By Isabelle Rulison
Before I state my opinion on this taboo and touchy topic, I look to inform all readers who may not know exactly what the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act of 2017 is. The objective of this bill is to make abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy (about five months), a punishable offense, by a fine or five years in prison. This bill provides two relatively important exceptions in the political world, the two largest arguments for the legalization of abortion as a whole; this bill does not apply to people who need a life saving abortion, or people who have conceived through rape or incest. In addition to these conditions, the “violator” would be the person performing the abortion and not the woman receiving the “illegal abortion.”
Given these gracious terms and conditions, I find no issue in supporting (or, at least not being opposed to) this bill. If, by the time a woman is five months pregnant, and she decides she no longer wants to be pregnant, then her decision is understandably late; twenty weeks marks the midpoint of the pregnancy . By twenty weeks, the woman has entered the second trimester, and the baby has developed neuroreceptors allowing it to feel pain (hence, the name of the bill). For further reference, at 22 weeks, it is a premature baby that has a chance of surviving outside of the womb, though the chances are still slim. That being said, if the baby may survive independent of the mother then the thought of aborting it becomes more polarizing. Yes a woman should have the right to decide, but is it right to remove the right to life from something that may survive on its own?
In the great world we inhabit, there is no better place to meet someone you disagree with halfway, allowing for a more inclusive compromise, and attempting to ward off future conflict. I believe that rather than simply saying “my opinion is right, and there is no other right opinion,” one must take an empathetic outside of themselves and say “why do they think that way?” and look for a way to understand. Rather than dismissing all opposition, a listening ear should be lent to those who think a different way- this is the inclusive message we should spread. There will be some people with opinions so mind-numbingly detached from reality that it’ll be hard to understand how they came to this conclusion, but rather than dismissing them and all of those like them, why not educate them? Why not engage in an educated discussion and attempt to show them what you think? We must not condemn every move made by the opposing political party just because it is made by the opposing political party- politics isn’t a sport, and its main goal is the well-being of the people.