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Presidential candidates should not include personal opinion in abortion policy decisions (Op-Ed)

Abortion has been one of the most hot-button, controversial, and important policy discussions in recent years for a variety of reasons, ranging from concerns over body autonomy, health concerns, moral and ethical dilemmas, religious opposition, and defining personhood in our society. 

Of course, it makes perfect sense that this issue would be a frontrunner in debates, speeches, and promises made from presidential candidates in order to cater to and appease their potential, or established, constituencies. 

However, there’s a fundamental failing happening across the aisle.

There is a pressing need for candidates to divorce their personal beliefs from their stance on abortion when crafting nationwide policies. While personal convictions may inform their decisions, it is imperative for presidential hopefuls to prioritize the diverse needs and rights of all Americans that depend heavily on the decisions made by policymakers in D.C.

Former President Donald Trump once stated, “I am pro-life,” echoing sentiments shared by many within his political base. Conversely, President Joe Biden has been vocal about his personal belief in a woman’s right to choose, asserting, “I support a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body.” However, these personal convictions should not be conflated with policy prescriptions that impact millions of lives.

Abortion is a deeply personal and complex issue, intertwined with religious, moral, and ethical considerations. What may align with one individual’s beliefs may not resonate with another’s lived experiences. Hence, presidential candidates must approach this topic with sensitivity and nuance, recognizing the multifaceted nature of the debate while prioritizing the health, safety, and well-being of those who are most vulnerable to this topic.

When formulating policies on abortion, candidates should  put evidence-based approaches that uphold constitutional rights and promote public health first. Rather than imposing personal beliefs onto the populace, they should seek to foster an inclusive dialogue that respects differing viewpoints.

Moreover, the United States is a diverse nation with a plurality of perspectives on abortion. Any attempt to impose a singular ideology to apply to the entire country risks marginalizing segments of society and undermining the principles of democracy.

In a democratic society, the role of government should be to protect individual freedoms and ensure equitable access to healthcare services. By divorcing personal opinions from policy decisions, presidential candidates can better serve the interests of all Americans.

As the nation prepares to elect its next leader, let us advocate for politics that transcends personal biases and embraces the principles of inclusivity and respect. In doing so, we can foster a more compassionate and equitable society for generations to come.


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