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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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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The Modern Republican Party Has Lost Its Morals

The party of morals and values seems to have forgotten both of them.

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For years, the Republican party has hidden behind a facade of being the party of morality. They tried to justify their opinions of women's rights, gay rights, abortion, marijuana laws, transgender rights, and so many others based on the sham that they were the party that stood for morality and traditional values.

Where are those morals and values now?

I thought that the end of the Republican party's title of moral and values would end after a vast majority switched to Team Trump, even after they had completely renounced most of his more extreme views and pre-candidate actions during the campaign. How could a party claim be moral leaders when they support a man who not only holds such extremist, poorly thought out policy ideas that also has a bevy of incredibly immoral behavior in his past?

The Republican party claims they base their views off the 10 Commandments, but Trump has spent his entire life breaking every single one. Even Ted Cruz, a man I respected for not officially endorsing Trump and telling Republicans to "vote their conscience" at the RNC, was making calls to voters in favor of Trump on election night. After the party almost uniformly switched to supporting Trump, I did not think that the party could get any lower than that.


The face of a man who just realized that he will sell his soul for tax-cuts and the repeal of Obamacare img.washingtonpost.com

Boy, was I wrong?

While the party switching to supporting Trump seemed like a moral valley that Republicans could not come out of, I was pleasantly surprised by how much resistance certain parts of the party were willing to create to Trump's agenda. His more controversial candidates for cabinet positions were placed under actual scrutiny and his plans for health-care reform, tax cuts, and other staple Republican talking points were defeated thanks to the backlash from key Republican defectors. As I witnessed this, I was hopeful that the Alt-Right wing of Republicans were the real ones that were the problem and that the majority of Republicans would find the moral courage that they have prided themselves on for so long.

Then, Brett Kavanaugh came to town.



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I won't go into length here about the accusations against Kavanaugh or the truth behind his victim's story. In fact, it does not really matter if he is truly guilty or not. What does matter is how he reacted and how Republicans reacted. Before Dr. Ford even set foot on Capitol Hill, Senators like Mitch McConnell were already giving speeches about how they will get Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Then, Brett Kavanaugh is given the opportunity to plead his side of the incident to the committee. Instead of showing the temperament and critical thinking of a judge worthy of serving on the highest court in the land, Kavanaugh acted like a drunken frat boy angry that a woman could dare accuse him of such an act. And yet, the Republican party yielded their morality and voted him in.

The Republican party's morals have dropped so low that they are willing to push through a candidate with ill-temperament and sexual assault allegations just so that they can have a conservative on the court. The Republicans could have easily united to deny Kavanaugh and then have a more conservative, less controversial judge be confirmed, yet they were scared that the Democrats would hold off the confirmation until after the midterm elections where Democrats are expected to gain enough seats to actually upset Senate votes.

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan's pick for the Supreme Court Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his nomination because he had smoked marijuana in his teenage years. I suppose that this represents the moral abyss that Republicans have fallen into marijuana use is disqualifying from the Supreme Court, but sexual assault is not.

With the midterm elections coming up, it is incredibly important to make sure that you are registered to vote and that you go vote. This midterm election can finally be a wake-up call to the Republicans currently in power that we will stand for the moral bankruptcy no longer. No matter which way you vote, make sure to vote for your values. Whether you are supporting a Democrat, a dissenting Republican, or a third-party candidate, make sure to send the message loud and clear: the modern Republican party is no longer the party of morals and values.




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