Lawmakers’ religious views have no place in abortion laws

Belen Sassone/ Contributing Writer

When a woman makes the choice to end a pregnancy, she is never acting out of impulse or selfishness. Coming to that decision takes a lot of courage, especially when in most states, women have to go through an obstacle course before undergoing the actual procedure.

In the majority of abortion clinics across the U.S., doctors are required to counsel patients before an abortion with information given to them by legislators. The women getting the abortion are told that they will be more prone to breast cancer, suicidal thoughts, and infertility after it is done. While the exact laws vary, doctors are generally required to relay that information to their patients in one way or another.

Everything that they tell these women, however, is fully un-backed by scientific research.

If doctors aren’t told to lie to their patients before any other medical procedure, why is it that they’re legally obligated to do so before performing an abortion?

When the politicians that pass these laws argue that abortion is controversial and should be prevented at all costs, you’ll see that their religious views are the main reason that drives them to feel this way.

These lawmakers most of whom are men that will never come remotely close to relating to a pregnant woman berate women by telling that that they’re killing an innocent child and making an immoral decision when they terminate their pregnancy.

The biggest problem with making laws based on underlying religious principles is that not everyone who will be affected by such laws shares the same point-of-view. The U.S. has a separation of church and state for a reason, so trying to influence people’s lives based on personal faith is very irresponsible.

While some believe that getting an abortion kills one of His holy creations, not all people believe that God single handedly formed every baby ever born. Some choose to look at scientific evidence, which tells us that if you choose to have an abortion, you are in now way committing a murder.

Despite abortion being the correct decision in many cases, it’s in no way a fun thing to go through. Women don’t purposely get pregnant with the intention of getting an abortion, so they shouldn’t be demonized and made to feel worse about an already emotionally straining decision.

“Pro-choice” also doesn’t directly translate to “pro-abortion.” It simply means that because we don’t live in a perfect world, people sometimes find themselves in not-so-ideal situations, and they should be free to have a voice in how they move forward.

While the Center for Disease Control reports that the majority of safe and legal abortions occur within the first 13 weeks of gestation, which is when the fetus is about the size of a pea pod, there are some cases in which they are performed later on.

About one percent of the time women have abortions after 20 weeks, according to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. These abortions usually aren’t done because the woman woke up and decided she didn’t want to be pregnant after five months, but because a severe anomaly was detected that would prevent the fetus from surviving after birth.

In other cases, women are unable to obtain abortions before 20 weeks due to issues ranging from lack of finances to mental health issues.

While it may seem obvious to anyone with common sense that late-term abortions happen in very rare and necessary cases, it clearly wasn’t to the 237 members of the House of Representatives who recently passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks, with the exception of rape, incest or the mother’s life being at risk.

The name of the legislation alone is enough to prove that these politicians are fully rejecting scientific evidence and making things up in order to push their ideology. The ability of a fetus to feel has been studied many times, and the claim that aborting a fetus after 20 weeks would cause it to go through agonizing pain has been disproven.

A statement released by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2013 explained that, “rigorous scientific studies have found that the connections necessary to transmit signals from peripheral sensory nerves to the brain, as well as the brain structures necessary to process those signals, do not develop until at least 24 weeks of gestation.”

This unconstitutional piece of legislation, which has no legitimate evidence to back it up, would not end up benefiting anyone. Instead, it would force women going through difficult situations to carry a pregnancy to term, knowing the entire time that the outcome will not be a happy one.

Those with severely deformed fetuses will have to face an extremely risky delivery, only to have their child possibly die shortly after being born. Women in other predicaments will not only be denied an abortion which they know is necessary, but will be called lazy and told to get a job the minute they seek financial assistance for them and the child they have to provide for.

Despite the overwhelming statistics that confirm that these abortions are almost always performed in extreme cases, legislators still decide to act like abortion is “murder” no matter the circumstance and refuse to show sympathy.

This way of thinking is extremely problematic, not only because it invalidates the traumatic experience of a late-term abortion, but because it opens the door for abortion at any point to eventually be banned.

Despite blatantly violating women’s rights, these lawmakers aren’t held accountable because they have millions of conservatives behind them applauding their every move. Although they don’t all stand outside of Planned Parenthood holding signs and yelling at women for making their own choices, they still act like the right way to view the world is through their religious, morally superior lens, and bash anyone who decides to live their life away from what the church teaches.

Before pointing fingers and judging women for getting abortions, conservatives should consider how they treat humans once they’ve entered into the world. They claim that every fetus has a “right to live” but are quick to abandon them once they come out as LGBTQ+, are in need of healthcare, or in any way don’t fit what their religion tells them is acceptable.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

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