The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that, “A woman’s risk of dying from having an abortion is 0.6 in 100,000, while the risk of dying from giving birth is around 14 times higher.” Abortion is a women’s right and should not be limited by governmental or religious authority. Even though I have not had first hand experience with this topic I still feel very strongly about the subject and I have done extensive research on both sides of the argument.
Today I would like to write about the benefits of legal abortion and how abortion cannot be a black and white debate because all cases differ.
Remember prohibition? When we discovered that just because alcohol was illegal certainly did not mean people were going to stop drinking. In fact, it became more dangerous because it was illegal and “under the table”. This is similar to abortion. Just because it is illegal doesn’t mean that women will stop getting abortions. They will resort to illegal and most likely unsafe abortions if there is no other option. According to Daniel Mishell Jr., the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Keck School of Medicine, “before abortion was legalized women would frequently try to induce abortions by using coat hangers, knitting needles, radiator flush, or by going to unsafe “back-alley” abortionists.” They are not going to stop happening so why don’t we create a safe legal option.
Abortion is a gray area and by that I mean every case is different. To simply set a date during the pregnancy for when it is illegal to have an abortion is unjust in certain situations. Currently the date for it to be illegal is 24 weeks into the pregnancy. After 24 weeks the mother can still find out that the pregnancy may be fatal to her or that she is giving birth to a child with severe mental disabilities. Also, to put every woman, who loses her child and is suspected of purposefully inducing an abortion, through trial is inhumane. Andrea Rowan, Senior Public Policy Assistant for Guttmacher Institute claims that, “States have left some women—particularly those who are low-income or otherwise disadvantaged—with no practical option for terminating their pregnancies but to do so on their own, which puts them at risk of legal prosecution and even imprisonment. Laws that criminalize women for self-inducing abortion also ensnare other women, including those who spontaneously miscarry and pregnant women who need addiction support services.”
There are many reasonable cases for abortions. For example, to prevent the birth of a child with birth defects or severe medical problems. In this case the parents may not have the money to support a child with extreme medical needs and it is hard to bring a child into the world who you know will struggle and have a lot to face.
Pregnancy because of rape/incest. It would be, in my opinion, the greatest form of cruelty to make a women give birth to a child who was the result of such a horrid act; this is not to say that it was the child’s fault, but the child would be a constant reminder of the incident.
Physical or mental conditions that endanger the women’s health. In this case her conditions would most likely be passed down to the child and it would be very difficult for her to even raise the child.
Financial concerns and not being able to support the child. In most of these situations it is best for the child because the parents may not be able to afford food for the child or maybe even a home.
To sum up, abortion is a human right and a private matter. Every situation is unique and it is impossible to understand a situation until you have experienced it. It should not be determined by the government or any religious affiliation.
- Rowan, A. (2015). Prosecuting Women for Self-Inducing Abortion: Counterproductive and Lacking Compassion. Retrieved October 13, 2015, from http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/18/3/gpr1807015.html
- How late in a pregnancy can you get an abortion? (2013). Retrieved October 13, 2015, from http://plannedparenthood.tumblr.com/post/45196618274/how-late-in-a-pregnancy-can-you-get-an-abortion
- Ladock, J. (2015). Pros and Cons of Abortion. Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/13561/1/Pros-and-Cons-of-Abortion.html
- Wraith, K. (2015, August 27). Abortion ProCon.org. Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://abortion.procon.org
- Zampas, C., & Gher, J. (2008). Human Rights Law Review. Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://hrlr.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/2/249.abstract