Civil RIghts · Healthcare

Do we really have the right to choose?

‘My body, my choice,’ this rally cry of pro-choice supporters is nothing more than a fallacy, yet it is still one of the most common excuses people cite to legalize abortion, or to keep it legal in the United States.

The ‘my body, my choice’ motto begs the question do we really have the right to do what we want with our bodies? In the landmark decision of Wade v. Roe/Doe v. Bolton it was declared that a woman’s right to an abortion was protected under the right to due process in the 14th Amendment, citing women had the right to privacy, but what about other medical procedures? Do women as well as men have the same rights?

A woman that has no interest in having children, ever, cannot go into an OBGYN’s office and request sterilization; she cannot have a tubal ligation or hysterectomy without meeting specific criteria first. Generally speaking, these services are often refused if the woman is not over the age of 35 or has not already had two children. For the latter of the two procedures, it’s rare that without an issue with the reproductive organs, the surgery will even be performed.

In order for me to be able to have my reproductive organs removed, I had to have a medical reason that necessitated the removal of said organs. It’s my body, where was my choice to remove what I wish from my own body? In many cases when women have abortions, they don’t even receive a medical check-up before or after the procedure.

If a man or a woman wishes to sell their bodies to others for sexual pleasure, it’s called prostitution and is illegal in nearly everywhere in the United States, the only exception being the state of Nevada. It is their body, why can’t they make their own choice as to what to do with it? Why can they have sex for free, but not for pay?

If an individual drinks too much alcohol, they are labeled an alcoholic and must be sent to rehab because they are damaging their body; the same idea applies to people that use recreational drugs. An intervention must be planned because of the bodily damage, yet it is still their body, where is their choice? It has been proven that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, as well as being around second-hand smoke, yet cigarettes are legal and anyone eighteen or older can purchase them nearly anywhere. After purchasing cigarettes, they are free to smoke in public, which forces others to be around their second-hand smoke in passing. Where is the choice to not be subjected to something that causes cancer?

Until the age of 18, in most cases, we are under the care of parents or guardians, who for the most part, choose what we do to our bodies. Why do we have to wait until the age of 18 before we are deemed worthy enough to make our own decisions? Where is the choice to be free of sexual, physical or emotional abuse for the children in homes where they are exploited by the adults around them?
People with piercings, tattoos or abnormal hair colors and styles are often ostracized from society (though this is becoming less common) and called unemployable by a lot of companies. These people are denied their choice of self-expression and body modification for the sake of being considered employable. Once again, it is their body, but they cannot change it as they wish without discrimination.

So, how is ending the life of a tiny human inside a womb a choice that should be readily available to anyone that wants to “choose” that path? Where is the choice for that life?

An abortion is a medical procedure, and like any procedure it should be performed only when medically necessary, and only to save a life. After all, men don’t have a right to choose whether or not the woman he got pregnant does or does not have an abortion, and anyone with a third grade understanding of biology knows that it takes an egg and sperm to create life.


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