On December 3, 2013, Aliya Verda went into the clinic barely pregnant and came out barren.

It was a decision that was difficult for her family, especially Aliya herself. The fetus, upon testing, had shown signs of chromosomal abnormalities, which would translate to developmental and cognitive disabilities. It would be a huge responsibility in raising the child, a responsibility Aliya’s family wasn’t ready to take on, as they were already financially struggling. And so, Aliya, along with the somber support of the rest of her family, proceeded to undergo an abortion.

It’s an experience that she seldom speaks about, but it’s one that is still extremely relevant. Currently, various groups are fighting to strip away that right to choice that Aliya Verda had back in 2013. In today’s world, an individual’s reproductive rights, specifically that to do with the choice to carry out or terminate a pregnancy, is under attack.

What’s the problem?

From the heartbeat bills in Alabama and Ohio to the decreased funding of Planned Parenthood to the presentations of judicial cases that challenge the Roe v. Wade decision, the government and anti-abortion organizations are eradicating a womxn’s bodily autonomy, attempting to police what goes on inside of them. One should have jurisdiction over their own body, including whether or not to carry a child to term. People and their families are the ones who are best able to decide whether or not they are ready and able to raise a child. Whether it’s for financial (like it was for my family), career, health reasons, or anything else, there should be the choice.

Why is it harmful?

In placing restrictions on what constitutes a “valid” reason to have an abortion, as well as a time limit, the government is taking away the choice that people should have. Along with infringing on basic human rights— which in itself concerns me— we risk overpopulating the planet, increasing financial struggles, perpetuating the misuse of power dynamics, and straining the foster system. Not to mention, it could cause psychological and health effects on those forced to carry the child, often leading to an increase in unsafe abortions.

Something as simple as restricting the right to abortion has a multitude of negative effects on various facets of society and individuals. It has the potential to lead to nationwide epidemics on both the economic and social front. Time and time again, it has been seen that when people have restricted access to abortion clinics, we see a rise in child negligence, domestic violence, child abuse, self-harm, and unsafe abortions.

You are not “saving” lives when you protect an unborn fetus— you’re now endangering both the child and the person carrying the baby.

Without this freedom, my mother, along with tens of thousands of other folxs wouldn’t be able to have the basic right of choice. And nobody, man or government, should restrict that right, as the repercussions of doing so may be far worse. Womxn should have the same bodily autonomy as cis-men do with their bodies— a health inequality that I won’t stand by for.

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