Student Opinion: Return Of Abortion Referrals A Good Thing

AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth


By Kayla Ngai

Pro-choice or pro-life? Ever since Roe v. Wade was established almost 50 years ago, there has been an ongoing and heated debate on whether abortion should be legal in the states. Although Roe v. Wade recognized a woman’s right to privacy and ability to terminate a pregnancy legally, there are discussions of overturning the ruling. 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, brought a lawsuit against the Biden administration to necessitate family planning clinics that are federally funded to be independent financially and physically from abortion clinics through Title X. Title X which “is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services” was altered during the Trump administration. Trumpimplemented a new rule that barred any provider in the Title X network from so much as mentioning abortion care to patients, even if the patient raised questions about it or asked for a referral.” Yost’s goal in this lawsuit is to keep that law in place.

Yost tried to explain that his lawsuit does not “challenge the right to an abortion as guaranteed under Roe.” Yost pushed that these restrictions were “intended as firewalls between family planning clinics” as they receive taxpayer funding and abortion clinics do not. However, his stipulations make it more difficult for people with uteruses to attain an abortion. I believe it should be up to the patient whether they want to seek an abortion not anyone else and there shouldn’t be a law to make it harder for them. 

The governments of states such as Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia (some of which don’t participate in Title X) have shown interest in Yost’s lawsuit. During the lawsuit hearing, the U.S. District Judge Timothy Black from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati rejected the 12 states’ plea to put a pause on the rules for the federal government planning program. Rightfully so, Black decided that the states “failed to prove they’d be irreparably harmed by the rules going into effect” and their case was focused on “policy disagreement, not a legal one.”

Since October 2021, the Biden administration has been actively reforming the rules set up in Trump’s era. Due to Trump’s regulations, which were instated less than two years, 1.5 million fewer patients did not utilize the Title X funded services. In a recent development, on Febuary 8th, it was ruled that “federally funded family planning clinics can continue to make abortion refferals for now.” Since Joe Biden’s presidency, there are new regulations set by the Department of Health and Human Services that are “returning the federal family program, called Title X.” I think this is one step in a better direction. Title X makes healthcare more accessible to the general public and gives the people more autonomy. The program would revert to the way it ran under the Obama administration. This would mean that clinics would be able to refer people in need of an abortion to a provider. 

The program would grant over $250 million a year to clinics to “provide birth control and basic health care services” to people with a low-income (many who are from minority communities). Additionally, during Trump’s reign, a number of service providers affiliated with clinics and other independent organizations left in protest. The return of the program will likely lead to 1,300 facilities being reinstated. 

Like Rachel Green remarked in Friends, “No uterus, no opinion.” Due to the fact that a majority of government officials are male, I find that the conversation about abortion often leads to the policing of women’s bodies without proper education around the reproductive anatomy. According to a study from the Guttmatcher Institute, when the government attempts to make abortion less accessible, it does not lessen the rate of abortion. Instead, the rates stay about the same and people use more dangerous procedures. 

When people are adverse to abortions, they fail to recognize the different situations that make it a necessary step. In Brazil, where abortion is a crime, an 11-year-old girl named Luana Costa was raped and impregnated by a 43-year-old man. Luana died in October 2020 after complications in her pregnancy. There are many valid reasons people might want an abortion, they include but aren’t limited to lack of ability to financially care for a child, the mother could be in danger when bringing the fetus to term, or the fetus could be a result of sexual assault. 

I am pro-choice. Pro-choice does not necessarily mean pro-abortion. Pro-choice allows the person involved to make their own decision based on their situation and their own beliefs. We need to work on making healthcare, sex education, and birth control options easier to attain. Only then will abortion rates start to drop. I believe that the Biden administration is going in the right direction by reinstating Title X to its former glory after it was removed by the Trump administration.

About The Author

Jordan Varney received a masters from UC Davis in Psychology and a B.S. in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd. Varney is editor in chief of the Vanguard at UC Davis.

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  1. Ron Oertel

    difficult for people with uteruses to attain an abortion

    It’s really difficult for people without one to attain an abortion. Perhaps even impossible.

    Like Rachel Green remarked in Friends, “No uterus, no opinion.”

    How about women who have had hysterectomies, or have experienced menopause?  Are they allowed an opinion?

    In all seriousness, I don’t believe that support or opposition is dependent upon a uterus.

    1. Ron Oertel

      The other thing that’s “wrong” with the uterus argument is that there are people who have them (and can still bear children) who would be glad to tell you what to do with “yours”, in regard to child-bearing. In fact, I’m not sure what the outcome would be, if the “vote” was limited to such persons.

      Honestly though, there is a point at which this entire issue makes me squeamish, at least.  But, not when it’s an egg that can fit on a pencil eraser.

      If anything, the “dividing line” has more to do with religion, than possession of a uterus.

    2. Dave Hart

      Arguably the decision should be dependent on the one who has a uterus.  Why do I say that?  Because only people with a uterus are in a position to consider whether an abortion is needed for them personally in consultation with their own doctor.  That is also true in or out of a marriage.  It is the woman’s body and it is therefore her choice exclusively.  She may consult friends with or without uteruses, husband, partner or whoever, but the final decision should be hers and hers alone.  Just as the only person who should decide if a person with a penis should have a vasectomy is the person with the penis, nobody else.  Others with or without penises may offer an opinion, but in the end it is none of their business. Fine to consult, but in the end nobody should order Ron to have one or not.  So that was the author’s point and there is no need to complicate it. Religion is a side issue and actually quite unimportant judging by the number of Catholics, for instance, who have had abortions or would get them if there weren’t so many people stirring the pot.

      1. Ron Oertel

        So that was the author’s point and there is no need to complicate it.

        That’s not what the author said.

        There’s plenty of people with uteruses who would be glad to tell other people with uteruses what they should do with “theirs”.

        This was an attempt to discount (only) men who do so. It’s a blatant attempt to appeal to a misogyny type of political argument.

        I’m sure that the author would have “no problem” regarding men who share her opinion.

        It is absolutely a religious-based issue. Catholics who get (or support) them are “disobeying” their own religion. You don’t get to “pick-and-choose”, while still claiming to follow a faith. (At that point, you’re following your own “faith”.)

        1. Ron Oertel

          And by “faith”, I’m referring to made-up nonsense.

          In reference to another commenter who noted something similar, one person’s “faith” is another person’s “cult”.

        2. Dave Hart

          I think she was making a point that women at least have some common ground to even have an opinion, while men do not is valid.  Just as you would not be happy if you were under pressure by female judges and female politicians to have your prostate removed after the age of 40 as a public health measure of some kind.  Other men might agree and you could discount that, but it would be harder hearing it from people who don’t have a prostate gland.

          And there are many Catholic and evangelical women who have chosen abortions and are able to reconcile their actions with their religion.  Jesus sure doesn’t have anything to say about it, so it isn’t really possible to say that religious lines are that important any more.  Catholics can “disobey” a guy in Rome or in their local church, but that is really all he is:  just a guy who doesn’t understand.  Jesus forgives, they tell me.

        3. Ron Oertel

          I believe you’re misunderstanding the point.

          The author would likely have “plenty of problems” with other women telling them what to do with their uteruses.

          As I would, if someone of any gender told me what to do with my prostate. (Other than a doctor, of either gender. I’m only counting two genders, for the sake of this conversation. At this point, I’m not sure how many there supposedly are, according to some.)

          It’s a political argument, not a real one.

          Catholics can “disobey” a guy in Rome or in their local church, but that is really all he is:  just a guy who doesn’t understand.

          I don’t believe that’s his role in the Church. And if you think that, you’re most-assuredly not adhering to that religion.

          Jesus forgives, they tell me.

          Some may say that, others may not.  But it’s not part of the church doctrine.  They’ve even got a book and what-not, which explains their position.  (Though I’m not sure which version it is.) You can find it in hotels.

          If you aren’t following the rules, you’re making up your own religion.  Which is fine, since they’re all made up.

          Just don’t pretend that you’re following the “official” one, at that point.

          By the way, is Jesus in charge of things?  I thought it was his Dad that’s supposedly in charge.


        4. Dave Hart

          Actually, you can’t find anything in the Bible about homosexuality.  You can look all you want. People can hide their opinions behind religion, ethics or whatever but deciding in law whether someone can have an abortion is a political argument.  The law is politics set in writing.

      2. Alan Miller

        So the software lets you say “penis” but not shuttlecôck, cøckpit, or cøckerspaniel.  So much for the theory that A.I. is going to take over our lives.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Penis is not a slang word, nor is vagina.

          You can talk about penises all day long on here.

          Just don’t mention that great film director, responsible for Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo . . .

          Also, don’t mention one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

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