Abortion Access Should Never Be Based On Whether You Were Raped
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Politics and Activism

Abortion Access Should Never Be Based On Whether You Were Raped

With all of the abortion restrictions emerging out of this legislative session, it is important to remind people that a person's access to safe, legal abortion shouldn't hinge on whether or not they have been victims of rape or incest.

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Abortion Access Should Never Be Based On Whether You Were Raped
Pixabay

For the past four months, anti-choice legislators have been on fire in states like Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, and my own state, Missouri. If you're following the news at all, I'm sure you've heard all about these "heartbeat" bills that are limiting access to abortion across the country.

And while we could debate the ethicality of abortion all day long, there is one critical point that is being overlooked. And while this may not be the most popular opinion, it needs to be said.

You do not need to be raped in order to "deserve" the right to seek an abortion. You do not need to be a victim of incest to have the right to seek an abortion.

The right to seek an abortion is a human right that is protected by The Constitution. The only qualification that is needed for an abortion to be sought is by being a person who is experiencing pregnancy who does not wish to carry that pregnancy to term.

The abortion issue, although black and white to some, is an issue that is nothing less than a million shades of grey. A shade of grey for every person who has ever had and will have an abortion.

Because every individual is different. Every situation is different. Each has its own complicated combination of things that factor into why abortion is the best solution.

I cannot tell you how many "pro-life" people who I have met who have maintained that abortion is only acceptable if a person is raped or a victim of incest.

And while I'm glad that we agree that an eleven-year-old shouldn't have to carry her rapists baby to term, a person shouldn't have to go through something as traumatic as sexual assault is to exercise their right to basic bodily autonomy.

And while we may fundamentally disagree on whether abortion is morally sound, people must begin to understand that right to have an abortion exists regardless of what your personal or religious convictions on the issue are.

At the end of the day, your personal beliefs are exactly that: personal beliefs. And truthfully, it doesn't matter if you understand why someone would ever get an abortion.

It doesn't matter if you think that abortion is one of humanity's greatest sins. It doesn't matter if you think that a fertilized zygote is equal to a toddler. Abortion is a necessary part of reproductive healthcare regardless of your personal opinions.

I cannot tell you how many pro-choice people who I have met who dislike abortion just as much as the old white men on the far right. The difference between those two perspectives is the ability to view abortion as a complex issue that is full of nuance.

If you want to see abortion rates drop, emphasize the use of contraceptives and comprehensive sexual education. Through organizations like Planned Parenthood who do far more to lower abortion rates than anti-choice activists do.

Abortion will never go away. Even if it's highly criminalized because all that criminalizing abortion does is hurt people who are experiencing pregnancy. People will seek out abortions regardless of whether it's legal or not.

They will seek out abortions regardless of whether they were raped or a victim of incest. We have to stop viewing these people as "the other", as immoral for simply seeking out something that is an aspect of healthcare. One in four people will have an abortion in their life.

The people who choose to have an abortion are normal people. They are teachers and churchgoers and legislators and mothers and people just like you and I. People who just had slightly different circumstances. We have to view all people who get abortions as exactly that, people.

People who, regardless of their abortion status, are whole and worthy of love, validation, and acceptance. Whatever your personal stance is on abortion, people have a constitutional right to seek abortion regardless of how they got pregnant.

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