When I was younger, I asked my older sister what to do if I thought one of my friends was making a wrong decision. She responded seriously, telling me that I could talk to my friend, watch out for them, and be there for them when they needed help. But, she continued, I could not make someone’s decision for them.
I understand that philosophy more deeply now that I have gotten older. I have realized that you can try to guide people, talk to them, even argue with them. But in the end, they would have to make their own decisions. I believe this idea extends further than our personal lives; it translates into our government, laws, and society. Our country is so large, with so many differently opinionated groups and individuals. And often, the people in our country hold core beliefs and values which resonate strongly for them. But no one should have the right to impose those beliefs on others, even if they believe someone is making the wrong decision. People must make their own choices, and you cannot decide for them.
That is why I cannot support laws banning abortion. My own personal belief in this matter is relevant only to myself as an individual. And if I, as a young woman, were in a situation where I might consider abortion, my decision would be my own, and could not apply to anyone else.
For those people whose deepest beliefs oppose abortion: I accept if you call those who consider abortion names, if you attempt to stop them through spite or hate. I can accept jeering, shunning, or attempts at guidance. Our constitution gives you the right to say anything, and I support that right wholeheartedly. But it will never be acceptable if you attempt to make a person’s decision for them. And by creating laws banning abortion, we are doing just that.
This I believe: my beliefs are my own. Everyone must make their own decisions, according to their own beliefs.