Empowering Women’s Reproductive Choice: The Abortion Debate
Understanding Abortion: Debates and Decisions
How do you think it would feel to have your right to make your own decisions taken away from you? Abortion is a highly controversial topic and is a worldwide debate. Many people believe abortion should be illegal, while others believe women should have the right to choose what they want to do as a result of unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. People hear about abortion, and they think a woman killed her baby because she wasn’t safe and ended up getting pregnant and didn’t want it, so she made a decision to abort it, but it is more than that.
Women have very personal reasons as to why they get abortions, but even then, other people don’t think abortion is the answer. We need to protect the women who decide to have one because abortion is a very difficult decision, and we shouldn’t be judging the women who get them. Many people also believe that abortions are wrong because they say you are killing a human life, while others say that under certain circumstances, it is okay or necessary to have one, which divides people into either the pro-life side or the pro-choice side. Abortion should be legal because women should have the freedom to choose what to do with their bodies.
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What Is Abortion and its Medical Context
Abortion is when a woman deliberately ends a pregnancy by removing the embryo or fetus from the uterus. They are performed within the first 13 weeks of a pregnancy. When the procedure is performed by a healthcare professional during the 1st trimester of the pregnancy, it is one of the safest procedures in medicine today. There are some side effects after the procedure, like bleeding and cramping. Some people think that abortion can affect your health afterward, but “unless there’s a rare and serious complication that’s not treated, there’s no risk to your ability to have children in the future or to your overall health”.
Complications during an abortion during the first trimester are less serious than those associated with giving birth. 88% of women get an abortion before 13 weeks, and 97% of those women claim to have no complications with it. Many people also believe that having an abortion can cause breast cancer, but ‘in February 2003, a panel of experts convened by the National Cancer Institute to evaluate the scientific data concluded that studies have clearly established that “induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk”. The U.S. Supreme Court declared abortion a fundamental right by the Constitution in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade which gave women the right to choose what to do with their bodies. If they didn’t have that choice, it would contradict the fight for freedom.
Methods of Abortion: Surgical vs. Medical
There are two methods to consider when having an abortion. There is either a surgical abortion or a medical one. You can either get an in-clinic procedure, or you can take medications at home. A surgical abortion will end the pregnancy by removing the embryo or fetus and placenta. They should be done during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and if it is done within that time frame, it is one of the safest medical procedures. Surgical abortions are nearly 100% effective.
Of course, with a procedure, there can be some side effects after. Cramping and bleeding can last from 1-2 days up to 2 weeks after the procedure is done. An abortion will not affect fertility or your overall health. During a medical abortion, a woman will take pills that will lead to the uterus expelling the pregnancy, like what would happen during an early miscarriage. Medical abortion is 98% effective during the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
The longer time you wait, the less effective it will be, and a surgical abortion will have to be performed instead. You will have to go to the clinic to take your first pill, but the second pill can be taken in the privacy of your own home. The bright side to this is that you can have one while you are surrounded by people who love and support you. Instead of a procedure, this method can feel more natural for women if that is what they prefer. Both methods are deemed safe, and having serious problems afterward is very rare. These procedures are completely safe, and if there are no serious side effects for the women who get them, why shouldn’t they be allowed to have the choice to have it or not?
It is very important to protect women and keep them safe. Denying a woman an abortion does not always stop them from getting one. Women can have unsafe and illegal abortions if they know they need to have one. By letting women have abortions, it will give them the option to have a safe and easy procedure rather than an unsafe and illegal one. “Access to legal, professionally-performed abortions reduces maternal injury and death caused by unsafe, illegal abortions” (Abortion ProCon.org).
Many women who have abortions aren’t financially stable enough to take care of a child, so keeping abortion legal will help protect women from financial disadvantages. Another problem is women who are denied abortions are more likely to have mental health problems than someone who receives one. In September 2013, a study compared the mental health of women who had abortions to those who were denied them.
The results showed that the women who were denied them felt more anger and regret and less relief and happiness than the women who had abortions. We should want to make the women who are going through this as comfortable as possible, and we should want them to be happy after their decision. A woman should not be uncomfortable going through with an abortion for fear of getting judged by the public. They should feel open with their decision, and they shouldn’t have to shy away from the topic because other people feel it is wrong.
They should have support from others, as it is already a difficult time without so many people telling them it is wrong. No one should be told that something is so wrong to do when they’re confident with their decision, and they know it is the right one for them. Women should be able to choose what is going to be best for their life and their situation, and abortion should be able to be an option to prevent further problems for women.
Addressing Concerns and Myths About Abortion
There are many reasons why people are against abortion. One of the main reasons is people think having an abortion is the same as murder. They think you are killing a human life and that life should be taken into consideration. Abortions are usually performed within the 1st trimester of the pregnancy. In this stage, their health strictly relies on the pregnant woman’s health. It can not survive outside of the womb at this stage.
Personhood doesn’t actually begin until the fetus can survive outside the womb, not right after conception. Therefore, abortion is just a termination of the pregnancy and not the baby. People also think in certain circumstances, such as rape, that proper medical care can ensure that the woman doesn’t get pregnant, but not everyone feels comfortable reporting that when it happens, so not every woman can get that proper medical care.
Women who go through these situations should have an abortion as an option. Forcing a woman to have a baby after that happens can cause even further psychological harm. People believe that if women have free access to abortion, they will start to use it as a contraceptive. Abortion is not a form of contraceptive. Women have personal reasons as to why they get abortions, and women do know when that is what they want to do. Abortion is a very difficult decision, and it should never be looked at as a contraceptive for an accidental pregnancy.
Countries that have legalized it have actually reported lower abortion rates than those in which it’s illegal. A big myth about abortion is that it can cause medical complications later in life, which is not true. It is proven that it doesn’t lead to breast cancer as many people think, and it does not affect your ability to get pregnant later, either. Many people are against abortion due to their religion, but a lot of religious organizations believe in a woman’s reproductive choice. Ultimately it should be the woman’s choice because it is her body, and she should have control over what happens to it.
The Right to Choose: Empowering Women’s Decisions
Abortion is a highly personal decision. No woman ever hopes to get an abortion during her life. People don’t believe women should have abortions as a decision, but other people should not be allowed to make a woman’s decision for her. Abortion should be a decision made by the woman and her significant other. Other people do not have the right to decide something so important for someone else. They should have the freedom to make this decision based on the situation, and if they think it is for the best, then they have the right to get one. Women have abortions for many different reasons, and anyone who hasn’t gone through that decision will never know what exactly those reasons are.
Other people can not understand why a woman would decide to get one, but if it doesn’t involve them or affect them in any way, it shouldn’t matter what that woman decides to do with her body and why she ultimately made that decision. Some reasons could be the woman isn’t financially stable enough, maybe she was raped, or maybe she’s only a teenager, and she isn’t ready to have a kid. There are so many reasons to have one, and the reasons vary from woman to woman. Having a baby should not be a punishment for having sex if you are not ready to have a kid. Women should not be judged for having an abortion when they have a serious reason for having it. They have every right to have one, and other people are in no place to be able to make decisions for them.
Women have the right to choose what to do with their bodies. Who are we to tell them what is right and wrong? Abortion doesn’t affect everyone; it affects the woman who is pregnant and the man who got her pregnant. No one should be able to make the decision except for them. Every person has the right to believe in what they want, and they have every right to speak up about their beliefs, but no one should be able to make decisions for someone else. No one should be allowed to tell a woman what they can and can’t do with their body. Abortion is one of the safest procedures in medicine today and doesn’t have any major side effects that could harm the woman afterward. When done by a medical professional, the woman is completely safe during these procedures. We need to protect women, and denying them abortions can cause further problems.
Psychological and physical harm could be brought to the woman who is denied an abortion. Making abortion illegal does not stop abortions, but making it legal can give women a safe option. Abortions are much more than what people think they are. No woman would ever hope to get an abortion in her life, but stuff happens, and they may end up going down that road. They do not just get an abortion because they suddenly got pregnant. No one gets an abortion just to have one. They have very personal and very real reasons as to why. It is a very difficult decision, and if a woman thinks about it enough and decides it is the best decision for her, then who are we to deny them their right to choose that? They should have the freedom to do what they want.
- Supreme Court of the United States. (1973). Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113.
- Major et al. (2013). Psychological Responses of Women After First-Trimester Abortion. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(8), 837-844.
- American Psychological Association. (2008). Mental Health and Abortion.
- Abortion Facts. (n.d.). Breast Cancer and Abortion: The Untold Link.