I’ve prided myself on watching all of the presidential debates this year, as well as the VP debate. However, last night during the debate, for the first time I had to take a break from watching it as I was extremely hard to watch Donald Trump use such hateful and misinformed rhetoric when discussing abortion.
What Donald Trump, and so many other Americans, fail to realize is that almost all of late-term abortions occur from a pregnancy that was wanted. Meaning this couple (or individual) wanted this child; wanted to provide for this child, wanted to love this child. Yet, due to health issues that arose (whether it be the fetus was already deceased or the women's health was at risk), this couple (or individual) had to terminate this pregnancy. When Donald Trump, and so many others, continue this misinformed rhetoric, they continue to shame those parents who so badly wanted a child, yet had to terminate the pregnancy due to no fault of their own.
Further, choosing to have an abortion is an intimate decision that should be between the person who is pregnant (and their partner, if there is a partner involved). No one should be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Let’s say someone is forced to carry a child to term regardless of the fact that they do not, or cannot (financially, emotionally, or otherwise) do so, they will have extremely short paid maternal leave (and no paternal leave). If they have to go on welfare to be able to provide for this child, they will be shamed for doing so.
And for those who always seem to cry that “adoption is always an option”, you’re right, it is. However, there’s currently 400,000 children in the United States foster care system. Of these children 60% will spend two to five years in foster care and 20% will spend over five years. More and more Americans are looking to adopt from overseas and even if someone wants to adopt a US child, they are more likely to choose a white child who is a baby or toddler. If these children don’t get adopted they face a 1 in 5 chance of being homeless, a 50% chance of being employed by age 24, 1 in 4 chance of PTSD, 71% of those with vaginas will become pregnant by age 21, and less than 3% will earn a college degree.
Donald Trump’s rhetoric continues to shame those who make one of the most intimate decisions they will ever make for their body, a decision that they should be allowed to make for themselves.
Millions of women face unplanned pregnancies every year. If you are deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy, you have a lot to think about. You have three options — abortion, adoption, and parenting.
**Note: I tried to use trans-inclusive language, as to not assume that everyone who is pregnant is someone who identifies as a woman.