I feel like there are two things the majority of Americans can agree on: one is that human life matters and two is that humans deserve bodily autonomy. If we can agree on these, then we can agree that the choice to have an abortion should be in the hands of an individual because their life matters and they deserve to make their own decisions for their body. We would not force someone to donate their organs even if it would save someone’s life because we can agree that their life has value, and we could never violate their bodily autonomy.
I used to hold a pro-life position. I wasn’t just pro-life where I just personally wouldn’t have an abortion. I wanted all abortions to be illegal, no matter the circumstances. I am pro-choice now, and while the comments I hear about abortion on the pro-life side make me angry, I also can’t help but understand where they’re coming from. Abortion is an emotionally charged subject on both sides.
Abortions are part of health care, and everyone has the right to their views on Abortion, but everyone also has the right to make their own medical decisions. Protecting our reproductive rights means everyone gets the choice to believe what they want and make their own decisions based on them.
When the possibility of becoming pregnant became a reality for me, the need for access to abortions became incredibly important. Becoming pregnant would completely derail my life and would not allow me to be as successful as I am today. My life is real, and it matters. It shouldn’t be at risk because I have a uterus.
Restrictions and bans on abortions are detrimental. Every abortion is a valid abortion that doesn’t need an explanation. Restrictions and bans also affect the communities already facing disparities. Those with higher income and social status can travel to find an abortion provider and pay the high costs of getting it. Those who are low-income and may need an abortion, will not have the same access. This can translate to falling deeper into poverty. I am a college student who works part-time. I am not in a financial situation where I could have a baby. If I were to get pregnant, I would have to drop out of school and work full-time. As a first-generation college student with a working-class family, I am supposed to be the person to lift us up. A pregnancy would ruin the progress and hard work my family made to get me here. I deserve to be as successful as my peers, which means having access to abortions.
Alexandra Reyes is a policy fellow with Young Invincibles in Colorado, and a first-generation college student at the University of Colorado Denver getting her bachelor’s in public health.