Women need a choice. So why is this still being debated?

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Veronika was 17 years old when she found out that she was pregnant. She had just gotten into college and was ready to move cities and pursue a career in electrical engineering. Knowing she was in the process of building her life, she knew immediately that she needed to have an abortion. However, she was afraid that she could not get her parents to approve the abortion as it was required for a minor to have the parental approval. Veronika’s parents were not going to be easy to convince as her father is a very religious and conservative man and Veronika was not at all emotionally close to her mother and was afraid to be kicked out when she brought her situation to their attention.

Thanks to the Jane’s Due Process non-profit organization, she received assistance as a minor to bypass the parental permission. Veronika was to also face a judge and prove her maturity to have her abortion. Thanks to the non-profit and Veronika’s tenacity, the judge ruled in her favor and she went through with the abortion. This was the most responsible choice she could have made as she knew she wasn’t ready and how it wouldn’t benefit her life to have a child at that point in time.

In the United States and several other nations around the world, abortions are a heavily debated topic. Pro-life groups argue to preserve a life and how a woman should be encouraged to have a baby regardless of what it could mean for the mother. Pro-choice groups support public access to abortions and encourage women to support the idea that they are in control of their bodies and should be able to do what they believe is right. The following is an analysis of two opinionated articles that support either side of the debate regarding abortions. Both had a few claims that were researched because they seemed either suspicious in their validity or had little to no data used by the author in order to support the claim and label it as reliable and trustworthy.

A Pro-Life World Can Be Good For Women.

Rachel Lu’s initial claim regarded in her opinion article in support of pro-life was about how the pro-lifers in their entirety were in support of a world post-Roe vs Wade. While looking for any evidence that this claim can be trusted, I noticed several articles expanding on this idea of a world post-Roe vs Wade and all covered the pro-life group’s support for it. There were several of these articles that were published by non-profit organizations like ushistory.org. This presence of information regarding the claim in such sites serves as a reason to trust it as they gain no financial capital of any sort as an incentive. From this, I concluded to label the claim as true.

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A second claim in the opinion article supporting the pro-life movement that was very eye opening was about how pimps and other exploiters of women benefit greatly from abortions and abortion inducing drugs. An article published on www.frc.org showed and provided numbers that supported this claim. Here they mentioned a study that was conducted and what the results of that study show us how much pimps can benefit from abortions. With the data to back it up, this claim is indeed true and portrays how serious the problem referenced by the claim actually is. I previously had no idea that men who extort women had much to benefit from abortions. Thanks to information provided by sources with no known financial benefit for providing that information, we can trust the claim from the pro-life opinion article.

Another suspicious claim put forward by Lu is that presence of abortions in our society has caused an increase in single parents, more specifically, mothers. While I found no articles that expanded on the idea of abortions being a reason for an increase in single parents, I did find one article that explained how pro-life views make it so that single parents are more common in conservative areas. Pro-lifers tend to accept the idea of single parents due to there being no alternative, in their eyes, and if someone in their community is a single parent, they are willing to support them. This goes against the claim presented in the pro-life article which shifted the blame on abortions instead of pro-life views. This article that I found seemed to make money from this article but in the form of a few advertisements found at the bottom of the page. There seems to be no major entity or organization that funds this website/publisher that supports either pro-life or pro-choice. This leads me to believe that this claim is false and cannot be supported due to evidence being present that instead disproves the claim and supports the opposite side.

The final claim I wanted to dive into for the pro-life article is the one that states that abortions have caused a decrease in marriage and birth rates while increasing loneliness amongst the American people. To cover the decline in birthrates and marriages, I decided to look at an article published on npr.org. This publisher/news outlet is something we can trust with providing reliable information to us. This can be inferred when looking at their funding and seeing that it is mostly federally funded and receives grants from educational institutions and broadcasting services rather than receiving funding from any private organizations of any sort. The article published on NRP states that birthrates are indeed down from previous recordings but there is not much to tie it into the availability of abortions. Instead, details are provided that may explain something like better contraceptives and birth-control are to be a possible reason for the decline.

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As for decline in marriages, there was no info to support the claim that abortions caused a decline in marriages in the U.S. Common reasons that are more supported and accepted for being causes of the marriage decline are that people wish to have more control in their lives and prefer to be in a position that allows them to simply back out if needed instead of being legally bound to someone else. Finally, an increase in loneliness in Americans cannot be supported with any data. Reports can be found about an abortion causing the patient to feel lonely in some cases but to state that abortions in general cause loneliness in the United States to rise is unsupportable. For this last claim from the pro-life article, there is not enough evidence to back it up and should therefore be considered unreliable.

Safe and Legal Abortion Is A Woman’s Human Right.

For one claim from the Center For Reproductive Rights (CFRR) found in its opinionated article in support of abortion/pro-choice, unsafe abortions that are resorted to by women whose government restricts abortions access can expose them to life-threatening situations. When abortion restrictions are placed, they tend to cause a rise in untrained providers performing unsafe abortion practices in incredibly unsanitary environments. Situations like these where women resort to unsafe abortions outside of a clinical environment can expose the women to things like severe bleeding, uterine perforation, tearing of the cervix, severe damage to genitals and abdomen, internal infection of the abdomen and even blood poisoning. The claim in the pro-choice article included some of these listed risks which leads me to believe they received this information from a similar article like the one I looked at which was published by the International Planned Parenthood Federation. If the data obtained by the author is similar to the data found in mine, we can assume its trustworthy as the article from the IPPF site has no advertisements whatsoever on its page and instead presents donation buttons and even informs what they spend donations on to keep their donors informed. Considering the lack of financial incentive, the data to support the claim can be trusted.

The CFRR also claims how the tendency to deny women with liberty of choice for their own bodies is in relation with the denial of women in positions of power. This claim is difficult to both support and deny as there is no study or article that has data to support or deny it. It can definitely be inferred that this claim is true in regards to women being denied positions of power for the same reason that they are denied choice over their own bodies as it is possible for both to be driven by men who have a patriarchal mentality. But without the solid evidence/data to back this up, it is safer to consider this claim as unreliable and untrue.

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The CFRR also mentions women experiencing mental distress and anguish when in a situation where abortions are restricted to them. Based on a study published by Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), women that are denied an abortion experience more anxiety than women who are provided an abortion. Some other conditions like depression are mentioned as well but the results from this portion concluded that women are likely to become depressed in the same manner right after being denied or offered an abortion. So, in some cases, women who were denied abortions experience more mental distress than women able to get an abortion. Since the article we got the information from is not funded via advertisements on their site and shows evidence instead of being funded via educational institutions or is part of one, we can conclude that the information was gathered with the goal of informing the public of it and not financial gain. The claim can therefore be supported with this data and should be reliable and true.

One thing to note about the pro-choice article is that throughout the entire text, we can find numbers that reference the citations it has. Every major claim that is brought up in the text is backed up by one reference used to make the article. Seeing as how the most claims are supported this way, most of the information in this article can be trusted as the author took the time to show how each claim is connected to the information to support it.

Their Body, Their Choice.

As a country, we need to be able to provide proper information and access to abortions so we can help women who aren’t in the right positions to have children. There are numerous cases where a woman is dealing with something in her life where a pregnancy can cause major delays and complications for her. Being denied access to important procedures and medications that prevent a pregnancy from continuing can put women in situations where they resort to unsafe methods that can halt the pregnancy but at the expense of health and complications. Unconventional methods are very unsafe and shouldn’t have to be resorted to when the government and people who think it isn’t a right for women to get legal and safe abortions end up restricting them. It is THEIR body and THEIR choice to have a child or not and not anyone else’s choice to make. And if they want to safely get a procedure than can benefit them, then they should have access to it and be informed about it.

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