Why Abortion Is Wrong and Should Be Restricted
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When the subject of abortion is mentioned or debated on any platform, one is likely to come across numerous moral, religious and social reasons for not supporting the abortion. In the same context, the reasons for having an abortion are also discussed. According to the National Health Service (NHS), in the United Kingdom, abortion is a medical procedure of terminating pregnancy so that it does not lead to the birth of a baby (NHS para. 1). The termination process involves either having a surgical procedure or taking medication (Bailey 8).
It is worth noting that abortion is not a miscarriage. In contrast to abortion, in a miscarriage, there is no medical intervention, but medical treatment is very essential after the miscarriage. Proponents of abortion identify themselves as pro-choice, argue that abortion is a right that should not be constrained by either religious or governmental authorities given that it outweighs the right claimed for a fetus (Naden 26). On the other hand, the opponents, branding themselves as pro-life, contend that abortion is an immoral termination of the life of an innocent human being because personhood begins at conception (Naden 26). Even though there are some incidences where abortion has been widely advocated, abortion is generally not acceptable due to numerous negative aspects associated with it. This paper argues against abortion and highlights the reasons why abortion should be abolished.
One of the central arguments among the opponents of abortion takes an ethical and religious perspective in the sense that, it is immoral to kill an innocent human being because personhood begins at inception. All human beings have a fundamental right to life that must be protected at all costs. Unborn babies also deserve to be treated humanely because they are human beings (Naden 45). Therefore, by legalizing abortion, people encourage this aspect of moral decay. In fact, there is no civilized society that encourages or permits an individual to intentionally harm or kill another human without being punished. Hence, abortion is not exceptional. Morality and respect for life is a fundament mindset for any human being at all times. Additionally, abortion inflicts immense pain to the unborn child.
According to Murphy (para. 3), a fetus beyond five months of gestation can experience severe and excruciating pain. In addition, abortion defies one of the Ten Commandments since it involves killing a human being. That is, the sixth commandment in the Bibles Old Testament “Thou shall not kill” (Bailey 46).
In the current society, women are more civilized and aware of their reproductive health. This qualifies the fact that unwanted pregnancies should not be interrupted because of ignorance or negligence. Women are encouraged to use contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Medical advancements in the area of reproduction have also realized the use of emergency contraception which is available in almost all chemists, pharmacies, hospitals and private clinics.
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According to Bailey (46), about 19-25 percent of women who had opted for abortion in the same year had received one or more abortions in the previous years. This is a clear indication of negligence, thus abortion should not be accepted under such scenarios. The findings of this study also imply that if abortion was not legalized, women would be more careful and take the use of preventive measures seriously. Further, adoption can be a viable alternative to abortion given that it accomplishes the same result.
America has over 2 million families ready to adopt a child; hence there should be no argument about an unwanted child. In the same assertion, abortion should be discouraged because it reduces the number of adoptable babies. In 2002, only 134,000 babies were adopted in the US which was over 90 percent short of the children ready to be adopted (ProCon Organisation para. 8). Instead of abortion, women should opt to give their unwanted children to couples who cannot have their own children. It is a humane and just move to give a baby to a woman who cannot conceive than to terminate its life.
The other pro-life argument takes a health perspective. According to resources from various medical organizations since 2006 including the National Physician Center for Family Resources, the Catholic Medical Association, and American Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, there is a link between abortion and breast cancer (ProCon Organisation para. 14). This is subject to the fact that immature cells are left in a woman’s breast when pregnancy is interrupted by abortion. During the early stages of pregnancy, there is a natural increase in the levels of estrogen responsible for breast growth as a preparation for breastfeeding. The immature cells increase the potential risk of breast cancer. The other critical health effect of abortion is that it increases the likelihood of future pregnancy complications or miscarriages
According to Naden (45), approximately 15 percent of miscarriages were attributed to the past history of induced miscarriages. The risk of late miscarriages is attributed to the damage of the cervix, which is normally caused by repeated miscarriages. Some of the health risks during abortion include hemorrhage, damage to the cervix and damage of the womb (Bailey 16). The main risk after the abortion is the infection of the womb subject to the failure to remove all the fetus fibers. Moreover, abortions can result in the loss of life of pregnant women. According to an October 2006 Report by the World Health Organization, abortions caused 68,000 maternal deaths annually (ProCon Organisation para. 2).
Instances of eugenic termination, that is selective abortion based meant to avoid genetic abnormalities is overt discrimination (Bailey 50). The physically challenged human beings are no less human thus it is very unacceptable to carry out abortions based on such practices. The physically challenged are globally protected by civil rights because they are humans. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 would protect such people so that they can live fulfilling lives. This justifies the move to ban abortion. Abortion also results in immense psychological damage. In 2002, women who had aborted were 154 percent more likely to commit suicide (Bailey 51). In the same context, an April 1998 study on men whose partners had aborted indicated that 45.2 percent of the men felt sad, 51.6 percent regretted and 25.8 percent experienced depression (Naden 44).
The opponents of abortion also assert their stand by pointing out that abortion minimizes the potential human contribution to the future survival of human beings. The logic is underlying the point that some of the greatest minds in the world could have not seen the light of the day if their mothers had gone for an abortion. Therefore women should reconsider their actions to ensure that the future of the human race is stabilized. Under the same argument, abortion would affect the future economies given that they are costly.
According to ProCon Organization, a single abortion can cost from $350 to more than $ 1000. The same organization approximated that over $830 were spent abortions annually. These figures can instead be channeled to the core sectors of an economy to enhance the well being of people. For example, the same money can be channeled to the health sector to ensure that people can access affordable and quality medical services within their jurisdictions.
On the other hand, those advocating for abortion have attempted to justify their stand using a number of arguments. The proponents of abortion assert that abortion is a right that should not be limited by any authority given that it outweighs the right claimed for a fetus. They also point out that any restriction will force women to resort to illegal and unsafe abortions in scenarios where there is no legal clause to allow the process. In the United States of America, a woman’s choice for abortion is a basic right recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States.
The argument that personhood begins at conception is heavily opposed by the assertion that personhood begins at birth. The proponents contend that abortion is a process of ending a pregnancy and not a baby. Moreover, they also argue that the idea of personhood beginning at conception is hypothetical and has not been proven biologically. However, this argument is flawed since science has affirmed that life begins at inception. Therefore, abortion is an instance of terminating a potential life and not a pregnancy.
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Abortions Were the Reason for 68,000 Maternal Deaths Annually in 33 Countries
Another argument for abortion is that fetuses are incapable of experiencing pain when abortion is performed. This was highlighted by Stuart Derbyshire, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham in England. He argued that the fetus is not biologically well developed to experience pain. According to him, pain could only be experienced in the environment after birth. The proponents also advocate for abortion in the sense that legally and professionally performed an abortion is safe (ProCon Organisation para. 10). Such kind of abortion reduces the risks of injury and death usually caused by illegal and unsafe abortions. According to an October 2006 Report by the World Health Organization, abortions were the reason for 68,000 maternal deaths annually in 33 countries where abortion was not available or illegal (ProCon Organisation para. 10).
This indicates that the lack of legal frameworks and professional abortion services contributes to material losses. This can be minimized by legalizing abortion to eliminate illegal and unprofessional businesses that carry out these unsafe and illegal abortions. The proponents of abortion also point out that linking abortion, religion and the legal frameworks is lame. The argument is that the governments’ position on abortion based on religion threatens the critical separation of religion or the church and state. The state and church should be independent entities to ensure that religious doctrines are not forced on citizens that are not part of that faith. People have a right to religion hence religion should not be linked to the state in social matters, particularly abortion.
According to pro-choice arguments, the process of modern abortion is safe. The National Human Service indicates that the probability of a woman’s death from a legal abortion procedure is less than one in 100,000. In the same respect, the risk of a woman dying from a normal birth is 13.3 deaths in 100,000 pregnancies (NHS para. 7). In addition, a study carried out by the Royal College of Obstetricians and the Joint Royal College of General Practitioners found that women who had aborted had the same fertility chances as those who had natural pregnancies. However, it is selfish to consider the risk of abortion as affecting the woman only; those advocating for abortion should also consider the harm caused on the unborn baby, and not only the woman. In banning abortion, the welfare of both the mother and the unborn child is considered.
The supporters of abortion also attribute unwanted pregnancies to an inadequate supply of contraceptives. Therefore, they justify abortion in the spirit of mitigating the problem of a lack of contraceptives. In normal scenarios, women should obtain a doctor’s prescription to get various birth control methods. These include the shot, the diaphragm, the patch, and the pills. It is also worth noting that 50 percent of large health insurance plans do no cover any form of contraception prescription and only 30 percent cover the birth control pills. This implies that women have to strain their budgets to cover costs pertaining to their reproductive health. According to ProCon Organization, as of 2009, more than 17 million American women did not have insurance covers.
Abortion also gives couples an avenue to choose to terminate pregnancies that might bring babies with severe physical challenges or threatening medical conditions into this world. This not only saves the couples the psychological stress they are likely to undergo but also saves the babies the pain and suffering they are likely to experience when their conditions come to full term. Such decisions are always arrived at after rigorous medical examinations and pre-abortion counseling services. A survey conducted in 2005 and published in the journal of Perspective on Sexual and Reproductive Health found out that 38 percent of the interviewed women reported that giving birth would affect educational and career goals.
In the same study, 73 percent said they could opt for abortion because they could not afford to care for a baby. In this respect, abortion protects women from financial problems. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there is no substantial association between breast cancer and abortion (ProCon Organisation para. 14). Finally, abortion can be an effective tool for population control hence limiting poverty and conflict over resources.
In response to the opponents’ argument that abortion possesses numerous health risks to the pregnant woman, it should be noted that there is no medical procedure that is entirely safe. The risks involved are few, particularly if the process is carried out in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (NHS, para. 4). An effective abortion does not usually affect a woman’s chances of conceiving or having normal pregnancies in the future. However, the problems can emerge if it is carried out later than 24 weeks of pregnancy. Furthermore, women are usually advised on health measures that should be undertaken to ensure that the risks of infections are minimized (Bailey 18).
In modern society, most abortion clinics offer counseling services before and after the procedure to minimize the psychological effects of the process. Some of the emotions experienced after an abortion include happiness, sadness, relief and feelings of loss. In countries like the UK, abortion can only be carried during the first six months of the pregnancy under special criteria (NHS para. 7). In jurisdictions where abortion is legalized or circumstances call for one, the process must be carried out in a specialist licensed clinic or hospital. Abortion would also be necessary for scenarios where it is necessary to save a woman’s life or to prevent a serious injury to the mental or physical health of the pregnant woman. Abortion should also be carried out as early as possible to minimize the risks involved. The proponents have also highlighted that there is no substantial relationship between abortion and breast cancer. It is also evident that in countries where abortion is illegal the rates of maternal deaths are high since the desperate pregnant women resort to illegal and unsafe abortion options.
Even though there are some incidences where abortion has been widely advocated, abortion is generally not acceptable because of the numerous negative aspects associated with it. Central to the debate is the immoral termination of human life which is against religious values. Abortion also has numerous health effects including the increase in potential risks associated with miscarriages and breast cancer, as well as, maternal deaths. Therefore governments and social institutions should come up with more structures and awareness campaign programs to create awareness of the numerous negative effects of abortion. It is not only immoral to terminate life, but also unjust to deny millions of couples who cannot have their own children through abortions. The number of abortion cases is way below the number of women who cannot conceive and are ready to adopt babies. In summary, abortion should be banned, but only carried out in scenarios where complications emerge.
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