Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Republicans have pushed for more and stricter laws limiting or altogether outlawing access to abortion. They argue that by doing so, they’re protecting life, and they rarely have any real answers for those who point out the very real danger to life presented when a patient cannot terminate a pregnancy that may be life-threatening, or can’t receive certain medical treatments or medications due to a pregnancy. However, when one Republican Senator did decide to address the issue of health risks from pregnancy, he managed to lose the central point of the debate: the word “choice.”
Check out how Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) tries to address the issue of health risks that inherently come with pregnancy by setting up a strawman, pretending that acknowledging the dangers of pregnancy suggests all pregnancies should be terminated.
“Members will imply today that carrying a baby to term is more dangerous than an abortion. So, using their logic, should we abort every baby? Should we stop all childbearing?”
— Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) during hearing on abortion rights following Roe v. Wade reversal pic.twitter.com/R194o94XJo
— The Recount (@therecount) July 13, 2022
“Members will imply today carrying a baby to term is more dangerous than an abortion. So, using their logic, should we abort every baby? Should we stop all childbearing? Presenting abortion as a life-saving solution for women facing challenging pregnancies is a warped view of healthcare. It denies the modern medical science that can bring both bother and baby safely through even a high-risk pregnancy.”
Despite his words, Marshall is not “using [pro-choice] logic” to reach his fallacious conclusion. He forgot the key word — choice.
Every pregnancy carries health risks, but those risks vary from pregnancy to pregnancy. A pregnancy that prevents the patient from receiving cancer treatment is not the same as an ectopic pregnancy. Neither is the same as a pregnancy that comes with uterine hemorrhaging, or pregnancy for someone with certain heart conditions, or any number of other potential complications.
That’s why the pro-choice side does not argue to end every pregnancy — instead, the argument is for an informed choice, in which a patient can address the specific risks with a medical professional, and determine which path is best — just as one does with other medical choices, from medications to surgeries. Some patients may determine that abortion is the safest choice for them, and still decide that their pregnancy is worth the risks, while others choose otherwise — but choice is the point.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com