The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Step Up.
The topic of abortion has been all over the news due to the new Alabama Human Life Protection Act that restricts many abortions. Tempers have been raising and all around, people have something to say about the bill. People are debating whether or not the bill will be good for the state or pose more problems. Alabama, however, is not the first state to have a drastic change in the abortion law. Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Louisiana have also changed their laws. They have all signed the Fetal Heartbeat Bill, which does not allow a woman to get an abortion after the heartbeat in a baby is found (about six weeks into the pregnancy). One of the reasons why the Alabama bill is such a topic of stir is because of just how restrictive the laws are for women and doctors. The bill disallows abortions to women who have become pregnant under the circumstance of rape or incest, charges the doctor who performed the abortion with a felony and up to 99 years in prison, and more. But these are not what this article is mainly about, although they do tie in. Here are the problems with pro-choice arguments and pro-life arguments.
One of the biggest issues with the pro-choice argument is the inconsistencies. The argument is based off a lack of basic biological knowledge. Most pro-choice people will agree that a fetus is not a baby. The point in time when the fetus becomes a baby ranges from person to person. Even if there is a disagreement on whether or not a fetus is a human or a baby, it is a life. Terminating a living, growing thing is, thus, terminating a life. Whether that life is more important than the woman’s is the question.
There is also an inconsistency in the laws of life. In 38 of our 50 states, it is considered a double homicide to kill a pregnant woman. This is in contrast to the 42 states that allow at least some kinds of abortions. How is it that killing a pregnant woman is considered killing two persons, but aborting a baby is somehow justified? Why is a fetus a life in some cases, but in regards to abortion, it is considered something else?
Pro-Life or Unfeeling
The pro-life movement has manifested itself in many different ways. There are people who protest in front of abortion clinics, and people who silently feel a sense of disappointment in the pro-choice movement. One thing is generally attached to the pro-life movement, and that is a lack of love. There are many people who stand outside of abortion clinics, belittling and bullying women who are undoubtedly under a level of shame and guilt. Often, these protesters make the women feel worse.
Not only are the bill and many of the supporters unfeeling towards women who are looking at getting abortions, they are also unfeeling to the people involved in the abortion. Again, sticking to the circumstance of a woman wanting an abortion in the case of rape or incest, the doctor who performs the abortion could get up to 99 years in prison while the rapist would only get about 10 to 20 years in prison. There are cases where the rapist could get 99 years in prison, which is equal to the penalty of the doctor, but this is only if the rape is classified as a Class C felony.
Lastly, if there are going to be no options for a woman who has been raped, what does the pro-life movement have to offer her? Unfortunately, there are no scientific advancements (yet) that will allow a fetus to be removed and placed in another environment that will carry it to term. Is the woman’s only option to carry a constant reminder of the terrible ordeal she endured for nine months? The trauma of rape is terrible enough, and giving that woman no other choice but to carry the reminder is not something women want.
In conclusion, the pro-choice movement must come to a decision on whether a fetus is a baby, and if not, when it becomes a human being. The pro-life movement needs to become more compassionate. You do not win friends and influence people by making yourself seem superior and giving pregnant woman no hope. There must be some sort of strategy or option given, to begin with, prevent rape, and secondly, an option given to women who were raped and cannot deal with the emotional trauma of a pregnancy. Abortion is such a heavy topic. If you have an opinion, be it pro-choice or pro-life, you must come to terms with these flaws and issues on both sides of the argument.