Current abortion laws:
According to The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), around 350,000 U.S. teenagers under the age of 18 become pregnant each year, with 82% of these pregnancies unintended. Fifty-five percent of pregnant teenagers give birth, 14% have miscarriages, and 31% have abortions.
Abortion in the United States is currently legal because of the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade. Specifically, abortion is legal in all U.S. states, and every state has at least one abortion clinic. However, since 2010, the U.S. abortion landscape has grown to be more restrictive as more states adopt laws opposed to abortion rights. While some states have already passed laws making it extremely hard for a women to get an abortion in the current state they are living in, if the state government does not agree with the abortion process.
Some of the most common state-level abortion restrictions are parental notification or consent requirements for minors, limitations on public funding, mandated counseling designed to push an individual from obtaining an abortion, outrageous waiting periods before an abortion, and unnecessary regulations at and for abortion facilities.
Colorado abortion laws:
Colorado is a state that is expected to add protection when it comes to abortions, with a governor who is currently working to improve access to all forms of reproductive health care. On the other hand, abortion advocates in the Centennial state are not convinced now is the right time to act on this situation. Colorado is in a unique position when it comes to abortion because there are no laws restricting access to abortion, but no laws guaranteeing it, either. Two Colorado Republicans tried to pass a bill similar to the Alabama law —imposing a ban on abortion in the state also known as the Human Life Protection Act— even though it did not go anywhere in a Democrat-controlled statehouse.
Impact on high school students: Ahren Herrera
Ahren Herrera is a 17 year old, pro-choice activist. Ms. Herrera believes that “no one should have a say on someone’s life, and forcing someone to have a child, when they don’t want it or aren’t in the situation and or point in their life to have a child.”
“There are so many kids in foster care and that are orphans in the world,” Ahren said. “If children’s lives mean so much to the pro-lifers they should start with the ones already here.” Ms. Herrera’s current understanding of the Colorado abortion regulations is that you are given access but that there still might be some challenges to get it, depending on what part of Colorado you have an abortion in.
“In the near future, I hope to see a change that all 50 states give women the right to an abortion without any type of long waiting process, communication with parents and more,” said Ahren. “Especially in the southern states, so women are given what they want and deserve without having to leave where they live.”
As a high school student, Ms. Herrera thinks it is very important to be given access to an abortion, so that everyone young or old is given the resources they need if they are not ready to have a child, especially as teen pregnancies are more common in todays society. Ms. Herrera believes that as a young student, getting pregnant can have many consequences if not allowed or given access to an abortion.
Ms. Herrera knows many people that have experienced a pregnancy in their teenage years. Those people, from Ahrens knowledge, have either made the decision to have an abortion because they could not support a child or they have, along with other people who have made it work and were supported by their families while still being able to continue growing as a student academically.
Ahren goes on to state that “many people make it work, but personally it would affect my future of going to college since I have to raise a child and would have to start being able to provide for myself earlier, setting me back and the plans I had for a further education.”
Abortions should be a right for all American women, as not all are given access to support physically, mentally and most importantly, financial. This is a decision that not all people need to agree with, but at the end of the day needs to be something ALL people can respect. No one should have a say on another’s life and or body. “My body, My choice”.