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Reproductive rights belong to the individual

Different beliefs must stand on equal footing

All women deserve the right to make decisions regarding their bodies. Under no circumstance should any person be told what they can or can’t do concerning their reproduction.

In an ideal world, birth control would never fail and unwanted pregnancies would never occur. But in the case of unplanned pregnancies, women should always have options.

When it comes to arguments surrounding the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” it is important to recognize that neither are “pro-abortion.” Being pro-choice does not encourage abortion. Instead, it means supporting every woman’s option to control her own body and pregnancy. It’s baffling and disgusting that people think they have the right to force their own beliefs upon others.

Those who don’t support abortion or contraception should stay away from these options. This doesn’t, however, mean all women need to live in accordance with those beliefs.

The path to strong reproductive rights begins with access to contraception. Having sex does not mean a woman must have a child, and the availability of contraception and family planning can help prevent unwanted pregnancies before they occur.

Granted, the only truly 100 percent effective method of preventing pregnancy is abstinence, and that is a highly unrealistic expectation for most women. In order to prevent the consideration of an abortion, contraception must be available to every person and in every situation.

Sadly, it’s 2016 and for some irrational reason many still argue over the right of a woman to control her own body and reproduction. It’s been more than four decades since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case, which granted women the right to receive an abortion, however, the debate surrounding the topic continues. Those opposed to abortion need to realize that not everyone shares a similar belief, and that is OK.

The problem isn’t that different beliefs regarding reproductive rights exist; the problem arises when people attempt to impose their beliefs on others and use them to control other people’s lives. This only invalidates any thought that differs from those opposed to abortion and violates the right every human has to form their own beliefs and act upon them. No one should be allowed to control the reproduction of others as if only one correct opinion exists.

The lesson to be learned is there is no right answer regarding an individual’s reproduction. People spend endless time arguing over a topic that will always be controversial and will never have a right answer, because no one person’s belief is more legitimate than another’s.

Ultimately, people need to understand that a woman, and no one else, holds the right to control her own reproduction. When it comes down to it, what other people choose to do with their bodies is a personal decision, and should not involve the opinion of others. People don’t have the right to intervene in lives that aren’t theirs regarding decisions that don’t affect them.  Everyone has the right to a choice, no matter what others believe.

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