It’s beyond time for women’s issues to stop being attacked and politicized to the extremes. As the Supreme Court seems to lean on the side of upholding Mississippi’s restrictive 15-week abortion ban, the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned seems increasingly probable.
There has been a longstanding war against women, and it all seems to be coming to a head right now. At its core, state and national governments are trying to dictate control over people’s bodies, taking away one’s right to personal choice.
Anti-abortion extremists are selfishly putting their own opinions and values over the bodily autonomy that everyone rightfully deserves. Taking that choice away is cruel, unjust and painfully misogynistic.
The decision on whether or not to have an abortion should be left up to one person and one person only, that person being the pregnant individual.
Sure, everyone else can have their opinions, including partners, family members and healthcare professionals. However, there is something terrifying about the prospect of a law forcing people into carrying out a pregnancy and taking away any kind of choice in the matter.
To put it in terms that may appeal more to these extremists, consider the COVID-19 vaccine or any other inoculation. There are many reasons why someone may or may not receive the COVID vaccine, and the decision ultimately comes down to the individual considering the matter for themself.
However, one major distinction between abortion and vaccination is that an abortion affects only the person getting the procedure, while a vaccination — or a lack of one — will affect everyone around the individual.
If someone does not get the vaccine and contracts COVID-19, they then risk endangering every person they come into contact with, especially if that person is also choosing not to wear a mask. If someone chooses to get an abortion, that has no effect on the people around them.
So if people are putting up a fight against getting a vaccine, which will put others’ lives at risk, how can they then take away the choice of getting an abortion from those who need it?
What so many of these abortion bans seem to overlook is that sometimes, an abortion is in the pregnant person’s best interest, possibly for a multitude of reasons. According to a 2013 study, people terminate their pregnancies for financial reasons, partner-related issues, timing and health.
In some instances, the birth of a child may be detrimental to their health, or even the child’s health. Perhaps they don’t have the capabilities to care for themself during pregnancy or for the child after birth; maybe the person who impregnated them is abusive, a rapist or someone who is related to them. Or maybe they just do not want to have a child.
Any and all of these reasons, and reasons unlisted, are valid reasons to terminate a pregnancy. A pregnant individual must put their own health and wellbeing before everything else. If they cannot or do not want a child, then there should be nothing stopping them from having an abortion, especially not a law banning it from happening and criminalizing it entirely.