Guest Opinion: Vote no on Amendment 67 and mind your own uterus

Oct. 27, 2014

Shelby Shively
[email protected]

When it comes to my body, the only person I consult with is myself.

This voting season, you should too.

Many people identify somewhere along a spectrum of pro-life to pro-choice, but I’m proabortion. This doesn’t mean I think everyone who gets pregnant should have an abortion. Rather, I think abortion should be safe, legal and accessible everywhere.

Amendment 67 is no more than a personhood measure, meaning the goal is to defi ne fertilized eggs as people. Anything that prevents this person from actually entering the world (including abortion and many forms of birth control) would then be considered murder.

Early abortions are relatively safe procedures. They generally take about fi ve to 20 minutes, and most require only local anesthesia. The risk of complications is small, but this is only true when the abortion is performed in a medical facility.

If Amendment 67 passes, it will force women to obtain “back alley” procedures, where the risk of complications greatly increases because these are generally unsterile environments.

Criminalizing abortion will not actually prevent women from getting them; it will only restrict our ability to get them in sterile medical facilities.

Babies are great, but they are not great at all points in the life course, and they are not great for all people. I would prefer for a woman to abort a fetus than to end up resenting her child and perhaps becoming abusive.

Abortion should not be used as backup birth control, and according to a Guttmacher Institute fact sheet about induced abortions, about half of the women who get abortions had used some form of contraception – a form that obviously failed.

Until we have comprehensive sex education in schools nationwide, we cannot expect the public to have a proper understanding of the various forms, uses and effectiveness of contraceptives either.

I’m generally opposed to women aborting fetuses after discovering they will have disabilities, but I also understand that the associated medical costs of some disabilities are simply too much for women of lower social class.

I’ve heard, “Why punish the baby for the father’s mistake?” to justify restricting victims of rape from getting abortions more times than I can count, but most people I meet agree women should be able to get abortions in these circumstances.

Whether you’re pro-choice, pro-life or somewhere in between, you’d probably agree that all children born into this world should go to loving families who want them, will cherish and care for them, and will be fully able to provide for their physical, emotional, intellectual and financial needs.

But women are in unequal positions compared to men across the globe. We are more likely to be in poverty, more likely to be malnourished, less likely to be educated and paid less than men regardless of the amount of work we do or in what field.

This makes for a difficult situation in which to raise children.

According to the Guttmacher Institute report, “Beyond Apocalypse and Apology,” women’s ability to control our fertility has a direct impact on our ability to participate fully and equally in society. Globally, it allows women to become better educated and economically independent.

It would be amazing if we could end abortion altogether, but criminalizing those who make this decision is the worst way to attempt that goal.

Vote no on Amendment 67. Let’s find a better alternative to prevent women from ever needing abortions while ensuring more equality in the interim.