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Georgia Hinders Women's Right to Choose

By now, you can probably name at least one woman in your life that has had or knows someone who has had an abortion. Amnesty International estimates that every year 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in an abortion.

Abortions are quite common because there are a number of instances where women might choose to follow through with this operation.

1 in 150 live births suffers some type of chromosomal abnormality or karyotype disorder. Because a large number of infants born with these disorders experience serious health defects, some of which are fatal, caring for someone with a chromosomal abnormality can be very costly. This steep financial burden causes some women that are screened for genetic abnormalities to consider and seek an abortion.

Women may choose abortion when a fetus has been conceived under non-consensual circumstances. Being forced to carry a child to term that was conceived during rape can negatively affect a woman’s mental health and thus her ability to be a good parent to her child. Her child could even come to exhibit similar mental problems over time.

Women also have instances where they must choose between their life and the life of their unborn baby. For example, if a woman was diagnosed with cancer, she would have to choose between herself and the child, seeing as chemo is not good for the fetus. This is a very difficult choice to make. What would you do in this instance?

The issue at hand is that women are not given the right to decide what would be best; decisions are made for them by people in power.

Regardless of the reasons one may seek an abortion, women should have the right to choose.

The state of Georgia is denying women this right by making it difficult for women to have safe abortions. After all, stricter abortion laws do not stop abortions from happening; they simply stop safe abortions from happening. With current Georgia abortion laws, such as the “Heartbeat Bill” brought into effect by Governor Brian Kemp, women are not given enough time to even know they are pregnant before being forced to make this difficult decision.

For those that can even have an abortion in Georgia, it’s very expensive. Some of this is due to the societal stigma that surrounds abortion. Many insurance companies do not cover the cost of abortions, which deters women from getting abortions when they may need it most. Further, access to abortion clinics and doctors in Georgia is limited. The availability of clinics should be expanded so that more women have access to the medical care they need and deserve.

Instead of telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies, the state of Georgia should give women the right to choose. //

Catherine Shamanski


Read an opposing viewpoint: Abortion: The Tyranny of Rights


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