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The Future of Reproductive Rights

by James Graham III 9 months ago in opinion
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The war over reproductive rights and the unborn are heating up. But is the right front being fought?

Olivier Douliery/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

I considered not writing this article. The dynamic in America is so hostile and so partisan I would almost rather not delve into such hot button topics as abortion and abortion access, but in the admittedly naïve belief that perhaps we still live a country where healthy debate and discourse exists, I have taken the time to write this article.

Let’s not beat around the bush. I do not support abortion in any case except for rape, incest, or medical emergency and even then, I often find myself conflicted especially when I hear the stories of amazing people born of rape or incest. Are you still reading? I hope so even if you are pro-abortion or pro-choice. Why? Because this article is not to convince anyone to not get an abortion, preach that abortion is evil, or argue any anti-abortion stances. This article is to criticize Texas’ new “big government” restrictions on abortion. I am aware that this is probably the hottest topic right now. I expect many who read this will disagree with me from both sides of this issue, but I do hope that perhaps you, the reader, might be enlightened to a perspective that you might not have had before.

Before I delve into the new Texas law, I think it fair that I explain my position as to better illustrate my perspective and stance. The reasons I am anti-abortion are quite simple. At least to me. When I was in my mother’s womb I had not one, but two knots in my umbilical cord. Doctors told my mother that I would be stillbirth at worst or seriously handicapped at best, but against all odds I was born healthy, even slightly overweight. A miracle birth. Abortion was an option for me that my mother chose not to take. I could have been snuffed out, denied the chance to even try. I often wonder how many other lives have been snuffed away, denied the chance to beat those odds and it saddens me that the answer is countless. And so, I am anti-abortion, but not in the typical bible thumping, preachy way.

Texas’ new law is wrong. Period. It is my opinion that it is wrong even though I am anti-abortion. Abortion is legal. Federally guaranteed to all women in our country. To any reader that is anti-abortion and may support Texas’ new law let me speak directly to you for a moment: I understand you. You are trying to end what we see as the senseless murder of innocent and vulnerable life. But are you really accomplishing that with this law? How many women has this law convinced to not get an abortion instead of just driving to Oklahoma? This law – like every other big government law – already is and will continue to have the opposite effect. The Texas legislature and governor have abused their majority to pass what the other side sees as oppressive laws and in turn has made abortion a rallying cry. Getting an abortion will be a heroic and idolized act. A stance against oppressive religious zealots is how the history has the potential to be written.

You will never legislate abortion away. I repeat: you will NEVER legislate abortion away. Remember for a moment that I am anti-abortion and let me say again: you will never legislate away a woman’s choice to have an abortion. So, what then can you do? I have saved two children from facing abortion. And no, I did not do it by screaming at women outside an abortion clinic, harassing them, or making it illegal for them to get an abortion. I was their friend and simply decided to be there for them when no one else would. Neither of these women had the father of their expectant child doing what he should have been. They felt trapped and left with little options. All I did to convince them was educate them on their options. The non-profits and private funds set up for expectant mothers is vast but often little known about. Both women had seen abortion as their only option left, and so I just gave them additional options. That’s how you end abortion. Almost no woman gets an abortion because she’s some sadist that loves aborting babies. She gets one because of finances, lack of viable childcare, absent fathers, etc. If you want to end abortion, then tackle the root causes of what makes women feel as if abortion is their only option.

Also take note that I have tried convincing more than just two women not to get an abortion. I have failed more than I have succeeded. And when I failed, I did not condemn those women. I did not get angry. I appreciated them for hearing me out and respected their choice. Because it is their choice. After their abortions they were still my friends, my family, people that I loved. Human beings. I believe that there can be a future without abortion, but it will not come from restricting access to said abortions through laws. It will come when we as a society evolve to understand the needs of pregnant women, the costs associated with children, and the toxic behavior so often found in today’s men and absent fathers. In the future I envision, there will be so many options and opportunities for pregnant women those women will choose to reserve abortion to the most extreme cases. It would become statistically irrelevant.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of my five-minute take on Texas’ new abortion law. I deliberately kept this short and yet I can already hear my critics. To some of you I will be perceived as not anti-abortion enough and secretly pro-choice, to others I will be seen as evil for being a man who even dare voice an opinion on abortions. To anyone who would criticize me, I would just like to conclude by saying your opinion is valid. Your beliefs are valid. You have the right to be heard. I just hope that we still have the capability to be respectful towards one another even on such hot-button topics. Somewhere in the middle of all our discourse and outrage is a solution if we would only stop seeing each other as enemies.

opinion

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James Graham III

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