Charlize Su 11BArticle responseDear Miss Valenti, I am writing this letter to you as a response to your article on abortion, “Don’t be fooled: the latest abortion bill is about one thing – hurting women”, published on The Guardian. According to the article, the US House of Representatives passed a ban that would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with punishment that would include fines and up to five years in prison. This ban as we know would greatly affect many lives of women who seek abortion. It is clear that you think that this bill is ‘not about helping people and never has been’, that it’s a ‘blatant attempt to end all abortions despite the human suffering such a ban would cause.’ As such, I fully agree with you that this abortion ban should not be enforced because of the detrimental effects that would ensue. In response to this article, I would firstly like to tackle the question of why abortion is a controversy to begin with.
The problem of abortion arose mainly due to ethical and religious stigma, and there are two sides involved in this debate: pro-life and pro-choice. The pro-life movement acts on the belief that life begins at conception and foetuses have the right to live. Meanwhile, the pro-choice movement contends that it is a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding her pregnancy including abortion. Due to the differing views of whose rights should be prioritised, an unborn foetus’ or a woman’s, the controversy of abortion was born. To take a stand, I would say that I am on the side of pro-choice as I assume you are. I believe that all women deserve the fundamental right to make choices concerning her own body, because essentially it is her body and hers only. This legislation was viewed as especially cruel because 20 weeks is approximately the time pregnant women discover if their foetus has any chromosome abnormalities. Almost 99% of abortions happen before 20 weeks; most women who terminate their pregnancies past that stage do so because of risks to their own health or because their foetus has severe complications.
Many women choose to end their pregnancy, for example, after finding out that their child will either be unable to survive, or will live a short, painful life. Furthermore, studies show that a foetus does not have the capacity to feel pain until the third trimester of pregnancy and that 20 weeks “is just an arbitrary limit set in place by politicians that has no medical or scientific backing”. I understand the message you are trying to convey about the inequity of this bill, and that its purpose is to deter women from having abortions by having a limit rather than banning it altogether. I think that it ostensibly gives women the illusion of choice.
Taking that into account, I personally believe that the 20-week limit should be extended for the sake of women undergoing the procedure, if not abolished. This is because they are the ones who are pregnant, and deserve to make their own decisions about their body without a deleterious deadline that would criminalise them. Women simply do not deserve to be charged just because they choose to abort later than the set limit which is scientifically unproven. In addition, politicians who support this bill are mostly male, and are thus unable to empathise with women nor understand the severe consequences that this bill would cause. In my opinion, the fact that women’s reproductive rights are still an issue is incomprehensible. The truth is that if women are not allowed access to proper services and facilities for their reproductive health, they will seek other methods which are often hazardous. On the other hand, I wholeheartedly agree that life is absolutely valuable and should never be taken lightly, particularly in the case of abortion. The article also suggests that the ‘Republican party does not care about human life or suffering… they’ve showed us that with their disregard for the people of Puerto Rico, the people killed by guns, and children who need medical care.
This has never been about helping Americans, just hurting women.’ When considering statements such as these, it is important not to be overly biased because Republicans aren’t specifically targeting women in situations like the shooting. The way I see it, a better way to confront this problem is to analyse the root cause and find a solution from there. Women have abortions due to problems that they have, and mostly do it as a last resort.
Bearing that in mind, how can we create situation better for them? Firstly, it is essential for them to receive relevant information and services on this subject matter, so they would be sufficiently prepared and knowledgeable. We need to improve women’s lives by giving them equal rights and freedom, and creating a society where fathers are just as responsible for their child as their spouse. People need to be educated that modern abortion is safe and not cruel. There are plenty more ways to help women who might not get to the point of abortion if only there were more options. All the same, banning or implementing restrictions on abortion does not reduce abortion in any way, but inversely increases the number of unsafe abortions. After all, the government has no place in a uterus.Yours sincerely, Charlize Su