Abortion should be a woman’s option

Image by Dehlia Mendenhall via Flickr

Vanessa Martinez | Contributing Writer


No woman should have to be held accountable for the life of a child she did not agree to make due to rape and certain situations involving incest. The reasons that support this stance in society should be brought to light. While there are many women who hope to become mothers at some point in their lives, it is not the ultimate goal for all.

Being in a situation involving rape makes a woman vulnerable firsthand. It adds on to another state of vulnerability the woman would be placed in by a pregnancy that resulted from it. It is not fair that a woman is forced to work around and change her life plans because she has to raise an unplanned child. The fact that her body is the one responsible for the development of a child should give her the right to decide what comes out of it. It is important to realize that not only would the life of the woman who gave birth be impacted by this, but the child’s life as well.

There has been an estimation of 25,000 pregnancies resulted from rape, according to Dr. James Trussell and Dr. Felicia H. Stewart’s studies published on the American Journal of Preventive Medicine website. Even though this makes up a small portion of the nation’s three million pregnancies in total, the statistics are still very high.

Although rape survivors are the victims, the children also get negatively impacted. It is not fair that a child should undergo a life of neglect from a parent that had no intention of keeping them. It makes it fair to understand that not only is the mother’s well-being necessary, but also that of her offspring.

To add on to this, it is unfortunate that a child would have to live a life without knowing who their father is because of rape, and the reality that there are times not all rapists are able to be exposed. An example of this would be a woman being catcalled on the streets followed by sexual harassment which leads to rape from a stranger. It’s another reason that supports why abortion is a better logical decision.

However, this same notion of abortion is relevant towards the connection it has with situations involving incest. Unlike certain situations where a child is unfamiliar with their father because they were born out of rape, it is equally unfair that a child conceived out of incest would have to live a life knowing that their father is also their brother, or any double familial role that they are born in. Abortion may be a crucial decision, but it could also be the fairest outlet that strays from shame within a family, and most importantly one that is forbidden by law. It is necessary to remember that the child did not ask to be born in the first place.

Based upon the circumstances of the time when the woman was impregnated, she should be able to determine whether or not having a child would free her from her victimization, or hold her back. At the end of the day, it is up to her, not us.


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