Abortion: the debate behind the debate
The abortion debate is about the very essence of our country and what our constitution means. It's great to have an opinion — either pro-abortion rights or anti-abortion — and share it with others. It is something very different to attempt to legally force a religious view on others. This debate occurs over and over again in a wide range of issues: stem-cell research, same-sex marriage and adoption.
Within the abortion debate the opposing sides are the anti-abortion rights camp and the pro-abortion rights camp. The anti-abortion rights movement not only acts to educate people on their views on abortion but also actively strives, at the state and national level, to enact laws to restrict access to abortion services.
In contrast, the pro-abortion rights movement only seeks to allow access to abortion services. If the pro-abortion rights group was to fight against choice and advocate legally mandatory abortions for unplanned pregnancies it would be viewed as absurd. Of course, you wouldn't force a woman to have an abortion. Why is it sensible to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term? Because based on Judeo-Christian ethics it's wrong to have an abortion. This all comes down to a question of forcing a religious view on people. So are we going to legally force women who do not have the same views of abortion to carry pregnancies to term?
Or are we going to allow women to make the decision for themselves, allowing all women to have access to abortion services and those whose beliefs prohibit abortion to abstain?
I think legally prohibiting abortion or significantly restricting access to abortion services is a slippery slope. If today we force women to carry pregnancies to term, what is next? Will you or I face prosecution for other choices in our personal lives, choices to do with sexuality, dress, food, work and family? What happens if another moral view gains the majority in America? Do we want to pave the way for the majority to dictate how we choose to live our personal lives? My answer is a resounding no!
Celeste L. Stephenson is a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior majoring in biotechnology.