A Woman’s Right to Kill

BY_54MUnited States citizens have always prided themselves in the freedom provided by the government. The Declaration of Independence vaguely states that the people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. In 1973, the Supreme Court, whose job is to interpret the Constitution in order to define and uphold American’s rights, decided women have the right to safe and legal abortions in Roe vs. Wade. This landmark case arose out of Texas where law required abortion to only be performed to save the mother’s life. The court’s ruling ended with “Americans’ right to privacy included the right of a woman to decide whether to have children, and the right of a woman and her doctor to make that decision without state interference”.

 

Once again, Texas is fervently fighting the practice. Forty years after Roe vs. Wade and in the midst of the “Obama Administration’s oft-demonstrated commitment to expansion of abortion”, the issue is being readdressed in Whole Woman’s Health v. Lakey. The Texas House Bill 2 (HB2) attempts to increase safety for the mother by adding requirements for abortion clinics and to diminish the baby’s pain by requiring the abortion to take place before the fetus is capable of feeling.

 

General map illustrating abortion-service clinics before and after HB2

General map illustrating abortion-service clinics before and after HB2

HB2 requires the location of the abortion be within 30 miles of a hospital that “provides obstetrical or gynecological health care services”. This, apparently, “is an affront to women’s dignity, endangering their health, well-being, and lives”, however, those in favor of the bill would argue that it provides further protection for women. Whole Woman’s Health thinks the bill “endangers” women because “many women will suddenly face a round trip as far as 1,000 miles from their homes to obtain abortion care in Texas”, so they would result to unsafe and illegal abortions. Prior to conception of the child, women are capable of accessing information that will show them where to obtain an abortion. If these women are too lazy to drive “1,000 miles” (roundtrip), for an optimally safe abortion, then they take the matter too lightly and should not put themselves in the position to get pregnant.

 

The second main point of HB2, that Whole Woman’s Health completely ignores, is to reduce the aborted baby’s pain. According to the bill, the unborn baby can feel pain at 20 weeks. Because of this, abortions must occur before the 20-week mark unless the mother’s life is endangered or the child has severe fetal abnormalities. This time requirement is stated as reasonable because “the woman has adequate time to decide whether to have an abortion”. The previous clause

Pie graph shows that ~1% of abortions are performed after 20 weeks after contraception. Therefore ~1% of women in Texas would have to seek earlier termination of the baby.

Pie graph shows that ~1% of abortions are performed after 20 weeks after contraception. Therefore ~1% of women in Texas would have to seek earlier termination of the baby.

is the only portion of the bill placing responsibility on the mother, who, after all, is completely responsible for her situation (except in the case of rape).

 

This feeble action by Texas Republicans has received extensive backlash by abortion supporters because they “maintain that it’s politically motivated”. Yes, of course it is politically motivated. In general, Republicans are pro-life, so politicians are going to rule against abortion because, like their supporters, they do not agree with abortion. Apparently the goal of politicians is to be reelected or to get their party reelected, so they are going to act in accordance with the state’s majority. But, political motivation is not a bad thing… Without it, the people would not be represented by the politicians’ actions.

 

Reasons, stated by previous mothers, why they got an abortion. Shows that 1% aborted the baby due to rape. Therefore the other 99% are responsible.

Reasons, stated by previous mothers, why they got an abortion. Shows that 1% aborted the baby due to rape. Therefore the other 99% are responsible.

In my opinion, HB2 is an attempt by republicans to increase the gravity by which people view abortion by emphasizing the baby’s point of view and the need for nearby emergency aid. Abortion is becoming an increasingly nonchalant occurrence. Pro-choice supporters think inconveniencing women will result in more harm than good. I think women need to take responsibility for their actions and realize that abortion is serious. Mothers do not think the abortion will go wrong, just as they did not think they would be a mother, but if complications do occur, they will be thankful for the conveniently located hospital that provides gynecological care within 30 miles. The Constitution tells the government that its goal is to protect the people because it is the people’s right. Providing safer abortions is, in no way, violating any Constitutional right; instead, it is upholding the right of the people because they know that if they are to seek out an abortion, it will be safe. If the mother is not willing to protect the baby’s life, she can at least protect her own.

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