The Legalization of Abortion

Abstract

The fundamental causes of mortality and morbidity linked to unsafe abortion in the current world are more of disdain and indifference towards women. Women lose their lives and they suffer, because the society undervalues them. Despite the argument and claims of the challengers of safe and legal abortion, there are several social and medical benefits of it. Social, psychologial, and physical advantages of safe and permitted abortion had mounted up to women in the U.S. since 1973 following the Roe v. Wade landmark case (Manninen 2010). Before the case, there were over 200,000 million abortions annually. That is to say, the decision in this landmark case did not concoct abortion, but paved a way for safe and legal abortion.

 

Abortion Should Be Legalized in All Democratic Jurisdictions

Observably, most of the news headlines covering debates about the benefits of new reproductive technologies are inclined to the assumption that the pro-choice (proponents of abortion) side is likely to advocate for the new technologies, because it supports Roe’s arguments (Balkin 2006). Similarly, the pro-life side (opponents) of abortion is likely to oppose the new technologies, because they oppose Roe’s arguments. Abortion is a medical or clinical method that seeks to terminate pregnancy. Pro-choice and pro-life fronts believe that they are fighting for both human equality and human dignity. However, these values are approached differently in the legal debate about women’s rights. Consequently, they find themselves on different sides. It is in the same vein that this paper argues that there are numerous benefits of safe and legal abortion and hence it should be legalized in all democratic and sovereign states.

When the contentious subject of abortion is debated or mentioned on any public platform, numerous legal, socio-economic, and medical reasons for abortion are presented. Proponents, or forces of abortion, identify themselves as pro-choice forces. Central to their arguments is that abortion is a right that must not be limited by either government or religious entities, because it outweighs the right and status given to the unborn (Naden 2007). In response to the argument that abortion presents numerous health risks, it should be highlighted that all medical procedures have a risk. Under legalized and safe abortion, risks are few, especially if it is done within the first three months of pregnancy (NHS 2012).

Successful abortions also do not minimize the woman’s chances of conceiving and having normal pregnancies in the future. In a research carried out by the Royal College of Obstetricians, it was noted that women who had undergone legalized abortions had the same chances of fertility as those who had natural births. According to the NHS, the risk of a pregnant woman dying from a normal death is 13 deaths out of 100,000 pregnancies. In the same context, the probability of a woman dying from a safer and legalized procedure is less than one in the same population. This observation overrides the argument that abortion is unsafe. However, the risks are amplified if the abortion is carried out after six months of pregnancy. In The UK, legal abortion can only be carried out within this period (NHS 2012).

In fact, women who undergo safe and legalized abortions are advised on health measure that must be undertaken to ensure that the potential risks of infection are reduced (Bailey 2012). Furthermore, abortion clinics are mandated by legal and health practice to offer pre-counseling services to minimize the possible psychological effects of the procedure. Some of the possible emotions experienced after abortion include happiness, relief, sadness, and the feelings of loss. With proper pre- and post-abortion counseling, negative emotions can be managed.

The opponents of legal abortion argue that the human dignity of the unborn child should be respected from the moment of conception, because the concept of equality demands that respect. Similarly, the proponents of legalized abortion argue that a woman’s equality and dignity cannot be respected if the unborn is given the equal status of the pregnant woman. However, changing the focus from abortion to the emotional, physical, and social well-being alters the nature of these arguments from dignity and equality. The change in focus produces new potential areas of arguments and alliances.

Firstly, unwanted pregnancies, precisely due to rape or inadequate supply of contraceptive, may lead to socio-economic stability. For this reason, abortion is justified in the spirit of saving women from emotional and economic burden induced by unwanted pregnancies. Under normal circumstances, women should visit medical institutions to obtain a prescription for birth control methods. Unfortunately, poverty and inadequate contraceptives make women vulnerable to such pregnancies. In some impoverished societies, women are still uncivilized of their reproductive health.

This substantiates the fact that unwanted pregnancies can be subjected to the abortion due to informational gap and poverty. Besides, most insurance plans do not cover contraception prescriptions. Therefore, women have to stretch their budgets to cover the extra cost associated with their reproductive health. In scenarios where a woman could not afford to care for a baby, abortion can be an option only if all parties are involved.

With the help of progressive medicinal technologies, safe and legal abortion also gives parents a platform to choose to terminate pregnancies that may result in babies having fatal conditions or extreme physical challenges. In this perspective, abortion not only saves the parents from the psychological stress they are likely to face, but also saves the babies from suffering or pain they are likely to undergo when such threatening medical condition comes to full term. When such conditions are detected earlier during pregnancies, pre-abortion counseling, rigorous medical examinations are initiated. If follows that decisions to abort are informed and all parties are involved. In a jurisdiction where abortion is legalized or medical conditions call for absorption, the procedure must be carried out by a specialist and within a licensed medical facility.

Abortion should be legalized in all democratic jurisdictions, because it is justified in scenarios where it would save the life or prevent severe injury to the physical and mental health of the pregnant woman. Abortion is also justified in the sense that there is no direct correlation between breast cancer and abortion. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have time and again pointed out that there is no significant relationship between abortion and breast cancer ( ProCon Organisation 2013). When desperate women resort to unsafe and illegal abortion, the rate of maternal deaths is likely to increase.

Summary

The discussion and evidence presented in this paper support the argument that abortion should be legalized. It is apparent that women, men, and their families reap numerous benefits to their mental, social, and physical health from the legalization of abortion. Any abdication of women’s right and access to legalized and medically safe abortion endangers the health of women and the society as a whole. In this respect, social entities and government agencies should develop structures and awareness campaigns programs to inform the public about the safety or beneficial aspects of legalized abortion. In summary, abortion should be legalized in democratic jurisdictions and only carried out where conditions call for it.

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