9 May 2010
The Double-Edged Sword
Abortion is probably the touchiest subject I could ever possibly dream up. It is so touchy in fact that I, Brittany Liebenow, will go out of my way to avoid talking about it. I believe that what makes abortion such a sensitive topic is that there is not an obviously correct answer. If someone were to ask me today if I would get an abortion, I would say probably not. I personally am not a huge fan of abortions, but that does not mean I want to take the option away from other people. As a feminist, I believe that a woman should have the right to decide what happens to her body. I also do not like the government making life-changing decisions for me. Abortion is also such a situation-sensitive topic. Because of these foundational reasons, I believe in legal abortion.
I say right now that I probably would not get an abortion, but that doesn’t mean my opinions wouldn’t change in the right situation. For instance, I believe that women who are raped should, even if all other abortion rights are suspended, have the right to an abortion. If I were raped and became pregnant, I would want that option. And to be honest, I would probably exercise my right to have that abortion.
Whenever anyone brings up abortion, the first ideas that run through my mind are those of women who have been raped. Those women did not choose to have sex with their rapists. Unlike people who get drunk at parties and make unfortunate decisions as a result, rape victims did not choose to put themselves at risk for pregnancy. I believe in overall fairness, so I believe that women who have been deprived of such a life-altering choice and who have had all power and control over their bodies taken from them should have the right to make the next life-changing choice they might be subjected to: abortion or no abortion.
If the right for a rape victim to reclaim power over her fate does not move you enough, then maybe some careful consideration of the possible consequences of depriving someone of a right to an abortion will. After puberty a girl can have a baby. Imagine a 12-year-old girl who happens to be an early bloomer walking back from school. Out of nowhere that girl is kidnapped and raped. Because she has reached puberty, this girl can become pregnant. At 12 years of age this girl and her parents have just found out that she is indeed pregnant. This traumatized girl, without abortion, will now be subjected to a plethora of health risks and an unimaginable amount of psychological damage combined with serious psychological and physical trauma from the rape. In situations such as these, I believe that it is in the best interest of the rape victim, and everyone else involved, if the girl has the right to an abortion.
My previous example also brings several issues with abortion to light. A woman should be given the right to choose. A woman should not be forced to make that choice. Also, I believe that abortion should only be used in situations where it is really necessary, such as rape or in potentially life-threatening situations. I do not support abortions because of sexism. A historically common decision in China is to abort baby girls due to China’s one child policy. I do not agree with that at all. Abortion should be for women, not against women.