Abortion as Individuals’ Free Choice

Introduction

The morality of abortion is one of the most controversial and essential questions that probably have no correct answer. People have different points of view regarding this concept, and they are generally divided into pro-life and pro-choice. Though this practice is allowed in Canada, there is no law regulation, and many women have to get unsafe abortions (Shaw & Norman, 2020). Americans still create social movements and try to prohibit it even after the U.S. Supreme Court declared access to legal and safe abortion as a fundamental right in 1973 (Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 2021). Both sides have rather strong arguments, but many people consider a medical ending of pregnancy to be the murder of a child. Nevertheless, this paper argues that abortion actually has numerous advantages and should not be frowned upon by society. Three arguments supporting this point of view are discussed further. They are the facts that abortion helps women avoid mental illnesses and stress, reduces the chance of getting unemployed, and allows them to terminate pregnancy from rape.

Arguments for Abortion

Abortion and Mental Conditions of Women

To begin with, it is essential to notice that pregnancy can negatively affect females’ mental health, and it is especially concerning when a woman is deprived of her right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. According to researchers, “women who are denied an abortion are more likely to initially experience higher levels of anxiety, lower life satisfaction and lower self-esteem” (American Psychological Association, 2018, para. 3). Additionally, going through all the phases of pregnancy and childbirth and then raising an unwanted kid, which includes taking care, finding money, and forgetting about personal life, may be overwhelming. Consequently, females denied an abortion are at a higher risk of developing depression and various addictions.

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Abortion and Maternal Deaths

While some women become stressed, many of them die because of unsafe abortions. Researchers note that “every year, women and girls around the world undergo 56 million abortions, nearly half of which are unsafe” (Monga et al., 2020, para. 3). Unfortunately, it leads “to almost 23,000 annual maternal deaths and accounting for 5–13% of all maternal deaths” (Monga et al., 2020, para. 3). Therefore, considering termination of pregnancy illegal is not the solution since many females will continue to perform clandestine abortions, leading to serious consequences, namely, damage to health or death. Thus, the necessity of allowing safe abortion is increased.

Abortion and Sexual Assault

One may ask about the reasons that may make a woman prefer not to give birth. While there are many of them, one of the most serious is pregnancy resulting from rape. Unfortunately, many people experience sexual assault, and one of the consequences for girls and women is unwanted pregnancy. Of course, it is great if a female victim of rape is strong and loving enough to consider the future child as her own. Such persons can take care of them, notwithstanding their biological father and the circumstances of conception. However, most women want to forget the sexual assault, and if they are denied an abortion, the child will likely remind them of the rape and the criminal (Basile et al., 2018). It may prevent the rape victim from loving the kid.

Opposing View

Although the arguments mentioned above are rather strong and convincing, many people think abortion is tantamount to murder. To defend their viewpoint, these persons say that the medical ending of pregnancy is a sin because there is already a new life in a woman’s womb (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). Additionally, since some females who wanted to terminate their pregnancy changed their minds after giving birth, pro-life movement supporters believe that all women will eventually regret getting an abortion. It means that the medical ending of pregnancy has to be prohibited at all.

Even though these opposing opinions may sound reasonable, they are refuted by scientists. The viability of a fetus starts somewhen between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. In half of the American states, it is allowed to get an abortion during the first twenty weeks after conception. Therefore, legally, this is not murder. At the same time, in Canada, it is legal at all pregnancy stages, but it is stated that the personhood of a fetus begins only when it is able to survive outside the womb (National Academies of Sciences, 2018). As for the argument concerning females who are happy after not terminating their pregnancy, this is the exception rather than the rule. Girls and women need to evaluate their readiness and desire to have a child and then make their own independent decision. Surely, they can regret it in the future, but it is better than raising an unwanted and unloved kid, which happens to many women who did not manage to end their pregnancy.

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Conclusion

To conclude, one may say that having access to safe, legal, and comfortable abortion should indeed be the basic right provided to all women. Being denied abortion has many more negative effects and consequences than terminating a pregnancy. If people want to significantly reduce maternal mortality, enhance the mental health of women, and make sure that victims of sexual assault can move on with their lives, it is necessary to allow females to get an abortion.

References

American Psychological Association. (2018). Abortion and mental health. APA. Web.

Basile, K. C., Smith, S. G., Liu, Y., Kresnow, M. J., Fasula, A. M., Gilbert, L., & Chen, J. (2018). Rape-related pregnancy and association with reproductive coercion in the US. American journal of preventive medicine, 55(6), 770-776.

Monga, T., Bajracharya, M., Aziz, H., Sherpa, L. Y., Shaikh, I., Shabbir, G., Gentle, P., & Samandari, G. (2020). Increasing safe abortion access through universal health care: Promising signs from Nepal and Pakistan. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 28(2).

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National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). The safety and quality of abortion care in the United States. National Academies Press.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund. (2021). Roe v. Wade: The constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion. Web.

Shaw, D., & Norman, W. V. (2020). When there are no abortion laws: A case study of Canada. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 62, 49-62.

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