Pro-Choice, Abortions and Planned Parenthood

Protesters hold signs as they rally in support of Planned Parenthood and pro-choice and to protest a state decision that would effectively halt abortions by revoking the center's license to perform the procedure, near the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri, May 30, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Zarina Sotero, Arts Editor |

Pro-lifers are more concerned about the life of a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus, instead of the life of the person that is actually pregnant. What if the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the pregnant woman? What if the pregnancy was forced? What if the person who is pregnant is a 13-year-old girl who was raped? However, there are more reasons than those as to why people choose to have abortions. Some decide to get abortions because they know they are unfit to be a parent, whether that be mentally or financially, while others get abortions simply because their pregnancy was accidental, and that is okay. No matter what the case may be, the point is that every single person has the right to their own body and the right to make their own decisions about their body.

A common argument against abortion is “there are other choices; you can always put the baby up for adoption.” There are over 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States alone. Why not focus on those lives first before adding another one to the system? Though not all children in the foster care system are mistreated, we must focus more on those who are abused or treated unfairly.

Many pro-lifers also argue that abortions occur within the third trimester when the baby is almost fully developed. That really isn’t the case for most abortions, and if it is the case for some, it’s for good reason. Most abortions occur during the first trimester, likely soon after one finds out they’re pregnant. People seem to also think that the abortion process is horrific and nothing like what it actually is. A woman has the option to take the “abortion pill” up to 11 weeks during pregnancy. The “abortion pill” is actually two different pills: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks the body’s progesterone, which stops the pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, is then taken either right away or up to 48 hours later to cause cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus and push out pregnancy tissue.

Abortions occurring late in the second trimester or during the third trimester are rare and only ever occur for serious reasons, such as medical complications. Women don’t carry a baby to almost full term then one day decide they no longer want to be pregnant or have a baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2016, approximately 1.2 percent of abortions were performed at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy, 91 percent of abortions were performed before 13 weeks and 7.7 percent at 14-20 weeks.

I have been seeing a lot of content across social medias of pro-lifers gathering in front of Planned Parenthood centers to protest abortions and even harass the women who go there. While Planned Parenthood does offer abortion services, there are so many other great and important services they offer. Planned Parenthood isn’t just for women, they offer health care for men, too. They offer sex education, birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) testing and treatment, and so much more. Not to mention, Planned Parenthood services are tremendously helpful for those who don’t have good insurance or are uninsured. Their services are greatly discounted and affordable, though this doesn’t mean the quality of their services are low.

You don’t have to like abortion to be pro-choice. Being pro-choice means that you support the principle of women having the ability to choose what is best for them and their situation. Supporting the defunding of Planned Parenthood, protesting abortions and supporting laws that criminalize abortions and make them illegal not only takes away the freedom of women to be able to choose, but also puts people in danger. Taking all of these things away would not magically stop abortions, they would just stop the safe ones.

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