Abortion can be defined as the termination of a pregnancy by removal of the embryo or fetus from the uterus before it is due (Bacon, 2004, p. 2). Abortion can be induced or spontaneous. A spontaneous abortion is usually known as a miscarriage. Induced abortion is an easy procedure that can easily pass for the easiest procedures in the medical field. However, the procedure has cost so many lives, and severe consequences such as damage to the uterus, leading to barrenness. This happens if the procedure is carried out by an unskilled person.
Many people opt for an induced abortion due to a number of reasons (Tribe, 2008, p. 26). One is that the pregnancy could be unwanted because the carrier could still be in school, or simply too young to handle the huge responsibility that comes along with the state of motherhood. It has also been reported that mature women go for induced abortions when they feel that they are overwhelmed by their older children, and so to avoid extra responsibilities, they opt for an abortion. Again, a woman who is at the peak of their career may opt to go for an abortion so as not to distract their careers. Women aged 40 and above may also opt for an abortion due to health reasons.
Those who induce abortion illegally use crude tools such as knitting needles and cloth hangers. Other people use herbs that are believed to have abortifacient substances to help terminate the fetus (Phelan, 2011). These herbs can cause lethal effects such as organ failure. Another way of inducing an abortion is by causing trauma to the stomach. All these methods pose great risks for the woman undergoing the procedure and are most common in under-developed countries, where abortion is illegal.
On the other hand, spontaneous abortions may occur due to a number of reasons too. It could be that the lady had had operations of induced abortion in their earlier days. The body, by the help of hormones, can tune itself and at around the time when the previous abortion(s) was/were induced, a spontaneous abortion occurs. A spontaneous abortion can also occur due to an imbalance of hormones in the body (Bacon, 2004, p. 57). Injuries or severe activity can lead to a spontaneous abortion. Cases have been reported where the body releases hormones responsible for igniting the birth process, leading to an early delivery of the fetus (Naden, 2007, p. 76). In such a case, the fetus can be placed in a baby nursery and nurtured till it is fully grown.
There have been a lot of controversies concerning abortion. One is whether abortion should be made legal or whether it should be made illegal (Tribe, 2008, p. 112). These debates have brought out two distinct groups; the pro-choice, and the pro-life. The pro-life group is against abortion while the pro-choice group insists that the decision to abort or not lies entirely on the mother of the unborn child. In the course of this debate, other issues have come up.
Some developed countries such as the United States of America and Canada have made legal the medical procedure. Their defense is that legalizing abortion is an action aimed at the welfare of the society. This has been met with a lot of critic from a few individuals and institutions such as the church. The church opposes the action saying that it is against the Bible teachings.
In reference to the Bible, abortion is a form of murder and those who allow for the procedure to be performed on them have no respect for human life (Durand, 2009, p. 23). Life begins at conception, they say. This then means that the fetus cannot be terminated at any time. Christians go on and argue that it is only the Supreme Being that has the right to terminate life. Hence the mother of the unborn child has no right whatsoever to abort the baby. They should, according to the Bible, carry the pregnancy to full term (Durand, 2009, p. 43).
Still in connection to the abortion issue, the church is known for coming out so strongly against the use of condoms (Durand, 2009, 65). Their argument is that sex should be for those in a marriage agreement. Those married can therefore enjoy sex without having to use the condom, since the Bible allows them to, and that they can procreate. The church goes on to add that allowing people to use the condom encourages irresponsible sexual behavior since people will freely have sex knowing that they are safe from hard consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, which lead to abortion.
Another existing point of argument is that the government owns the lives of all its citizens. This includes the unborn children. Once a baby is conceived, it is treated as property of the government, and hence the government owes it all the protection it deserves (Luscombe, 2010). This is a common argument in the under-developed countries, which are totally against abortion.
The above arguments may have logic to them, but that is only so when looking at the issue from one angle. Counteracting arguments have come up in support of abortion. They say that abortion should be made legal and the rest is up to the mother to decide what they want to do with their child.
One counteracting argument is on the stand of the church about abortions. The church should go easy on their strong opposition against the vice. They should put other factors into consideration. One is that the mother may be totally not in a position to cater for their unborn child. If the mother evaluates her condition and feels they will not be in a position to cater for the baby once it’s born, then it is only right that they terminate it early enough, and when they still can. Only the mother is in a position to decide what to do, since they understand the circumstances in which they are better. The only thing that the church can do is help teach the young adults on responsible behavior, and how to avoid being in such compromising situations. Still in connection to this, the church should also let go their fight against the use of condoms. This is because denying people to use condoms exposes them at greater risks of getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and many other existing STDs, besides unwanted pregnancies (Luscombe, 2010). The risk of acquiring STDs is common to all, even the married. This is because not all spouses are faithful. The church should know that despite the teachings of the Bible that sex is a reserve for the married only, people, especially the youth, will still go on and practice it. With this fact laid on the table, the only thing that the church can do is teach people on safe sexual practices.
Others have argued that abortion be made legal to reduce the number of deaths that result from illegal abortion (Luscombe, 2010). In countries where abortion is still illegal, people will go to have it done by crooks that do not have the right skill or equipment to carry out the procedure. These crooks offer the service at a cheap price, but at the expense of their clients. The risks for this are death, damaged uterus and body organs, which result to barrenness and other psychological effects.
I would be in support of abortion being legalized in all states and countries. This would help reduce many deaths and lethal consequences that are experienced (Nair, 2010). Again, only a mother knows better the circumstances they are in. If they are not able to take the responsibility of motherhood, then they should base allowed to do what they want. In addition to that, women have the right over their bodies and unborn babies. It is then their right to do what pleases them and what they feel is right for them (Nair, 2010).
One thing to note is that those in the group of pro-life, only fight for the child before it is born. Once the child is born into this world full of struggles, they are nowhere to help with the upkeep and upbringing of the child, more reason why only the mother of the unborn should be allowed to decide whether to keep their baby or to terminate it (Nair, 2010).
In conclusion, abortion should be made legal in all countries. This will help avoid situations where women who are desperate to have the operation from going to crooks. However, this can be controlled by educating not only the women, but also the men on family planning methods. This will ensure the people are more responsible. Besides education, family planning aides should also be made available and easy to access, and especially the condoms. Condoms help avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs. However, certain restrictions should be set on when to have an abortion. As soon as a pregnancy moves on to the second trimester, an abortion should be avoided as it will pose danger to the mother.
Tribe H. Laurence. (2008). Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes. Michigan: Paw Print.
Bacon Lizzy. (2004). Abortion. Texas: Chrysalis Education.
Naden J. Marshall. (2007). Abortion, Volume 1. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish
Durand Josephine. (2009). The Abortion: Before I Formed You, I Knew You. Indiana:
Luscombe Belinda. (2010). New Data: Teen Pregnancy, Abortion on the Rise. Time Health
. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1956645,00.html.
Nair Tulika. (2010). Arguments for Abortion. Abortion Facts. Retrieved from
Phelan Stephen. (2011). People And Plant Medicine: Herbal Abortion Helps African Women.
Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/233495.php.