Mr. Doggett’s presentation on Monday night was super interesting for me because up until then, I had never given much thought to the history of abortion. Honestly, I just thought it was something that was always controversial and argued about since the beginning of time. What surprised me most about the whole presentation is that abortion was not even criminalized until the Comstalk laws during the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement. And it was not criminalized for moral reasons, rather than reasons pertaining to money, like doctors valuing the profits made on birthing babies. This was quite interesting to me because today when I hear the contrasting sides on the issue of abortion, the pro-life side is usually arguing for moral reasons. Who knew that back then hospitals were pro-life because they wanted money from delivering babies!
Another aspect of Mr. Doggett’s talk that I found particularly interesting was the Griswold v. Connecticut case in 1965. In this case, a woman was arrested for simply distributing condoms to married couples, which was illegal in the religious town of New Haven, CT. The state argued that it was trying to keep the ‘morals’ of it's citizens, and that getting rid of condoms would prevent infidelity. Griswold eventually won the case, because she argued that the government has no right to know what couples are up to in the bedroom. Although this case does not include abortion specifically, it is a parallel issue. Many of the people who consider themselves pro-life have argued that when abortion is legal, it gives women a free pass to sleep with whomever she wants to because if she gets pregnant she can just get an abortion and no one will know! (Essentially, force its citizens to keep their morals.) Yet many pro-choicers would respond to that argument saying that the government does not hold the power to decide whether a woman terminates a pregnancy or not (back to the first slide with the “KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY” sticker), and that people are going to have sex and a few may have affairs no matter what, and limiting their healthcare resources does nothing but harm the general population.
This talk was interesting to me because I enjoyed learning how women achieved the legalization of abortion and that it was both an unintentional and intentional struggle throughout the past 150 years. I think that the issue of abortion is important to talk about because it can be argued for and against in so many different ways, and (in my opinion) oftentimes it becomes muddled into something that it often is not.
I believe that whether a woman decides to have an abortion is her choice, and no one else’s. Every woman is 100% entitled to a safe and timely abortion if she ever needs one. No one wants an abortion; they are painful and scary and often quite scarring. But babies cannot be brought into this world where they will not be loved, taken care of, or raised properly. It is fair neither to the unborn child nor the mother to force a woman to carry a baby that she had no intention of carrying. If people hate abortion, they should also be the ones donating to Planned Parenthood then so that more women have access to birth control, that way many less unplanned pregnancies will occur and therefore, less abortions! Moral of the story: if you don’t want an abortion, don't have one.