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Responses: Should Abortion be Legal and What's the Government's Role

This week's Room for Debate took on perhaps the most polarizing and hotly contested political issue: Abortion. As usual we are so proud of all those who wrote and commented who helped, our mission to unite a global community to have a civil discourse about such a contentious issue. Discussion topics ranged from the expected pro-life vs pro-choice, to a broader range of topics including conditional abortions, international policies on the issue, and how religion plays a factor. Here are a few highlights from a week full of constructive discussion:

 

From the Op-eds:

"In 2015, a total of 229,715 babies were born to women aged 15-19. Although these teenagers decided to go through with their pregnancy, they should be given the option of abortion no matter what. When you are 16, you are in the middle of high school with an immense amount of pressure riding on your shoulders. Teenagers that have to deal with a pregnancy while in high school should have places like Planned Parenthood to go to, to discuss termination options such as abortion."

-Lili Bernstein, California

 

"To put it simply, if we do not know with absolute certainty that life begins at a certain point, then it is not in our power as humans to commit an act which could even potentially cause death after life begins. When one drives down a dimly lit street at night and sees a pile of clothing, one that could maybe be a human being, we swerve and do not hit the pile. Why would we when there is even the slightest chance that we could be terminating an innocent life?"

-Joseph Touma, West Virginia

 

From the Discussions:

"There is also a voluntarily sterilization in women and its law is also very unclear in many developing and under developing countries. The countries which have laws about sterilization needs women to get spousal consent for women to go through this procedure [...] these kinds of Laws are the fuel for gender discrimination in any society."

-Tallal Ahmed, Pakistan

 

"In Chile, abortions are illegal. This has triggered a movement that was most likely unaccounted for initially. Women put themselves in harm's way to have “accidental abortions”- the only legal way to have an abortion in the country. "

-Katie McLaughlin, California

 

"Additionally, I do not believe that religion or morals has a place in this conversation. I think this is personal and a very situational issue, that is different from person to person."

-Shea O'Donnell , Washington 

 

"Even if abortion had to be outlawed to some people, it should always be availible to minors and sexual abuse victims, as having to carry those babies to term could ruin their life and future."

-Aimee Johnston, Colorado 

 

"I don't believe that the fact that President Trump won the election plays a major role in whether or not people should have access to treatments that pertain to their own health. The idea of a "pro-life country" or a "pro-choice country" is not feasible in the context of the United States."

-Jacqui Guerra, Connecticut 

 

"Furthermore, we should take into account how the fact that this is a female-centric issue reflects on the restrictions placed by governments; and how they parralel existing power and privilege dynamics."

-Esther Brito Ruiz , Spain 

 

Abortion Policies from Around the World:

 

Argentina

 

In Argentina abortion is legal if the mother´s life is at risk or if she was raped and the pregnancy was a result of this event...

-Carolina Ranfagni

 

Pakistan 

 

...This condition (Argentina policy) is same in my country Pakistan and it is very disturbing. There is also a voluntarily sterilization in women and its law is also very unclear in many developing and under developing countries. The countries which have laws about sterilization needs women to get spousal consent for women to go through this procedure...

-Tallal Ahmed, Pakistan

 

Fiji

 

In Fiji, grounds on which abortion is permitted are;

- when to save the life of the woman

- To preserve physical health

- To preserve mental health

-Economic or social reasons

Additional Requirement ; An abortion must be authorized by a physician and performed by a licensed physician in a hospital.

 

Furthermore, those performing an illegal abortion are subject to imprisonment for up to 14 years. The same punishment may be applied to someone unlawfully supplying instruments to perform the abortion. A woman attempting unlawfully to induce her own abortion or consenting to its being induced, is subject to imprisonment for up to seven years .

-Archana Reddy, Fiji

 

Liberia

 

In Liberia abortion is the same as in Fiji which abortion abortion is permitted at the following conditions:

- when to save the life of the woman

- To preserve physical health

- To preserve mental health

-Economic or social reasons

-Simeon Workar, Liberia

 

Colorado

 

There's no gestational limit in Colorado. Although outpatient abortion is only available up to 26 weeks, with Planned Parenthood only offering up to almost 19 weeks. Medically required pregnancy termination is available for late term pregnancies.

-Aimee Johnston, Colorado

 

 

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