Two Perspectives on Abortion: Pro-Choice


Abbey F (Year 12)

I want to preface this article by saying that this is not written with the intent to persuade your opinion, put down others, or criminalise those with differing opinions. This is simply written to encourage deeper thinking and provoke discussion.  


I know what you’re probably thinking, great another teenage girl with some opinion on abortion, and you’d be right. The discussion of ‘pro-choice vs. pro-life’ has become increasingly prominent in our media after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Before we get into the thoughts and opinions part, I thought I should brief you all on what this case is about.  

 In simple terms, Roe v. Wade is a US Supreme Court Case where it was decided that the US Constitution protects a pregnant person’s right to have an abortion; an abortion being a safe medical procedure performed by trained medical professionals. I also want to include that the information in this article is based on the US as this is the epicentre of the issue.  

 In the US it currently costs $14,700 for a ‘natural delivery’ and $26,300 for a caesarean. This cost is roughly 47- 84% of the average income for a person in the US ($31,133). We also must consider that currently in the United States, they do not have access to universal healthcare. This is an out-of-pocket payment for those without health insurance. So, this brings forth the financial concerns of having a child. How can a mother be expected to care for her child with 16% of her annual income? This includes bills, food, nappies, clothes, and any other necessities she would need to pay for to comfortably care for not only her child but herself.  

 Now that we have that covered, let’s investigate the idea of bodily autonomy. This is a fundamental argument for ‘Pro-choice’ advocates. It involves the idea that all people, male or female, should have to right to decide what they do with their bodies. If a woman decides to keep the pregnancy, awesome, good luck to her. However, if a woman decides she cannot, for whatever reason, continue with the pregnancy, she should have the right to not only make the choice to terminate but should be provided with the appropriate resources to do so. Some will say, well if she’s been sleeping around and falls pregnant, she doesn’t deserve the right to have an abortion. To that I say, it is not your concern. What a woman does, says, or thinks should not be used against her as a reason to stick her with the emotional, financial, and physical burden of an unwanted child. Now, this is not to say all children are burdens, all accidents are unwanted, or anything along those lines. For some, a surprise pregnancy is a gift and a blessing. For others, it is something that could ruin their lives. But at the end of the day, the decision should be up to the woman.  

 Another issue I have found with pro-life activists is that they have an understanding that all life is important, every pregnancy is a blessing, and the life of the foetus should come first. However, from a physiological side, no, not all pregnancies are viable, not all pregnancies are blessings, and in many circumstances, the life of the mother should come before the life of the child. If we consider Judaism, for example, a foetus only attains the status of a person after birth. Whereas others believe, life begins at conception, or when there is a heartbeat, or brain function. And all of these are quite frankly personal opinions and preferences.  

 The prominent issue facing women across the globe is the criminalisation of abortion. In some US states receiving or providing an abortion is punishable by imprisonment. Medical professionals can have their licences stripped from them and will be forced to cease providing healthcare for anyone. The issue that I take with the decision to overturn Roe. V Wade is that the Supreme Court justices who made the decision were majority men above the age of 50 who consider themselves to be conservative, who most likely have no lived experience with deciding on whether to keep a pregnancy. The decision affects tens of millions of women in America. 15 states have full bans on abortions, some with no exceptions for rape or incest. Meaning if it is not possible to travel to another state to undergo an abortion, women will be forced to carry and give birth to their relative or rapist’s baby.  

 The last thing I would like for you all to consider is that no matter what your opinion is, we should all refrain from criminalising those of both sides. Abortion should be considered healthcare. It is safe and justifiable. It should be provided as an option for everyone no matter their circumstances, walk of life, needs, or wants. Removing abortion creates unfathomable repercussions for so many women across the world. Banning safe abortion does not remove abortion completely. It simply makes it less safe and practical to obtain one if needed or wanted. If you don’t agree with abortion, don’t get one. Do not remove it for those who need it. To put my argument simply, women deserve the right to choose.