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Abortion Opinion Piece

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Back to Article

Abortion Opinion Piece

courtesy of Lorie Shaull

courtesy of Lorie Shaull

courtesy of Lorie Shaull

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Abortions have been highly debated for years. And, with President Donald Trump in office and talk of defunding Planned Parenthood, tensions on the issue are running higher than ever.

I believe abortions should continue to be legal and Planned Parenthood should continue to be funded by the government in order to best provide the fundamental services needed most by women across the United States.

Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 case legalizing abortion, made fetal viability an important legal concept. The Supreme Court ruled that states cannot put the interests of a fetus ahead of the interests of the pregnant woman until the fetus is “viable.” The court accepted the conventional medical wisdom that a fetus became viable at the start of the last third of a pregnancy, the third trimester. Because the point of viability varied, the court ruled it could only be determined case by case, and by the woman’s doctor. Even if the fetus was viable, the court said states could not outlaw an abortion “if the woman’s life or health was at stake.” Most people that are “pro-life” believe that abortions hurt the fetus or consider them human as soon as the embryo starts developing. But from a legal standpoint, the fetus is not a person until they can support themselves by breathing outside of the mother’s womb. Technically, this is crucial when it comes to wanting to take away a woman’s abortion right because until the last trimester, the baby is considered part of her body and not a separate entity.

Abortions being legal also leads to decreased crime. If laws are in place in order for society to be more civilized and protect people from harm, then decreased crime should be a major reason for the government maintain abortions legality. According to The Quarterly Journal of Economics, “legalized abortion has contributed signiŽcantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly eighteen years after abortion legalization. The states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.” This evidence shows that, when women are able to control their own bodies, it is best for the whole community.

The last reason for this is that continuing to keep abortions legal and funding Planned Parenthood is essential to keeping citizens of our nation healthy and safe. When women have access to safe abortions, it prevents unsafe ones which can lead to death. Abortions are going to happen whether it remains legal or not, but keeping it legalized makes sure that we can control and limit them so communities can remain safe. According to the World Health Organization, “19 million unsafe abortions take place each year (approximately one in ten pregnancies).Almost all unsafe abortions occur in developing countries.” This clearly demonstrates that if we don’t allow safe abortions in the U.S., citizens will turn to alternative methods like undeveloped countries where it is illegal, which will lead to even more deaths.

At the end of the day, laws are made to protect citizens, not harm them, and keeping abortions legal and continuing to fund Planned Parenthood is the best route. We have to continue protecting women’s rights to make sure that we don’t regress as a nation.

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Abortion Opinion Piece