Reflection For my project, I chose to explore abortion. I’ve done some work on this topic before but never got the opportunity to really explore both sides and express my views and stories about it. I wrote an open letter titled, Abortion is My Right: An Open Letter to Pro-lifers. My art piece that accompanied this letter was most certainly controversial. I drew a hanger with the statements, “We will not go back to this. Our bodies are not your business. Do not politicize our choice,” under it and above it, it says, “Protect my rights.” This grabbed a lot of people’s attention and elicited more responses than my paper did. I had many people looking rather shocked that I had actually drawn something that serious and intense. Other people said that it helped my case and made it stronger. The conversations that I had with people because of my art piece and my paper were amazing. And the conversation that we had in our seminar was really interesting as well. There was one instant that I did get mad at one of the conservative gentlemen in the room and told him exactly how I felt. Through this project I don’t really feel that my view changed as much as it was made complete. I was really able to figure out exactly what I believe and why. It gave me the time and space to explore my values on multiple subjects and gave me a safe space to do so. It was also very helpful to hear other perspectives on various topics. I now feel that I do have a better understanding of the values behind “the other side’s” views and while I may not agree with them, I do have more respect for them. I have realized that democracy is very complicated in America. I knew this going into this project but I never realized just how complicated it was. The democracy of our founding fathers was very different than the democracy we have today. Their democracy was heavily focused on discussion and doing what was best for the country through compromise. This isn’t how our government is run today. We focus on doing what our party wants us to do and we have become so divided that we rarely actually pass bills that are beneficial for everyone. This has made me less willing to label myself as one party or the other. I disagree with so much about both sides and agree with a lot of stuff on both sides, so I don’t know how I identify. I generally tend to consider myself more liberal, but having a lot of of conservative family, I also have some conservative leaning views. I think that it is natural to have mixed views, especially this day in age. But we are so focused on our two party system that we aren’t even willing to start a discussion with someone on the other side of the political aisle. We are afraid of being offended. We really are snowflakes, on both sides. We have to be willing to be disturbed. We need to be able to hear someone’s opposing views and be able to have a civil discussion with them instead of immediately starting to argue with them. If we aren’t willing to even attempt to listen to our counterparts, we will get nowhere. We will never make progress and our beautiful democracy will fall apart. I do believe that Rogerian argumentation has a place in our government. It can be used to explore both sides of a topic in a respectful way that invites conversation from both sides. This is exactly what is needed in our country. Not only in our government, but in our day to day lives and in our everyday conversations. I know that this has recently influenced a lot of my personal conversations both in class and with my family members with opposing views. It has made it a lot easier to not get into fights because at least I have the skills to be able to have hard conversations.
Abortion Is My Right: An Open Letter to Pro-lifers By Aidyn Hankins
Now, before you start to argue with me just based on the title of this paper, please hear me out. I am pro-life for myself and I will do everything in my power to not get an abortion and I don’t want anyone to have to get one. But I am pro-choice for women as a whole. I also support welfare, free and fair education, job growth and any other programs that promote having a good life.This being said, I am a firm believer that abortion should be a safe and legal procedure that is open to women across the nation. I have a lot of respect for people that are fully pro-life. I share a lot of views with them. I think that every life is important and needs to be protected. We all have an unmatched potential to change the world and make a difference. We all deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Also, that late term abortions should not be performed unless there is a life threatening situation. There is a point in which it turns into taking a child’s life. I have spent my life around strong and powerful feminists who are never afraid to stand up for what they believe in and fight for what’s right. This being said, many of them have had abortions and even at the mention of the word they become quiet and distant. They had them out of necessity, not because they didn’t want kids. In fact they actually do have kids. They had abortions because they couldn’t raise a child at that point in their lives. They couldn’t give them everything they would have needed. They didn’t have another option. Then there are women who end up in life threatening situations because of pregnancy complications and they have no other choice. You can’t expect a woman to carry a pregnancy to term if two lives would be lost, especially when you could have saved one. A woman I knew had to have one because she had been shot and was unable to have more kids and if she had even attempted to carry a child she would have died. Then there are natural occurrences such as ectopic pregnancies, in which the egg is fertilized outside the uterus and has to be aborted in order for the woman to live. But then you must also take into account the other instances that can occur that would force a woman to need an abortion. Rape and incest are sadly very common in the United States. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women are raped each year in our country. Even though this isn’t a medical emergency, it still needs to be respected as a legitimate reason for a woman to receive an abortion. When you take into account the psychological effects that getting raped has on a woman, you can then begin to imagine the effect having a child brought into the world under such circumstances would have on the mental health of the mother. Another argument that I have heard brought up many times when discussing this topic with pro-lifers, is that we have too many abortions in this country. Which I agree with. I would love for there to be no abortions,But before abortion was legal in the United States, women would still find ways to terminate a pregnancy. Many of these methods were extremely dangerous to the woman’s health and women would actually end up dying because they would bleed out or become extremely ill after their attempt. With this being said, if abortion were to be made illegal again, women would still find ways around it. Knowing a woman who got an abortion at the age of 15, in 1971, is a prime example. Even at a young age and at a time when it was illegal, she still managed to get one because it was a necessity and she couldn’t have raised a child. Now I know that you must be thinking about the fact that she was only 15 when she got an abortion. This brings up another point… If you want abortion to be illegal then support other options. As fine and dandy as abstinence sounds, it’s not always realistic. If you don’t want to deal with unwanted pregnancy, then give people tools and options other than abortion. Provide birth control and sex education so that people can be safe and make good decisions rather than having to make an extremely hard decision that might haunt them later on in life. In an interview that I did with a pro-lifer, I asked her what her solution was to reduce unwanted pregnancies. She said, “Make it easier for people to access birth control.” This is something that a lot of people can agree on. Also offering family planning and other options for those that want to go a different route. And for many people adoption is an option. It’s all about your ability to actually carry a child. If you have the resources and a good atmosphere to have a healthy pregnancy, then maybe you should consider giving the baby up for adoption so that one of the millions of couples that can’t have their own children, can still be parents. As I stated earlier, I am pro-life and I never want to be put into a situation that forces me to make the choice of whether or not to get an abortion. But, if something happens where I am forced to make that choice, I better have safe and legal access. The option to terminate a pregnancy is my right and the right of any woman in the United States, whether she chooses to use it or not.
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