Il Ponte – a student periodical based at bratislava international school of liberal arts (bisla)

Whose choice is it?

Whose choice is it?

Women hold signs to protest HB 481 at the state Capitol on April 2 in Atlanta. Credit: AP. URL address:  https://nypost.com/2019/04/03/alabama-anti-abortion-bill-likens-legalized-abortion-to-the-holocaust/

Women hold signs to protest HB 481 at the state Capitol on April 2 in Atlanta. Credit: AP. URL address: https://nypost.com/2019/04/03/alabama-anti-abortion-bill-likens-legalized-abortion-to-the-holocaust/

Vivien Slíž / July 1, 2019

( 3 min read )


 

Abortion has always been considered a sensitive topic in society. However, over the past few weeks, it is being discussed more due to the current situation in Alabama, where a new law to ban abortion was recently passed. The law prohibits abortions even in cases of rape and incest. Many women are struggling with people who do not understand the full responsibility of having and raising a child. You can only imagine how frustrating it is for them to hear that now the government or religious lobbyists want to step into this issue and attempt to influence government policies on abortion in line with their ideology. The free choice of women is now considered a crime. The main question is to what extent someone has the right to tell women how to regulate their bodies and to deprive them of the choice to not have a child.

After being sexually assaulted, raped by a stranger or a family member, the victims have to face the suffering of mental anguish. They are unable to cope with their mental distress without the help of professional therapy. Therapy however, cannot help with the unwanted pregnancy itself. Besides, there is also the physical trauma that rape victims go through that is equally, if not more, challenging for these women. Imagine that you are put in a situation where you know what to do and what is right, but the government will not allow it. This may even result in you giving birth to the child of a rapist.

Alabama’s new law imposes the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States. The law was passed by 25 Republicans with the deliberate intention that it ends up before the Supreme Court. These 25 men decided what women should do with their bodies. How absurd. Bear in mind, some Republicans did not read the terminology about what abortion actually is and still voted against it. This law robs women of their basic human rights because the government decided to prioritize the life of the unborn before the lives of women. If this law was truly about protecting life then they would invest money into crucial areas such as maternity leave, parental care and other vital policies that would make it simpler for parents to raise their children.

From a religious perspective, abortion was never the right way. Pope Francis had the audacity to compare abortion “to hiring a hitman to resolve a problem”. Later on, he added: “How can an act that suppresses the innocent and helpless life as it blossoms be therapeutic, civil, or simply human?” Will the Pope pay for the expenses that come with the responsibility of having a child? Or will the state provide enough money to do that? In Italy, women’s groups are constantly fighting for safe access to abortion, and to demonstrate that nobody has the right to tell you what to do with your own body.

A woman protesting. Source and credit unknown.

A woman protesting. Source and credit unknown.

The whole process of creating the idea that abortion is a crime will have a devastating impact on society and healthcare. Some women and families simply cannot afford to have a child. They would do anything to get a doctor who will agree to induce abortion and if they cannot do so they will look for other alternatives. People will still get an abortion one way or the other. The state has the potential to guarantee safe precautions and still tries to make it inaccessible to people who are financially disadvantaged. You cannot prevent abortion in order to promote motherhood if you do not have sufficient arguments and means to assure that these mothers and their futures will be improved.

The government, religious communities or other people do not have the right to control a woman’s decision. Especially not a Republican gubernatorial candidate such as Clayton Williams, who likened rape to weather. He claimed that if it is inevitable, women ought to enjoy it and relax while it is happening. The effort of religious lobbyists to campaign against abortion in countries like the US, where states have not interfered with such sensitive issues to such an extent before, is worrying. In matters such as this, it is the women who should primarily have the choice about whether they want an abortion or not. If women do not want to have an abortion they should be able to make up their own minds and have the right to do so.


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