Abortion in the US

Abortion in the US

Sonali Blair & Maeve Downs, Journalists

Abortion is a heavily debated topic at the moment in regards to the upcoming election and the current questions over bans in some states. This controversial topic has created a range of passionate outcries from U.S. citizens. 

The court case that decided it all, Roe v. Wade (1973),  legally decreed that pregnant women had the liberty in choosing abortion, a major success in the protection of women’s rights. However, Roe v. Wade made–in a sense–life more difficult for women who were intending have an abortion, for this sudden relevance of the topic sparked social changes that consequentially aligned reproductive rights with a political party, although early political attachment to the topic began in the late 1800s. According to CNN, “Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion across the United States, states have enacted more than 1,074 laws to limit access to the procedure, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive rights organization. More than a quarter of these laws passed between 2010 and 2015.” This was a problem that not only was relevant in politics pretty recently and has been sudden interest ever since the highlight of this topic. This, unfortunately, meant that many states–like in the above quote– in the U.S. have attempted or have passed laws in regards to banning abortion in their state. This soon became the pro-choice or pro-life debate, where religion also took a role in this daunting dispute. Alabama, in this total chaos, additionally attempted to put into effect the full ban of abortion in May of this year, advocating “to overturn Roe v. Wade” (Buzzfeed News). 

This spark in a sudden ban of total abortion in Alabama “inspired” other states–Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and recently, Louisiana–to also attempt to pass certain laws in regards to the ban of abortion, adding on to this separation in the U.S. that has been prevalent since the 2016 presidential election. This controversy–mentioned throughout this whole article–highlights the fact that grown men are/were deciding the extent to which women could treat their bodies. This resulted in many strikes and walkouts due to not only the potential ban of abortion but to the obstruction of women’s rights and liberty. Worst of it all is that the true colors of society have been revealed through the dispute, where sexism and lack of women’s rights is still a prevalent problem in U.S. culture. Although people are now only recognizing the extremes and absurdity of these bans–such as Judge Myron Thompson, an Alabama U.S. district court judge ruling the ban of total abortion in Alabama–at least it is being recognized. The need to highlight this unjust system of men deciding what women can and cannot do with their bodies is crucial and has been recognized recently, thanks to people like Judge Myron Thompson. 

It’s odd that this country is reversing in such a way. When Roe v. Wade was issued, the case was delegated as a constitutional matter; it had been decided, 50 years ago, that tampering with a pregnant woman’s birth-rights was a violation of privacy. Recently, it appears that particular modern-day politicians are struggling to grasp that women can make their own decisions for their own bodies. Those who think that abortion is morally wrong should not be in the center of judgment, however, when there is an attempt to prohibit others from making a life-altering decision, based on your own ethics or religious views, it becomes unjust. It’s surprising at this point in time, that society has made an issue of this stature a priority in American politics.

 “Pro-choice and pro-life activists live in different worlds, and the scope of their lives, as both adults and children, fortifies them in their belief that their own views on abortion are the more correct, the more moral, and more reasonable. When added to this is the fact that should ‘the other side’ win, one group of women will see the very real devaluation of their lives and life resources, it is not surprising that the abortion debate has generated so much heat and so little light.”

From Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (1984)