In today’s world it is very likely to have heard some form of controversy over the topic of abortion. It is a very heavy and unapproachable subject and remains a matter of debate between political groups.
In a debate featuring Fox News’ political news correspondent Tucker Carlson and Jessica Tarlov, they discuss the topic of abortion as well as the Women’s March, that occurred January 21, 2017. According to Carlson, many Pro-Life groups were unable to participate in the sponsorship of the March, which Tarlov explains was because they “do not accept a pro-choice woman’s decision.” In this march for equality, Tarlov clarifies that pro-choice groups were able to sponsor the march because they respected the choice of both pro-life and pro-choice women.
In an article from Huffington Post‘s Executive Women’s Editor, Emma Gray, the focus is on on Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood. Richards says that the Women’s March is the kind of event that spurs change and how the timeline of Women’s Rights have gone from the fight for Women’s Suffrage to resisting political agendas that include the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the limiting of women’s abilities to make mindful decisions about their own healthcare.
“Today, one in five women in this country has been to Planned Parenthood for health care. In fact, probably some of you in this room. We now serve two and a half million patients a year. And abortion is legal in this country, and it’s one of the safest medical procedures for women in this country. And birth control, which of course used to be illegal, is now not only legal, but 90 percent of women in America use it.” -Cecile Richards
In an article from Felicia Schwartz, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, she explains Trump’s recent re-installation of antiabortion policy for foreign nongovernmental organizations. This rule has been known as the “Mexico City Policy,” after it was first introduced by Reagan in the same city. Under this rule foreign nongovernmental organizations are not allowed to use United States funding to perform abortions. These groups will be separated from this funding even if they provide separate budget for abortion practices. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the signing of this memorandum demonstrates, “not just to the folks here in this country but around the world what a value we place on life.”
On the opposite side of the political spectrum with writer Margaret Talbot, from the New Yorker, the Mexico City Policy is viewed as a “gag rule,” as it is often referred to by liberal activists familiar with this policy. She explains that the term that the policy’s critics coined as the global gag rule is because to receive any funding from the United States they would, “have to promise that they wouldn’t even speak of abortion.” For the past 32 years this policy has only been in effect for 17 years; espoused by the Republican Administration and renounced by the Democratic administration. In the numbers relayed by Talbot, 68,000 women die annually from unsafe attempts to terminate pregnancy. Ethiopia seems to suffer a lot from high maternal death rates with 420 women out of each 100,000 die as a result of pregnancy related complications, with a higher mortality rate the more children a woman already has. She explains the gag rule as a nightmare for foreign organizations and many women’s groups who aim for better women’s healthcare.
In a more neutral view of abortion is an article by political reporter, Sarah McCammon, for NPR that shows that U.S. abortion rates are at the lowest recorded point. In recent years, abortion rates have been going down, but many worry that it is because women don’t have access to safe and affordable abortion clinics. The story is more likely that due to recent advances in birth control, fewer women have unplanned pregnancies and in turn have fewer abortions. In the end, the drop in abortion rates is regarded as good news, regardless of one’s political point of view.