Abortion debate revs up, births new arguments

Abortion debate revs up, births new arguments

Sydney Melior, Page editor


Social media has been buzzing lately over the topic of pro-life and pro-choice, stemming from concerns over a new conservative Supreme Court appointee and some controversial laws being passed in some states.


For example, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation permitting all abortions until 24 weeks of pregnancy. After that point, the bill asks only that the provider make a ‘reasonable and good-faith professional judgment” that “there is an absence of fetal viability” or that abortion is “necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” This creates an opening for women to receive an abortion without absolutely needing to get an abortion. Without having a what some might consider a “liable reason,” a woman could potentially get an abortion at full term. A woman could say that she needs an abortion because of her mental health, but what mental health problems does she have? What level of proof is required?


In Virginia, currently, third-trimester abortions are permitted only if three doctors certify that a woman’s health otherwise would be “substantially or irremediably” impaired. Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran introduced a bill, and under Tran’s bill, only the physician who would perform the abortion must provide that certification, and the “substantially or irremediably” language is dropped in favor of a provision that allows for an exception if the continuation of the pregnancy is determined to “impair the mental or physical health of the woman.” This is meaning that this new bill Tran is trying to pass only requires the doctor that is going to perform the abortion to say that an abortion is an option instead of having three opinions from professionals saying that an abortion could be an option.


In Colorado women can receive an abortion for medical reasons up to 34 weeks; otherwise women can get an abortion up to 26 weeks. At 34 weeks a baby is almost 5 pounds and can live outside the mother and do just fine.


In Idaho an abortion is legal in the first and second trimesters if, after a consultation between a licensed medical doctor and woman seeking abortion, the doctor determines that abortion is appropriate considering the various mental, physical, and family factors including circumstances of pregnancy (such as rape or incest).


Many at Skyline have an opinion on the issue. “I think it would depend on the woman’s life being at risk or not. After the third trimester it should be situational whether it is rape or something like that,” Rebecca Beck said. We then asked how she deals with the topic if it is brought up in her class, she said, “I try not to bring it up in my classroom.” This topic can be awkward in many social situations as people are so passionate about it. “Half my family, we have disagreements with this topic,” Beck added. Her overall opinion about this topic is “It is the woman’s body and she should be able to have a choice.”


Students have a variety of opinions on the issue as well. “I think trying to have a civil conversation, sometimes they can get a little heated. I think that it’s important to talk about it so you know each others beliefs, but I also think it’s important to respect each others beliefs,” Evan Jensen (10) said.


“I am pro life all the way because I believe that human life starts at conception, it doesn’t start once they are born, they are still alive while they are in the mother’s womb,” Marshall Rhodes (10) said. He completely disagrees with New York’s new law on full term abortion.  


“At 40 weeks a child is fully developed and can live outside the mom and there are so many people in this world that can’t have babies and would want to adopt a baby should be able to be given that opportunity to take that child. I understand the whole concept of not being able to raise the child yourself or if it was a product of a rape or an incest, but there are people who are willing to take those children and love them unconditionally. I don’t think poorly of the moms who have had abortions, but I personally have had friends that have had an abortion, and then after they did have children they beat themselves up for it because they realized that they robbed the world of something they loved,” math teacher Kelly Petersen said.


Approximately 50 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned, and of that 50 percent, 43 percent of those unplanned pregnancies will end in abortion. There are 30-40 million abortions performed worldwide per year, according to WHO (World Health Organization). That comes out to about 125,000 abortions a day.


There are many reasons why a woman seeks for an abortion. According to Very Well Health, here are some of the reasons that women have gotten abortions: Not financially prepared (40 percent); bad timing, not ready, or unplanned (36 percent); partner-related reasons, including the relationship is bad or new, she doesn’t want to be a single mother, her partner is not supportive, does not want the baby, is abusive, or is the wrong guy (31 percent); need to focus on her other children (29 percent); not emotionally or mentally prepared (19 percent); interferes with educational or vocational plans (20 percent); health-related reasons, including concern for her own health, the health of the fetus, use of prescription or non-prescription drugs, alcohol, or tobacco (12 percent); wants a better life for a baby than she could provide (12 percent); not independent or mature enough for a baby (7 percent); influences from family or friends (5 percent); doesn’t want a baby or to place the baby for adoption (4 percent).  Though this adds up to more that 100 percent, women could have multiple reasons for wanting an abortion.


Of course, abortion isn’t a woman’s only choice. Adoption is always an option. Here are some of the reasons that women put their babies up for adoption: She is not ready to be a mother, she does not want to be a mother, she can’t afford to raise the baby, she can’t currently provide a positive, stable and safe home environment for her baby, she is too young to raise a baby, she needs help with the medical costs of pregnancy, her family is already complete,  she doesn’t feel a strong connection with the baby, she is facing personal challenges that will impact her ability to parent, she doesn’t want her baby to enter foster care, her baby has needs that she feels she cannot meet, she wants her baby to be raised in a two parent home, she doesn’t have a good relationship with the baby’s father, she wants her baby to have a different upbringing than she had, the pregnancy was a result of sexual assault, she doesn’t feel that abortion or being a parent are the right choices for her, she has religious beliefs against abortion or being a single mother, she wants to control her situation, she doesn’t want to put her future plans on hold or she wants to help someone else create their family.


About 135,000 kids are adopted a day in the US. About 59 percent of those kids adopted are from the child welfare system or foster system, 26 percent of those kids are from different countries and 15 percent are voluntarily relinquished American babies.


What is clear from all of this is that these types of decisions are incredibly personal and are incredibly difficult.