Respecting Women's Autonomy: Why Access to Safe and Legal Abortion is a Fundamental Human Right

Respecting Women's Autonomy: Why Access to Safe and Legal Abortion is a Fundamental Human Right

During the month of March, I wanted to make sure I personally and professionally addressed and celebrated International Women's Month. Women's rights, especially in regard to abortion, birth control, and a woman's autonomic rights to her body are things I am extremely passionate about. Access to abortion is essential for women's empowerment, health, and well-being, and must be recognized as a fundamental right by international human rights law. It's devasting that there are still many obstacles to abortion access that limit women's ability to exercise this right, whether it's cost, lack of information, cultural and social norms, and legal restrictions. When women do not have access to safe and legal abortion services, they may resort to unsafe and potentially life-threatening methods, putting their health and lives at risk. By supporting women's right to access safe and legal abortion, we are advocating for the health, safety, and well-being of women everywhere. Let's get in it. 


My Thoughts on Abortion

The Right to Bodily Autonomy 

Women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, including whether or not to continue a pregnancy. While I can see where some people have strong feelings against abortion, and I believe it is their right to have that opinion, I also feel that their opinions should not dictate others' ability or access to legal and safe abortions. There are sooooo many reasons why people choose to have abortions, and not one decision is a light one to make. Who are we to have any say about what others do to THEIR bodies? Do I need YOUR permission to get a tattoo or piercing? 


The Value of Human Life: Should a fetus have human life rights? 

During the conversation of whether or not a fetus deserves human life rights, I believe we are ignoring the human right of the pregnant person. Banning abortion would even prohibit women with ectopic pregnancies or other conditions that could put the mother's life at risk. How is it that we are willing to put the unborn child at risk of being motherless (possibly even an orphan)? How and who are we to decide which life is more important, from a simple, humanistic view; can you imagine being pregnant and so excited to welcome a new little joy to your life, and find out that you now suffer from preeclampsia and both the fetus and your life is at risk. Imagine having to make the decision between your life or the babies? In what world does anyone think it's right to have external parties be able to weigh in and control your decision??!? 

Let's not forget that some abortions are performed due to rape, incest and other traumatic experiences. Who are we to tell someone who has already suffered major trauma, memories that will forever stay with them, to also endure pregnancy while already processing and grappling with how that baby was conceived. The bottom line for me is, we don't know what it's like to walk in anyone else's shoes, to go through their journey, and WE definitely do NOT have the right to any control over their body.


The Role of Government

Some believe that the government should play a role in regulating abortion to protect the health and safety of women and fetuses. Others argue that the government should stay out of this private decision. My thought? This is 100% a private decision. If I for some reason die due to complications during my pregnancy due to the fact that I could NOT have an abortion because it is against the law; is the government going to financially and emotionally care for my motherless child?!?!?


The Impact of Access to Abortion

Restrictions on abortion access can have serious consequences for women's health, well-being, and economic stability. Lack of access can lead to unsafe abortions, unwanted pregnancies, and maternal mortality. Our country already struggles with the issue of universal health care for all. But again, restricting abortion access is so harmful to the masses. Whether an abortion is needed due to health concerns, traumatic experience, or simply because the mother is not ready (be it mentally, emotionally or financially), the fact is that the mother has already made the difficult decision to not proceed with a pregnancy and restricting access is only adding to her pain and trauma. Emotional factors aside, the woman is now at a health risk if she has to obtain an abortion illegally. Potentially putting her at risk of disease, disability or becoming permanently sterile. So we shouldn't be able to force people to get vaccines, but we can force them to have a baby?!?! Make it make sense!


The Religious and Moral Dimensions

It is important to recognize that the decision to have an abortion is a personal one, and should not be dictated by others' religious beliefs or moral judgments. Women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and reproductive health, regardless of their religious or moral beliefs.

It is also important to recognize that hypocrisy and double standards can exist in any community, including religious communities and among politicians. However, individual actions and beliefs should not be used to restrict the rights and freedoms of others. It is important to work towards creating a society that respects individual rights and freedoms, including the right to access safe and legal abortion services.


The Importance of Empathy and Compassion

Abortion can be a deeply personal and emotional decision for women and their families. It's important to approach this issue with empathy and compassion, recognizing the complexity and nuance of each individual's situation. No one knows, nor do they have a right to know, why a person chooses to have an abortion. I can only speak for myself and know that this is not a light or simple decision to make, rather viewed as one that is in the best interest of all involved at that time. It does not mean that you don't value life; there are instances that abortion is the chosen alternative because you DO value that unborn child more than anyone can imagine. You know that bringing a child into a toxic situation or continuing patterns of generational trauma and unhealthy/unstable/emotionally immature environments is not going to be any type of quality of life for that poor child. Sometimes the decision is as simple as wanting better for that angel.


Closing Thoughts 

Women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and reproductive health. Denying women access to safe and legal abortion services violates this fundamental human right and puts women's health and lives at risk. We must respect women's autonomy and support their right to access safe and legal abortion services, as well as provide them with the necessary resources and support to make informed decisions about their reproductive health. By doing so, we are not only promoting gender equality, but also ensuring that women are able to lead healthy, fulfilling lives and make choices that are best for themselves and their families.

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