Fight to protect abortion rights

Yesenia Mendez, Guest Columnist

Forcing a woman to have a baby is the biggest crime our country could make. When I say our country, I mean the men in our country. 

According to the Center for American Women and Politics, as of 2019, “127 women hold seats in the United States Congress, compromising 23.7 percent of the 535 members; 25 women (25 percent) serve in the U.S. Senate, and 102 women (23.4 percent) serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

White males have been the majority power in the United States for as long as I can remember. Those men have assumed a level of entitlement that makes them believe that they can tell women what is right for them and their bodies. It was only 46 years ago that Roe v. Wade (1973) became a landmark decision allowing women to have the legal choice of having an abortion. 

Now states like Georgia and Alabama have once again introduced bills that will ban abortions. Whether abortions are legal or not, millions of women will take the risk and have them anyway. Many will travel out of state, but those who cannot afford travel may even take the chance on an illegal, unsanitary procedure.

The majority of women have spoken out against these bans, but the government is still not listening. Women are happier and safer without them, but the government is still threatened. 

Those pro-life advocates that do not believe in abortion should be more worried about the children in foster care and broken homes. Pro-life advocates do not have to take part in abortions if they do not want to. These laws are made for women so they have a choice, and there is no right or wrong choice.

It isn’t that simple. Women do not have abortions without considering all options and it is certainly not a procedure women look forward to. It’s traumatizing both physically and mentally. 

Having a child is a life-changing thing and, in that moment of seeing a plus sign on a plastic stick, women must consider everything. 

Is the woman financially stable? Is she in a baby-friendly environment? Does she have help? Is the father around? Will a baby make her happy?

In the end, it is about the quality of life that a child deserves. A child deserves loving parents from birth; healthy food, a clean house and comfortable clothes. A child deserves to come into this world willingly, not forced. 

These are only a handful of the questions women must consider. They must also consider the physical toll pregnancy will have on them. In this day and age, life is more than just having children, cooking and cleaning. Women have more opportunities, more educational opportunities and the understanding that if they cannot raise a child, they do not have to. 

It is the woman who has to carry a child for nine months, give birth and breastfeed—not men. So why were the 22 people who voted to pass the most restrictive abortion bill in the nation, white cis-gendered men?

Alabama and Georgia want to make abortions at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. This is longer than most rapists are sentenced, as the average time served for that crime is just five years.

If a woman has a miscarriage, this bill allows an investigation to seek out whether an illegal abortion took place. Investigating a woman about how her pregnancy ended is an invasion of privacy and will only cause more trauma in the long run. 

The government needs to leave women alone and let them have the right to make sensitive decisions on their own, with safe and reliable resources.