The Truth About Being Pro-Choice

The Truth About Being Pro-Choice

Let's define choice.

In the past few weeks, America has witnessed the inauguration of it's 45th President, Donald Trump. We have also witnessed the largest demonstration for women's rights, all over the world. We witnessed one of the largest March for Life demonstrations. We have been witnessing a great divide. A divide which has angered thousands, and a divide which no one seems to fully understand.

As of now, abortion is legal in most states, up to a certain point in the pregnancy.

Abortion is regulated on a state by state basis.

Today, our chosen rhetoric for support of abortion is called "Pro-Choice", and the disagreement of it is called "Pro-Life".

Here is the reality of this situation:

Abortion is treated far too flippantly by the general public. Abortion is, to some, a viable option, and to others, it is not. The right to this choice, should not be overlooked. In the recent days, the Women's March on Washington has received pushback from a number of groups claiming that they were shunned from the demonstration of women's rights, (which is not limited to abortion) because they were pro-life. An anti-abortion group were present and received hate from the women's march because of their group's ideology. This is unfair. There is a widely accept ideology in this country that if you stand for women's rights, you must also stand for and support abortion. This is not always the case.

You cannot be pro-choice while excluding one of the choices.

Abortion is not something to be treated lightly, as it has lasting physical and mental effects on a woman's body. Abortion can lower your ability to become pregnant again, increase your risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, and cause drug-induced complications, or even death. (I urge you to read this article to understand the risks.)

The Women's March on Washington was widely received as a march based on women's rights, and despite abortion being one of the main topics, it was still an overall march supporting women in the world and their rights to healthcare, equal pay, etc. Abortion is a topic which is, unfortunately, a political discussion because much of Planned Parenthood's (and other institutions like it) funding comes from taxpayers. This makes it part of the government's agenda, as they regulate who and how much pay comes from taxes from the American public. Therefore, unless Planned Parenthood and its sister institutions become private, the government will continue to talk about it. If you want to support abortion, push for Planned Parenthood to become a privately funded institution. Otherwise, people will continue to be upset that their state taxes are going towards something they may not believe in.

I am personally pro-choice. However, I recognize that not everyone will believe that abortion is safe or the right option for them. It is important to understand that pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion - it means giving the woman the right to chose what to do with her own pregnancy. Women should not be shamed for being for or against abortion. You are not in her head, you do not know her situation, and you are in no position to judge her.

You cannot be pro-choice while excluding one of the choices.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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To Fix Taxes, We Have To Rethink 'Wealthy'

"Wealthy" doesn't mean the same for everyone.


When discussing taxes today, so many politicians are quick to rush to the adage "tax the rich." Bernie Sanders has called for the rich to be taxed higher to pay for Medicare for All. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for a 70% tax on the wealthy.

However, all of these proposals are missing a key thing: a true definition of rich.

When thinking about what counts as rich, it is important to distinguish between the "working wealthy" and the "investment wealthy."

The working wealthy are the people in society that get paid highly because they have a high skill set and provide an extremely valuable service that they deserve just compensation for. This class is made up of professionals like lawyers, doctors, and CEOs. In addition, the working wealthy are characterized by another crucial aspect: over a long term calculation of their earned income over time, they don't come out as prosperous as their annual incomes would seem to suggest. This is because this set of the wealthy has to plunge into student debt for degrees that take years to acquire. These jobs generally also require a huge amount of time invested in lower-paying positions, apprenticeships, and internships before the big-money starts coming in.

On the other hand, the investment wealthy is completely different. These are the people that merely sit back and manipulate money without truly contributing to anything in society. A vast majority of this class is born into money and they use investments into stocks and bonds as well as tax loopholes to generate their money without actually contributing much to society as a whole.

What makes the investment wealthy so different from the working wealthy is their ability to use manipulative techniques to avoid paying taxes. While the working wealthy are rich, they do not have AS many resources or connections to manipulate tax laws the way that the investment wealthy can. The investment wealthy has access to overseas banking accounts to wash money though. The investment wealthy can afford lawyers to comb over tax laws and find loopholes for ridiculous prices. This is tax evasion that the working wealthy simply does not have access to.

That is why it is so incredibly important to make sure that we distinguish between the two when discussing tax policy. When we use blanket statements like "tax the rich," we forget the real reasons that the investment wealthy are able to pay such low taxes now. Imposing a larger marginal tax rate will only give them more incentive to move around taxes while squeezing the working wealthy even more.

Because of this, in our taxation discourse, we need to focus first on making sure people pay their taxes, to begin with. Things like a tax of Wall Street speculation, capital gains taxes, a closing of loopholes, and a simplification of the tax code. These things will have a marked improvement in making sure that the investment wealthy actually pays the taxes we already expect of them now. If we stick to the same message, the only thing we will be changing is the rate that the uber-wealthy are avoiding.

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