One teen’s opinion: A pro-choice argument

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One teen’s opinion: A pro-choice argument

Mia Kala, Staff Writer

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Did you know that only 23 out of the 100 US Senate members are women? This means that the Senate, those responsible for determining U.S. laws, is overwhelmingly male. In this system, there is an ongoing push to make abortion illegal. For those 77 males to decide a law that impacts females’ choice is problematic on many levels.

Abortion is a medical procedure that a female can get when pregnant in order to terminate that pregnancy. The most common reason for an abortion is because the woman does not think she will be able to properly take care of a baby–often due to financial concerns or a lack of a support system.

If a woman knows that she won’t be able to support a baby and be a good mom, terminating the pregnancy ensures that a baby will not suffer with an unfit mother.  Some argue that these children could be placed into the system for adoption or foster care.  But these systems cost the society money, and there are often high levels of abuse and neglect in the fostering system.   Psychology Today says that official statistics show as many as 28 percent of kids are abused while in the foster care system, and they estimate that number is lower than the actual amount due to a lack of reporting.  Moreover, this asks a woman to sacrifice her body for nine months and beyond.  Carrying a fetus to full term and then giving birth can forever change a woman’s hormones, body shape, and more.  Carrying a fetus to full term also forces a woman to deal with far more complex emotions and psychological turmoil than ending a pregnancy in its early stages.

Since pregnancy and motherhood impacts women, it should be solely a woman’s choice whether or not to continue.  Letting people have control over their own bodies is an important legal right.  For women especially, it is not acceptable to have men, who are unaffected by the law, to make legal decisions on women’s behalf. 

In addition to the importance of personal rights and choice, at least 15,000 abortions a year are from rape victims.  Even though this is less than 10% of the total number of cases, it is still is a very important reason to have access to abortions. There are potentially traumatizing psychological impacts of carrying a fetus to term in the case that it was conceived in violence.

In general, an abortion costs around $950 without health insurance.  Some centers or clinics such as Planned Parenthood may be able to help offset those costs even more.  In comparison, the cost of labor and delivery is an average of $3,500 according to Parents Magazine, and if there is any extra pre or post natal care, it can be as high as $9,000.  On top of that, the cost of raising a child, according to Time is $233,000.  Having a child is an immense financial commitment.  If a woman knows she will be unable to make that commitment, she should be able to end the pregnancy.

The most common age for abortions ranges from 17-24 years old, and 80 percent of teen pregnancies end in an abortion. Not all teenagers and young adults are ready to support a baby and give it the love it needs. Babies should not come into a world unwanted. Having a child takes having lots of responsibility and planning to abort should be an option for those who can’t manage another human being.   

To clarify, this piece isn’t pro-abortion.  I can see both sides;  I appreciate human life and would love to see the number of abortions, which is currently on the decline, go down even further due to more education in schools and colleges, easier and more affordable access to contraception, and a greater effort on to prevent unwanted pregnancies. But I do think women should have a choice.  Women should have control over their bodies, and no law should ever take that basic right away.