On the 7th of December 2016, Ohio became the first state in America to pass a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The bill was called the ‘Heartbeat Bill’ because six weeks in normally when a heartbeat is detected and according to the bill, should be the cutoff point for legal abortions (with no exceptions for rape or incest).
The state’s governor, Mr. John Kasich vetoed the bill on Tuesday because it wasn’t likely going to hold up in federal courts, but at the same time, Kasich did sign into a law a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy (as opposed to the 24 weeks rule the US Supreme Court has generally held).
These events have, of course, sparked the long lasting controversial and charged war between the ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ camps.
Personally, I have never understood why I have to choose between ‘life’ or ‘choice’.
What a horrible lack of options!
I find it very manipulative that this is how the dilemma is being presented to people because, in fact, all it does is injects more hate and division between women, which is something I am very against.
So on that note, I will start by saying that I am pro-choice and pro-life, and as unbelievable as it may sound, it is totally possible.
Now, before you stop reading and head to the comment section to tell me what a big fat cop-out I am and how you hate my guts, hear me out.
The point I am trying to make is that focusing on ‘which camp we belong to’ takes us away from the real issue, (which I will get to in a minute). The truth is that it is very rare in life that only two options exist, or in other words – it’s never just black or white, there are always many shades of gray, you just need to find them.
I’ll start by saying that I do not know what a fetus feels, or at which point it/he/she become ‘real enough’ (whatever that means), for it to be wrong to terminate their life. I don’t even know if such a moment really exists, or if this is just one more example of our need as humans to ‘put things in boxes’ and pretend like we are in control.
If you read about this point of discussion (when does life actually start), you will find that no one really knows. It is not clear cut and there are a million views on this single question, absolutely depending on who you speak to.
I won’t bore you with all the professional opinions, firstly because they will not lead you any closer to an ‘answer’, but mainly because the bottom line is that they are exactly that – OPINIONS.
What I will say is that I respect and value life at all its stages and forms, which is why I respect those who want to protect an unborn baby’s right to live, and I would suspect that most people, in their heart of hearts, can understand that and relate.
AT THE SAME TIME:
I respect a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body. I respect and recognize the fact that telling a woman that she MUST carry a pregnancy that she does not want, or was forced upon her, or that she can’t cope with – is taking away her basic right as a human being to have freedom over her own body and make decisions that effect her whole life.
Because being pregnant and having a child does exactly that – it changes a woman’s whole life.
This may be something that is hard for men to really grasp because although becoming a parent is totally life changing for men too, without taking anything away from that amazing experience of becoming a father, I think it would be safe to say that, for the most part – it is women’s lives that get totally turned around when an ‘unwanted pregnancy occurs’.
Bottom line – no one wants to be forced to do something that is so fundamentally life changing and I think most people would agree with that too.
Now that I have established my ability to relate to arguments from both camps, I will finally get to my main concern.
Currently, only around 1 percent of abortions in the US occur after 20 weeks. In Ohio, only 145 of nearly 21,000 abortions performed last year occurred after 20 weeks. Around 90 percent of abortions in the country occur at 13 weeks or earlier, with 65 percent occurring before 8 weeks.
These statistics make you think that this new bill Kasich signed is meaningless because, from the looks of it, most unwanted pregnancies are terminated way before 20 weeks anyway.
But the real issue is something else which no one seems to be talking about:
Society’s obsession with looking up women’s skirts.
I mean, is it just me or is anyone else getting tired of this ‘let’s pin it on the woman’ attitude?
I for one am so bored and unimpressed and I just want it to stop.
It amazes me that legislators have the nerve to even attempt to pass a law that doesn’t exempt rape, but at the same time, the legal system allows convicted rapists to walk free after serving only THREE months in jail (like Brock Turner this year).
It is also shocking that legislators think that only women need to pay any kind of price for their ‘unwanted pregnancies’, almost as if to say that women are able to get pregnant all by themselves like a little Christmas miracle.
News flash people – it takes two! And unless something really big has happened in the world of medicine in the past few days which I have yet to hear about, last time I check – you need a guy to get knocked up.
So how about better laws that prevent rape and incest in the first place? How about giving maximum sentences to convicted felons and sending a clear message that – THIS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED?! How about investing more resources into better sex education programs in schools? How about putting in place better support systems for young moms? How about offering more financial aid to single mothers? How about offering free birth control? And how about going after the ‘accomplices’ of those ‘unwanted pregnancies’ and making sure that they too pay a price?
I’m sorry, but hiding behind the argument that women are the ones that carry the pregnancies as some sort of excuse as to why it only has to do with them and has nothing to do with men, is a big pile of horse shit and I refuse to accept that as any kind of argument.
If we ever want to live in a society that is truly equal, then legislators and other people who have the power to make a change, really need to either lay off the ladies and lower their high expectations of them OR (and how about this for radical thinking), expect more from the guys and place some of the responsibility on them for a change.
Or in other words (and as I often find myself saying) – GET OUT OF OUR VAGINAS!
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