Pro Choice: Not Just Abortion

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These unalienable rights have been the cherished, sometimes underappreciated basic rights of a citizen living in America.  Another right, the right to choose, is just as important.

When people hear the words “pro-choice”, their mind automatically goes to abortion because of the many debates surrounding those words.  Does a woman’s right to choose outweigh the fetus’s right to life?  No matter where someone stands on the abortion debate, the fact stands that people have the right to choose.

However, the right to choose extends to more than just the right to abortion.  The right to die, or euthanasia, is also a widely debated topic.  If one does not feel that they have quality of life because of a terminal illness, do they have the right to end their with a doctor’s help?

Being independent is as important as any right promised in the Constitution.  It is the right to be your own person and not rely on anyone else.  To choose directly correlates with the right to freedom, the right people have fought and died for.  It is the foundation of this country.

The right to life and death might seem different, but they all stem from one right: the right to choose.  The right to decide to have a child.  The right to end suffering.  This is not a decision to be debated or voted on, it is something that only concerns whomever is making the decision.

Taking away these rights does not mean removing abortion or euthanasia from society.  It simply means that people will not have safe abortions or comfortable euthanasia. People will act on their right to choose. How safe they are depends entirely on how legal the choice is.  Will the abortion be performed in a sterile environment by a doctor who knows what they are doing, or in an alley?  Will the euthanasia happen surrounded by family in a hospital, or with a handful of pills in their bathroom, assuming the person who wants it is that mobile?

The debate on both topics, along with many other topics concerning the right to choose, has no possible winners because it was allowed to happen in the first place.  If a single person’s rights are capable of being debated away, no one is safe.

Regardless of one’s opinion on any choice, there still is a difference between a right and a privilege.  Fact and opinion. Rights hang in the balance between people who do not truly understand what they are debating away.