The Factors Making Pro-life Unpopular Among The Millennials
On May 15, 2019, Alabama passed the bill which would make abortion a felony offense except in cases of serious health implications for the child’s mother. This controversial bill has no exceptions for the rape victims or incest. This bill created an outrage across the United States as millions voiced their opinion against this act via various protests. The question is why the pro-life movement is so unpopular among the millennials. The two movements which are important to understand are the pro-life and pro-choice movements. Pro-life movement opposes the abortions and euthanasia in general whereas pro-life advocates for the legal right of a woman to choose abortion.
Influence of celebrities, religious affiliations, generational divide, and political differences are the most important factors which shape the opinion of millennials. Where even a single post is enough to create havoc, here it was thousands of A list celebrities who vouched against this bill. #womensright and #prochoice were trending on all the social media platforms. From Global icons like Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Pink to new sensations like Billie Ellish. From Avengers star Chris Evans to One Directioner Liam Payne all have voiced their opinion in favour of the pro-choice movement.
Bible also plays a crucial role in shaping the opinions of pro-life supporters. Although the Bible doesn’t explicitly mention abortion what it does mention is that a person should not kill an innocent human being. Another way in which the youth tend to align themselves is based on their political inclinations. Being a democrat/republican or to be more precise leftist/rightist can very much influence the decision regarding the abortion debate. Generally, a conservative or “rightist” tends to support the anti-abortion bills and similarly, a liberal who believes in the freedom of an individual, opposes the anti-abortion bills. Now a person need not be a staunch supporter of either of the two. It is the upbringing and the atmosphere around the person which influences his/her thoughts.
The landmark case which favoured the pro-choice movement was the “Roe vs Wade” in 1973. It recognized the women’s constitutional right to abortion among other issues. What the Alabama Bill does is directly challenge the historic “Roe vs Wade” judgment. The bill will be passed after six months which gives plenty of time for appeals. Another reason for the outrage was that all the twenty-five “YES” votes for the Alabama bill came from Republican male senators. The fact that 25 male senators decided such a sensitive issue has raised a lot of questions over the morality of this bill.
Public religion research institute conducted a survey that looked into the personal beliefs about abortion. As per the survey, the generation divide was obvious with over 60 percent of older respondents said that abortion was against their personal belief whereas only 44 percent of younger respondents claimed the same. Religious affiliations also play a role as except evangelical protestants, every other religious group believes that abortion should be legal in most cases. Age dynamic plays an important role in determining the demographics of the religious affiliation of the millennials. As per the survey conducted by Pew’s research center, there is a significant increase in the Religious “nones” community which makes up roughly 23% of the United States. The religiously unaffiliated people are more concentrated among the millennials as 35% of them identify themselves as atheists. This significant decrease in religious affiliation by the millennials can be the reason for the support of the pro-choice movement as well.
The argument which pro-life puts forward is that life begins at conception. Hence, abortion violates the right to live for the unborn baby. It also offers an alternative solution of adoption for the babies. While these are valid arguments, these don’t take account of the pregnancies due to rape or incest. An absolute ban on abortion would not only harm the woman but also the baby and the whole society. The pro-choice argues for Women Rights and also that women should be solely responsible while considering abortion. While this sounds good but can have negative implications on the life of the unborn child. Pro-Life activists also compare abortion with the holocaust, Soviet gulags and Cambodian genocides. Pro-life activists claim that the women who choose to abort the babies are perhaps worse than Hitler or Stalin. This comparison is rather pretty disgusting as all the genocides were committed with intent. At the same time if there is full liberty of abortion, it can be misused.
The millennials have a huge say on this particular issue. Both movements have positive and valid arguments. At the same time this debate has become very toxic in recent times. What the millennials should do is to check the facts and hear both sides of the story. They shouldn’t be influenced by celebrities or any news channels as they are clearly very biased. It is the responsibility of today’s youth to bridge the gap between the two movements. Exactly when human life begins will always be a question for the debate. Excessive freedom or restrictions both can be very harmful to society. There is a desperate need to find a middle ground in this situation. Bills such as the Alabama bill will only create more problems and divide society even further. As the religious influence is decreasing over time, the millennials would be able to see the picture more clearly without any external influence.
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