Reproductive Rights

Our Constitutional Right to Abortion Regardless of Religion

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This post is Anonymous by request.

We must take back our Constitutional right to abortion because we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I was raised a Protestant fundamentalist during the 1960’s and the evils of abortion were never mentioned. Sex without marriage, drinking, cussing, and dancing were drummed into our heads as sins you could burn in Hell for, but not abortion. For years, I would feel a little tinge of guilt for drinking or dancing because it had been so deeply engrained in me how wrong they were. When I was a young, divorced grad student in a job that had potential but low salary, I obtained an abortion. I often wondered why I never felt guilty nor regretted my decision.

Sometime in the early 80’s, my childhood religion shifted to be political and strongly anti-abortion; that was why my younger family members felt abortion was evil like I had felt drinking and dancing were. It was engrained in them. Why the shift? Why wasn’t abortion something my church addressed while I was growing up? Was it not wrong then?

Back then, women were suffering since abortion was illegal. To me, the anti-choice movement isn’t about “life” at all – if it were, they would not have exceptions for rape and incest based on the lack of culpability of the woman. The Protestant fundamentalist argument against abortion is not consistent: they believe in capital punishment and abortion exceptions because these policies are about controlling women’s behavior and not about the sanctity of life.

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

I was in the military in the early 70’s, and if you became pregnant and wanted to stay pregnant – no matter what marital status – you had to get out. When we were both 19, a friend of mine decided to get an abortion. She didn’t want to leave the military, and her other option was to return to the South, unmarried and pregnant with a bi-racial child. (Not a good option in 1973.) Before her abortion, the doctor came into the room to talk to her, bent over and said, “I have been ordered to perform this abortion, and I don’t want to because I am Catholic. I saw on your chart that you are Catholic too, so I want you to know before you go under anesthetic that we are both going to burn in Hell for this.” She was devastated.

We must fight abortion restrictions on Constitutional grounds. We should not be afraid to take the fight back to the Supreme Court. Our constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are being infringed upon by a segment of society that feels, in spite of what the Constitution says, that our laws should be based on their vision of morality. But it’s not about morals – it’s about rights.

I am much admired by my extended family. I was the first to go to college, let alone graduate school, and the only person in our family to make six figures. None of that would have been possible if I hadn’t had the option of abortion. If my family was aware of that, all that admiration would be out the window. The small “inroads” I make with them to become more open-minded because they admire me would be over. I am now happily retired and I have a wonderful 20 year old daughter. I don’t want my daughter’s choices restricted as mine were not.

If my country hadn’t allowed me my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I would be in a very different place today.

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