At this year’s annual March for Life rally in Washington D.C., many anti-abortion supporters came together to protest against a woman’s right to privacy and choice over her own body.
Of course, they have every right to protest as stated in the First Amendment. Even though I do not agree with their opinions, their protest was not hurting anyone and is a part of their freedom of expression and assembly. However, I do have a problem when these protestors hurt women by verbally assaulting them outside of Planned Parenthood offices or spreading misinformation about the realities of abortion.
But there was something more worrisome to me about the protest this year — President Trump’s religiously-motivated rhetoric throughout his speech. He is the first sitting president to ever attend the march, and he went all-out during his speech to pander to his far-right supporters.
He spoke about how “Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God,” and “When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation.” He even went so far as to quote the Bible.
We cannot be making laws or pushing legislation based on religion. He is talking about overturning Roe v. Wade and making America an anti-abortion nation on the premise of children being God’s creation. This is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.
Of course, many people may oppose abortion for religious reasons, but that does not mean you can force everyone else, including atheists, to adhere to your belief system.
America was supposed to be a place of religious freedom where anyone could escape from tyranny and practice the religion they believe in. Why then are we attempting to make anti-abortion laws based on what Christians alone believe?
To me, this speech sounds like Trump and his supporters believe their religion is superior and therefore, the entire country should abide by the laws they create based on their faith. That sounds like the opposite of religious freedom.
Trump also talks about how the protestors are protecting and fighting for women by protesting abortion, but that does not make much sense either. They are fighting to take away a woman’s choice when it comes to her body and future, while also endangering women’s health more broadly.
It is clear that they are actually way more concerned about mass of cells than the life of the woman. Otherwise, they would not be trying to force women to go through with potentially dangerous and life-threatening pregnancies.
They would rather this fetus be born into a terrible life, be put through the overwhelmed foster care system or force a mother who is not ready or healthy enough to give birth. This does not sound like they care for women or even for the child once they are born.
It is scary to have a president who vehemently voices these ideologies — especially when they violate my rights as a woman and the separation of church and state. Instead of trying to save an unborn and undeveloped fetus, these protestors should be fighting for a reformed foster care system or better family planning for women.
They should be investing in the education system to prevent unplanned pregnancies and making contraceptives more widely available for the American public.
They will never totally get rid of abortions because even if they succeed in overturning Roe v. Wade, abortions may just happen informally and more women will lose their lives. All they will achieve is harming more women and forcing others to adhere to their religious values, much like tyrannical leaders have done in the past.