The pro-life rebuttal to this column can be found here.
Pro-choice and pro-life are huge topics of discussion in the United States, especially here in Fort Collins among college students. I am personally on the side of pro-choice. I think that sometimes individuals see those who are pro-choice as also being pro-abortion, and that’s not necessarily true. Some people just believe that women deserve a choice and that abortion is a personal decision, not a legal debate.
This past week, the House voted to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. An article from The Hill that discussed the vote said, “The House on Friday voted along party lines to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood after weeks of escalating tension surrounding its use of fetal tissue. In a 241-187 vote, nearly all Republicans and two Democrats approved legislation that would block Planned Parenthood’s federal funding for one year, giving time for Congress to fully investigate claims of wrongdoing by the provider.” The closing of Planned Parenthood will result in saving $235 million in a decade, but it will also result in thousands of unplanned births. Another disturbing thing about de-funding Planned Parenthood is that the federal government doesn’t even fund the abortion part of Planned Parenthood — the usage of federal dollars for abortion has been illegal since 1976. They are taking away the resources that compliment abortion procedures that are privately funded from donors and fee dollars.
This is not just the mere saving of money, but the removal of a health entity that has not only helped support victims of rape, incest, sexually transmitted diseases and other life-threatening illnesses that occur during pregnancy. Taking Planned Parenthood away exposes women to potential emotional and general health challenges, especially because many women look to Planned Parenthood for health-care services that otherwise they wouldn’t be unable to afford. This risk is not only unhealthy for these women but also for a potential child growing inside. It also puts an entire demographic of women in danger of having no way of receiving health-care treatment or counseling.
It also takes away community resources from people who have suffered from traumatic experiences and may not have access to another form of care. I don’t believe that the government should have a say in the choices women make with their bodies. I do feel like they should have a say in the legality of it, like ensuring that the women are well-informed about the decision, risks and ultimate end result of undergoing an abortion by the healthcare professionals and protection for women who do choose to have an abortion to make sure that doctors and nurses are following ethical procedures to cater to the woman’s well-being.
Taking away that choice by cutting off funding to the institution is detrimental to society on so many levels because now women are giving birth to unwanted and unloved children who might have to live in household where their presence isn’t appreciated or enjoyed from the very beginning. Why make a child endure that life anyway? Our adoption systems here are not always promising, and we can’t guarantee that every child will be adopted into a loving family. The de-funding of Planned Parenthood also makes women more vulnerable to emotional trauma, making them emotionally and mentally unsound because of a possible assault or abuse that led them to this situation. Taking away their sense of power and choice to abort, or even just eliminating the availability of counseling at Planned Parenthood after a damaging experience could really harm women as a whole.
Here at CSU, I have been a part of many sexual assault discussions and one thing that is always brought up is that if a friend tells you about that kind of experience, you need to always offer support and resources that could help them, but never make the decision for them for what the next step should look like because it takes away their sense of power and control over their lives. I think this idea can be the same when applied to pro-choice — when you take away the power to choose within an important decision that must be made, it puts women in a helpless state of mind, which is not only unsafe for them, but for their environments and surrounding community as a whole.
The pro-choice mindset allows women to determine what’s best for them. Pro-life is allowing someone else to say, “I know what’s best for you.” The right to reproduce is a human right, and society shouldn’t be able to regulate or control the use of a woman’s uterus. It’s her body, and because of that, she should be able to choose what she does with it. Furthermore, in the words of Anais Nin, “Motherhood is a vocation like any other. It should be freely chosen, not imposed upon woman.”
Some women aren’t ready or really just don’t want to be forced into motherhood, and others have been put in a compromising position where the unfortunate occurrence of rape or incest leaves them wanting no trace of the devastating incident. A woman knows what is best for her, and if a woman wants further counseling and professional advice, that is why there are resources like Planned Parenthood, who assist in exploring options. Don’t make the decision for individuals who can make it for themselves.
Collegian Columnist Chynna Fayne can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ChynnaFayne.