Despite proposing a failed bill in 2019 that would have allowed abortion up until birth in the state of Virginia, state senators are now proposing an amendment to the state constitution that would enshrine abortion as a right.
The proposed amendment known as Joint Resolution 2 would remove all existing state laws regarding abortion and ensure that no pro-life legislation would ever be enacted in the future.
Following the lead of Vermont, which is currently working to pass an amendment to add abortion as a right in its own state constitution, Virginia’s amendment would allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Virginia’s Joint Resolution 2 aims to add a section in Article I on the state constitution which will read:
That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the enjoyment of life and liberty and shall not be denied or infringed upon unless justified by a compelling interest of the Commonwealth and achieved by the least restrictive means.
No one has the “right” to end the life of another human being, and science proves that preborn children are human beings from the moment of fertilization. All human beings should be considered equal and worthy of their own right to life.
Furthermore, to say that abortion “is central to the enjoyment of life” means that the lawmakers behind this amendment don’t understand the true effects abortion has on women, children, and society in general. Abortion is not like any other surgery, because abortion directly and intentionally takes a human life.
For women, abortion is less of an act of freedom and choice than it is a regrettable decision frequently made under pressure. In fact, one study showed that 73 percent of women with a history of abortion felt they had no other choice than abortion. And countless post-abortive women have attested to experiencing symptoms akin to PTSD — often referred to as post-abortion syndrome — including depression, regret, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and an increased risk of alcohol and drug use. Fathers of aborted children have reported experiencing similar symptoms, and surviving siblings of aborted children also frequently face an uphill battle with survivor’s guilt and doubts about their own self-worth.
Among the third trimester babies whose lives will be at risk if this amendment passes will undoubtedly be abortion survivors. Attempting to kill babies who could survive outside the womb leads to live births in what are considered botched abortions. The goal of abortion is to kill, so when babies are born alive, the abortionist has failed and must decide whether to now allow the child to live and call for medical care or commit infanticide. Where is the concern for the right to “enjoyment of life” for those baby girls and boys?
Killing an innocent human being, regardless of location, size, level of development, or any other factor can never truly be a human right — no matter what bad legislation may say. It is misogynistic and oppressive to claim that in order to have equality, women must end the lives of their own children.
Americans do not want abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. A Gallup poll showed that 72 percent of Americans want restrictions on abortion, and a Marist Poll found that 75 percent of Americans want abortion limited to the first three months of pregnancy at most. Virginian senators are not only ignoring how Americans feel about abortion but they are disregarding the negative effects abortion has on women.
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