Women should have the right to their own bodies


Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images (from NPR)

Demonstrators rally in support of abortion rights at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist born in India, died in 2012 after being denied an abortion due to that country’s strict laws, regardless of there being no chance of her baby’s survival. This woman died due to her being denied the choice between her life and an unborn child with no chance of survival’s life.

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade – the U.S. milestone that made abortion a federal law in the U.S. – opening up the possibility for more women to face the negative repercussions that can come with having an unwanted child. The decision made over women’s rights to their bodies was made by mostly men when they have no understanding of the conflicts women face during pregnancy. Women deserve the right to have the choice over their own bodies, whether that choice is to give birth to a child or not.

Women should be able to choose not to carry a baby as it can cause severe depression. Even though about 50% of mothers experience postpartum depression and 7% experience depression during pregnancy, it doesn’t mean it does not happen or severely affect women. For example, CNN released an article, ” Husband Shares The Tragic Reality of Postpartum Depression” which states, “On September 1, less than six months after giving birth, and a month after being diagnosed with postpartum depression, Pranaiya took her life, and the life of her son Arthur.” Furthermore, if a woman chooses to not want to have a child as it can cause depression that can lead to her own demise, that should be totally her choice. Additionally, postpartum depression isn’t the only complication with pregnancy; there are more possible complications like a complete change in their bodies, infections, and gestational diabetes to name a few. Further proving that women’s choice to have abortions is justifiable.

In some cases, a woman is violated by a man and gets pregnant through no choice of their own and has to give birth to their abuser’s baby when they should have the choice not to. According to CBS News, “ An 11-year-old girl in Ohio was allegedly raped by a 26-year-old multiple times, leaving her pregnant according to police reports, A state law passed in April, but not yet in effect, says that victims like her won’t have a choice to have an abortion- they would have to carry and deliver their rapist’s child.” Meaning that an 11-year-old child with a young frail body will have to deal with the trauma of pregnancy because the law won’t allow her to get an abortion. Additionally, it is not fair the child has to deal with the consequences of having a child when she was the victim who didn’t ask for the baby at all because of a law.

The illegalization of abortion will lead to abusive parenting because the women have no choice but to have the baby. StatNEWS ran a study to see what life would be like for the mother and child after not having a wanted abortion. The study showed, “Children born to women who were denied abortions fared worse. They were more likely to live in households where there wasn’t enough money to pay for basic living expenses. Women are much more likely to report poor material bonding-feeling trapped as a mother, resenting their baby, or longing for the “old days” before they had the baby.” This demonstrates how if women get the right to have an abortion taken away, then it will just lead to a bad life for the mother and child, Additionally, the denial of abortions won’t prevent them. It will only cause unsafe abortions putting them in danger and if they decide to have the baby it can cause a dangerous situation for the child so it’s better to give the option to women.

Although I believe that women should have rights over their own bodies, the Supreme Court believes that getting rid of an unborn child is unjust. Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the individuals who overturned Roe V. Wade wrote, “Grievously wrong for many reasons but the most fundamental is that its current holding-that the constitution protects a woman’s rights to abort her unborn child-finds no support in the text of the 14th amendment.” The 14th Amendment-in summary-states that all people born in the U.S. are guaranteed equal protection of the laws. Why is it that the unborn child’s 14th amendment rights are put into consideration for the baby’s life but the woman who has lived longer, paid her dues to the country and birthed the child doesn’t receive the same privilege of her 14th amendment rights being valued? 

Women should be given the right to their own bodies and decide whether they want to give birth to a baby or not because it can cause severe complications like depression, children should not be giving birth to children, and women being denied abortions will only cause a bad life for the mother and the child. The choice of having a baby should only be given to the person who gives birth to the child, which is the woman. Women’s rights being taken in the U.S. is nothing new: women have been fighting for rights for over 150 years. It’s not fair that women have come really far and made lots of progress, but now that progress is reverting back due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Because of their new interpretation of the law, women are being forced to either have an unwanted pregnancy or have an unsafe abortion. So Supreme Court, would you rather have a world filled with unhappy children and mothers or simply give women the choice over their own bodies?