By Joseph Iemma
Assistant Features Editor
Land of the free, home of the brave; America, although great, is not perfect. A nation of immigrants, America was founded on the sole purpose of for allowing its citizens to exercise their God given right to pursue happiness without higher powers, in this case government, intervening. It’s a fantastic premise for government, one that’s done us extraordinarily well since our constitution was written in 1787 by our founding fathers.
Undoubtedly, America, like the rest of the world, has changed since late 18th century, however, we still recognize ourselves as; ‘one nation under God,’ where ‘all men [and women] are created equally’ so on and so forth. American’s take these words extremely serious, especially when it comes to issues like abortion and whether or not an unborn child has a right to life, or that the mother of that unborn has the right to choose what goes on inside of her body. The abortion dilemma eventually made its way to the highest court in the land in 1973, America’s Supreme Court, in the infamous case of Roe vs. Wade. In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court found that it’s a woman’s ‘fundamental right’ to decide that she wants to terminate an existing pregnancy, and since then, there have been “more than 54.5 million abortions through 2011,” according to the National Right to life committee, via politcalfact.com.
Pro-choice advocates will argue that Roe vs. Wade was a landmark case, a triumph of some sorts, claiming that abortion has saved the lives of women who would have sought out for illegal abortions, and that the case advanced and preserved women’s rights. According to Elisabeth Ahman and Ibqal Shah, of the World Health Organization, an “estimated in 2004 that unsafe abortions cause 68,000 maternal deaths worldwide each year, many of those in developing countries where safe and legal abortion services are difficult to access.”
Pro-choice advocates argue that allowing abortions benefits women financially. According to a Sep. 2005 survey in the peerreviewed Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health asking women why they had an abortion found that 73 percent of respondents said they could not afford to have a baby, and 38 percent said giving birth would interfere with their education and career goals.
With all that said, abortions are not conducted solely for ‘financial’ reasons. Women of rape, incest, abuse or life of the mother are leading contributors to why women decide to have an abortion. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “pregnancy-related deaths increased from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 17.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011.” It gets worse. According to Andis Robeznieks, of Modernhealthcare.com, “U.S. women are more likely to die during childbirth than women in any other developed country, leading the U.S. to be ranked 33rd among 179 countries on the health and well-being of women and children.”
The statistics provided above help shine a different light on abortion, one that rarely gets recognition in regular abortion talk; hence, why I believe in the use of contraceptives. Why wouldn’t people who are sexually active, while not wanting to get pregnant use contraceptives? Not only would be banning contraceptives lead to the spread of disease and unwanted is pregnancies alike, but banning contraceptives, and ‘defunding’ organizations such as planned-parenthood is irrational. Again, why defund a government based program that’s designed not just to provide contraceptives, but to sexually educate both men and women on how to manage sexual activity and ultimately a pregnancy.
I titled this article ‘Abortion: A Wound that Still Stings America,’ because it does. Just two weeks ago Donald Trump was eviscerated by the press for his on women being ‘punished’ for having an abortion if abortion were to be outlawed in America. One can even make the argument that those comments lost Donald Trump the Wisconsin Primary. In light of the the controversy, I realized that the notion of being pro-life or pro-choice is ludicrous, all it does is divide America in two and that’s not right. Granted, I was raised a catholic, and ultimately pro-life, but over these past two weeks I realized that our main priority should be educating the American public on sex, pregnancy, the pros and cons of being sexually active and when the is ‘ideal time’ to be sexually active. Growing up in Queens, I’ve met many young people, both male and female, who were faced with pregnancy, and one thing I took from these people is that most of them weren’t irresponsible, but they were simply uneducated on the risks of being sexually active. As a closing statement, I would just like to say I do see both sides of the abortion debate, but as a nation, we should be focused on creating a solution to the issue of abortion, instead of being forced to pick a side.