Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ABORTION AND EMPATHY

About 50 years ago, abortion became legal in the United States.  Even after all of that time, however, this topic is still debated heatedly.  I am unable, therefore, to see the solution to the arguments as black and white, or in other words, to have one simple and unarguable answer.  One thing is clear: the decision-making around whether or not a women should have an abortion is difficult, murky, and life-altering.  Whether or not a women should have the right to make this decision, however, remains, to me, to be simple: women have the right to their bodies.

In the PBS article regarding the decision making of Roe v Wade, it mentions the court’s reasoning behind the legalization of abortion based on the trimester of the pregnancy.  It reads, “the human fetus must be ‘viable’ (capable of meaningful life)” for the state to have the responsibility to protect it.  In other words, after about 6 months of pregnancy, the fetus is considered a ‘person’ that therefore deserves the rights given to all persons in the constitution.  In Mr. Doggett’s presentation, he stressed the issue of whether or not a fetus was a person, and how that became the central argument for or against abortion.  The majority of the supreme court decided that it was the 6 month mark that would mostly decide that.


In class, we discussed who had more weight in their opinion regarding abortion.  Does women’s opinions matter more?  Do mothers have a better opinion? Should it be based on experiences?  For me, after that discussion, the bottom line is that anyone with the right to vote has equal right to voice their opinon on abortion, and the best we can do as a society is be empathetic o all sides of the story, and listen to each other, men and women, young women and mothers, and hear each other’s sides.  Abortion is not an easy topic to discuss, but that does not mean it should not exist. 

Devyn McHugh

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