The Case for Pro-Choice Abortion
The issue of abortion has been one of controversy in countries across the globe. Some countries like, Australia and China, allow abortion for any reason more than 15 weeks of pregnancy; some countries, like Brazil and Sudan, don’t allow abortion for any reasons1.
Those who don’t allow abortions are often Christian and Muslim nations. They use interpretations from the Bible and Quran in order to form and regulate their societies. I am an Ethiopian American woman, who identifies as Christian Orthodox—one of the oldest Christian denominations to exist. I am also of the belief pregnant people should have the right to abortions. My arguments are as follows:
- Men continually make legislations about women and their bodies, and in most countries where abortion is outlawed, men make up the majority of their governing bodies2. Taking away the right to abortion is one more way in which the autonomy of women and their power are taken from them.
- Those against abortion consider a fetus a child, even though it cannot survive outside the mother’s womb. They focus on its potential to live, but if we are to consider potential to live as being the same as living, then it could be argued that masturbation should also be outlawed since it’s discarding of millions of sperms which have potential to mate with an egg and create a child. But in no country is that a law. When it comes to male body autonomy, they are given priority.
- If people and governments are really pro-life, they would help support the child after birth. Instead, women are forced to have children and then lack any support system in terms of healthcare, welfare, schooling, etc. Most women decide to have abortions because they don’t have the resources to support the coming child; anti-abortion laws do not fix that. There are over 2.7 million children in foster care and adoption agencies3, and over 300 million in extreme poverty4; how could we still be focusing on bringing more unwanted children to this world?
- In cases of assault and rape, it’s inhumane to force a girl or woman to birth their rapist’s child. Not only is it emotional and physically traumatizing for the mother, it also creates an environment for the child where they might be neglected or abused. However, even in cases of unplanned pregnancies or unprotected sex, children should not be born to parents as punishment for their actions. They should be wanted and loved, cared and provided for.
- If abortion is not legalized, wealthy people will still have access to it. It is poor women who will bear the brunt of the worst affects, including back alleyway abortions which have high mortality rates5.
The case for pro-choice is not support for widespread abortions. It is instead the case for contraceptive and sex education so it doesn’t have to come to these difficult decisions. It is the case for governmental and welfare systems for families to allow them more flexible options. But most of all, it is the case to treat women as full citizens with rights, to let them make decisions about their bodies, their future, and their livelihood.
- The Center for Reproductive Rights. “The World’s Abortion Laws.” 2022, https://reproductiverights.org/maps/worlds-abortion-laws/
- Inter-Parliamentary Union. "Percentage of women in national parliaments". ipu.org. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
- Nicole Petrowski, Claudia Cappa, Peter Gross. “Estimating the number of children in formal alternative care: Challenges and results, Child Abuse & Neglect.” Science Direct, volume 70, 2017, pg 388-398, ISSN 0145-2134, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.11.026.
- “Child Poverty.” UNICEF, 2020.
- Guttmacher Institute. “New Report Highlights Worldwide Variations in Abortion Incidence and Safety.” Mar 2018, https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2018/new-report-highlights-worldwide-variations-abortion-incidence-and-safety