Speaking of the anti-abortion or pro-life march last Friday and the Trump government’s intentions to defund the Planned Parenthood program, I share this article written by Michelle Oberman:
In her reflection, the author analyzes what would happen if abortion were penalized in the United States, and for that she takes as an example the cases of El Salvador and Chile, two countries where abortion is illegal. Based on the experience of these nations, Oberman concludes that the prohibition of abortion does not necessarily reduce its incidence because most of the time it is done clandestinely, which makes it difficult to follow up on this activity by authorities and because for many women, abortion continues to be the only alternative of contraception. Finally, the author states that instead of discussing whether abortion should be penalized or not, the State should design a policy around the idea that nobody should choose abortion because it is too poor to have a child.
I think it will be very difficult for there to be a consensus on the issue of abortion because various ethical, religious, social and economic aspects converge around it, which will always be used as arguments for and against this practice. I agree with the author that if it is about eradicating abortion, penalizing it is not the solution because it remains the only alternative for many women who, due to the scarcity of resources, can not access contraceptives and regardless of whether it is legal or illegal they will continue to make use of it. Likewise, I consider that declaring it illegal can increase the death rates of women who would go to places that do not have the health standards that are required for these procedures. On the oher hand, I believe that by penalizing abortion , it would be leaving out the victims of sexual violence who have become pregnant against their will and those cases in which the fetus presents genetic malformations. What I disagree with is that those who defend abortion with the argument that women have the right to decide about their body and can freely choose whether or not to continue with a pregnancy. I believe that when a woman has economic resources and access to contraceptives, the right to make decisions and take care of her body should not exempt her from her responsibility to assume her actions and I think that in these cases, abortion has no justification. That is why I believe that the State should continue to bet on education and access to contraceptive methods, especially in the most vulnerable populations, so that fewer and fewer women will have to appeal to this practice and so that in any case the conception is a responsible and planned act.
For the discussion I propose the following questions:
- Do you agree that a woman has the right to decide about her body and in that sense her right to abortion should be respected? Or do you think that this practice should definitely be prohibited?
- What is behind Trump’s pro-life discourse? Is it just another media distractor? What implications from the social point of view can the defunding of planned parenthood program have?