With a Republican-controlled Senate and White House, coupled with a Conservative majority holding the seats on the Supreme Court, it should come as no surprise that abortion has become a hot button issue among Americans in this pre-election election cycle. Adding fuel to the fire, New York state recently passed a controversial bill that will give patients access to a more diverse set of options when considering terminating their pregnancies.
Having been brought up in the Catholic faith and subsequently spending 15 years in Catholic education, the abortion argument has always existed in my ethos. And now that such a major decision has been made in the realm of reproductive health, I'm finding that both as a New Yorker and a pro-choice advocate, the argument is virtually inescapable.
To clue you in case you didn't have the patience to sit through the 200-some odd line bill, in the state of New York, where previously no abortions were legal after the 24th week of pregnancy, the law now states that in the event the fetus shows no signs of fetal viability (likelihood the fetus will survive outside of the uterus) or the birthing process will threaten the life of the mother, then the pregnancy can be legally terminated after the 24-week mark.
To those who hold the belief that a child has a right to life at the moment of conception, the passing of this law is immoral and qualifies as murder. To those who hold the belief that a decision of that magnitude should be between a woman and her doctor and no one else, the passing of this bill gives women the peace of mind that their bodies are theirs to control.
In my experience discussing this topic, whether it be debates about the quality of life for children in the U.S. or ones that spiral into harsh conversations about the reality of the strength of our economy, these conversations have a tendency to leave no stone unturned.
I think what's to be said about that is that on both sides of the issue, there is incredible passion. Unlike so many other things that we debate as a culture, (ie: climate change, wealth inequality, firearms) there are very few facts to back up the arguments in an abortion debate.
You see, abortion is a debate not about right or wrong, but about one's own perceived sense of morality.
It is my belief that if a woman feels she is unequipped to handle the plethora of stress, financial hardships, and responsibilities of motherhood, she should have the option to terminate her pregnancy safely and privately. Those who believe this is immoral are entitled to their beliefs, but at the end of the day, trying to deny the option to women and in turn, creating a greater economic disparity between classes and an influx of children who cannot be provided for is in my own opinion far more immoral.
My option to hold those beliefs comes not from any facts I was ever presented with, but my understanding of what constituted as morality.
My real point in all of this is to say that of course, we are all entitled to believe in what we think is right when it comes to the topic of abortion. But what we really need to understand and embrace when it comes to this argument, is who you elect and the opinion of the majority will always determine the way our government operates.
So if you're angry, go vote-- and stop calling people baby killers.