An Opinion on Abortion

Currently, abortion is a debate of high importance in the United States, however, the debate itself raises a question: who should be making the decision about this issue of seminal concern?

Joseph Rivas, Columnist

I’d like to start by stating that I am not here to argue or debate on whether or not abortion services should or shouldn’t be legal. I certainly have an opinion on the matter, but I won’t get into that. This article is about a different – but related – topic and issue.

My big problem with the abortion debate is not the moral and ethical implications, the cost, or the legal status of abortion services. My issue with it is the fact that powerful, rich, cisgender men have an alarming amount of influence over an issue that only affects cisgender women, trans men, genderqueer people, or anyone with a uterus. Why are there people debating and influencing this issue that are in no way affected by the results? Why cis-men have any say or decision power in this is beyond me and makes little sense. It is ok to have an opinion, but to get as directly involved as some do in an issue that they’ll never be able to fully comprehend is heinous and furthermore cruel to the people directly influenced. I, personally, would never come to you on an issue I have no experience with and tell you how to handle it, or why you can’t. I wouldn’t come to you and say that I know what’s best for you – I am in no place, whatsoever, to do such a thing.

The whole “No uterus, No say’’ phrase has been said ad nauseam, but it’s still just as valid as it ever has been. Many dismiss it as an exaggerated “radical feminist” phrase, but if you stop and think about it, it makes a lot of sense; it’s fairly moderate and logically sound. Don’t speak as an authority on something you should have no authority over, plain and simple.

Reproductive rights issues are brought up and debated a lot because they’re issues that deeply impact lives. It’s being exploited by politicians, who usually are conservative, cisgender men, vying for office. There is an abundance of rich, conservative, cisgender men playing politics with people’s bodies like it’s a chess game. The reality is that these aren’t statistics – they’re people and lives. This issue shouldn’t be relegated to a talking point in a speech on what one candidate believes, nor be used as a platform to push views based on self-interest, rather than ethics and equality.

Like I mentioned before, it is absolutely okay to have an opinion on the subject, but to have authority over it when you shouldn’t is another story. We see problems like this arise wherever there is a representative democracy, which wouldn’t happen in a society with direct consensus democracy. Problems with people in power, people who are rich, is that they’re incapable of fully understanding and properly addressing working class issues or poverty relief. Most cisgender men are unable to fully understand and address issues of reproductive rights that affect cisgender women, trans men, and genderqueer people due to a lack of experience, lack of insight, ignorance, or blatant sexism.

I can understand why this happens; we live in a massive, deeply-rooted patriarchal society that in many cases, actively or passively, rewards sexist and prejudiced behavior and demonizes certain genders’ bodies and struggles. That being said, it’s no excuse for what some politicians are doing to those already distraught and vulnerable for the sake of self interest.