Student Opinion: Abortion is Healthcare, Abortion is a Human Right

No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.” Although she wrote this quote over a century ago, Margaret Sanger perfectly put into words the feeling that many experienced back in her time, and sadly, the one that many are still experiencing to this day. The discussion on abortion has been a widely controversial topic that’s been the center of many arguments, conflicts, and debates for as long as the concept has existed. The thing is, abortion should be a right that every women has no matter what. Everyone should have the right to make their own decisions on what they do or don’t do with their bodies, not anybody else. 


On October 2nd, thousands of people across the country took to the streets to protest the most recent Texas abortion law banning abortion after 6 weeks of preganancy. This uproar brought back a previous case that directly contradicts the new Texas law, causing chaos and debates everywhere. On January 22nd of 1973, a court case named Roe v. Wade deemed that safe abortions were a right and that banning abortions was unconstitutional. This was an important law for women, as having access to abortions was, and still is, a fundamental resource. Thanks to an online poll set up by GALLUP news, about 79% of Americans are in favor of Roe v. Wade. However, many people are still trying to overthrow it, which could lead to disastrous situations. On September 1st of 2021, the Texas Heartbeat Act was put into effect which meant that women could no longer get abortions if they were 6 weeks pregnant or more. This would mean that if the doctors heard a heartbeat, you would be denied an abortion. Restricting abortions did not mean that the procedure would simply go away, it would only mean that there would be an increase in unsafe abortions. What would unsafe abortions lead to? Death.

By 1965, illegal abortions made up one-sixth of all pregnancy-related deaths in

the United States — and that’s just according to official reports. Doctors think the actual 

number of deaths from illegal abortion was a lot higher.” 

-Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Inc


Now that abortions are currently considered illegal in Texas, would the number in pregnancy related deaths rise? The public’s response and protests to the Heartbeat Bill has been significant, and now we’re left to wonder, will the bill get repealed? Or will women’s healthcare rights continue to stay limited? 


The public, as a response, decided to take matters into their own hands as they protested the increasing abortion restrictrions through marches and protests across the country. Women and other activists who participated pronounced their reasons for speaking out against the Heartbeat Bill. Marsha Jones, an executive director of the Afiya Center, a Texas based abortion rights and women empowerment organization, commented, “Not only is abortion healthcare, but at my organization we also believe it’s selfcare.” Protester Alejandra Marquez from Austin, Texas, stated “I don’t think old men or politicians should be making the decision on what I can and can’t do with my body, I think every woman should have the right to decide when they want to have kids, and how, and how many.” Women across the country fight for abortion to be legalized in view of the fact that they should have every reason to choose what they want for themselves. Politicians who pass laws are here to represent the people, their wants, their needs, and their rights, not their own political agenda, religious beliefs, personal interests, or to impose their belief system on the rest of the people. Thus, it is up to the people to decide what suits them best and not what the politicians think is best for them.


Locally, protestors have also made sure to make their voices heard. Hundreds of people gathered in Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square to defend the right to an abortion and protest the Heartbeat Bill. A diverse population attended, which included people of all genders, races, and ages. According to a student here at West County, “I attended the women’s march because I wanted to take action! I have always talked about wanting to go to protests, standing up, etc. , but I never actually did something [about it.]” She then continues to say that she was offered the opportunity in Ethnic Studies since they were already making posters about it, and she decided to dive right in! Another West County student said, “ I attended the protest because I believe that abortion is a woman’s medical decision, and that right should not be taken away. I believe in participating in civil demonstrations [in order] to be an active part of our democracy. Abortion is healthcare, and it is a personal decision.” 

Many at the protest would agree with this, as they proudly held signs saying powerful statements such as, My Body is Not Up for Political Debate and My body, My choice. Other signs also expressed quotes like, Get your laws off my body and My body is not your political playground. When asked what was the most notable part of the protest, one of the students above said that it was when, “. . .a woman who had been raped came up and spoke. Also, seeing older women who had been through really crazy times and had to fight for their rights before was really impactful.” The other student said, “. . . I saw all kinds of people like women, men, trans, black, and more which was really amazing to me because even though it was a Women’s March, everyone showed up to show support and love.” When asked about what she was trying to accomplish by going to the protests, the same student stated “. . . I hoped, even if it was small, that I would make a difference, by either signing a petition, getting educated by the speakers, and just overall showing my support.” Ultimately, this was what protests across the country were trying to do. They were trying to show support, love, empathy, and kindness to all these different women. They were trying to prove to these women that can’t get abortions, that they do have people on their side, and that we won’t back down without a fight. Afterall, it’s our body, our choice, right?


As can be seen, abortion has been, and will, sadly, most likely stay, a highly controversial political issue around the world. To this day, there are still some US states who are attempting to enforce restrictions for it, following in Texas’ footsteps. However, lawmakers have to understand that they have no place or say in a woman’s decision on what she does or does not do with her body. At the end of the day, abortion is a woman’s decision and a woman’s right, not there’s.