Throughout the nation there has been a lot of renewed discussion surrounding the right to life and abortion. This is a controversial topic and one that has divided the nation for over half a century.
But when it comes to rape or incest, that is where a firm line needs to be drawn. There needs to be an exception built into whatever legislation passes and that is something about which everyone should be able to agree.
When a woman is raped, the decision about what happens to her body is taken away from her. It is a traumatic experience in itself, one that no one should ever have to go through. An unwanted pregnancy resulting from that could compound the trauma.
In cases of incest, often the decision is again one that is forced upon the victim, who in those cases is related to the abuser.
In those situations, the decision to get pregnant was taken from the woman and the experience will never go away. But she should be able to choose what is next for her. And if a woman does end up pregnant from an act she didn’t choose, she should be able to choose for herself if she wants to carry the baby or not.
In the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, the court gave women the right to choose whether to have an abortion. And that choice was reaffirmed in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. But 46 years since Roe v. Wade, there remains division throughout the country.
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The Supreme Court decision allows states to have discretion on abortions, but Alabama’s recent law went too far.
The law there would make performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases unless the mother’s health is at risk. There is no exception for rape or incest.
Even President Donald Trump, who considers himself “strongly pro-life,” says this goes too far.
In a tweet on May 18, the president said: “As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly pro-life, with the three exceptions — rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother — the same position taken by Ronald Reagan.”
In cases of rape or incest there needs to be an exception, just like there is an exception when a woman’s life is in jeopardy. That should be the case in all states.