By Yasmin Ahuja

Dear Ms. Kimberly Ross,

         Growing up in the present day and age has been difficult, especially as a young, teenage girl. Even though I live in a bubble where my parents and teachers emphasize that my words and opinions have meaning, I can’t help but absorb the outside world’s most predominant message: that females, and subsequently female adolescents, are subordinate to the rest of the human race. When I am feeling particularly beaten down by this message, I normally look to other girls and women to help rebuild my self-confidence and remind myself that I am just as important as everyone else. However, when I read your article, I was surprised and quite honestly shocked by the stances you, a fellow woman, chose to take in response to one of the most prevalent gender issues facing our society today.

         In recent discussions of abortion laws, a controversial issue has been whether or not women should be able to terminate their pregnancy in the case that they do not want to carry out their term. On one hand, some argue that reproductive rights are a constitutional right, coming from the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and should be guaranteed for all citizens. From your perspective, you maintain that “abortion is the termination of a process… that has already begun,” and that supporters of the pro-choice movement have been inhumanely killing millions of unborn lives since 1973. Later on, you mention Pete Buttigieg, a candidate running for the 2020 presidential election, and claim that his pro-choice stance indicates that the “daily death toll” that comes with abortion is not something he cares about.

         In contrast to your view on this topic, I believe that that the pros of reproductive rights far outweigh any of the cons that you touched on in your article. In response to your point that a fetus becomes a living person at the point of conception, it is commonly believed that since fetuses are dependent on the body of their mother, they are not perceived as “viable” until the moment in which they no longer rely on the womb to survive. According to a study done at the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), the brain connections needed to feel pain do not form in a fetus under 24 weeks, which proves that arguments that say fetuses can feel everything are null and void. Additionally, abortion rights are essential to the well-being of the society because without their presence, it is much more likely that desperate women will resort to dangerous methods such as coat-hangers or “back-alley” abortionists in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. The World Health Organization stated that these hazardous means lead to approximately 68,000 maternal deaths worldwide per year, and offering safe, accessible options will no doubt lower this number and provide women with the resources they require in times of need.

While I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I can’t help but point out that without the laws in place to protect abortion, the risks for women who do not wish to be pregnant will greatly increase and therefore harm the society in unimaginable ways. 

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