Abortion is one of the most controversial topics in our popular culture. It crosses racial, religious, socio-economic, and gender lines. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in the 1970s, abortion has been a hot button issue everywhere from the dinner table to the race to the White House. It seems as if opinions on this topic are split right down the center. If you asked fifty random people about the subject, it is quite possible you would have 25 for abortion and 25 against it. Abortion is both unethical and immoral as a means of birth control. There are three reasons for this. First, there are emotional/psychological risks, second there are physical risks, and finally there are other options other than termination of a pregnancy.
First there are psychological effects to having an abortion. Emotional and psychological effects are more common than physical side effects and can range from mild regret to more serious complications like depression (americanpregnancy.org). Although the effects differ from woman to woman, the psychological/emotional effects that a woman experiences after having an abortion are indeed legitimate. Anytime there is unnatural physical trauma to the human body, there is a high risk for emotional side effects. An abortion is no different. Consider a woman never wanting to have children ever again because of having an abortion. This is an example of the emotional effects an abortion can have on a woman.
Not only are there emotional effects, but also physical ones. As with any kind of surgical procedure, complications are a real risk. Multiple abortions may leave a woman barren or the uterus unable to carry a child. Women may experience labor pains although they’ve had the abortion that could lead to complications. Abortions may also leave women at risk for certain infections. There are even instances when an abortion can lead to mortality. Would you want your under aged daughter at risk for any of these complications?
Along with the emotional and physical effects of abortion, the most important argument against abortion is it isn’t the only option. If a pregnancy isn’t threating the life of the mother or if the baby isn’t going to be stillborn, adoption should be an option. Just because a mother does not want the baby, does that mean that child should not have an opportunity at life? Who speaks for those without a voice? Who defends those that cannot defend themselves? Give the unborn an opportunity at life. Choose an alternative other than abortion.
Some might make the argument that there are certain cases where abortion should be an option. There are instances of non-consensual sex like rape, molestation, incest, or any other act that could be considered sexual assault. Some women may desire to carry these pregnancies to term. The idea here, however; is the choice. A woman that has had their bodies violated should have the choice whether or not to carry that particular pregnancy. A woman might decide they don’t want the additional trauma to their body and carry the pregnancy to term. Another might not want the psychological strain of carrying the memory of a sexual assault for nine months. However, the majority of abortion cases are for birth control or unplanned pregnancies. There are even instances where a woman decides to carry the baby to term because she does not want the additional trauma to her body.
An argument might be made that there are cases in which the pregnancy can threaten the life of the mother. Certain issues can indeed threaten or even kill the mother attempting to carry a pregnancy. For example, an ectopic pregnancy can threaten the life of a mother. Some ectopic pregnancies miscarry on their own, but most require a surgical or medical abortion to prevent those life-threatening ruptures (Stephanie Pappas, livescience.com). A woman with that is at risk for preeclampsia may also run the risk of losing their life. One could argue a woman has the right to defend herself from any potential life-threating situation. This could also include a potentially fatal pregnancy. The issue with this argument is most ectopic pregnancies either in a miscarriage or they can be monitored and the baby can be taken with a C-section, the same with the possibility preeclampsia. There are about as many fatalities due to these complications as complications with natural birth.
Finally, there is also the philosophical idea that since it is a woman’s body, she has the right to do with it as she chooses. If a woman feels she is not ready to be a parent, faces financial hardship or has no partner to help in raising the child she should have the right to have an abortion. A young girl that is not responsible for herself may want the option to have an abortion because she has no means in which to raise a child since she is a child herself. The issue with this argument is simple, adoption. When a woman gets pregnant she gives up her autonomy because there is a life growing inside of her. Even if one cannot say for sure when life begins, from conception life is forming and growing inside a woman.
In conclusion, abortion is an immoral action. There are emotional/psychological risks, physical risks, and there is the option of adoption. The price is too high especially for young girls that are pregnant. A woman could experience depression from having an abortion. A woman could become barren or experience other complications from an abortion. Finally, abortion shouldn’t be the only option. Adoption should be a choice depending on the situation.
“Abortion emotional side effects.” Americanpregnancy.com., June 2013. Web. 30 November
Pappas, Stephanie. “Fact check: Yes pregnancy can kill.” Livescience.com.. 19 October 2012. Web. 30 November 2014.