With the controversy hovering around abortion, it has been a widely known debate between pro-life and pro-choice advocates. Those who are pro-choice deem a woman has a right to decide what to do with her body. “Her body, her choice” is what many supporters say. On the other hand, there is an equal keen resistance that killing an unborn fetus is an immoral and unjustly murder in the first degree. In this ongoing nationwide debate, there continues to be a growing question between what is humane and what is inhumane. In “Why America’s Abortion Rate Might Be Higher Than It Appears”, Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz states that “the number of abortions performed in American clinics was lower in 2017 than in any year since abortion became legal nationwide in 1973” (2019). This statistic does not include the hidden number of women who are undergoing abortions privately and/or purchasing abortion pills illegally. Because of the incorrect number of abortions performed, the abortion rate is unclear and hidden from the public. There is no telling how higher the percentages are essentially with these “invisible” abortions (Miller & Sanger-Katz, 2019). The reason being for these “invisible” abortions are due to abortion laws being stricter and/or banned in certain states. Pregnant women who want to undertake abortions without consulting professional help or risk criminal charges are forced to purchase effective pills online or go across the border to purchase (Miller & Sanger-Katz, 2019). This shows that because of firmer abortion laws, women are jeopardizing their lives to take extra measures in obtaining an abortion that can be destructive and detrimental to both their mental and physical health.
The landscape for pregnant women who are lacking access to clinics and private abortions have been transformed by the black market. Abortion pills are tougher to regulate than in-clinic abortions because they can be simply concealed and dispatched therefore pregnant women can use them effectively at home and fake a spontaneous miscarriage (Miller & Sanger-Katz, 2019). Pro-life groups are disturbed by this idea because of the “possibility of increasing the overall abortion rate over time” due to this effective technology provided for substance self-abortions (Miller & Sanger-Katz, 2019). Pro-life supporters also bring up the issue of the side-effects on these abortion pills. “The current abortion pill regimen, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, involves two medications. The first, mifepristone, blocks pregnancy-enabling hormones. The second, misoprostol, causes uterine contractions” (Miller & Sanger-Katz, 2019). The first pill is closely monitored and only dispensed by a certified doctor in abortion clinics whereas the second pill is easier to access. “A small percentage of women developed bleeding or infections that required follow-up medical care” however, Dr. Abigail R. A. Aiken of the University of Texas at Austin states in her research that mail-order pills were just as harmless and efficient as the current pill regimen performed in doctor’s offices (Miller & Sanger-Katz, 2019).
People who are in lower classes are more likely to purchase these mail-in pills or perform other at-home abortions than those who have easier and affordable access to in-clinics abortions. Because some states have a tighter monitor on abortion and its laws, some people have no other choice than to travel far to the nearest clinic (Miller & Sanger-Katz, 2019). As a pro-choice supporter, I believe abortions should be made more affordable especially for women in lower classes. Because of their limited finance, they are also more likely to get pregnant than others who have easier access to planned parenthoods for contraceptives. It is unfair for those women to be pushed into the margins and neglected when they are in need the most. This is why many abortions are hidden and performed outside of clinics due to their inability to obtain abortion safely by certified doctors in clinics.
Women should be allowed to not have children, have children, and/or parent the children one has. I believe in the saying “her body, her choice.” If a women chooses to not have or have a children, it shouldn’t be another’s person choice in making that decision but her own. Women should have the ability to control their reproductive lives and exercise those rights. Abortion is an impacting issue that concerns people’s reproductive lives therefore it should be a more delicate matter that people can partake without the fear of being unsafe in communities. Communities should ensure people who are willing to, to create self-determined reproductive lives and to parent the child/children one has in safe, healthy, and supportive environments and in all areas of their lives.
Abortion has been an ongoing contentious national debate for many years. The main two groups opposing each other are the pro-life and pro-choice supporters. While pro-life advocates for the fetus, pro-choice advocates for the women. However, I believe that reproductive justice should be given to those women to power their reproductive lives. Not only should women be given the ultimate choice in choosing to or not to carry their pregnancy to term, they should be given so in protected surroundings. No women should be divided from the mainstream agenda. True reproductive freedom should include the human right to abortion, living wage, universal health care, and decriminalization. It should be reproductive justice, not just rights.
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