What does it mean to “be alive”? Does it mean you’re outside, walking around, and actually experiencing the world? Or does it mean you have a heartbeat in your mom’s tummy? Some people want to argue for the life of an unborn child, which is justified. However, it is crucial for abortions to remain available for those who need them. Babies are incredibly expensive and time consuming, and a mother cannot be forced to alter her entire life to accommodate for all these sudden changes. Women can decide their own life choices for themselves, they don’t need laws to tell them what’s best for their baby.
This concept of women choosing, not being told, what to do with themselves is crucial. Abortion rights are a huge indicator of women empowerment. Who are politicians to decide whether or not a woman has to keep her baby? It’s an individual woman, so it should be an expression of individual freedom. People can decide for themselves what they need based on personal circumstances, they can’t have the government telling them to what they can and cannot do with their body.
A common argument of pro-life supporters is that the fetus is living, and therefore abortion is murder. Yes, this thinking is justified in some ways. But I think there is a significant difference between “living” and being “alive”. Living is bare minimum, just performing basic necessities needed to survive. But being alive means moving around, using their 5 senses, developing a personality, interacting with other humans, and overall being outside and brought into this world. Fetuses do not do these things, so I believe that abortion is not a form of murder. If the child had been brought into the world and experienced life on its own, then it would be different. But since an unborn child has not yet been outside its mother’s stomach, abortion is different from murder.
Just like anything illegal, such as murder, people will still find ways to do it. Making abortions illegal will lead to women taking unsafe measures to get rid of their baby, risking their lives to make the right choice for themselves. Abortions are still going to happen, just in sketchy cars in abandoned parking lots rather than safe, accessible clinics. Not to mention, the USA has a significant foster care issue, and it’s getting worse every day. If abortions were more accessible, foster care would not be such a pressing issue.
There is a motto by Henry David Thoreau that goes, “That government is best which governs the least.” I support this motto when it comes to abortion, because I believe that women should have every right to their personal reproductive choices. The United States of America is recognized for it’s peoples freedom to do what they choose, and pursuing a life they can create for themselves. But if women are forced into keeping a child they truly cannot handle, it contradicts each of these vital values. Women can choose to make the best decision for themselves when it comes to their baby, and they don’t need the government to decide for them.
graphic by: Jared Rose-Kim