An easy question

“Should abortion be legal?” the sign on the table asks. The answer is automatically yes. No debate needs to occur. Abortion needs to be legal, free, and easily available to anyone who needs it. The organization that runs this table is St. Olaf’s anti-abortion group, Oles for Life, which makes any possibility of debate instantly null and void. Why bother engaging in a healthy debate when the people running the table are so fixed in their position that they have devoted themselves to this club? It is less a healthy debate and more an argument to be won in five minutes between classes.

The table itself is largely harmless, but the question it’s asking is where the danger lies. For now, on the St. Olaf campus, the question is hypothetical — a discussion to be had — but for millions of people able to give birth both within the United States and around the globe it is no longer hypothetical. There are people dying or forced to have children they cannot take care of because abortion is illegal where they live. No matter how hard people try to fight it, abortions will occur no matter if they are legal or not because there will always be pregnancies that need to be terminated. 

The root of most anti-abortion arguments is found in conservative Christian beliefs, which focus more on the fetus rather than the person who is having the child. Many other religions, including Islam and Judaism, instead choose to take the opposite— and correct— approach. The health and safety of the person carrying the fetus should be the focus, not the fetus itself. Why focus on a group of cells instead of making sure that the person growing the group of cells is ready both physically and mentally for it to become a child? Abortion is a morally neutral act, a choice that the person having the abortion makes, and that should be the end of the dicussion. When the question “Should abortion be legal?” is asked, the answer will always be yes.

hopewe1@stolaf.edu

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