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I am pro-choice, and for the first time in my life, I am able to vote in the presidential election.
I am buried, however, by information, opinions and influences while I try to sort out the real facts from the bullshit; it has left me clinging fervently to my core beliefs.
As a woman, reproductive rights have been a deeply influential topic in my decision on who to elect as President of the United States this year. Above all, I feel the need to protect my body and the decisions surrounding it.
Pro-choice advocates line the walkway outside Hellems on Oct. 5, 2011. The protests were in response to graphic Freedom for All abortion displays on campus. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)
Imagine for a second that you are facing the hardest decision you will ever have to make. Any choice you pick will forever change your life and the doubt of making the wrong choice will haunt you every single day. You hate yourself for how easily avoidable the circumstances are. It is too late for prevention and asking “what if” is a form of psychological torture. You are terrified, you’re confused, and you have never felt so alone.
Like many women my age, I have considered this scenario and what I would do if I were in a situation that forced me to reconcile a stupid mistake by either aborting a developing fetus or sacrificing my entire life to raise a child.
Even as a theoretical situation, it’s difficult to consider.
Now imagine that you finally decide on what you believe to be the lesser of these two evils. You go to an abortion clinic, fill out the paperwork, and follow through with your decision. While this decision has permanently changed your life, you briefly appreciate the fact that you have access to a safe, clean, and legal way to handle this devastating problem.
Abortion is a last resort. Generally, a woman will not choose to get an abortion unless she is absolutely certain that she could not successfully raise a child.
If a woman decides to get an abortion, she will find a way to get an abortion. Roe v. Wade has made the consequences of this decision safer, but that does not mean that women were not aborting fetuses in states that did not legally offer a safe option before 1973.
Roe v. Wade provided access to a doctor, rather than a coat hanger, to solve their problem. In such a profoundly personal decision as getting an abortion, legal opposition will do little to stop the unsafe implementation of such an archaic, gruesome birth control methods if abortions were illegal in the U.S.
As President Obama explained in the second presidential debate on Oct. 16, this medical debate has a huge economic facet. The demand put on women to take full responsibility for contraception and the consequences of its misuse is more than just an emotional burden — it’s a financial one as well.
“This is not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue for women. It makes a difference,” Obama said in the debate. “I’ve got two daughters and I want to make sure that they have the same opportunities that anybody’s sons have.”
If the financial responsibility of an abortion falls solely onto the woman (and, in many cases, it does), women do resort to alternative methods to solve their problems. This is dangerous and must not continue. Women are not second class citizens, and this paradox of responsibility needs to end.
Mitt Romney plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. The next presidential term will ring in one to three new Supreme Court justices, and Romney has made it well known that he intends to appoint justices who will challenge and upset this pivotal case. Overturning it would give the power to state legislatures, which would significantly impact women who were unlucky enough to live in a state that did not support legal abortions.
I do not support the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Does this mean that I don’t understand the gravity of abortion? No. Does this mean that I would get an abortion if faced with this decision? Not necessarily. But comparing my circumstances with others is like comparing apples and oranges, and it is thoroughly insensitive for me to project how I would make this decision onto other women facing this same choice.
A desperate woman will make desperate efforts to fix her problems. My only wish is that she has a safe way to achieve her goal, rather than risk her life to conduct her own abortion.
In this upcoming election, it is crucial for voters to solidify their goals for our country and select a candidate that will move to achieve such objectives. Reproductive rights for women are something that cannot be sacrificed. Whether or not you, personally, would choose to go through with an abortion is irrelevant to the decision at hand. Being pro-choice means giving all women thechoice of whether they feel this procedure is necessary, and neither you nor I have the authority to make that decision for them.
Contact Staff Writer Anna LoSecco at Anna.email@example.com.
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