It is my belief that abortion is a right. It is a means of protecting one’s health physically, emotionally, financially. Health and education are the foundation of a modern functioning society, which is why I believe these two pillars are relentlessly under attack. One would be forgiven in assuming that, after January 6th, 2021, the political games of the Grand Old Party would be stored away and focus would finally be placed on what the majority of Americans want and need: universal health care, student loan forgiveness, and work wages fitting for the costs of living in the twenty-first century.

Instead, we are embroiled further in culture wars, for the louder we scream at each other, the more we drown out the issues that actually bring us together - issues that truly matter:

“How do I stretch this paycheck to cover the rent/mortgage/utilities/groceries, let alone school, car payments…?”

“How do I stretch this paycheckto cover the rent/mortgage/ utilities/groceries, let alone school, car payments…?”

If the answer to those questions involved our elected leaders responding with protections in legislation that provided us with the security we so desperately need, the political wedges created to split us against immigration, LGBTQ rights, and yes, abortion, (among many, many other issues) would lose their grip. If we are all treated with the human dignity with which we deserve, what then is there to divide us?

I could quote articles that detail how preventive care has drastically reduced the dropout rate; how 'abortion deserts' leave families financially dire, or, regretfully, the death rate of women who’ve been forced to carry full term despite risks to their health (and those who, forced to take drastic measures, die as a result of a botched termination), but the information is there. The system feeds and thus survives on collective ignorance. We must make the effort to educate ourselves.

And in doing so, we must ask: where is the infrastructure in the United States that supports the demands of child care? It is my view that the very social services required to ensure that the basic necessities are met are currently under-funded, if nonexistent. Indeed, I'd be remiss to neglect mentioning the importance of sex ed. Sex education is a tremendous resource in preventive care, and yet we allow state representatives to deprive us of this tool. Through sex education, we learn not only the practice of safe sex, but more importantly, we learn about consent. We gain autonomy.

The Supreme Court is attempting to close the door on this contentious debate by ensuring chaos ensues. In taking this absurd step, it’s opening a dark reality of millions of women seeking health care services across state lines, (those who can afford to) - an option which my home state, Missouri, would just as soon make illegal.

In a true democracy, we may not perfectly align ideologically, but we respect each other’s positions - positions which inform our choices. No one knows better what a woman should do with her body than she herself... It is a difficult decision she faces. It is a personal decision, and we would do well to honor it.