Debate Club

Women Have a Right to Decide Whether and When to Become a Parent

By SHARE

Outlawing abortion doesn't make it go away, it only makes it dangerous

To understand what the country would be like if we outlawed abortion we need to look no further than the 136 countries where abortion is still illegal in all or most circumstances. In Africa, 14 percent of all maternal deaths are attributed to unsafe abortion. In Latin America and the Caribbean, one million women annually are hospitalized for the complications of unsafe abortions. In South Africa, where the abortion law was liberalized in 1997, the annual number of abortion-related deaths fell by 91 percent by 2001.

The countries where abortion is illegal have significantly higher abortion rates than countries where abortion is safe and legal. Outlawing abortion doesn't make it go away, it only makes it dangerous.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Catholic contraception controversy.]

Women in these countries are fighting for recognition that their lives have value. That women deserve full futures. That women should have the right to personal and political agency. That a women should be the one to determine what her family will look like. That a woman deserves the right to decide what happens with her body without the fear of risking her life to exercise that right.

We have the luxury in this country to be able to ask ourselves whether abortion should be legal while we enjoy the freedom to choose what's right for ourselves, even if it makes someone else uncomfortable. A person in this country who faces an unintended pregnancy has the legal right to make the best decision for herself and her family without having to fear that her decision will land her in jail or worse. That is not something I am willing to give up.

[See Photos: The 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade.]

I am not interested in an America that takes away these most personal rights. The world is becoming more complex. We have big issues to solve. Let's not spend our energy, our time, and our creative minds restricting and removing rights from our citizens.

The decision about whether and when to become a parent is the most intensely personal and important decision that many will make in life. Let's have respect for those decisions and the lives that are making them.

Kierra Johnson

About Kierra Johnson Executive Director of Choice USA

Tags
women's health
abortion
health care

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#1
32 Pts
Abortion Is Not Prowoman, Prolife Is Prowoman

Yes – Abortion Is Not Prowoman, Prolife Is Prowoman

Penny Nance President and CEO of Concerned Women for America

#3
27 Pts
Women Are Not Better Off Because of Abortion

Yes – Women Are Not Better Off Because of Abortion

Connie Mackey President of the Family Research Council Action PAC.

#4
12 Pts
The 'Prochoice' Movement Is Selfish

Yes – The 'Prochoice' Movement Is Selfish

Gary Marx Executive Director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition

#5
9 Pts
Legal Abortion Can Be a Lifeline

No – Legal Abortion Can Be a Lifeline

Terry O'Neill President of the National Organization for Women

#6
-14 Pts
The Toll From Legalized Abortion

Yes – The Toll From Legalized Abortion

Gary Bauer President of American Values

#7
-26 Pts
Access to Safe and Legal Abortions Protect Women

No – Access to Safe and Legal Abortions Protect Women

Eric Ferrero Vice President for Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America

#8
-26 Pts
We Must Stand Up to Efforts to Roll Back Abortion Rights

No – We Must Stand Up to Efforts to Roll Back Abortion Rights

Debra Ness President of the National Partnership for Women & Families

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