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The Appalachian

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Opinion: Women’s rights compromised by politics

America is taking a step backward regarding women’s rights.

Two prominent government figures recently made statements reaffirming my belief, and I am not interested in their political stance on my body.

Gov. Mitt Romney was quoted in an interview saying that he planned to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood provides birth control to women who can’t afford or obtain it through their health insurance.

Some have argued that if a woman cannot afford birth control, then she shouldn’t be having sex. And while that is a valid point, realistically, it’s not going to happen.

Gov. Romney is infamous for flip-flopping on the issue of abortion, but ever since 2004, he has been strictly pro-life. But how does a stance against more widely accessible birth control and abortion make sense?

If a woman gets pregnant, especially as a result of limited or no access to birth control, then she should have the option of an abortion. Is this not, after all, the land of second chances?

I am aware that people have religious reasons for choosing to be pro-life, but our country is a democracy, not a theocracy. And if nothing else, abortion should be accepted in cases of rape and incest.

But Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin would disagree, as he believes that pregnancy resulting from rape is “really rare,” according to The New York Times.

 “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down,” he said.

Besides the fact that this is completely false, it is completely terrifying. I do not want a male who is obviously ignorant of how the female body works deciding what I can and cannot do with my body.

Rape is sex. It’s not consensual sex, but it’s sex. The point of sex is to reproduce. Therefore, rape can get women pregnant; it has in the past and it will in the future.

I am pro-choice when it comes to abortion for the simple fact that this is the twenty-first-century; people have sex, contraception is not always effective and rape and incest still occur.

What happens if a female college student with a bright future ahead of her has to give up everything because she gets pregnant? Would Romney tell her that she shouldn’t have had sex if she wasn’t ready to be a parent? And what if she didn’t have a choice – what if she was raped?

Look at the Republican plan. They want to limit access to birth control and outlaw abortion, essentially restricting the rights of women. That should not be on any politician’s agenda.

Women’s bodies are not clay for people to manipulate into what is convenient for their political views. 

Lindsay Bookout, a sophomore English major from Charlotte, is an intern news reporter.

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