Across the Aisle: Abortion. Opinion Piece by Loren Valdez



Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signing a bill that bans most abortion in the state on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager, Alabama Governor’s Office)

Loren Valdez, Writer

From 1880s to 1973, the action of abortion was criminalized in the US. However, this prohibition did not stop the practice of back-alley abortion. In this period, there were 1.2 million abortions each year, causing hundreds of thousands of women to die from unsanitary medical practices and unsafe conditions. Then in 1973, the precedent of Roe v. Wade was established. This court decision declared women had the right to privacy to get an abortion under the fourteenth amendment in the U.S. Constitution. From that moment on, women could have access to safe practices and conditions. However, anti-abortion groups have increased their fight to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Abortion is a heart-breaking, life-altering decision; no woman is excited or thrilled to get one. Any reason- whether rape, incest, harm to the woman’s life, harm to the fetus’s life, mental illness, economic instability, or just not ready- a woman decides is her constitutional right. But, unfortunately, states are pushing to take away women’s rights. As a girl, I am scared. My sister is scared. All of my friends are scared. We are scared that our bodies are under legislation. Our bodily autonomy is under the jurisdiction of men in positions of powers with set agendas. I’m terrified that even though I can vote next year, I am still seen as property for men. My future is in the hands of men that has never had a period, never had to worry about being abandoned by the man who impregnated them, never been seen as just baby carriers, never has had to worry about the 23.1% of being sexually assaulted in college, or never will be able to carry a child. As Rachel Green said “No uterus, no opinion.” I cannot help but wonder why men are the deciding factor in the war on our reproductive rights.

The battle between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice is baffling. These Pro-Lifers want to ban abortions, yet typically do not want to pay for welfare programs and will not adopt unwanted children. These Pro-Lifers claim to want the betterment and growth of all life, but do not want universal healthcare and immigration to be safe and easy. This is what is confusing. They seem to only care about the life of unborn children, of cells, not the millions in poverty, unable to get healthcare, or unable to leave their war-torn country for a better life. It seems to me that these Pro-Lifers are not in fact pro life; they are pro control. Pro oppression of women to be more precise. Also, there is a stigma with Pro-Choice. Pro-Choice is not at all pro-abortion. You can disagree with abortion but still be Pro-Choice. Pro-Choice is about allowing every woman the right to do whatever they want with their bodies; whether or not you agree with their decision.

The law that Alabama passed is the most restrictive anti-abortion law ever passed in the US. It outlaws abortions even in rape and incest pregnancies, and it states that any woman that had an abortion can get up to 99 years in prison. These 99 years are more than rapists could get. This law accelerates the oppression of women, strips away our constitutional right, and will lead to more back-alley abortions and the loss of thousands of women’s lives. This law is a terrifying testament that women are still not considered equal.

To all: I understand that you all have your personal opinions, religious beliefs, and emotions. I ask you to set aside your personal beliefs and opinions, and consider others’ situations and lives. I ask you to be open-minded and respect others’ bodily autonomy.


Editor’s Note: All opinions expressed in this essay are those of the author’s, and do not express the official opinion of St. Thomas Episcopal or the St. Thomas Episcopal Turf Newspaper.