15 Reasons To Be Pro-Choice

15 Reasons To Be Pro-Choice

Reproductive rights are basic human rights, too.
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I distinctly remember my first encounter with the topic of abortion. In all honesty, I found the entire act to be morally depraved. My naive and immature thought process mirrored the typical pro-life rhetoric, defining abortion as a murderous act that could only be ethically reasonable under extenuating circumstances. Then again, like most 14-year-olds, I lacked the ability to approach a debatable topic from all possible angles. Thankfully, my mother immediately explained the paramount issues with my lacking argument. From then on, and with the additional help of my own research, I have strongly strongly identified as pro-choice.

1. I am pro-choice because a pregnancy should never be mandatory

Actively denying a woman of her right to choose is a reprehensible and violent attempt to control her body. In 2008, approximately 41 percent of all pregnancies were reported as unintentional. In other words, some 85,362,000 pregnancies were unplanned. The choices of these 85 million women remain their own. There are boundless reasons as to why a woman may not be capable of carrying a fetus, should not carry a fetus, or simply does not want to carry a fetus. These reasons, however, should not matter.

Which life has more intrinsic value, and who has the right to decide? The fetus of a pregnancy that very well may kill a woman with preeclampsia, a fetus resulting from a rape, or the fetus of a woman who is unable to afford prenatal care? And what about the woman? Regardless of her reason to abort, denying a woman of that personal choice would effectively deny her of the most basic human liberties.

2. I am pro-choice because sex is a natural aspect of human life

Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Like all sexually reproductive organisms, humans are naturally inclined to reproduce. Also like many sexually reproductive species, humans frequently have sex for enjoyment. Humans are biologically and emotionally inclined to be sexual, and to punish humans for acting as such would negate our nature. This is not to say that everyone should just go out and have sex with each other; rather, sex should not be considered a sacrilegious act that warrants castigation.

3. I am pro-choice because contraception is frequently unavailable

Since 1980, women have faced a 61 percent decrease in funding for the Title X program, which supports low-cost family planning services. Socially-charged issues including the inaccurate persecution of Planned Parenthood, supreme court cases such as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and state-enacted refusal clauses have all contributed to the declining availability of contraception. Ironically, those who are attacking contraception providers are also attacking abortion providers. Without contraception, the need for abortion will logically increase at exponential rates.

4. I am pro-choice because bodily autonomy is a basic human right

Let me repeat it: A woman is an autonomous being, and bodily autonomy is a basic human right. A fetus, which is biologically dependent on the mother for sustenance, has yet to acquire bodily autonomy as it cannot self-govern due to this dependence. A fetus is not it's own being.

A frequent counterargument to the claim of bodily autonomy revolves around the concept of fetal harm. In other words, a pro-life argument may fall along the lines of “what if the woman does something harmful to the fetus, such as smoking or drinking, thus impacting it’s life after birth?” If a woman intends on bringing child into the world, then she has accepted the responsibility to protect that fetus. That being said, a woman who has no intention to carry a pregnancy to term is not under the same obligation.

An additional counter argument worth noting considers the issue of life support. If a fetus has yet to earn bodily autonomy due to the factor of dependence, does a person on life-sustaining support lack autonomy as well? What this argument fails to consider through such a comparison is the pivotal issue of sustenance. While the person on life support requires other people to provide care, this person does not depend on a physical connection to receive that sustenance. A fetus, in comparison, requires a physical attachment to the mother within the womb to survive until birth. A fetus is a body, but it is not a physically, biologically independent body.

5. I am pro-choice because I support the mental health and well-being of women

Pregnancy is not a purely physical experience; both emotional and mental health are significantly altered during gestation. Globally, around 10 percent of pregnant women and 13 percent of postpartum women experience some form of mental disorder, primarily manifesting as depression. Additionally, there are various prescription psychiatric medications that have harmful or unknown effects during pregnancy. Some of these medications include Xanax (alprazolam), Celexa (citalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine), Adderall, Diazepam, and many more.

6. I am pro-choice because it is time for men to stop dictating the actions of women

It is truly simple. If a person does not have the female reproductive organs required to become pregnant, then it is not their place to preach about the morality of pregnancy and choice. Men have no place to control the reproductive rights of women. If you are a man who disapproves of abortion, you can do your part by not impregnating women. In a country where the legislating body of our government is primarily composed of men, it is unjust to limit the reproductive rights of the underrepresented women.

7. I am pro-choice because pregnancy and childbirth is a massive financial undertaking

Unintended pregnancy rates among women below the federal poverty level are five times greater than those at the highest income level. The cost of pregnancy, partially depending on method of delivery, can range anywhere from $3,000 to $71,000.

In 2008, approximately 33 percent of women obtaining abortions lacked health insurance, while 31 percent were covered by Medicaid. For the uninsured, the average cost of pregnancy ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. This is a 50 percent increase between the years of 2004 and 2010. Forcing a financially insecure woman to carry out a pregnancy can wreak havoc on both the woman and the child.

8. I am pro-choice because there are too many orphaned children in the world

In the name of “saving babies,” anti-choice protestors are often inclined to make empty promises to “adopt your child” and “support you through your pregnancy.” Despite their pleas and vows, they are effectively neglecting the 102,000 adoption eligible, already-born U.S. children in the foster care system, and the 13 million parentless children throughout the world.

9. I am pro-choice because a woman’s sexual, health, and reproductive choices are none of my business

10. I am pro-choice because teenage pregnancy is still incredibly prevalent

Although teenage pregnancy has been gradually declining, it still exists in substantial numbers. In 2010, approximately 625,000 pregnancies occurred among those younger than 20 years in the US. In regards to mental, emotional, and physical/developmental health, children are not meant to have children of their own. Ideally, the adolescent stage of life should focus on a solid education, an exploration of interests, and an evolving comprehension of responsibility. When pregnancy is introduced into the equation, the immature individual is forced to take on a mature role in life.

11. I am pro-choice because the US still lacks quality sex-education

It is no secret that abstinence-only education is ineffective. Logically, adolescents who receive well-rounded sex education are 60 percent less likely to become pregnant/impregnate someone as opposed to those who receive no sex education. Despite this, only 13 states require that the information presented in sex education is factual, and nearly 25 percent of teenagers receive no information about birth control from parents or teachers in any form.

12. I am pro-choice because I support freedom of religion

A pressing issue with many pro-life advocates is the prevalence of a religious argument. In the United States, freedom of religion includes the protection of and protection from religion. This means that an individual’s religious beliefs have no authority over another individual’s actions. One person’s God, morals, and religious beliefs are not the universal standards that all people must live by.

13. I am pro-choice because illegal and unsafe abortions should never be the last resort

Approximately 20 million unsafe abortions occur annually and globally, resulting in some 68,000 maternal deaths and 5 million women with chronic health complications. Logically, the instances of unsafe abortions are much more frequent in abortion-restrictive countries (23 per 1000 women) as opposed to less restrictive countries (two per 1000 women). Abortions will always occur regardless of legal status, and thus it is truly a matter of protecting the health of women.

14. I am pro-choice because abortion is not equivalent to murder

No one is denying that a fetus is a living being. Anything composed of cells is, by definition, alive. A fetus is alive, just like the leaves hanging from a tree, the yeast we use to bake bread, and the cows we slaughter to consume as food. These are all living beings. The fact that a fetus may or may not have a beating heart, developing neurological structures, identifiable digits, or any other human quality does not equate abortion to murder. All embryonic organisms resemble a developed version of said organism. Additionally, a fetus does not have the mature, necessary neuroanatomical system required to feel pain until 26 weeks gestation. Not to mention, pain is a subjective experience and requires mindful development. That said, it is important to note that the vast majority (89 percent, to be exact) of abortions occur within the first 12 weeks of gestation.

15. I am pro-choice because I support the empowerment and advancement of women

Cover Image Credit: Mary Lunsford

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Revival Of The Coal Industry Is Unattainable

Clean beautiful coal will never be a reality. President Trump's backing of a declining industry is misguided and will have despairing environmental impacts.

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The coal industry and its workers were placed at the forefront of American politics during the 2016 election cycle. President Trump promised a revival of the coal industry and promised to secure the jobs of coal country. The President, halfway through his first term, has so far taken measures to do just that. Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, threw out Obama's Clean Power Plan, and did away with an Obama-era regulation that would prevent coal ash from entering streams and other bodies of water.

On one hand, it's quite extraordinary for a politician to do good on his campaign promises. On the other hand, is anyone considering whether or not the President is putting all his eggs into the wrong basket? Coal has been on the decline for about a decade now. Even without environmental regulations, the energy produced by coal is expected to reduce by 20% by 2030. Renewable energy such as wind and solar are replacing coal.


For an election campaign, it's easy to see why a candidate would align with coal. States like West Virginia and Pennsylvania are key when running a national campaign. The votes are there in those counties that support the coal industry. They will vote for any candidate who sides with their industry. But from an environmental standpoint, there's more on the line than just an election. It's about our clean air and water. Climate change is real and the effects of coal will only accelerate the process.

Coal ash that finds its way into water streams can damage that water supply for good. It could also impact the wildlife within the area. Coal also pollutes the air we breathe. Clean coal is a myth. Plain and simple. Coal is anything but clean. Clean coal sounds good in a stump speech, but we all know it's a fallacy.

Mountaintop mining also has a deep environmental impact. The Appalachian mountains have been destroyed from surface mining. West Virginia residents hold their beautiful mountains in high regard. Now, some of them look very different and the destruction is permanent. If the mining continues, the mountains of the Appalachia region will be gone. It would be a shame if you went to West Virginia to admire their mountains, and none were left.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt passed the American Antiquities Act of 1906. Roosevelt protected 230 million acres of land during his presidency. Roosevelt understood the importance of conservation and preserving our nation's natural beauty. The same natural beauty that God envisioned. We should not take that for granted. We should restore our mountains, forests, and lakes so that our children's children can reside in the richness of our natural environment.

President Roosevelt also ended the coal strike in 1902. The United States was much more dependent on coal in the 20th century than it is now. Roosevelt knew the coal strike had to be resolved because the cold winter would have been fatal. The change of the Republican party over a century later is quite intriguing to ponder. The party went from a strong conservationist in Roosevelt to Trump, who is willing to move mountains for a dying industry.

All of these facts surrounding the coal debate cannot be ignored. The rest of the western world will move on to new forms of renewable energy. While the United States will be stuck in neutral, reviving coal. Renewable energy should be strongly considered if we are to protect our water, air, and lands.

Disclaimer: I understand the risks coal miners make when they show up for work. I know that safety regulations are not always up to par and that coal mining is a very dangerous profession. I also understand the viewpoint of coal miners and their reasoning for disagreeing with me. I know they want to work and provide for their families. That's what we all want to do. As I write this, I wish not to offend coal miners, I only aim to critique the President and his policies about the coal industry.

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