On the morning of April 18, the SMU community woke up to a surprise: the lawn in front of Dallas Hall had been decorated with 2,000 wooden crosses to symbolize the number of abortions that take place in the United States every single day. In front of the crosses were picket signs in the ground that read various things like:
"There are 2,904 abortions per day in the USA"
"1 Cross = 1 Life Lost to Abortion Today."
More interestingly than that, though, were the signs that had clearly been added after the display was originally set up. Next to the crosses were signs made out computer paper and staples that read:
"Approximately 1,871 Women Are Raped Per Day."
After this occurrence, I felt the need to write this article for clarification's sake.
I am a Republican, and I am pro-choice.
Alongside each political party comes hundreds of silly stereotypes and assumptions associated with each (and we all know what assuming does).
Numerous times when people have found out that I'm a Republican, I've gotten comments about how I "don't care about other people's struggles." Then, when people find out that I'm pro-choice, they ask questions such as, "How can you support killing babies?"
Seriously people? I swear, there's never any winning when it comes to politics.
I'm here to tell you, yes YOU, that, although I bleed red and proudly boast my Republican elephant everywhere I go, I whole-heartedly believe in women's rights and the right of each and every individual to make the best decision for them and their lives. I'm not going to get into the science behind the matter (aka whether or not it's a baby or a fetus or a Smurf), but I am going to get into many other points that help me back-up my beliefs and claims.
Worldwide, there are 62.8 million children who face starvation each and every day.
In 2014, in the United States alone, 702,000 children fell victims to maltreatment, including, but not limited to neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse.
In 2014, there were 415,129 children placed in foster care.
Right now, 15.3 million children live in a place where they cannot consistently access food.
And you're telling me that a woman who lacks the support, whether it be physical, financial or emotional, should bring yet another child into this world that cannot be loved and cared for?
To me, the mere thought seems ludicrous.
Here are more facts to take into consideration:
1,871 women are raped each day.
32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.
Approximately 5,000 women die each year due to unsafe abortions.
Although all of the above are very good reasons to be pro-choice, there's really only one reason that really matters:
It's a woman's decision.
Simply put, a woman has the basic right to do what she pleases in regards to her own body. No politician, lawmaker, man, woman, burger-flipper or even doctor should have the right to tell a woman "NO" when it concerns her physical/emotional/mental well-being.
As said in a thread entitled "Should Men Have A Say In Abortion?”:
“Telling a woman she cannot abort a fetus because another person wants it and is entitled to it is like telling another person they have to give you one of their kidneys because it will save your life and you're entitled to live. Bodily autonomy states you have the right to say what happens to YOUR OWN body... Even if you're already dead! Meaning, if you are not marked an 'organ donor' on your drivers license when you die, they cannot just take your organs, even if it saves ten lives.
A fetus needs a woman's body to grow and survive, it does not have a RIGHT to her body, it's there by permission. If a woman denies that permission, then that is completely within her right, even if the fetus's potential life is forfeit. Just like I cannot demand someone's kidney, even if it would save my life. I have no right to their body, but should they be held accountable for my death if they tell me no?"