According to “Branding Iron,” May 2, 2019, a speaker at UW argued “the rights of women should not come before the right to life of all humans.” I hasten to say that the quotation comes from the article’s author and is not a quotation from the speaker. However, the logic is curious. The speaker was presenting an anti-abortion argument and, undoubtedly, meant the rights of women must not come before the rights of the fetus. Such a concept gives the fetus priority over the rights of the woman. Logic demands that a woman has equal human rights, not rights of less importance than those of the fetus.
Women should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and bodies against their will.
Anti-abortion zealots are willing to force women into motherhood, even repeated motherhood, over and over again – despite the physical sacrifices of pregnancy and childbirth, despite the certainty of poverty for many women, despite the opportunities denied to mothers, and despite the miserable cycle of poverty and lack of opportunity imposed on all too many children.
Abortion is health care. Necessary health care. Without abortion and birth control, women’s lives suffer. Pregnancy and childbirth are serious medical and financial issues, issues not understood to the full extent of their long-lasting impact on the lives and health of women. The hundreds of maternal deaths every year in this country are only one testament to the lack of factual information about pregnancy and childbirth.
Every woman must be allowed the human right of choice. Motherhood must be a choice. It requires the sacrifice of a woman’s body and daily life to the needs of a child, a sacrifice that must be given willingly and with a full heart. No less is required for the well-being of both child and mother.