When voters in the Pelican State hit the polls, the Love Life Amendment will be first on the ballot. This policy would ensure there is no right to abortion or the taxpayer funding of abortion in our state's Constitution — something thirteen states have already passed.
I'm a 23-year-old feminist and Democrat, and I will be voting yes on this amendment — Amendment 1 — because the protection of unborn human life is consistent with Democratic principles of social justice and human rights for all.
Under the bipartisan leadership of state Sens. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, and Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, voters, 63% of whom are pro-life in Louisiana, can unequivocally state that abortion policy belongs with the people, not judges. The Love Life Amendment places Louisiana's long-standing ethic of life in our state Constitution and prevents our laws from being manipulated by pro-abortion legislators or activist judges to dehumanize the unborn.
My support of Amendment 1 is personal. I was born blind. I have lived my entire life as a disabled person, completely without sight. Sadly, I'm all too aware of how society often views those of us who are less developed, physically weaker, or less able-bodied, as less human. An abortion supporter once told me that I should favor abortion because it prevents disabled people, like me, from being born into suffering. I had always respected a pro-life ethic before, but this encounter made me even more passionately pro-life because I know that every human life, including mine and those of unborn children in the womb, is worth living and worth protecting. The fact of the matter is that I love my life and am grateful to have been born.
I oppose abortion precisely because I am a feminist because I believe in a world where every single human being is treated equally and lives free from oppression, discrimination, or violence. At its best, feminism is a nonviolent movement that stands for the most marginalized among us: women, disabled people, immigrants, LGBTQ persons, people of color, criminals on death row, the poor, the elderly, and children both before and after birth.
Women cannot attain true freedom by sacrificing our unborn children's lives. Abortion exists because this world was created by and for men, and women are told that in order to break glass ceilings, we must become less pregnant. A woman should never feel like she must have an abortion in order to achieve a fulfilling life. I agree with legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon when she said abortion “does not liberate women; it frees male sexual aggression.”
Pregnancy is not a disease or a problem to be solved, but something to be celebrated and accommodated. Early feminist Mattie Brinkerhoff once wrote, "When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society, so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been gravely wronged."
I will be voting yes to the Love Life Amendment because I love the value and unrealized potential in every human life, especially lives like mine that some consider less worthy. The right to live is the most fundamental and inalienable human right. A so-called right gained at the expense of another living human being is no right at all. I'm voting yes because killing another human being, no matter their circumstances, is never social justice.
Sophie Trist, of Mandeville, is a recent graduate of Loyola University and an activist with Democrats for Life of America.