ConklinHonors U.S. History 2- Period C12 December 2017Restrictions on Abortion are Unfair and Unjust For so many years abortion has been one of the most controversial topics in the media, politics and society due to people’s strong feelings on both sides. Today the fight still continues with many people arguing for rights on abortion because recently the White House signed a bill placing restrictions on the procedure. The sensitive subject has been pushed aside because of controversy, but now it is time to face the facts; restrictions on abortion is not only unjust but also takes away women’s rights to her own body. Women should decide when they want to have children, a fetus is not more important than a woman’s life and the government should not be restricting women who are a victim of rape or incest from getting an abortion.
One of the first times the heated topic was brought up in court was the prominent case Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Norma McCorvey, a woman from Texas who had an unwanted pregnancy wanted an abortion, due to her low income, but was not granted one due to the abortion law in Texas.
The law said that abortion was not legal unless the person’s life was being threatened and McCorvey’s life was not. McCorvey met with a woman named Linda Coffee who was well known for fighting for women’s rights in Dallas. Coffee worked with another woman Sarah Weddington to challenge Texas’s abortion laws in court. After Coffee and Weddington fought the case the court decided under the fourteenth amendment that it was unconstitutional to restrict a woman from having an abortion during the first trimester. The Court decided that it was violating a woman’s privacy by preventing her from the right to an abortion. Unfortunately this resulted in larger regulations on the second and third trimester.
Although The Court sided with Coffee and Weddington their decision still proves that in the time of this case and today the State Government is able to determine whether or not a woman has a right to an abortion. Today the fight over abortion is still going on in America and throughout the world. One side of the movement is known as “Pro Choice” which is fighting for less restrictions on abortion.
A Pro Choice activist firmly believes that every woman should be able to decide “if, when, how and with whom to start or grow a family. Reproductive freedom is the essential right of everyone to plan their futures and control their destinies” (Pro Choice America). If a woman is impregnated by rape or incest it is not fair to force her to have this child. Everyday this child would be a reminder of the struggles she was forced to go through so it would be hard to love that child. In addition to that, a woman should be able to speak for herself and decide whether or not she is ready to change her life and raise a child.When abortion is threatened it is not only taking away the right to have an abortion, but women’s rights in general. Pro Choice does not stand alone in this battle, and fighting them is the well known movement “Pro Life”.
Pro Life is often supported by many who belong to the Catholic Church. One local supporter, Cate Gallagher is a teenager from Arlington Massachusetts. According to Gallagher “When a baby is first conceived it is believed that is when God breathes the soul into the fetus.
” (Gallagher) This belief is supported in the Catholic Church and preached through religious education classes. Although many may believe this, it has never been proved that a fetus has a soul the moment it is conceived. Many people trust in this theory because religion is something so many people live their life by. When something is in the Bible or told by someone who preaches the Bible it is extremely influential on those who belong to that religion. Both sides of the movement are very strong in their beliefs and coming up with a solution is almost impossible to find. Unfortunately many people’s opinions are not only influenced by the Church but also by the voice of the government and today the view of the government is more supportive of the Pro Life movement.
On the third of October 2017, the White House passed a twenty week ban on abortion which would prevent an abortion after twenty weeks into pregnancy. This bill was passed on the assumption that a fetus of twenty weeks is able to feel pain. Although there is an exception to women who were a victim of rape or incest or whose life is in danger, the bill is punishing women who are struggling financially and are not able to provide for a family in the time being (Tatum CNN). Furthermore many decisions in the White House are made with alignment to the two parties and sadly the majority of the House is currently Republican and also mainly against rights for abortion. According to the Pro Choice website “Anti-choice politicians have enacted laws that prohibit insurers from including abortion coverage in their health plans”(Pro Choice America) This law would prevent women from being able to use health insurance to cover much of the abortion cost. Almost half of the abortions are wanted out of fear of being a single parent(How Many Women…
) which would result in failure for proper care of the child due to low income. Not being able to use health insurance on the procedure would keep many of these woman from being able to have an abortion. This not only punishes women who are low-income but also women who were a victim of rape as well as incest.
It is not fair to place these restrictions on women who have already suffered enough. They deserve the best treatment they can receive because their life that they have already been living has a larger impact on the world around them than an unborn child. The government should not be able to decide when a woman should have her child. Many woman who seek out an abortion are a victim of rape or of incest. A study in 1996 revealed that fifty percent of rape-related pregnancies went through with having an abortion (Rape-related Pregnancy…
). In spite of the fact that many states would allow an abortion in situations containing rape or incest a new law recently passed in Alabama stating “women must obtain permission from the man who impregnated them before they can have an abortion” (Katie Forster). Those who are a victim of rape or incest are not excluded from this law and still need to seek permission from their attackers on getting an abortion. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated that “Arkansas women cannot afford to lose further access.
They cannot afford to travel hundreds of miles to get to the nearest clinic. And they should not have to endure invasions of privacy and violations of their autonomy” (Forster) Arkansas had already had poor access to abortion and the state that has a population of roughly three millions had only four abortion clinics (Forster). Women in Arkansas also had to undergo “state directed counseling” (Forster) which would provide “information designed to discourage her from terminating the pregnancy” (Forster). This policy in Arkansas is extremely unfair because these women have already gone through enough.
Being a victim of rape or incest would be life ruining and being forced to care for a child that was never being planned on having would be excruciatingly painful. The women who had to suffer through rape would have to decide whether they would rather have a child that would be a daily reminder of the pain she went through or having to spend so much money on traveling to get an abortion and the actual procedure. Women who have been raped should be provided with the option to end the pregnancy if they want to. Forcing a woman to have a child that she does not want is unfair, unjust and invading her rights to privacy.
Although abortion has been a controversial subject due to the strong opinions on both sides it is only fair to let women make the best decisions for herself. By placing restrictions on abortion, restrictions are also being placed on women’s rights. These rights have been fought for hundreds of years and it is not fair to let the fight go on any longer. The largely controversial topic has been shaped by religion, government and society. A woman’s life and her happiness is more important than an unborn fetus. A woman should have the right to decide when she wants to start having a family and should not be forced to have an unwanted child.
By forcing a woman to have a child and placing restrictions on abortion the government is saying they do not trust women are making the right decisions for themselves. Work Cited Page”Abortion: Roe v. Wade.” American Decades, edited by Judith S. Baughman, et al., vol. 8: xxxxxxxxx1970-1979, Gale, 2001.
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1&id=GALE%7CCX3468302722&it=rxxxxxxxx&asid=ddc1ecf1f5999a4924daee36631a217d. Accessed 16 Nov. 2017.Contributors, HowStuffWorks.com. “How Many Women Who Have Abortions Are Single Parents?” xxxxxxxxHowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 6 Apr. 2011, xxxxxxxxhealth.
“Women Seeking Abortions in Arkansas Now Need Permission from Men.” The xxxxxxxxIndependent, Independent Digital News and Media, 11 July 2017, xxxxxxxxwww.independent.co.
uk/News/world/americas/women-arkansas-abortion-men-permission-mxxxxxxxxale-us-pro-choice-life-planned-parenthood-termination-a7834861.html.”Make an End-of-Year Gift to NARAL Pro-Choice America!” ActBlue, xxxxxxxxwww.prochoiceamerica.
org/about/contact/.”Roe v. Wade Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Apr. 2017, xxxxxxxxwww.cnn.com/2013/11/04/us/roe-v-wade-fast-facts/index.
html.Tatum, Sophie. “House Passes Ban on Abortion after 20 Weeks.” CNN, Cable News Network, 3Oct. 2017 www.