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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Should Abortion be Restricted?

Should Abortion be Restricted?

Student Name

Salt Lake Community College

U.S Government & Politics, POLS 1100 Month Day, Year

Professor’s Name

“It’s my body my choice!” v. “Your rights end when another person’s life is at stake” A controversial topic that has divided the public for long enough: Abortion. One can either be pro-life or pro-choice but fear not whichever side one stands on backlash will surely be felt.

Marco Rubio is a die hard pro-life supporter as he himself stated “…throughout my career, I’ve been consistently pro-life throughout my life-” because he believes the moment a woman becomes pregnant the baby developing inside of her has a voice and rights that need to be protected. On the opposite end Wendy Davis supports the rights of women, as individuals, to make their own decision on whether or not they want to carry out their pregnancy. Davis wants to ensure that women are not backed into a corner when it comes down to abortion, she wants women to have a safe place to go to. With this paper I’m going to analyze both sides of the argument, how it was delivered, if the authors provided accurate evidence, and so on.

Analyzing Rubio

When I finished reading Rubio’s argument I didn’t walk away with any new or shocking information about abortion, what I walked away with was a head full of another person’s opinion. I know that in order to allow an audience to stay focused on what one is saying a purely factual speech is not going to cut it, one practically has to become an entertainer. Reading his side of the argument I could tell that people were focused (through the commentary and because he was invited to speak on the matter). He incorporated light humor, personal references, and made it relatable to people which made the discussion on a heavy topic easier to sit through.

However, I did not like that only two facts were used throughout his speech and they were both mentioned on the same paragraph, at the beginning of the speech. “At minimum, half of the people in this country agree with me. Other polling indicates that in fact, when you dig deeper, between 70 to 75 percent of Americans really agree with us…” Using statistics and numbers always make it seem like people know what they are talking about but having sources after said numbers make one seem even better. I would have loved it if Rubio had stated which source he got his information from and to have used more of it.

It might just be me but I do not like it when people use God to justify their actions, their way of thinking, or why things happen. I respect that Rubio believes that America is prosperous because it honors God, I just don’t think religion should be mixed in with such a diverse population and sensitive topic. Another thing I disliked was that he excused himself for his opinions by simply saying “I’m not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone” because by making a comment to hundreds of people on a subject, we are bound to impose our opinions on them. Isn’t that the whole point of making speeches to make people aware of our opinion and to perhaps persuade them to our side?

I did like how he addressed the most common arguments made on the other side of the issue, he was a bit critical and biased on his approach but he still acknowledged them. Lastly, a well played move that Rubio did was to hand down responsibility for the yet to be born lives of millions, to the people of the United States. “Unborn children can’t vote, unborn children can’t speak. Actually, they can. You speak for them. That’s what you are. In this competition of between two sets of rights, you are the voice of children who cannot speak for themselves…” now tell me that isn’t a compelling call to action.

Analyzing Davis

Davis’s approach is completely different than Rubio’s not only because they stand on opposite ends of the argument but because the audience they’re addressing is different. Rubio had the liberty to take on a more personal and emotional approach about abortion because he was invited to speak at an event. Davis had to be more professional since she was speaking to the Texas State Senate about the injustices being made against legal abortion.  Her speech was full of facts (the opposite from Rubio) and only a few personal opinions, instead she was voicing the concerns of the public she represented. What I was able to walk away with after reading the speech was “wow, she certainly did her homework” . I would say that Davis was pretty good at remaining objective throughout her argument she did not involve religion or imposed her opinion. She simply let all of the previous actions the Senate had done to speak for themselves, she is the voice for the millions of women being shunned for deciding to get an abortion.

“We are asking that women be forced to step back in history, back to a time when once again wealthy women who have the ability and flexibility in their lives and their schedules to travel for these services will be accommodated, and women who will not suffer a different and unfortunately, probably in some instances, life threatening consequences” Just like Rubio had some strong emotional arguments, Davis hit Americans were it hurts the most, pride. America loves to be the center of innovation, of progress, and simply the greatest nation in the world so when Davis said that they are taking a step a back, she might as well have slapped every person in the room. When she stepped away from the factual side of her speech she actually made a pretty compelling and thought provoking statements.

Verdict

I found Rubio’s speech more persuasive because his speech was easier to connect with and I get the feeling that people could relatable with his opinion. It tugged at the hearts of the public and empowered them to make a difference so future generations can look back at them and be proud.

Where I stand

I am not afraid to let the world know that I am pro-choice, Rubio may not completely grasp what it means to be pro-choice but all I can say to him is that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink. No matter how much information you give to a person they will only listen to what they want to hear, by being pro-choice it must certainly mean that we are okay with murdering children and ‘eliminating’ disabled people. But that’s is the most insane and judgmental way of thinking about it and just like Rubio doesn’t like to be labeled as a radical, or intolerant, or simply forcing his religion unto others, neither does the rest of the world. Having different opinions is what makes living life worth living but there is a fine line between being judgmental or ignorant. My way of thinking may not be easy for people to understand but at least my way of thinking leaves the decisions of caring for a child up to the ‘mother’ not strangers wanting to impose their beliefs to others. The way Rubio gave power and justified people sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong scared me. Why do pro-life advocates refuse to see the aftermath of their actions, let’s pretend that abortion is made illegal and every woman no matter the reason behind their pregnancy is forced to carry out it full term. Boom! pro-life advocates saved a life but now what? The mother doesn’t want the baby so they give it up for adoption, they abandon it, neglect it, raise it in a hostile environment, or worse case scenario they attribute the child’s death to SIDS. Are the advocates of pro life going to help raise the baby?

Help the mother through a difficult time or help her cope with the reason behind her pregnancy? I don’t think so their job ended when abortion was made illegal, like Davis said “our leadership has demonstrated that it is prioritizing its own political possibilities over potential and devastating consequences for individual women”. Due to the circumstances Davis was not able to pull a more emotional or blackmail type of approach like Rubio did using God “America is great because God has blessed America” if people continue to fight for the right of life than God will keep blessing America like He has done for years. If that doesn’t sound like some sort of blackmailing I don’t know what else to say.

Reflection

Although I still feel the same way about abortion after reading both sides of the argument, I do feel like I have a greater understanding of the other side of the coin. I don’t really shared my opinions on political issues because I only know bits and pieces of the information being presented. For abortion I only know the issue from the surface which is; allowing women to decide for themselves if they want to have an abortion or not. I don’t actually know anything about the procedure or the impacts it has both physically and mentally on women. Which is what I learned a little bit about through reading the issue summary and Rubio’s and Davis’s speeches.

This class helped me learn some valuable information that can be used to defend my point of view (and to make me less ignorant of the other side) on the topic of abortion, prior to this class I did not know that there had been a federal court case in 1973, (Roe v. Wade) that “acknowledged both a woman’s “fundamental right” to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability…and it prohibited states from banning abortion to protect the fetus before the third trimester and it ruled that even during the final trimester, a woman could obtain an abortion if she could prove that her life or health would be endangered by carrying to term”(koonce).

It’s great that the Federal Court ruled in favor of women and that a U.S Government & Politics class gives students the opportunity to learn more about such an important topic. I feel more confident approaching this topic with others and I found it really interesting being able to read about the thinking of the other side. I was reminded through this reading to keep an open mind, to not judge others (too hard) for their different views, and most importantly to educate myself before speaking.

References

Koonce, Glenn, SHOULD ABORTION BE RESTRICTED?, TAKING SIDES: Clashing views on Political Issues (18th). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Rubio, Marco, Why Abortion is Bad for America, February 12, 2013

Davis, Wendy, Filibuster of the Texas State Senate, June 25, 2013

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