Abortion is a very controversial topic has been on many people’s minds and discussions. The abortion debate has spiked a lot of activism, with groups coming up to either support or oppose abortion. Those in favour of the practice refer to themselves as pro-choice, whereas those against it are known as pro-life. These opinions mainly stem from the influences of culture, religion, ethics, morality, and government laws. During debates, both private and public, the main focus is usually on the moral acceptability of induced abortions, or the rationalization of laws restricting or permitting abortion. Most women who undergo abortion are unmarried, poor, or young, since most of these pregnancies are considered unwanted. In spite of the numerous birth-control methods available, many women and girls still find themselves pregnant, and this leads them to the decision to abort. This essay will explore this controversial topic, discussing the pros and cons of abortion, and try to come to a concrete conclusion.
There are two types of abortion; spontaneous and induced. Spontaneous abortion occurs without the intervention of medicine. It is usually referred to as a miscarriage. About 20-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriages. More than 90% of these cases occur within the first trimester. On the other hand, induced abortion is usually conducted by the use of pills or a surgical procedure. This type of abortion can either be therapeutic or elective. Therapeutic abortion is done for the health considerations of the mother, whereas elective abortion is done for other reasons.
Pro-choice groups argue that various people have various reasons for undergoing abortion. For starters, abortion is a safe procedure if properly done. Leaving a qualified doctor to handle the procedure leaves less than 0.5% chance of serious health complications. The procedure does not take long, and it is quite effective. Moreover, a properly done abortion does not have any effect on a woman’s fertility, and she can easily get pregnant and give birth in the future.
In cases of rape, a woman who ends up getting pregnant may choose abortion, as it is the most practical solution at that time. This is because keeping the pregnancy may end up causing immeasurable stress and psychological burden to the victim. This stress may even lead to a miscarriage. In addition to that, giving birth to the child will always remind the woman of the hideous act that was done to her every moment she looks at the baby, and this is too much of a burden for anyone to carry.
Pregnancy can occur even when one has used a contraceptive. In this case, the woman had not prepared herself to bring up a child, and she may therefore opt for abortion as a solution. Subsequently, she can go ahead with the plans she has mapped out for her life without having to abandon them altogether. Raising a baby is a huge responsibility and it requires one to be fully prepared before getting into it. Therefore, instead of one struggling to bring up a child when they are not ready, they can abort since it will be in the best interest of all the parties involved.
Teenagers who end up getting pregnant are not in a position to raise a baby. Their young minds can barely take care of them, leave alone another person. Bearing a child at that age gives one bleak projections of the future. Moreover, teenage mothers are likely to leave school, develop health complications, receive inadequate antenatal and post-natal care, not mentioning having to rely on public aid to bring up the child. Having to bring up a child may also lead to great mental stress for the young mothers, which may lead to very high frustration levels. In these cases, abortion may be the only option since giving birth would lead to a complete diversion of the young adults’ lives.
In various instances, medical emergencies may compel a doctor to induce abortion in a patient. This is especially if the mother’s life is at risk, and the only way to save her is by getting rid of the pregnancy. The woman can always get pregnant in the future and replace that lost child. At times, a disease may be detected in the unborn child. In such a case, termination of the pregnancy may be the best solution, since giving birth to the sick baby may lead to great stress and jeopardy for both the family members and the child.
However, Pro-life groups are against abortion in general. According to them, life starts at conception, and therefore abortion is similar to murder, since both involve the taking of human life. A baby is a gift from God, and He alone has the right to give and take away life. Therefore, no one should be given the authority to take away the life of another, irregardless of the situation. Consequently, anyone involved in the carrying out of an abortion should be punished accordingly.
The other main argument is that there is no such thing as an unwanted child. Before the baby was conceived, God had planned for it to happen for a specific reason. If one feels that they cannot take care of the child, they can look for alternatives other than abortion. For example, one can give birth to the child, and then give him or her up for adoption. Millions of families are in need of children to adopt, and abortion rids them of that chance. Giving the baby up will result in the fulfilment of a needy couple’s need for a child, while at the same time relieving the mother of the demanding task of bringing up the baby.
An improperly done abortion can result in various medical complications. Ranging from excessive bleeding, to high rates of infection, to cervical injury, to perforation of the uterus, the list of complications is endless. Later on in life, one can even experience ectopic pregnancies. In addition to that, post-abortive women are likely to experience suicidal feelings and some even try to commit suicide. Most women have ended up regretting their decision to abort, and this leads to some of them going through depression. In extreme circumstances, death can also result from the procedure or post-traumatic stress.
Most people who opt for abortion are too young to understand the implications of their actions. For instance, a young couple may decide to carry out the procedure just because they do not consider themselves ready to bring up a child into this world. They may also be scared of how their parents will react, or how the society will begin to look at them. They therefore look for the easy way out, which is not the only way out. Their unplanned actions may result in a lot of confusion, hate, and resentment between them, which more often than not leads to them breaking up. The regrets they face afterwards may even last for a lifetime.
Abortion may be the easiest and most convenient way of getting rid of an unwanted pregnancy. It gives women the option of either bringing a life into this world or not. However, it should never be mistaken for convenience, as clearly portrayed above. Nevertheless, when all is said and done, the choice to either keep or get rid of a pregnancy ultimately lies with the woman. She should therefore be allowed to explore the pros and cons of the procedure before deciding to go through it. Abortion is a personal choice, and therefore no one should be judgemental when it comes to the making of such decisions.
Bacon, L. (2004). Abortion. Minnesota: Chrysalis Education.
Durand, J. (2009). The Abortion: Before I Formed You, I Knew You. Indiana: AuthorHouse.
Tribe, L. H. (2008). Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes. California: Paw Prints.