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Opinion: Public vs. private abortion legislation

4 min read

Since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade that constitutionally extended a woman’s right to have an abortion, the way voting has been handled in abortion cases has not been democratic; rather, it has transformed into a “pro-life” agenda to stopping abortion by any means necessary.

It may be the case that abortions are technically legal in the United States, but under many states’ restrictions people are unable to receive such treatment. In Texas, for example, a woman would have to drive over 170 miles to receive an abortion, according to The Young Turks, a political and social commentary program.

This is because instead of voting on issues, the pro-life agenda has taken to circumventing the democratic forum by passing unnoticeable bills in state legislatures that make it nearly impossible to open an abortion clinic or provide an abortion.

This has a socioeconomic factor to it because it has different effects on different classes. A poor woman who wants to have an abortion may have difficult time trying to get an abortion because of monetary constraints; on the other hand, a wealthier woman who is able to travel to get such care creates an inequality between the classes even though the abortion is technically “legal.” It’s not that people don’t want to run or start abortion clinics, but all the bureaucratic laws in place have made doing so nearly impossible.

Ironically, those who identify as pro-life also typically lean to the Christian right on most topics, with the exception of Democratic Catholics. The irony is in the Republican party pushing small government, albeit believing the talking points stop when it comes to a woman’s right to choose and, more recently, a person’s right to marry.

I am largely ambivalent when it comes to abortion; I admittedly haven’t taken the time to have a solidified opinion. I understand the ownership of the body, but at the same time am skeptical about humans using technology to overcome so-called perceived inabilities or disadvantages. This article is not about that; instead, it is about how we deal with hot-topic issues and how our government legislates our interests. Should they do it in a public manner where our opinions are heard? Or should they implement misleading legislation because they are pushing for a particular agenda, rather than having an open discussion about it?

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