Why women want abortions

Let's Stop Talking About Our Opinions On Abortion And Talk About These 7 Facts Instead

Here's some black-and-white facts upon which we can all agree.

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With all of the heat surrounding the new abortion laws, I can barely get on the internet without seeing far-left and far-right opinions all over my news feed. I read a lot of people's opinions who say, "Abortion is sometimes the only choice," and I also read opinions that say, "If you don't want to get pregnant, then don't have sex."

Though I understand the point trying to be made in that latter statement, I have a problem with it.

My brother flies planes, but that doesn't mean he wants to die in a plane crash if he forgets the fuel or the maintenance crew forgot to check the engine. I run on the treadmill, but I don't want to break my knee if I don't stretch properly or the machine malfunctions.

Even so, not all unwanted pregnancies are because of people making "irresponsible" decisions about sex.

Say there is an impoverished married couple, and say the wife works in construction. The wife gets pregnant. Now, she can no longer work to safely carry out her pregnancy, and her employer doesn't provide her with paid maternity leave. She can no longer help her husband with the bills, and they eventually get evicted from their house. The woman gives birth, and she, her husband, and the baby are now all homeless. She and the baby do not receive adequate healthcare or nourishment.

Are you going to tell this woman she should've "closed her legs" if she didn't want to have a baby? She had sex with her husband-- because that's what married people usually do-- but that doesn't mean she wasn't ready for motherhood.

Now, please do not interpret this as me saying she should've had an abortion. Instead, let me tell you some 100% fact-based reasons why she, and many other women, do feel like abortion is their only option. Then, maybe if these things are fixed, abortion won't even be such a highly prevalent issue.

1. A lot of young girls are shamed for getting pregnant.

Teenage girls who get pregnant are called "sluts" at school, kicked out of their houses, and get shunned by older ladies at church who turn their noses up at them. Often, people make assumptions about a pregnant girl when they have NO idea how she became pregnant. Rape? Incest? First time having sex? Defective protection?

Sadly, most of this judgment comes from the same people who are anti-abortion. As a Christian myself, I know that the Bible says having sex outside of marriage is a sin. At the same time, I know the number one thing Jesus told us to do was to show love to everyone. Judging others isn't exactly showing love--and Christians are some of the most judgmental people I know.

2. Many times, there are absent fathers.

Many times, fathers walk out on their pregnant girlfriends OR never even know they are fathers, leaving the woman to provide for the child alone (EVEN THOUGH the US has signed multiple agreements stating it is a HUMAN RIGHT to share EQUAL parental responsibility).

3. Paid maternity leave is not required.

Only four states and Washington, DC require paid maternity leave, meaning there are many single mothers that have 0 income when they take time off to birth a child. Also, women are often denied physical labor-intensive jobs because employers do not want to give them time off if they become pregnant.

4. Rape is a thing. So is incest.

I don't need to explain any further to make evident why this needs to change.

5. Birth control is a tough subject.

Women are often expected to be responsible for birth control, even though pregnancy is the result of a sperm fertilizing an egg, meaning a male sex cell is what causes pregnancy. Girls under 18 are usually on their parents' health insurance, meaning their parents have access to their medical records. If a girl wants to have practice safe sex and use birth control but is too scared for her parents to find out, then she has to pay for it herself.

6. Women are denied participation in pursuit of their goals.

There are schools, clubs, and other organizations that make all females sign contracts stating they will be terminated if they become pregnant. Usually, this line is accompanied by other "if" statements like "if you are ever convicted of a crime." Last time I checked, the miracle of life isn't exactly something I associate with drug deals and theft.

7. The foster care system can often be corrupt.

Some foster parents abuse and neglect children, take money from welfare and use it for themselves, and hide their dirty laundry when it comes time for inspections. Foster care has been called modern-day slavery.


Overall, my point here is, a baby is not the source of the problem. The problem comes from a society that causes women to feel like having an abortion is their safest option. I mean, I can see why legalizing abortion seems easier than eliminating a nation's widespread stigmas and discrimination ingrained into the culture. It's heartbreaking that a baby's life is brought into question because of grown-ups who don't know how to have empathy for and support women. If they did, it's likely abortion wouldn't even need to be discussed in the first place.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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