(SIDENOTE: I am very aware that not everyone will agree with this, but I ask that you will respect my opinion.)
Now, you are probably wondering why a fourteen year old is writing you a letter on abortion. It wouldn’t affect me, a naive teenager, would it? Well, it does and I will tell you why you are wrong. Imagine you have something growing inside you, changing your body, hormones and emotions. This is what cancer can feel like. But rather than helping you regain control over your body, people tell you have no choice, you have to let it grow not for days, weeks but months. How can you regain control? Through abortion. This is why abortion is something you should have the right to as a woman. Women should be able choose what to do with their body.
There are plenty of reasons why abortion needs to remain legalized. People talk about abortion being anti- life. But is it really? The following is a point a lot of Pro-life people make; that the fetus is ‘alive’. However, I am here to give actual facts. Before 8 weeks, what you have is an embryo similar to the embryos of birds and fish, not a thinking, feeling independent entity. Personhood only begins when a fetus is viable. Even at 20 weeks (the cut off for legal abortions in Texas) the fetus is only the size of a small banana, completely unable to breathe, feed or move independently. Viability is actually the point at which the fetus becomes capable of surviving; In the womb it is still developing and relying on the mother for food and nutrients. So, it is wrong to say that abortion is against life. As at the point at which the pregnancy is terminated, there is no independent life form.
In fact, abortion actually supports the right to life. Yes, I said it. And it’s true. Imagine if you got raped, were underage or even knew that you couldn’t support your child (Money or family circumstances). How would you feel to go through all the trivialities of being pregnant to then raise the child or just give it up for adoption? It is so much worse if you know you can’t support the child as you would have to put them through an extremely tough and unfair life for 18 years. Or, in rape circumstances, every time you see your child’s face won’t it remind you of the terrible things you experienced?
Now, reader, you may protest and say something along the lines of “But you don’t HAVE to have an abortion.” and while that may be true, Of course, ideally no one would need to have to have an abortion. It is an extremely distressing and upsetting experience for anyone and no one would do it if they had a real alternative. More freely available contraceptives and early stage oral post contraception ‘abortion’ pills are a vastly more preferable way of supporting women who become pregnant. If people really wanted to support life and woman, THIS is what they would march and campaign for.
But what if the anti-abortionists get their way? , all the evidence shows that banning abortion does lead to illegal abortions. Different reports into the time in the before abortion was legalized ( prior to Roe v. Wade) ,state that the number of illegal abortions in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year and horrifically as many as 5,000 American women died annually as a direct result of unsafe abortions. Illegal abortions are horrible. Women often get incredibly sick or die from the unsanitary circumstances that they have been forced into doing. The main demographic for illegal abortions are people who are underage and/or in second world countries.
Finally, people say that abortion is a question of morality. But it is not. Abortion is about providing options for woman (and young girls like me) at a time when they are distressed and frightened feeling their own body being taken over. It is not OK to say they have to put up with it as it is their fault. Because this leaves them trapped and at risk unable to control their own future but being told by others what they SHOULD do with their own body. When you are pregnant but for whatever reason cannot look after a child (because you are too young, don’t have enough money to look after it or were raped), abortion is an essential way out. Abortion is about protecting women’s lives and leaving resources available for the so many children who are wanted. Therefore, even if it doesn’t correspond to your beliefs, abortion should be a choice for women.