In the 40 years since passing of the legislation by Roe v. Wade that gave women a choice to have an abortion, a lot has changed. There has been a great deliberation on the topic of abortion. It includes issues surrounding problems of having abortions to the likely advantages of abortion. Legally induced abortion is defined as an operation or procedure which is performed by a licensed professional or physician with an intention of terminating a known or suspected intrauterine pregnancy in order to produce a non-viable fetus. It can be executed at any period of the gestational age. Over the past few decades, there have been significant changes and alterations in the demographic composition of both young and elderly women who procure abortions.
Theorists have come in to try and determine the issues that may lead to a possible change in demographics. These includes such factors as religious shifts, shifts in perspectives on teen pregnancy or changes in the views of people regarding abortion. This paper will discuss the current literature regarding the controversial issue of abortion as well as review the views of women in regards to abortion, their decisions to either raise a baby or seek abortion services and the demographic representation of the women who seek abortion services.
Abortion is an issue where the law, emotions, and moral principles are questioned. There are various points of view when it comes to the contentious issue of abortion, but the two main ones are “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” A pro-choice individual advocates for the mother as the sole decision maker when it comes to option of whether to go for an abortion or not. A prolife individual feels that no one has the right to end a life because life of an embryo start from conception and procuring at abortion in any stage of the gestation is as good as murder.
Studies have shown that has had a compelling demographic impact on the American society, though not so much is known about the number of pregnancies that replaced late births (Masteo, 1998). According to statistics, about 1.6 pregnancies in America end up being aborted (Strauss et al., 2002). From the studies, it is also evident that women with lower income are more likely to procu8re abortions compared with their counterparts in the middle-income category. Also, single women have a higher probability of procuring abortions more than married ones while the rate for abortion in young women aged 18 and 19 years has doubled considerably. The overall abortion rate has dropped to almost six percent although the abortion rate in girls who are below the tender age of 15 years escalated to 18 percent (Strauss et al., 2002). Also, the abortion rate among minority teens took an upward dive. Statistics shows that they moved from 186 abortions per 1000 teens to 189 abortions per 1000 teens. About 40 percent of the people in America believe that abortion should be banned apart from situations of rape or when the pregnancy becomes life threatening or might cause harm to the mother. Another 40 percent of the population believes that the legislation of abortion should remain as it is, legal.
In view that abortion was legalized in the year 1973 byRoe v. Wade, reports show that more than 40 million abortions have been recorded. Every year, there are approximately 1.3-1.4 million procured abortions. Some reports project that one in almost three women will procure an abortion before they hit the age of 45. Further on, another study indicated that one in three women who fall between the ages of 45 and 70 have procured at least one abortion. (Thirdway Culture Project, 2005)
About a decade ago, a number of leading researchers from the institute of Alan Guttmacher conducted a piece of research on why women procured abortions in the United States. They examined and assessed women in eleven large centers for abortion all in different locations across the United States. Majority of the women assessed were single and fell between the ages of 20 and 29. Throughout the research, different women gave different reasons for procuring an abortion with the two main ones being the economic hardship involved with raising a child and major life changes. 74 percent of the females in the survey stated that if they decided to have a baby then their lives would significantly change interfering with their careers, education and in situations where women were already mothers; it would interfere with their ability to care for other children and dependents. 73 percent of the women in the survey stated that they could not afford to raise a child. Almost 42 percent of the women unable to afford the maintenance of a child were not married. Fortunately, there were very few cases of women who were led to choosing abortion because of severe instances as incest or rape (“Abortion,” 2007).
Research design and analysis
Data gathered in this research was by use of self-administered survey that was assigned to the women by the staffs of the different clinics. The instruments of survey were reviewed by professionals who had experience in abortions. The survey covered the reasons the women gave on why they chose to procure an abortion as well as the reasons they had for delaying abortion. In order for the survey to be detailed and not miss anything, participants were asked to narrate in their personal words on the reasons they chose to abort. If reasons were more than one then the participants were asked to list them in order of their importance.
According to a piece of research executed by Torres and Forrest 2006, there were several responses given by the women on the reasons they decided to procure an abortion. 25 percent cited that the timing was wrong and they were not ready to bear a child, 23 percent of them cited that they could not afford to raise a baby, 19 percent of them felt that they had passed the childbearing age and had other people depending on them while 8 percent cited that they had relationship problems and so did not want to raise the children all by themselves.
Masteo, David, "Abortion Altered America's Future," USA Today, January 21, 1998. Retrieved on November 21, 2014 from http://www.ncpa.org/pd/social/spjan98a.html
The Thirdway Culture Project. (2005, August) Abortion Demographics. Retrieved November 21,
2014, from http://www.thirdway.org/data/product/file/17/demographics_of_abortion.pdf
Torres, Aida and Darroch Forrest, Jacqueline (1998). “Why do Women Have Abortions”. Journal of Family Planning Perspectives, 20 (4) Jul/Aug 1988, pp 169-176.
Strauss, Lilo T., Herndon, Joy, Chang, Jeani, Parker, Wilda Y., Bowens, Sonya V., and Berg, Cynthia J (2005, November). Division of Reproductive Health National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Abortion Surveillance—United States, 2002. Retrieved November, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5407a1.htm
Abortion. (2007) Surgeryencyclopedia.com. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from