Here's Why I'm Pro-Choice

Disclaimer: If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine! I respect your opinion and ask that you respect mine. If you want to disagree with me or anyone else, please discuss this issue with sensitivity and consideration, as both parties have valid points and deserve to have their say.

Abortion was never really at the forefront of my mind until the recent election. I knew how I felt, but I never stopped to consider that other people might have a drastically different opinion than my own. At least not until I started reading articles, stories, and legislation dictating what is legal and what is immoral. I decided to write this article knowing that it would be a difficult subject. I understand that both sides have valid arguments, but I’m here to explain why I’m Pro-Choice.

1. First off, let’s define Pro-Choice.

Pro-choice fights for a woman’s right to decide what happens to her own body, including abortion. I stress this because people seem to believe I am pro-abortion. I’m not. There are very few reasons I would ever get an abortion, all involving medical emergencies or complications. However, I believe that every woman has the right to decide this for herself and for her fetus.

 

2. Maybe it’s better for the child.

There are currently 2.5 million children suffering homelessness in the Unites States; that’s every 1 in 30 children. Not only is this an awfully high number, but it’s getting larger (1). If there are 2.5 million children living out in the streets in the U.S. alone, why would we be fighting to bring more children into a world where care is not guaranteed? Maybe the mother cannot afford to care for her child. Maybe if she gives birth, that child will be put into foster care, where they can be separated from their siblings and never find a permanent home (read more statistics on foster care here). Maybe they will be put into group homes and suffer the abuse and neglect that so many foster kids report (2). Is this what we want for our children? Let’s take care of those in our world now rather than force the birth of kids that might not receive the love and support they deserve.

 

3. Maybe it’s not selfish.

Women don’t always utilize abortions as a backup plan; there is almost always a more complicated reason. Society tends to think of these women, but what about the other reasons? This survey found that 12% of women had an abortion due to a physical problem with her health, and 13% of women had physical problems that affected the health of the fetus (3). While this is not a particularly large number, it’s still significant. Why would we ban something that is helping 12% of women and 13% of fetuses? I understand that abortion should not be used as a contraceptive other than as a last resort, but it is sometimes necessary to save a mother or a fetus from a life of pain and medical problems. I was particularly touched by Gretchen Voss’s story of her late term abortion (story here). When I first read an article like this, I was heartbroken. Here is a woman who wanted a baby so bad, but used her last parenting decision to spare her child from a lifetime of suffering. She did not want to lose her baby, but she felt as if she had no choice as a mother. So while you’re stereotyping the typical person who uses abortion as a lazy, thoughtless woman, remember that there are women who were desperate to make the right decision.

 

4. Banning abortions = banning safe abortions.

In the U.S., women still have the opportunity to receive a safe abortion. This is not the case for all women worldwide. Every year, about 42 million women choose abortion. Nearly half of these are unsafe (20 million). An average of 68,000 women die of unsafe abortion annually, while 5 million of the survivors will suffer long-term health complications (4). 97% of these unsafe abortions are in the developing nations, but what will happen if we ban abortion in the U.S.? If we ban abortions, we are only banning safe abortions. Abortion will never cease to exist because women will always face the social stigma of unintended pregnancy. It is imperative that women have the ability to receive a safe abortion so they can avoid health complications or even death.

 

It’s easy to consider the statistics and what’s widely accepted as “moral”; but this topic becomes all too real when we realize that these are real women with real problems. I would urge you to consider what you might do if this was you, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I think you might be surprised in what you find.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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