As a human, I should have the right to decide what I do or not do with my body. This right does not belong to men alone. Arguments from “pro lifers” are supposedly grounded in a profound reverence for human life and humanity itself. However, in a country whose constitution is designed to guarantee us a myriad of rights, states are willing to take away a right so crucial it’s inconceivable under any other circumstance - or if it was stripped away from men. What a woman does with her body, to her body is up to herself, and no one else.
The controversies surrounding the Supreme Court decisions regarding abortion are vital to consider. However, for the purposes of this article, I will primarily explore the basic moral principles and primitive ethics of abortion.
Let us first establish that the National Library of Medicine regards a fetus "alive" at 16 weeks. Prior to this, it is only a cluster of cells. Webster Dictionary defines a parasite as an “organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other's expense.” Despite this analogy being controversial, comparing a fetus to a parasite is not far from the truth. In the womb, the nutrition available to the fetus from the mother is crucial for its development. During this development phase, a mother can suffer pain and discomfort due to the growing fetus. The fetuses squeeze the mothers' stomachs and intestinal tracts upward while crushing the bladder below. While the stretching of these parts are supposed to prevent the ligaments from tearing, they can sometimes overstretch causing extreme pain and inability to provide support to the parts of the body they are intended to protect. It is also common for mothers to suffer from extreme hip, pelvis, abdomen, thigh, and back pain exacerbating the psychological stress and mood swings they already suffer from.
Pregnant mothers can even die during pregnancy or childbirth, or endure serious pregnancy-induced complications that can keep them in the hospital for days or even weeks. In spite of all the advances in medical technology, this still holds true in the 21st century, even if the percentage is much lower than it used to be. During birth, C-sections can cause infections, scarring, wounds, and other permanent injuries. For a woman who yearns to have children, these pains are just obstacles in a journey to see the bundle of joy in their arms. However, for women who are raped, accidentally impregnated, or financially or mentally unstable, these pains are just reminders of the cruelties they faced or face everyday.
Denying abortion is equivalent to saying that it's fine for these woman to carry their children to term after they might have been impregnated by an unknown man, an unsupportive boyfriend or husband, or even their own father. It is also equivalent to saying that it is acceptable for a young girl to carry to term a child, despite being a child herself. If pro-lifers truly cared about life, they would be concerned with the life of the woman, a girl, not the unborn, undeveloped fetus. Rather, it appears to be an attempt to just be an adversary, denigrating a seemingly democratic and non-religious viewpoint while promoting their own agenda. What about the death penalty, what about gun violence? Where are the pro-lifers then? What's worse is when a man firmly believes that he is the decision maker on the debate about abortion, suddenly it becomes his body too. It is my opinion that if men needed abortions, this debate wouldn’t even be in question.
The phrase "pro-choice" does not and will never mean "pro-abortion." Rather, it pertains to giving women a choice -- a choice regarding their own bodies. However, the abortion debate will always remain, because it is truly more about power and control over women than the fate of a developing embryo.