The recent upsurge over Texas abortion laws has caused a plethora of controversy — according to the New York Times, pro-life advocates were eager to pass a law that would force abortion clinics to abide by standards which, in turn, would result in increased cost of abortions and ultimately a mass shutdown of abortion clinics in Texas. 

Judges finally ruled this law unconstitutional because it was medically unnecessary and unfair to women in need of an abortion, but pro-life advocates appealed to the court to have the law reinstated.

Gov. Rick Perry expressed his wishes to eradicate abortion completely, regardless of the circumstances. 

Personally I am a strong supporter of the saying “no uterus, no opinion,” but that argument is often overused, so I will simply acknowledge the issue and move on to new ones.

The issue with the pro-life stance is it assumes all women who get abortions are promiscuous heathens who feed off virgin blood and baby tears — maybe I’m hyperbolic, but you get the idea. 

They are ignorant to circumstances involving incest or rape. In instances such as these, abortion should always be available. A rape victim especially should not be forced into anything else against her will.

But the issue isn’t within abortion itself; the true problem lies within sex education. While sex education has allowed itself to extend beyond its traditional Puritanical beliefs in recent years, it still does not address what to do if you get pregnant. 

States that focus solely on abstinence rather than proper in-depth sex education have a significantly higher rate of teenage pregnancy. These women may then feel hopeless and trapped when faced with this issue. 

In order to decrease the number of abortions, more pre-pregnancy and postpartum options must be readily available to young women. The stigmatization of these subjects only further condemns women in need of help.

The reason the abortion issue cannot be resolved is due to the blatant ignorance of the pro-life argument. 

It is not feasible to believe that the eradication of abortion will end the possibility of illegitimate pregnancy. 

Whether we like it or not, abortion is a necessity. By continuing to condemn women who get abortions, conservatives are only succeeding in the further polarization of the argument and eventual alienation of women.

Ultimately one’s personal experience is vital in determining stance on abortion. 

Those who have never been in this situation lack empathy and ignore real-life consequences in favor of  their own self-righteous moral law.

— Courtney Willett is a freshman from Marietta majoring in pre-journalism

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(21) comments

_Anonymous_

Cow, I did not say she deserved to be attacked but that she should not be surprised considering the circumstances that she received comments she perceived as an attacked. In addition to her obviously and admittedly hyperbolic statements, she described the counterargument as "ignorant" twice. She then proceeds to call ugatiger26 ignorant directly.

The immaturity of the situation is not in my argument that this opens her up to criticism, but in her inability to predict how others would react to such negative generalizations of the other side.

Second, I did disagree with the article itself in the second part of my post. I devoted two sentences, albeit rather long-winded sentences at that, to criticize her for what I would describe as an aggressive article and aggressive comments. I then devoted three paragraphs to my views on her argument.

The article is flawed because it makes incorrect assumptions around the pro-life argument. Some proposals I unquestionably agree with - improved sex education, additional resources for new mothers. Other arguments are distorted to the point where I find them difficult to discuss - abortion bans only being a way for conservatives to punish promiscuity, that it's some sadistic form of shaming. Well, if you would like to argue over these items, there's not even an argument, I would just agree...

However, as I bring up below, I don't even consider those things to be the argument to have.

Cow

Seriously, Anon? If you wanna disagree, disagree with the article. Don't say, "you deserved to be attacked." That's ridiculous. Argue the message, don't bash the author. That's simple maturity.

_Anonymous_

Wow, these comments are a mess.

"We are never going to agree. This has gone from a casual debate to full-on attack. I am done going in circles."

Courtney, c'mon, you have to expect a harsh reaction when you (1) write an article about a sensitive and polarizing subject, (2) paint a large part of the US, and particularly the South, which trends conservative, as ignorant and the sole source of the problem, (3) directly call a fellow commenter ignorant.

"The reason the abortion issue cannot be resolved is due to the blatant ignorance of the pro-life argument."

The reason the abortion issue has not been accepted in the manner in which you would prefer is because of differences in desired outcomes by those who believe in the rights to abortion and those who do not. You, and the USSC as you correctly point out, define life in one way. Under this construct of life, you view the rights of a mother as greater than those of an undeveloped fetus. Others, particularly those who hold pro-life views, generally define life as beginning at conception. Under this definition, the rights of the fetus, in this case a human with full rights, outweigh the mother.

Perhaps some small, vocal segment of the pro-life community hopes to punish promiscuity, but to demonize the other side of the argument by painting them in such a way is wrong. Blame the politicians, blame the vocal minority; don't dismiss (and insult) 50% of the US just because you hold different beliefs.

Texas is using loopholes and possible violations of the law to legislate their interpretation of the law. Are they in violation of the letter of the law? Possibly. Are they in violation of the spirit of the law? Yes. Are they morally evil to consider abortion wrong? No, not unless you hold a fundamentally different view of the definition of life and reproductive rights.

ugatiger26

Cow,

Yes, I get that. Thanks.

I wanted to take this deeper because, as I pointed out earlier, her original argument is a mix between circular reasoning and a straw man fallacy. She automatically wins because she sets up pro-life advocates in a no-win position that caricaturizes them as women hating bible-thumpers.

"The issue with the pro-life stance is it assumes all women who get abortions are promiscuous heathens who feed off virgin blood and baby tears" (yes, I know she said she was being hyperbolic.)

"They are ignorant to circumstances involving incest or rape"

"The reason the abortion issue cannot be resolved is due to the blatant ignorance of the pro-life argument."

"It is not feasible to believe that the eradication of abortion will end the possibility of illegitimate pregnancy"

"Those who have never been in this situation lack empathy and ignore real-life consequences in favor of their own self-righteous moral law"

Is it really fair to paint the entire pro-life camp with this brush? I would say no. After all, in your own words "You can't judge the population based on the select few."

It would be like me saying that pro-choice advocates like to spend their weekends killing babies.

For example, I do not know any pro-life advocate who thinks that eradicating abortions will end or decrease illegitimate pregnancy.

The reason I went where I did was because it will always end up at "individuals shouldn't be told what to do with their body." I agree with that...up until the point of conception.

Here is where we split. While pro-choice advocates believe they are protecting the rights and bodies of the mothers, pro-life advocates believe they are protecting the rights and bodies of the unborn. That is not to say either camp have ill-intentions for the other party (mother or child). It is what it is.

Might I suggest a good book (I'm not being sarcastic. It's a really good book): http://www.amazon.com/The-Righteous-Mind-Politics-Religion/dp/0307377903


Cow

First of all, ugatiger, you're wrong. Her argument is not about Roe vs. Wade. Her argument is that you're trying to restrict the rights of others by imposing a decision on them that may not be right for them.

The point of pro-choice is that you have the right to choose to abort and the right to choose not to. Rather than arguing Courtney's point that pro-life is ignorant in that it ignores the circumstances which cause women to have abortions and instead focuses on the belief that a zygote is inherently a human. You're derailing the argument and focusing on this idea, bringing in circumstantial evidence which doesn't pertain to the conversation, and chooses specific pieces of wording to argue instead of the discussion at hand.

ugatiger26

It's become a full-on attack? A tad dramatic, no? Just having a discussion.

I even conceded points to you in my last comment.

OK, then. I'll let it be as well.

CourtneyWillett

The woman arrived at the hospital bleeding from the abdomen. That's reasonably damaging and could be attributed to manslaughter. Regardless, neither of us have law degrees, so I digress.

You are still ignoring key points that I am trying to address. This argument is being picked apart and twisted by being taken out of context. It's getting to a point where your entire defense is based on attacking my own personal words rather than the overall message being conveyed.

We are never going to agree. This has gone from a casual debate to full-on attack. I am done going in circles.

ugatiger26

Courtney,

Regarding the CNN article, I acknowledge and appreciate your logical consistency as a pro-choice advocate. He's definitely guilty of something. Manslaughter? Nah...if he's not guilty of murder than I can't see how he could be guilty of manslaughter either, unless his girlfriend had been unintentionally killed.

jackmd is correct. Our beliefs will never allow us to find a resolution.

I'm not trying to change your mind. I'm trying to get you to re-think the arrogant position that the pro-life argument is ignorant.

The foundation of your argument in favor of abortion is based on the opinion (funny, there's that word) of 9 people in black robes. You're right, that's currently the law, which is why I'm glad you agree that the boyfriend should not be guilty of murder. Too bad he was.

But just because something is legal doesn't make it morally unquestionable or invincible.

CourtneyWillett

*did not address

CourtneyWillett

Also, you did address the end of my statement regarding outside decision in the matter. Even if it wasn't what you were asking, you said yourself that we shouldn't talk about irrelevance. So what do you have to say?

CourtneyWillett

He is not guilty of murder. Like I said, according to Roe v. Wade, the fetus was not viable. He is guilty of invasion of privacy and possibly manslaughter for the damage caused to the girlfriend.

My article does address the abortion law. The law in question threatened to derail the availability of abortions and I argued in favor of striking down the law.

Pro-life is ignorant. The eradication of abortion will not stop the act. People will continue to undergo illegal and medically unsafe methods of abortion. Making abortion legal is a measure to protect the mother from harm in cases such as these.

ugatiger26

"I read the CNN article. Once again, you only further my point. The article dealt with the issue of an outsider deciding the fate of another person he could not possibly sympathize with."

Not what I was asking. Should he be guilty of murder?

Look, you started this by saying the pro-life argument is blatantly ignorant.

Let's not talk about irrelevance and what your article concerns. Your article does not address the Texas abortion law. You spent just 4 sentences on it. You simply used the Texas abortion law as a segue into your general argument in favor of abortion.

CourtneyWillett

ugatiger26:
With regards to your argument about the fetus' right to life, Roe v. Wade established that until 6 months of development, the fetus is not viable and therefore, it is the mother's right to treat her body as she wishes. Texas law still upholds the regulation that abortions cannot happen after the fetus is considered viable. This is not the law in question. The article addresses the law that would force abortion clinics to uphold certain standards that would cause abortion prices to raise significantly and ultimately close down 1/3 of clinics in Texas. Thus, while you are right in the fetus' right to life, your argument is irrelevant here.

I read the CNN article. Once again, you only further my point. The article dealt with the issue of an outsider deciding the fate of another person he could not possibly sympathize with. Likewise, you or anyone else should not have the right to tell another woman whether or not she can get an abortion just like the man in the article had no right to force an abortion upon his girlfriend.

ugatiger26

"I am familiar with the core values of the pro-life stance; I was formerly pro-life. However, I changed position when I came to realize that it is ignorant to force my own opinions into a situation in which I had no personal experience."

If you are familiar with the core values of the pro-life stance, than you realize that the opposition to abortion lays in the fact that the fetus, regardless of its point of development, is a human life which is protected not only by tenets of any particular religion or theistic moral code, but also by secular natural rights (right to life).

You've set up your entire argument in circular reasoning fallacy. You're automatically right because the other side is automatically wrong, which is summed up by saying:

"The reason the abortion issue cannot be resolved is due to the blatant ignorance of the pro-life argument."

Also, just curious since you say you used to be pro-life, what would be your take on this case?

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/10/justice/girlfriend-abortion-case/

Do you think it's an outrage that the boyfriend is guilty of murder?

Cow

ugatiger26:

Some people abuse the public school system: let's make all schools private.
Some people abuse food stamps: let's get rid of food stamps.
Some people abuse the adoption system: let's make adoption illegal.
Some people get drunk and drive: let's make alcohol illegal.

By no means are the people who abuse systems the majority, and by no means should any system disappear because of this abuse. Regulated more carefully? Perhaps.

You can't judge the population based on the select few.

And once again, you have no place making a personal decision for anyone who is not yourself. If you don't approve of abortions, don't have one. Don't dare try to refuse my rights to make the decision myself, though.

CourtneyWillett

You have only proved my point by furthering your judgment. Regardless of the reason, it is no one's right to judge a woman who gets an abortion. That is up to God and God alone.

I am familiar with the core values of the pro-life stance; I was formerly pro-life. However, I changed position when I came to realize that it is ignorant to force my own opinions into a situation in which I had no personal experience.

ugatiger26

"The issue with the pro-life stance is that it assumes all women who get abortions are promiscuous heathens"

You are guilty of the same flawed logic that you accuse pro-lifers of by painting all women who get abortions as innocent, trapped victims of rape or other unfortunate life circumstances. Whether you want to believe it or not, there are women who choose to get abortions out of concern for the own comfort and convenience.


"The reason the abortion issue cannot be resolved is due to the blatant ignorance of the pro-life argument."

There's definitely disagreement between the two camps that prevents resolution, but this statement tells me that you aren't very familiar with the core values of the pro-life argument.

jackmcd

our arguments will ultimately end in an impass because from my perspective, my belief that the fetus inside the mother is a human life that is as equally valid as yours our mine must require me to try to protect it.

We have a difference in opinion of what that life (or zygote) is. And honestly there is good evidence on both sides. Research shows that fetuses display many human-like features and behaviors from time to time but you can make a good argument that if a fetus hasn't developed human-like requirements (like a brain) it should be considered an extension of the mother's body only.

So put it to a vote, let the democratic process work and see if we can come to a consensous on a local, state, or even national level.

Cow

Jackmcd: You would rather a woman become a slave to a zygote than allow her to do what she wants or needs with her own body? For some reason, my idea of evil is a person who prioritizes their own beliefs to the point of controlling someone else.

For some reason I have trouble agreeing with the idea that a girl should have to hold onto a pregnancy as a result of rape because of your own beliefs.

Abortion is painful, emotionally and physically, for the mother, and it's highly unlikely someone would partake in it unless they had any other options. What we need is an educational system where couples or single women aren't left to the point where an abortion is the only option, not the complete banning of a last resort for someone with nowhere else to go.

Besides, you can never get pregnant, and you will never personally be faced with the same challenge as a woman, so who are you to choose for them?

jackmcd

on that last comment i meant to type "more postpartum options need to be available to decrease abortions" not "decrease pregnancies"

jackmcd

In no way does the pro-life stance innately assume that women that get abortions are evil, which is what you seem to imply. They largely think that the act is evil, not the person (hate the sin, not the sinner kind of thing).

Also I don't understand what you mean when you say that more postpartum options need to be available to decrease pregnancies. If you mean more potential adoption options after child birth I completely agree with you. Is something like that what you meant?

And the pro-life stance realizes the elimination of abortions would not end the possibility of an illegitimate pregnancy, we just don't think that possibility makes the human life inside of the mother any less valued.

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