Men don’t have uteruses— it’s a known fact. So why do they think they should be allowed to make all the decisions about what goes on inside of one? You got me. This is the question I struggle with whenever I discuss abortion.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is still of the utmost importance in discussions of present day abortion cases. According to the court’s ruling, a woman’s right to have an abortion is protected under the 14th amendment.
However, it appears we’re sliding backwards, as the Defund Planned Parenthood Act was passed by the House in January. While the bill still has a ways to go from becoming law, we’re terrifyingly close to reversing the hard-earned progress made since Roe vs. Wade. Now, with a presidential election upon us, everyone’s been sharing their two cents on abortion rights.
Bernie Sanders believes that defunding Planned Parenthood would send the rights of women back decades. As president, Sanders would not cut Planned Parenthood funding. According to his website, he would protect initiatives that protect women’s health, the availability of contraception, and the availability of safe and legal abortions.
Hillary Clinton’s stance on abortion includes allowing the decision to be made by a woman, her family, her faith, and the counsel of her doctor. Clinton vows to stand up to Republicans who want to defund Planned Parenthood.
Donald Trump has an anti-abortion standpoint except in situations involving rape, incest, or circumstances that put the mother’s life in danger. Although anti-abortion, Trump has commented that Planned Parenthood has done wonderful things for women suffering from cancer.
But don’t applaud just yet, as Trump had some shocking words to share on abortion last week. During an MSNBC town hall, Trump said he believes that there should be some form of punishment for women who have abortions (if they are not legal). He later released a contradictory statement, which states that he is “pro-life with exceptions.”
So where does that leave the rest of us? As a college woman, I believe that abortion should be available to all those who seek it, and that all women should have the ability to choose that option. I strongly believe that men should not be allowed to make all the decisions regarding a reproductive organ that they do not have. It’s a frustrating notion, especially since many people are so passionate about their standpoints.
You see, there’s something that we all have called “bodily autonomy.” This means that we have the right to control our bodies in whichever way we choose. As women, we have the right to choose whether we would like to keep a baby or not. Those who are anti-abortion may insist that unborn fetuses are people and therefore have bodily autonomy (which is an argument I’m not even going to get into, but read this if you’re curious), but that still doesn’t mean that a fetus has the right to be supported by a body that does not want to support it.
It’s also important to remember that no matter what side you’re on, no one is jumping for joy at the thought of abortions. Having an abortion can be a difficult or emotional choice, but that doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t have that choice at all.
Only you know what is right for your body and your life. Regardless of what side of the issue you stand on, do not ever let anyone bully you into a life-changing choice that should be yours to make. If you’d like to consider a partner or family member’s opinion, have at it, but know that the choice ultimately lies within you.