Abortion is one of the most hotly debated controversial topics affecting our modern-day society. This has been the epicenter of many of political campaigns for decades now and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. There are many issues here that strike upon the people’s hearts. Does one have the right to end a pregnancy? Can it be considered moral in most circumstances? When is a fetus considered a human being? These questions have been asked for over twenty years and there seems to be no end. Many irrational individuals want their stance to be heard, but there is constantly opposition on a topic such as this.
What is abortion and where did it come from? In medical terms, an abortion is the “premature exit of products of conception (fetus, fetal membrane, and placenta) from the uterus” (“Definition of Abortion”). In terms of the dictionary, “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.” Abortions have been around since ancient times, and there has been very many different methods used to complete this action. As for the US, it was only just made legal in “1973 during the case of Roe v. Wade” (History – National Abortion Federation”). In this case the US government decided to legalize it because of the “advances in modern medicine” (History – National Abortion Federation”) made it “relatively safe” and decided there was no longer a need to ban it.
There are many groups of people who use abortions. The first group that comes to mind would be teenagers, mainly because of unplanned pregnancies and failed contraception. Rape victims tend to come to mind second due to the shame, guilt and just not being prepared for a child. Then there are the people who feel like pregnancy could be a risk to their life, such as those who could lose their life going through birth or be forced to live with future health issues with the birth of a child. There are plenty more reasons such as poverty, single parent, financial instability, and just not being ready for a child. People can get an abortion for a plethora of reasons, and it is open to everyone that needs it under any circumstance.
There are millions of people on each side of the topic of abortion. Some people are on the side that is considered for abortion (or otherwise known as pro-choice), and others are on the side against abortion (otherwise known as pro-life). No matter what side one may choose, this controversy may never come to an end due to the conflicting beliefs. Only time will ever tell if this debate will come to an end where. Both sides of the abortion debate have people who are extremely passionate about their beliefs.
Those who believe in “pro-choice” have many reasons why they believe abortions should be available to all. So far, scientists have not been able to determine the exact beginning of life, therefore many in the pro-choice category find that an abortion is not quite killing a life. Due to this exact finding, there is disagreement within the pro-choice group as to when an abortion can be allowed up to. These people believe that “women should have the right to safe and legal abortions” (“About NARAL”), because numerous abortions have been attempted in the past illegally before 1973 but sadly most of those did not end well. Several people believe that women have the right to privacy and should be able to do what they want with their body. Even though the pro-choice side can be split on some parts, they stand together in wanting to protect the women’s right to have full control over her body.
Congressman Beto O’Rourke is the most popular frontline protector of the pro-choice movement of Texas this year. He voted for the taxpayer funding on the abortion act that allows for safe legal abortions without restrictions. He votes for this because “funding abortion avoids discrimination” (OnTheIssues) against those who aren’t as well off financially and allows for them to be able to afford an abortion if need be. O’Rourke believes in “the constitutional right to terminate pregnancies for health” (OnTheIssues) as well as for one’s own good. He has committed fully to the pro-choice movement to protect women’s rights for their own body and continues to support the movement as much as he can.
The National Abortion Rights Action League (otherwise known as NARAL) is the biggest major interest group that has been protecting women’s choice since 1969 across the United States and are the oldest abortion rights advocacy group in the United States. They are the largest interest group for Texas’s Pro-choice movement and continues to be the biggest supporter thus far. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas plans to “expand access to abortions in Texas all while keeping costs affordable” (About NARAL) to all of those who need it. NARAL opposes restrictions upon abortions to ensure every Texan has the right to “make personal reproductive health decisions and to guarantee access to all the options” (About NARAL). NARAL is the guardian of the pro-choice movement in Texas and will continue to do so in the oncoming years as this controversy continues.
On the other hand, those in the pro-life movement have plenty of reasons why abortions should not be allowed. Some of the reasons of why much of these supporters believe that abortion is immoral and unethical is because the fetus/embryo has the right to life. Abortions can be cruel to the fetus and mothers in their eyes, and countless amounts of people on this side believe that women would end up using it as a form of birth control. Various people also believe in a woman’s right to privacy but find that it ends when it “harms another individual” (“Texans for life”). “Adoption is always considered an option” (“Texans for Life”) in the eyes of those in the pro-life movement because their main goal is to save a life and protect the child first and foremost. The pro-life movement stands together aiming to ensure the child’s right to life, no matter the circumstances.
Senator Ted Cruz has been on the frontlines safeguarding the pro-life movement. He has “openly prosecuted planned parenthood (a nonprofit organization that researches and gives advice on contraception, family planning, and reproductive problems)” (OnTheIssues) and plans to “end state funding for them” (OnTheIssues). Ted Cruz plans to ban taxpayer funding on all abortions, whether they are partial or full. He plans to allow insurance companies to choose to deny insuring birth control and protect human life with the partial birth ban as well. Ted Cruz has fully committed to the Pro-Life movement in Texas and does not seem to be backing down any time soon.
Texas Right to Life (otherwise known as TRL) is the largest interest group advocating for Pro-Life. This group has been together since the 1960’s joined by citizens all around Texas. They have consistently been the biggest supporter of the pro-life movement since their creation. This group plans to “cut funding for all abortions and instead aid in adoption across Texas” (“Texans for Life”). They plan to distribute contraceptives as well to battle unwanted pregnancies that families have. Ideally Texas Right to Life wants to put an end to all abortions, but they do share emotional support for rape victims, therefore they do vote for bills that include exceptions to rape to ensure Texas law moves to measurably more Pro-Life. Texas Right to Life is the keeper of the Pro-Life movement and will continue to battle nonstop for right of children to live.
Texas is likely to be trending towards the ideologies of the Pro-Choice movement. In the past Texas has slashed funding for Planned Parenthood, which is the primary women care facilities/abortion clinics. With their funding cut, planned parenthood “shut down all but 35 clinics” statewide causing the rate of “teen abortions to skyrocket 3.4%, 2200 births in 2017” (Corbett). Texas actually decided to begin appealing for a waiver to the Trump administration to begin receiving funding again for Planned Parenthood as of May 2018. After the disaster of defunding Planned Parenthood 5 years ago, Texas seems to have realized the aftereffects of defunding such a key player in the Pro-Choice movement and has taken steps to make amends in efforts to reduce the teen abortion rates once again.
Many would say that this hotly contested controversy can only be resolved in one way, but one must believe in the blurred space in between. The future that a person can hope for is one where abortions are not recreationally used but allowed under certain circumstances per say. A future where a woman can keep a baby and have assistance if they need it or give the child to adoption knowing that there is funding to ensure her child grows up in a better environment than she can provide. A future where if a soon-to-be-mother knows that she can’t handle child birth that she has a way out if she needs it. A future where women are not shamed for their choices, because sometimes that is the only way out. There is a need for a future where women cannot just openly abort any pregnancy they wish. To please those of the Pro-Choice movement abortion should be allowed, but only under certain circumstances to ensure the child has the right to life, and the women have their rights to their own body. To please those of the Pro-Life movement there must be restrictions to ensure that women won’t just keep getting pregnant and aborting every child that they become pregnant with. Abortions need to be allowed, but with the compromise of heavy restrictions to protect both the mother and the soon to be child.
On each side of the argument, there are people advocating passionately. Both sides of the argument have extremely strong points in where they stand. On one hand the Pro-Choice movement’s goal is to protect the woman and give her everything she needs to decide what she wants to do with her body. Meanwhile on the other hand, the Pro-Life movement’s goal is to protect the child and give them all the tools they need to survive and blossom in life. Both sides have strong interest groups in the NARAL and the TRL to balance each other out with completely opposing viewpoints, alongside major political candidates in Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz. Many can fully understand both sides’ viewpoints and can help bring this half-century long debate to an end. The struggle for power is never ending in this controversy and at the moment unless either side decides to compromise, there seems to be no end in sight.