Don’t restrict access to safe, legal abortion

With abortion being a major issue in the United States, especially after Texas legislators Leticia Van de Putte and Wendy Davis drew attention to the weight of the issue at the Austin filibuster last month, it’s hard to ignore the people – particularly the people in power – who are bound and determined to protect the life of unborn fetuses.

Yet many of the people who claim that these unborn fetuses have a right to life do not advocate for things such as welfare, food stamps, better funding and affordability for schools, health care and justice for people of color and others who experience oppression.

Moreover, pro-lifers and Republicans like Rick Perry give more personhood to an unborn fetus than to the actual living human being who carries it. Body autonomy is a basic human right – and women are denied that when men in political office try to control women’s bodies by blocking access to safe, legal medical care.

A key part of a pro-lifer’s stance against abortion is the belief that life begins at conception. This is neither proved with science, nor a belief that is universally shared. How can people truly call themselves pro-life when they have little of the fervor used in the defense of an unborn fetus for people who are unquestionably and irrefutably alive?

Kristen Schmid