By: Avi Kahn (11th Grade)
Recently, eight U.S. states have moved toward enacting new laws prohibiting women from receiving an abortion and doctors from performing them. This news has set the world astir as both sides chant slogans such as “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damental Bodily Rights” and “Life Begins at Conception.” While students at Hebrew Academy are split on the issue, I find myself siding strongly with the pro-choice side and I am therefore against criminalizing abortion. It is my belief that the government should not be able to decide what women are and are not allowed to do with their bodies.
On January 22nd, 1973 the famous court case of Roe v. Wade came to a close. Ruling that a woman’s privacy extended to the unborn child she is carrying, the Supreme Court legalized abortion. In addition to making abortion legal, Roe v. Wade also ruled that governments are not allowed to prohibit abortions during the first trimester. Nineteen years later, the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey attempted to overturn Roe v. Wade. Though the ruling of Roe v. Wade remains intact, Planned Parenthood v. Casey did alter it. Rather than state governments not being allowed to intervene after the first trimester, they are permitted to prohibit abortion once the fetus is deemed viable. Despite the Supreme Court closing Roe v. Wade 45 years ago, attempts to abolish the ruling are resurfacing.
It is extremely disheartening to watch a self-proclaimed progressive society so quickly regress into outdated ideals. Statistically, one in four American women will have an abortion by age 45. This past Tuesday 400 rallies were held coast to coast protesting the new abortion laws. A majority of the protesters were women. These are women who do not want the government to decide what they can and cannot do with their bodies. It is my belief that women reserve every right to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies, especially in regards to the issue of abortion.
We live in a country that was founded on the principle of democracy and expresses the importance of the individual. Women should not be subjected to a double standard under which they have to fight for their individual rights, most certainly not bodily rights.