Legal abortions are essential in a free society that values women and their rights. Abortion is never an easy decision, but women have been making that decision for thousands of years. Whenever a society attempts to outlaw abortions, it ignores the same urgent reasons for safe, legal abortions that have always existed. Choice is good for families. There are many programs such as family planning counseling, sex education, and contraception which diminish the number of unwanted pregnancies before they occur. Even when precautions are taken, accidents can and do happen.

For some families, this could be devastating. An unwanted pregnancy can increase tension, disrupt stability, and push people, particularly women and children below the line of economic survival. A high percentage of teenage girls will become pregnant before they celebrate their twentieth birthday. This could happen to your daughter or someone else close to you. The penalty for lack of knowledge or a moment s carelessness should not be enforced pregnancy and childbearing. It should not hurt to be a child.

If women are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, the result is unwanted and often neglected children. These children are among society s most tragic cases, often unloved, brutalized, and abandoned. When they grow up, these children are often seriously disadvantaged, and sometimes inclined toward brutal behavior to others. This is not good for children, for families, or for society. Children need love and families who will care for them.

Family planning is the answer and all options must be open. Outlawing abortions is discriminatory. Anti-abortion laws discriminate against low-income women, who are driven to dangerous self-induced or back-alley abortions. That is all they can afford, but th rich can travel wherever necessary to obtain a safe abortion. Being a mother is just one option for women. Many hard battles have been fought to achieve political and economic equality for women.

These gains will not be worth the effort if reproductive choice is denied. To be able to choose a safe, legal abortion makes many other options possible. Otherwise an accident or a rape can end women s economic and personal freedom. Pregnancy is the most personal private matter for women. There is no more extreme invasion of privacy than forcing women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. If the government is allowed to force women to bear a child, where will the government stop This violates individual rights and freedoms.

To prohibit abortions does not stop them, it only makes them dangerous for women. If they feel it absolutely necessary, women will have abortions whether or not they are legal; often in secret and without proper medical attention. For many women with heart disease, kidney disease, sickle-cell anemia, severe diabetes, and other life threatening illnesses, the availability of legal abortions has helped avoid serious medical complications that could have resulted from childbirth. Even before abortions became legal, millions of women sought them out. Thousands of women died, tens of thousands were mutilated and all were forced to behave as criminals. Legal abortions protect women s lives.

To believe in legal abortion is to believe that a woman has the right to decide for herself when and whether to have a child. It means believing that a woman can decide on her own, based on her personal beliefs, health, and life circumstances, without government interference. It means working towards a world where all women s reproductive options, whether it s motherhood, abortions, or adoptions, are safe legal and accessible. It also means supporting responsible sex education and access to birth control so that women and men have the tools to make and implement their own private decisions and take charge of their lives and futures.

Anti-abortionists oppose most ideas or programs which can help achieve equality and freedom. They also oppose programs which protect the health and well-being of women and children. Anti-abortionists claim to act in defense of life. If so, why have some worked to destroy programs which serve life, including prenatal care and nutrition for dependent pregnant women Is this respect for life Anti-abortionists also say they are trying to save children, but they have fought against health and nutrition programs for children once they are born. The anti-abortionists groups seem to believe life begins at conception, but ends at birth.

Is this respect for life Anti-abortionists oppose the programs which reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies before they occur. Clinics providing such service have been bombed. Is this respect for life No society committed to rights and freedoms for the individual could seriously consider returning to back-alley abortions, and to the government forcing women to bear children against their will. Many women today will not accept that. They can now select their own paths in society including when and whether to have children. Legal abortions are critical in maintaining freedom of choice for women.