I live in a country that I appreciate because we are allowed some freedoms many countries are not. In my country, women without means have access to birth control. Women can terminate a pregnancy if necessary without threat of being criminalized or having to risk an illegal procedure that can be life threatening and dangerous. These rights are under attack. It has been proposed that abortion be made illegal, that our government shouldn’t pay for birth control. I have been having conversations about this lately and many people feel that the implementation of these proposals would be constructive and beneficial to our government, economy and the moral integrity of our countries citizens.
Many base their support of this proposed legislation on religion. I am not religious but I have a good moral compass. We live in country that was founded on the idea that church and state should be separated. The church should have no weight in regard to legislation or its implementation. The idea that our citizens’ personal religious belief supersedes a woman’s decision to end a pregnancy is a direct contradiction to constitutional law. As President Obama said, “No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom’. If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.” If you don’t want to have an abortion and would never consider terminating a pregnancy because you believe it would be a sin then don’t have an abortion. That doesn’t give you a right to force your ideology onto the female citizens of this country who may see it as the best option for their future.
Women have abortions for many reasons. Women have abortions because their birth control failed. Women have abortions because they have been victims of sex crimes. Women have abortions because they are incapable of caring for or raising a child. Most women don’t have abortions in lieu of birth control. The idea that most women in this country have abortions because they are careless and irresponsible is insulting and bias insinuation based on fundamentalist using religion to defend their sexist attitudes toward women and their individual freedoms.
Access to birth control keeps the number of pregnancies terminated down and abortion provides an alternative to women who may not be ready for or capable of caring for child. These rights are important and have great deal to do with why I am glad I was born in this country. As our country begins to allow our rights as citizens to come under scrutiny based on the beliefs of some, we as American citizens have an obligation to stand up and defend those being attacked. Religion shouldn’t dictate how our government views women. Our government should protect women. Hopefully it will continue to do so.
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