. This is about our rights and our future and our healthcare.
Healthcare is not political. Period. It is a basic human right to be entitled to health and well-being Despite this, as the United States has developed an increasingly political climate, apolitical issues have been dragged into the House and the Senate. Reproductive health, which includes birth control, treating and preventing sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS), depression, infertility, menopause, and abortion, is a form of healthcare. A lot of the women that use healthcare services like Planned Parenthood come from low-income areas, don’t have access to a primary care physician, or simply don’t have anywhere else to go. Women across the country need these services, including abortion, and trying to restrict them from providing healthcare endangers the well-being of millions of women.
Our bodies are not a political game. They are not something to be debated over. They are not understood by the white male legislators that push for these laws. They are certainly not anyone’s business but our own. We deserve the right to healthcare, the right to feel safe in our bodies, and the right to choose for ourselves like any man. If you’re a woman and you aren’t angry about this, get angry, get nasty, get fired up and get ready to fight for your rights. Call your local legislature. Learn about laws being enacted in your state. Volunteer at your local Planned Parenthood or women’s health clinic. Be an advocate for your sisters. This isn’t a fight for abortion. This is a fight for free choice, for the right to health, for womanhood. We need you. Every one of you.