Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916 by birth control activist Margaret Sanger. Although the first clinic was shut down, the Planned Parenthood movement wasn’t with over 600 clinics in operation today. Since its establishment, the organization has offered abortions, birth control, STI testing and other services for millions of patients across the nation. With such a record number of people taking advantage of its services there are also those who oppose their aid. Numerous states have passed anti-abortion laws that restrict women’s reproductive rights with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. Pro-life activists argue that abortion is murder, therefore deeming the act immoral. But, despite what activists might believe, restricting abortion rights won’t stop abortions from happening. Legal restrictions will just force women to seek out more dangerous alternatives.
Some people who oppose abortion like to reason that abortion should have its exceptions, such as when it comes to cases of rape or the health of the mother. About 1% of women seek out abortions because they were raped while 74% said that they weren’t ready to have a child. In the United States alone, 700 to 900 women die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth each year. It’s difficult to define what is and what isn’t an exception when it comes to abortion because leaving people out of an argument can make their experiences look less important.
The fact of the matter is that getting an abortion will not take away a bad memory and preventing one will also not change the way a child came to be. There is not one single way to prevent rape, which furthers the complexity of the abortion issue. There are many women, raped or not, who travel miles just to get the services that their own states might not provide. Not just that but abortion isn’t cheap. Not all rape victims recieve financial compensation and, even if they do, no amount of money will ever be enough to heal their pain.
It is commonly agreed by pro-life activists that abortion deprives the victim, in this case, the fetus, a chance at a future. In contrast, pro-choice activists, and many philosophers, agree that, although a fetus itself is a human, it is not a person and the act of aborting it is not wrong. The concept of what defines a person is tricky since society’s definitions can become subjective and can vary between cultures. Defending the abortion stance with personhood is also difficult as it can leave out comatose patients who do not have an awareness to make their own decisions, similar to a fetus. But, regardless of one’s definition of personhood, whether for or against abortion, a mother’s rights should come first. It is not society who will be raising that child nor be the one to provide it with a stable home. In the United States, around 428,000 children are in foster care. In 2016, 632,471 legal induced abortions were reported and, in 2017, 194,377 babies were born to teenage mothers. Around the world it is believed that approximately 21 million women obtain unsafe abortions, many of them dying. There is simply no point in restricting women from receiving basic reproductive medical services in a time when birth control itself is not even universally free. Being pro-choice does not mean being pro-abortion, and although late-term abortions do happen, they are less common.
Abortions should not have their exceptions. The more governments restrict them, the more that they will happen. To prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring, contraception should become the main priority among activists. It is unfair to force someone to live a life they did not want and hypocritical of people to say that they care about unborn children when so many young kids today have been abandoned by their parents, thousands waiting to be adopted every year. Not just that, but what about all those migrant children in ICE detention centers that were separated from their families? Some of those children have even died yet more focus is still being given to limiting women’s rights over the well being of living, breathing people.