The United States presidential election has come imminent. Again, a multitude of divisive topics have come up to the table, but abortion is perhaps the most controversial issue standing in between the two most favourable candiates: Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
The current president’s support base is heavily centred on white Evangelical and Catholic communities, which a great majority wish to repeal currently existing pro-abortion policies. Responding to his supporters, Trump has delivered his plan to curtail governmental funding for abortions and to move forwards to a total ban of abortion (excluding cases of rape, incest and danger to the mother’s life).
On the other hand, the contender Joe Biden stands on the premise that the nation will work together to protect womens’ rights to choose and fight to keep early-fetus abortion legal under any circumstances. Since Biden is greatly supported by liberals and the supporters of the Democratic Party formed by pro-abortionists, it seems necessary for Biden to carry on with his pledge to secure his potential way to the White House.
The results of the election will impact the families and individuals of US society to great extents. Currently, an amendment known as the Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer money from being used in abortion procedures. Biden wishes to repeal the amendment, arguing that it prevents lower-income women from accessing abortion services. In a larger view, the outcomes of the election will impact a greater group of women than just those who receive low-incomes, on whether they will be able to receive abortion services.
Biden, or more so the Democrats, puts more emphasis on women’s life planning rights and choices; meanwhile Trump, backed by the Republicans, prioritizes the right for once-created lives to survive by avoiding unjust abortion. The presidential election, regardless of the outcome, has again highlighted one of the most debated human rights issues of the world today. Upon viewing the progression of this election phase, we can learn that this debate is not singular, specific to the United States. Instead, the election reflects on an example of a single society, helping us to format our own opinions regarding the topic of abortion.
Of 2019, 64 women in a 1000 experience unintended pregnancy each year globally, and of this, 61% ended up choosing abortion. In general, unintended pregnancy are highest in countries with restrictive abortion access and lowest in countries where abortion is broadly legal, but abortion rates are similar for both pro-abortion and anti-abortion countries. Legal restrictions seem to have achieved undesired outcomes in such societies which possess restrictions on abortion. Approaches on abortion seem to surpass the boundaries of law at times, or seem to be fettered in cultural and religious norms at times.
Abortion is an act that removes a life, and thus requires a deep contemplation. Women have the right to choose and shape their futures by ending unwanted pregnancies, especially those who are socioeconomically repressed. Often such pregnancies are greatly attributable for the irresponsibility of males and females, but it is also imperative to consider the cultural and social factors that limit people from making decisions solely based on their choices. Nevertheless, fetuses are inherently protected by their rights to be born, and many assert that abortion is an act of murder. Here, the two crucial human rights clash- there cannot be an absolute right or wrong. Ths US presidential election is again highlighting this discussion and the debate is to be continued.
- BBC, Abortion: how to Trump and Biden’s policies compare?, BBC US Election, 2020 https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54003808
- Bearak J et al., Unintended pregnancy and abortion by income, region, and the legal status of abortion: estimates from a comprehensive model for 1990–2019, Lancet Global Health, 2020, 8(9), http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30315-6/fulltext