Why Abortion Is NOT A Political Discussion

Why Abortion Is NOT A Political Discussion

It is not the right of a government to tell anyone what they may do with their body.
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In this year's election, the primary presidential candidates have been asked some pretty tough questions about everything from how to fix America's crippling debt, gun rights, the presence of terrorism, and on. One of the most controversial topics, and arguably the one the current candidates disagree most on, is abortion.

It's unclear when exactly abortion came to be a thing in history, but it is a practice widely used among many countries and societies. The first documented abortions in the United States may have been happening well before the 1880's, but by that time most states had banned the practice except in the case of the woman's life being threatened. Fast forward into a new century and a couple decades to the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which stated that the 14th Amendment included that a woman had the right to chose whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. This is obviously good news. It also seems like pretty common sense to me that of course, the right to chose should be a law. However, despite the Roe v. Wade decision being made in 1973, abortion and a woman's right to chose is still a topic of discussion. Why?

Abortion is a very tricky, very tense subject for most people. It's important that in this particular topic, everyone understand both sides of the argument. Regardless of political or religious affiliation, it's important to open up a dialogue about the varying views on the subject. My real question here however, is: why is abortion a political discussion? Shouldn't it be a personal decision? A decision solely made between a woman and her family? Why should it be a politicians right to chose what a woman does with her body, her family, and her life?

If you're reading this and thinking that because of your religious affiliation abortion is wrong, that's 100% okay. However, I do encourage you to really think about whether or not it's your right or responsibility to make a decision for another person. In terms of a woman's safety, abortion is a lot like gun control - people will always find a way to do it. So why not make it safe? Why not have qualified, compassionate doctors to make sure that everything goes just the way it should?

We are all endowed with certain unalienable rights as humans that should not be subject by any government to be taken away, but instead enforced. It is not the right of a government to tell anyone what they may do with their body. Therefore, abortion is not a political discussion, but a personal one.

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To That One Friend Who Deserves The World

Since I can't give you the world, I hope giving you this article is enough.
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My wonderful friend,

You deserve love.

You deserve to marry your best friend.

You deserve appreciation.

You deserve that no matter who comes in and out of your life, every selfless thing you do for someone is acknowledged.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You deserve kindness.

You deserve to have the nicest people in the world surround you all of the time.

You deserve support.

You deserve to have someone there for you at the beginning of every good day and at the end of every bad one, to have someone who wants to fix all of your problems.

You deserve hope.

You deserve to always be optimistic.

You deserve laughter.

You deserve to never stop smiling and actually mean it every time you do.

You deserve forgiveness.

You deserve to be able to be given second chances because without a doubt you are worth it.

You deserve friendship.

You deserve to have a friend who can be just as good of a friend as you are.

You deserve honesty.

You deserve to always be told the truth.

You deserve motivation.

You deserve to never want to give up and always push yourself.

You deserve success.

You deserve to have everything you have worked so hard for.

You deserve faith.

You deserve to always know it will get better.

You deserve loyalty.

You deserve to have that one person who will never leave and always be there for you.

You deserve happiness.

You deserve to be genuinely content with your life.

You deserve the world.

If I could give it to you, I would.

Yes, life gets tough sometimes. The unthinkable happens and your world feels like it is crashing down but you can get past all of this.

Thank you for being so selfless. It amazes me how you do it sometimes, but thank you for always making everyone your main priority when they need you.

I know I may not say it enough, but truly thank you for all you do for me. I don’t always know how to show how much someone means to me, especially when it is someone as great as you because I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but thank you.

I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Liz Spence

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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