I was watching the news in the break room at my job recently, when a story about an abortion law flashed on the screen. Louisiana’s governor, Democrat John Bel Edwards, has passed a bill that will make abortions illegal after a heartbeat is detected.  Even if the child was conceived through rape or incest. Another abortion ban. In another state. Again. Are you kidding me? I look at the television to see if what I heard was right. Is it 2019? Maybe I have stepped into a time machine and it’s actually the 50s. I would expect better from a Democrat because I feel as though being Pro-Life and a Democrat is contradictory. But I have to remind myself that Louisiana is definitely in the South. And the deepest part of it, at that. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there has been talk of overturning Roe v. Wade.  The landmark Supreme Court ruling happened in 1973. And now politicians may want to change it. After all these years. Just why? I blame one man: Donald Trump. Politico, a political news website, says that “hostility to abortion…has only intensified” since he became president.  Really? I hadn’t noticed.
I am not always up to date on the latest news because there always seems to be something disturbing happening. Yet, there has been a lot of issues arising around abortion recently and it’s become impossible for me to ignore them as a woman and a feminist. Numerous times over the past few months, I have scrolled through Facebook, only to discover yet another abortion ban. I have a range of friends on Facebook who are both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. I notice that people who are Pro-Life tend to be grounded deeply into Christianity. Though I consider myself to be a Christian at least on the basic level, I believe that church and state should be separated. I feel like God believes in free will, that He would allow us to make our own choices. And I am just too progressive in my beliefs to be Pro-Life. I have been asked, “What if your mother had aborted you?” It would have been her right to do so. And there have been times when I wished she would have.
Pro-Lifers tend to pick and choose which lives to save, and they don’t give into account that some lives are valued over others, rather it’s intentional or not. Are they going to care when a single mother is struggling to take care of her child because the father left or died? Are they going to care when she needs government assistance to support that child? Even households with two parents still may struggle with meeting the child’s needs. For Pro-Lifers, abortion is never necessary, and adoption should be an option for unwanted children. There are children stuck in the foster care system waiting to be adopted. So that doesn’t work either. When I see people on my timeline claiming to be Pro-Life, I get annoyed. I am the type of person that feels passionately about certain topics, but I don’t always voice my opinions. I don’t feel like arguing with people and their closed minds. I understand that it’s their own personal beliefs, but they don’t know or don’t even care to know that some people may actually need them. If you don’t believe in abortions, don’t have one. Problem solved. You would think that because it is in fact 2019 that people would stop telling women how to live their lives and what to do with their own bodies. Nope. Apparently, abortion is one of those things that people are just not going to agree on. Ever.
Abortions are necessary sometimes. Babies get sick. There are lots of deficiencies that may happen to a child in the womb. According to www.americanpregnancy.org, 1 in every 160 pregnancies are stillbirths.  The most common causes of stillbirths are chromosomal disorders, placental problems, umbilical cord accidents, and a list of other reasons. Stillbirths typically occur after the 20 week mark within a pregnancy, which is about halfway through. There are also tests that can detect some of these disorders earlier in the pregnancy. Carrying babies to term who have serious birth defects can be deadly for the mother and the baby. Why make a woman continue her pregnancy when she already knows her baby is dead? Why make a woman carry a child that probably will die anyway or that could even kill her? These are questions I wish politicians would ask before they start putting laws on women’s bodies.
One of the most disturbing reasons that abortions are necessary: Rape happens. It shouldn’t, but it does. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 million women in the United States have been raped at some point in their lives.  Three million of these women have experienced pregnancy as a result of a rape.  And sometimes that child is a product of incest. It is inhumane to force a woman to carry a child to term that did not come out of love, but out of an act of violence. Yet Louisiana and quite a few other states are banning abortions completely.  What a wonderful world we live in.
Even if a woman hadn’t been raped or didn’t have a sick baby in the womb, she should still have the option to end a pregnancy if she wanted to. Maybe her pregnancy was unplanned and it happened at time in her life that she wasn’t ready. And some women don’t want to be mothers at all. I can’t tell you how many times in the Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life debate that I’ve heard: “Well, she shouldn’t be having sex if she didn’t want to get pregnant.” Or maybe women shouldn’t be slut shamed for having basic human desires and again doing what they want with their own bodies? Children shouldn’t be a punishment for fulfilling said desire. If that’s the case, men shouldn’t be having sex either. Unless they’re all going to just have sex with each other. Which we know isn’t going to happen because of homophobia. Not to mention that condoms break and birth control fails all the time. And sometimes women are pressured into not using protection. Regardless of all these reasons, it simply isn’t anyone’s business why a woman would get an abortion. Her body, her choice.
Luckily, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for women. Vermont has passed a bill that recognizes abortion as a fundamental right.  Just as it should be. I just wish the rest of the world would follow suit. The bill is headed over to the desk of Vermont’s governor.  Though Governor Phil Scott is a Republican, he is Pro-Choice, which surprised me.  It is uncertain if he will sign the bill as of yet. So Louisiana’s governor is a Pro-Life Democrat and Vermont’s governor is a Pro-Choice Republican? Wow. Everything I thought I knew about politics has gone out the window. Then again, sometimes it’s not about political affiliation, but where that state is.
I’m tired of scrolling on Facebook seeing people label themselves as “Pro-Life,” when it’s not realistic to be such. I’m tired of people being against abortions when they don’t know someone’s story. And I’m tired of people attacking women and their choices. Even if I have never had an abortion, it is my right to have one should I ever need it. Women have come a long way to have basic human rights, but obviously not far enough. We must continue fighting until every woman has been freed from the patriarchy.
Sources: “Louisiana governor signs ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill into law.” www.cnn.com  “Even if Roe is upheld, abortion opponents are winning.” www.politicio.com  “Stillbirth: Trying to Understand.” www.americanpregnancy.org  “Understanding Pregnancy Resulting from Rape in the United States.” www.cdc.gov  “Vermont Passes Pro-Choice Bill Declaring Pregnancy Termination A ‘Fundamental Right.’” www.femalista.com