Students, community weigh in on abortion

Rita Sparrow and Jim Higgins protest abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood in the Cental West End. (Photo by Serenity Barron)

Serenity Barron
Feature/Entertainment Editor

Since 1973 when the Roe v. Wade decision was made, women’s reproductive rights have been hotly debated. Since then there have been changes in people’s views, laws and society’s ethics.

“During Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women have the Constitutional right to choose abortion in the early stages of pregnancy,” said

Although abortion is legal, states can make laws regarding counseling against abortion, vaginal probes and ultra sounds before the procedure, requiring parental consent, setting limits in public funding, defining how many weeks is an early stage pregnancy, and requiring fines and imprisonment for unlawful abortions.

Some states against abortion have arrested women for having an abortion or even thinking about having an abortion, said The most common regulation of abortion is the state limiting the number of abortion clinics.

In Missouri one can receive an abortion at 16 weeks and under of being pregnant, and one must have parental consent if she is under the age of 18.

Missouri also has only one abortion clinic, and it is a Plan Parenthood in the Central West End. Seventeen Plan Parenthoods in Missouri are clearing up the misconception that the biggest service Plan Parenthood gives is abortions.

“In 2008, 87 percent of U.S. counties had no abortion provider. One third of American women lived in these counties, which meant they would have to travel outside their county to obtain an abortion. Of women obtaining abortions in 2006, nonhospital providers estimate that 27 percent traveled at least 50 miles,” said

“About one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45,” said

It is currently legal for women to have abortions, but that doesn’t mean that people accept that this law cannot be changed.

“I think abortion should be illegal…It is morally wrong because basic biology defines life at conception,” said senior Rachel Rooney.

“Women should be informed about abortion because it can be harmful, it can prevent them from having kids, emotionally distressing, and a lot of women feel guilty for the rest of their lives,” said Rooney.

“Abortion is one of the safest surgical procedures for women in the United States. Fewer than 0.5 percent of women obtaining abortions experience a [physical]complication, and the risk of death associated with abortion is about one-tenth that associated with childbirth,” said Planned Parenthood.

Senior Kelsey Young doesn’t believe the government should be involved in the emotionally distressing decision.

“I think women should have a right to their body…If you don’t have control over your body, you are not truly autonomous. In a way you are oppressed,” said Young.

“I think to an extent the government should be involved. If the girl was just being irresponsible the government shouldn’t allow [abortion], but an extreme case like rape the government should let the woman decide,” said senior Kaitlin Gerichten.

“No matter how small it is, it’s a person. Just because it doesn’t look like a baby, doesn’t mean it’s not….It’s just as messed up as killing a baby after it is born,” said Gerichten.

“I feel like most people don’t choose it. It’s not like some decision they just throw out there. It’s a tough decision,” said Young.

Birth control is used to prevent having to make this decision, but insurance doesn’t always cover it.

“I think girls should be informed about birth control…If they are having sex, they should protect themselves,” said Rooney.

“I think people should talk to their parents more openly about [birth control] because I was scared to ask…It’s better to take precautions,” said Gerichten .

“Everybody should be on birth control…to prevent making a hard descesion,”said senior Rayshawn Simmons.

Currently in front of the Planned Parenthood in Central West End, there is a protest called The 40-day Protest. Evangelicals of St. Louis are protesting from 7 a.m-6 p.m. for 40 days (Lent) up to Palm Sunday.

“There are special people that are trained to do interventions, but the rest of us are just passive,” said protester Mike Winters of the Ascension Parish.

The protesters will have a Thrive bus in front of the building where the protesters will encourage women to have ultrasounds before receiving an abortion.

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