Teen Perspectives: Abortion

Abortion is one of those topics that cause normally rational people to lose their minds. It isn’t new to America’s list of controversial topics and it does not appear to have an end in sight. The extreme pro-lifers believe all life matters from the moment of conception. More moderate pro-lifers and pro-choicers believe that there are circumstances like incest where abortion is necessary. Then there are extreme pro-choice advocates who just want the government (and often men) to stay out of the conversation about women’s bodies. 

Yet, where do young people stand? Where do my peers stand more specifically? Has the evolution of time, beliefs, and values made us more tolerant of these once fight-to-the-death-over issues or have we been influenced by our families, religious leaders, and others to believe fiercely in one side or the other of the abortion debate? 

I interviewed two senior students, a male and a female, about this topic to act as representatives of this generation of millenials. I wanted to see if their beliefs about abortion would be similar and whether or not their beliefs were influenced by outsiders. 

I first asked them, “What are your views on abortion? Are you Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? and Why?” The female student answered, “Pro-Choice. I believe that women can make any decision that has to do with their body.” The male responded to the question with, “Pro-Life, but there are situations where I feel like Pro-Choice is an option.” 

My next two questions were, “Does your family influence your views?” and “Does your religion influence your views?” The female student disagreed with both questions. She said that she makes her own decisions and doesn’t go by what her family or religion believes in. The male, however, responded with, “It is mainly my religious views that influence my views. Although they do to a point, I still determine what I believe in.”

The next question asked was, “Do you feel that there are extenuating circumstances in which an abortion might be necessary for the mental or physical health of the woman such as in cases of rape, incest, poverty, etc? If not, what should these women do in these cases?” Both sides agreed that they should have a choice when it comes to situations like rape or incest because the woman didn’t have a choice in getting pregnant.

Both students were asked if their stance on abortion has any impact on their relationships with other people, and,if so, how? They both responded saying that they have never had an issue with stating their beliefs to others. It may sometimes bother them, but they respect their opinions if their opinions are respected as well.

It seems that young people might be more rational than some adults when it comes to discussing issues like abortion. It also appears that they rely on their own beliefs and values to ultimately make decisions, though outside influences still matter. 


Works Cited

Dastagir, Alia E. “Rape and Incest Account for Hardly Any Abortions. So Why Are They Now a Focus?” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 24 May 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/24/rape-and-incest-account-few-abortions-so-why-all-attention/1211175001/.

Parenthood, Planned. “Abortion Information: Information About Your Options.” Planned Parenthood, www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion.

“The Catholic View of Abortion: EWTN.” EWTN Global Catholic Television Network, www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/catholic-view-of-abortion-12146.

“Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics.” RAINN, www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence.