Contrasting Viewpoints: Responsibility is the key

Home Editorial & Opinion Contrasting Viewpoints: Responsibility is the key
Contrasting Viewpoints: Responsibility is the key

CHERYL ERICKSON – The Corsair

November 24, 2010

My grandmother had a simple solution to preventing pregnancy. Her idea was that a young lady should simply place a single aspirin between her knees and hold it there; not allowing it to fall would surely prevent pregnancy. Although the idea of women walking around while trying to hold an aspirin between their knees provides for a humorous mental image, that’s about as useful as that gets.

The traditional “abstinence-only” belief is that if we teach teens to abstain from having sex, we would prevent unwanted teen pregnancies and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. However, this has proven to be completely ineffective. People are going to have sex; teens are going to have sex. To simply tell them not to have sex and that they should wait until they are mature and ready is completely ineffective. An effective sex education program should educate teens on the importance of both abstinence and birth control and offer information on options available; thus preventing pregnancy and STD’s.

The heated abortion issue is one that evokes strong feelings or judgments on both sides. The terms pro-choice and pro-life bring about strong debates, and even violence at times.

Anti-abortion advocates argue that abortion is killing an unwanted human embryo with a human heartbeat; stating it is a moral sin based on religious convictions and due simply to the irresponsibility which leads to pregnancy. Simply put, abortion is murdering innocent unborn human babies. There are many couples on waiting lists trying to adopt children and because birth control has become increasingly available, abortion should never be used as a means of birth control.

In addition to the commonly instilled stigma that abortion is morally wrong, abortion can cause serious psychological problems such as depression, guilt, infections, and recurrent miscarriages. Anti-abortion advocates argue that ending the pregnancy through abortion, essentially killing the baby your body is trying to protect, should be illegal.

It is argued that these babies have a right to life and that right must be protected and often debated that the fetus is capable of feeling pain as early as 12 weeks. Furthermore, the use of selective abortion used for genetic abnormalities is virtually violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which is to protect the civil rights of Americans born with disabilities.

In contrast, according to the World Health Organization, the highest incidences of unsafe abortions occur where abortion is illegal. This greatly increases the risk of women dying or becoming sterile. Abortion rights advocates contend that government should not have control over what a woman does with her body. It can also be argued that while one momentary mistake has the potential to ruin a young man or woman’s life, giving a child up for adoption can also be just as emotionally damaging as an abortion.

Most people are either anti-abortion or for abortion rights with little room for gray areas. I’m a little gray. I am on the fence with this issue. I think if I had to choose a side I would be on the abortion rights end of the spectrum with at least a foot or leg over on the anti-abortion side. I don’t believe abortion should ever be used as a form of birth control; however, I do believe a woman should have the right to choose. The key is being responsible with your decisions.

(Please send all opinions and letters to the editor to corsair@pensacolastate.edu.)

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