The complexities of the abortion debate | Letter to the editor

A Bothell resident believes the abortion debate can be resolved by meeting in the middle.

Abortion is the willful termination of one’s pregnancy.

It’s one of the most controversial topics of the decade and will continue to be until a final decision is made on the matter. There are two main viewpoints on this topic.

One viewpoint is pro-life, viewing abortion as murder and something that should be illegal. The other is pro-choice, respecting a woman’s right of autonomy, and recognizing that a woman has the power of choice with her reproduction.

I believe that the true solution to this issue is somewhere in the middle.

Those who consider themselves pro-life believe abortion is murder. If we take that point without argument, then that means the woman does not have the right to kill the child. Yet that also means that the child does not have the right to kill the mother as well. When going through with the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, she should have every right to make the call and abort the fetus.

Of course, there are some people who would never do that. And that is perfectly acceptable. For some people, it interferes with their religious beliefs, so they would never get an abortion under any circumstances. But they also don’t have the right to tell other people they have to do the same.

Telling someone, “You can’t get an abortion because it’s against my religious beliefs” is the equivalent of saying “You can’t have junk food because I’m on a diet.”

As defined by Merriam Webster, life is “the period from birth to death.” Murder is the premeditated taking of human life. So how can abortion be murder if it is not taking a life?

Now for the pro-choice perspective. A basic health right, defined by Immanuel Kant, a philosopher from the 1800s, is the right to autonomy. Autonomy entails that you have the right to make your own choices regarding your own health.

Woman have this right and therefore have the ability to make informed decisions about their reproduction. They should be allowed access to contraceptives and other birth control strategies.

The real solution lies between these opposing perspectives. When you make the informed decision to become pregnant, it’s like checking off the terms and conditions box on a contract. You take all the risks and agree to follow through with taking care of the child to the best of your ability.

But like any contract, it expires upon one’s death, and like so, women should be allowed to get an abortion if the pregnancy is endangering their life. But under no other circumstances should they be allowed to violate this contract.

Backing up to the beginning, what does it mean to make the informed decision to become pregnant? It means to want a child and to have consensual sex with someone to make that happen.

It does not mean getting raped. Without being able to make that first initial decision, women should be under no circumstances bound to the responsibility of having and caring for a child.

I am neither pro-choice nor pro-life. I don’t believe abortion should be an option for people who made the decision to have a child and are looking for an easy way out after changing their minds.

It should be an option for the women who don’t have any other options. We are all different people coming from different situations, and it’s time we start respecting that.

Sruttika Srinivasa,

Bothell


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