This week’s biggest and most controversial news is certainly the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. In Justice Alito’s majority opinion, he states that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” President Biden expressed concern that this is “the realization of extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.” Though “reproductive rights” are no longer protected in any constitutional provisions, this verdict is not able to ban abortions nationwide and instead grants the states to make their own legislation. Some states might ban abortion completely, while others can keep their preexisting abortion laws.
I personally believe that the abortion debate should remain marginal in comparison to many other political issues that might affect the livelihood of many more people. However, we can see from the remarks from top officials, protests on the streets, and of course our social media feeds too, that abortion is one of the most polarized controversies in this country. Both sides try to make the best logical arguments to defend their positions and there seems to be little common ground. But does it have to be that way, considering that the biggest dissent between the two is merely the ethics of ending a pregnancy? As a pro-life person, I find it very absurd when outraged activists claim that the ruling is an outright deprivation of human rights, when both sides of the aisle can largely agree such as that the use of contraceptive methods should be encouraged, more resources for pregnant women should be provided, and the fact that an abortion surgery hurts the pregnant woman both physically and mentally–especially a late-term one.
Therefore, I don’t think that abortion is something that should be encouraged, though, I do understand the concerns of the pro choice, including the discomfort of pregnancy and the affordability of life with a newborn. Nevertheless, the fetus, a separate life by any scientific standard, should not be sacrificed for an irresponsible mistake or simply for the convenience of its mother.
However, to outlaw abortion completely without doing something to support pregnant women is unwise. Such a hasty abortion ban may result in an increase in underground abortions–which are often dangerous to the pregnant woman’s health. There might end up being more families in poverty not being able to economically support the baby once it’s born. And of course, more division and hatred between the left and right— or even the two sexes.
Before discussing legislation, we need to examine the statistics of why women seek an abortion in the first place. A study in 2004 on over a thousand abortion patients found that a large majority of them stated their economic status and work ability amid pregnancy are the most important factors, and nearly half also reported concerns about their relationship issues. This is an alarming sign of traditional family structures disintegrating, as women are pressured to take on more economic responsibility than before, leaving them feeling less able to care for their children. To combat this, we as a society should work to rejuvenate the concepts of family, responsibility, and chastity regardless of gender.
In order to compensate them for the passing of total abortion bans, we should make pregnant women the most privileged group in society.
If state officials wish to totally outlaw abortion, preferential policies that focus on supporting pregnant women must be passed as a prerequisite. Examples include requiring abortion providers to notify their patients of resources to alternatives beforehand, more government funding for pregnancy resource centers, year-long tax breaks for pregnant women, allowing pregnant women the use of HOV lanes, encouraging adoptions, etc. And those enacted policies must be grounded to the public mind, so that those seeking an abortion will hopefully be persuaded to take one of these other options. Some fiscal conservatives might not be in favor of those, but as pro-lifers we tend to lean collectivist on this issue—it is a necessity if we wish to save more lives. Anyway, I doubt this will be a significant government outlay in the big picture.
Given the nature of human biology, that women are the only group capable of becoming pregnant, we should also make sure that they are never punished for having an abortion. That is why I am supportive of the Texas Heartbeat Bill (SB 8) which aims to penalize abortion personnel instead of women. This law allows citizens to directly sue abortion providers performing abortions after the detection of a heartbeat, and has proved just as effective as the traditional judicial process. Legislations like SB 8, copied by several other states, target the abortion surgery market–which is currently large ( especially in Democrat-controlled states)–but it doesn’t mean the end of the day for people who work in this field. It pushes this market toward a transformation from abortion clinics into pregnancy resource centers, which benefit both mothers and babies.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade should not be treated as a V-Day for pro-lifers. Instead, a lot more needs to be done in the long run as we strive to effectively save lives without neglecting the well-being and rights of our beloved women.