A thirteen-year-old girl is raped, causing her to become pregnant. She’s scared, angry, and confused. She’s denied an abortion, with people claiming it’s the murder of an unborn child, but she is a child herself – a living, breathing child. Why must she have to suffer the consequences of somebody else's actions?    

The pro-choice and pro-life debate has clouded the world for centuries. Should women be allowed the right to an abortion, or should it be left up to the mercy of the law? According to 80.4% of polled students who attended Quince Orchard High School last year, abortion is the woman’s choice. Many claim that because it is her body, it should be her choice, with one anonymous student stating, “Pregnancy is a part of the woman’s body, it should be up to the woman herself if she wants to keep the baby or not.” As a 16-year-old junior student in a mainly Democrat-leaning state, the decision of whether or not I can obtain an abortion should be a choice left for me to decide.

When an 11-year-old girl was raped by a 26-year-old rapist in Ohio on multiple occasions, she became pregnant with her rapist’s child. In a bill introduced and passed  by Ohio representatives back in 2019, after a fetal heartbeat is found (around 5-6 weeks into the pregnancy, when most women don’t even know they are pregnant), they can no longer get an abortion — no exceptions. This means that if Ohio’s “heartbeat bill” had already been passed during the 11-year-old girl’s pregnancy, she would not be allowed to abort the fetus left by her perpetrator. Although this may not have affected her during her circumstance, it can and would impact hundreds of other women who want to get abortions. 

In a New York Times article written by K.K. Rebecca Lai, the reader is informed of the several states moving towards placing harsh restrictions on abortion, with Alabama legislators eariler that month voting (May 2019), “to ban abortions in nearly all cases.” When taking a deeper look into what Alabama’s legislature is made up of, you can discover that it is almost entirely white, Republican men. Why are a group of men making decisions of what a woman is allowed to do with her body? Since when did the female body lay under the jurisdiction of a man? 

Many tend to claim that abortion is murder, which gives reason to why it should be banned. They say anything and everything should be given the chance at life, no matter the means that stand behind it. But would banning and restricting abortion really help this cause, or would it lead to more unsafe and extremely dangerous self-given abortions? According to the US National Library of Medicine, some 68,000 women die of of unsafe abortion annually, making it one of the leading causes maternal morality (13%). These numbers can be expected to rise drastically if the push to restrict abortion increases. Banning abortion altogether doesn’t mean it will cease, it only means that women would have to perform it by themselves instead of getting it done by a professional. Now, the woman is in danger of injuring herself due to a law stripping her of a choice. 

Abortion isn’t a privilege, it is a right. Every woman should be given a choice on what she can do with her body, no matter the circumstances. Abortion can be a terrifying and devastating thing for a woman, which is why they need all the support and love they can receive. If you want to help ensure these women get the best care they need, I urge you to donate to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, who is committed to protecting abortion rights and the women who need them.

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