Against: Women should fight abortion wait period
As a woman, I know that my health is my decision. Ultimately, some of the decisions that come along with being a woman take some thought and some decisions may be harder to make than others. What is important is that I am trusted to make these decisions on my own, based on advice from my family, faith and doctor.
Forcing women to wait 24 hours to have an abortion has been disguised as a piece of legislation to help women make "informed choices." In reality, it is another obstacle women have to face when trying to access an abortion, besides the negative social stigma, cost and other variables that go into this private decision. This isn't a piece of legislation "empowering" women. This is sticking women in a corner and telling them that we don't trust the decisions they make about their own health and bodies.
Last week, student columnist Tiffani Daniel wrote an opinion article for the Central Florida Future titled "24-hour abortion period better than lifetime of regret" and argued several points in support of the 24-hour waiting period. There are many flaws with Daniel's argument, starting with "What is the difference if she is required to wait a mere 24 more hours? A period of time, for some, that flies by so quickly that the events of the day aren't carefully reviewed." To a privileged blind eye, 24 hours means nothing and is just another day, but to many women, this 24-hour delay means so much more.
This forced delay is another day's worth of childcare, missing work, transportation or even lodging. This is another day a woman may have to hide from an abusive partner or family member. And, ultimately, this is another day a woman is forced to go through with a pregnancy that she does not want.
Another argument Daniel wrote is "The process for an abortion is not taken lightly. When the woman schedules an appointment, she is given some information about the abortion process. If she chooses to take the abortion pill, doctors are prepared to supply it to her right away." This is another flawed argument. Women are presented all of the information they need, including options of counseling, if they choose.
Women should be trusted to make these decisions on their own with the information they are given by their doctors. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime, so instead of building a society that criminalizes women for their right to choose, we should be building a society of support and acceptance for these women.
There is hope. Although this piece of legislation has passed through the Florida Legislature, there are organizations that are fighting back. The American Civil Liberties Union has already filed a lawsuit, and, currently, a suspension of the law has been granted by a judge while the case is heard. Planned Parenthood continues to be an advocate for this issue as well, hosting canvasses, phone banks and other events in the community to make patients and constituents aware of the recent changes made to health care access and fight against this legislation. You can get involved by contacting your local affiliate. As a woman, I don't feel empowered by this legislation. As a woman, I am livid and ready to do whatever necessary to fight this legislation, and so should you.
Stand with the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other organizations that are fighting back.
Stand with women.
Chelsea Daley is the president of the College Democrats at UCF.