Social attitude to abortion is primarily defined by moral norms and traditions of society, living conditions. In recent decades, abortion has become one of the most intensely and diversely debated issues of the moral theory. Defenders of abortion rights and their opponents do not agree among themselves even in the terminology of the dispute. Opponents argue that the problem here is the following: whether or not the embryos should not be killed, like other human beings. Advocates believe the central question here is whether it is possible to force a woman to bear an unwanted fetus even at the cost of her own health and life. Argument, which justifies the right of women to make a free, responsible choice as to whether to bear or abort a conceived fetus is most fully set out in the documents and publications of IPPF – the International Planned Parenthood Federation (Lubinga et al., 2013). Question about abortion is part of the issue of reproductive health, reproductive choice and reproductive rights of a person.
Reproductive health is a very important aspect of health in general and includes: a) the ability to produce descendants, b) free decision-making in this field, and c) satisfying and safe sex life. Reproductive choice is a manifestation of the moral autonomy of the individual in matters of sexuality and reproduction. Primarily it is a conscious and responsible attitude of the individual to these issues. Reproductive rights are designed to create the social conditions for reproductive health. They are reflected in many international human rights instruments and national legislation.
The most important of reproductive rights is the right to be protected by the state and maintain reproductive health. This right becomes real only in the case of accessibility to women and men of all modern families of the planning methods, one of which (although less suitable) in certain situations can be considered abortion. Unfortunately, in today's society abortion is inevitable.
Genuine social evil of abortion is for women. Annually in the world, about 70 thousand women die from this operation. Reproductive rights in a certain sense are fundamental, in particular for women. As was said by one of the first activists of the movement for women's right to abortion A. Davis, whatever rights women are provided - to vote, to receive education, etc. - all this is worth nothing if we do not have the right to dispose of our body and control what happens to us, if our fate can be changed by those, from whom we can conceive by virtue of chance, deception or use of force. IPPF experts say that for all the European countries the path of their development must not pass through the restriction of reproductive choice, but rather its extending. Thus, IPPF ideologues speak of the dual strategy. In today's society, women should have access to sex education, which should be the choice of means of fertility regulation. But with these opportunities, there should be available to her safe and legal abortion.
Abortion opponents make the main emphasis on the fact that the embryo, the fetus has the same right to life, as every human does. Abortion is always an arbitrary deprivation of life of human beings, i.e., murder, and thus, how can one say about the right to kill?
In the traditional medical approach to the problem of abortion almost always been considered the main question of the viability of the fetus, that is, the boundary in his natal development, when he can survive outside the mother's body, taking into account the opportunities offered by technology (Herbitter et al., 2013).
Special theme is whether the fetus feels pain. In 1997, a working group organized by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of UK published a report "The consciousness of the fetus," which was devoted to the question of whether and when the fetus begins to feel pain. During procedures on the fetus or abortion at 24 weeks or later, the report recommends the use of painkillers and sedatives for the fetus.
Great emotional force have embryological data on fetal development, which abortion opponents cite. The heartbeat of the fetus occurs on the 18th day after conception, on the 21st day he has a closed circulatory system, on the 40th day, you can find the electrical impulses of the brain, 6-7-week fetus begins to move independently, etc.
In today's world, the permissibility of abortion and its limits is one of the most controversial issues, including religious, ethical, medical, social and legal aspects. In some countries (for example, in the U.S., Poland), this problem has become so acute that caused a split and fierce confrontation in society (Mitchell et al., 2014).
Basic dividing society is the question of whether, in abortion, there is interrupted already existing human life. Those who believe that, inside the womb, there is just a figment of non-human (child), refer to abortion as a medical procedure and use only medical terminology. Opponents of abortion talk about conceived child, unborn babies, baby in the womb.
A large number of people of faith, particularly Christians, refer to abortion as the murder of a person, although at an early stage of its development. Annually in the world 500 million women of childbearing age die of causes related to pregnancy, 15% of cases of deaths due to complications of unsafe abortion. About 98% of deaths occur in developing countries. Mortality rate after abortion is 0.9-3.5 per 1000, while in developed countries - less than 1 in 100,000, provided that the abortion is performed on the stages of pregnancy before 8 weeks.
Impact of abortion on women's health and reproductive function depend on timing, technique (in turn, dependent on the duration of interrupted pregnancy) and technology of implementation. Relatively safe medical abortion and vacuum aspiration, in case of surgical abortion, the seriousness of operation and, consequently, the likelihood of complications increases with gestational age. Abortion often causes infertility.
The incidence of complications after abortion depends on the method of its implementation: in the case for vacuum aspiration, these figures do not differ from the average values for women who have not made abortions. Particularly dangerous are criminal and unskilled abortions, which often lead to irreversible consequences for health. Such abortions are responsible for most cases of infertility (bringing infection) and deaths.
With the spread of Christianity, people began to consider abortion as a grave sin - murder, as the Church claims that the conception of a human being is a gift of God, and the attempt on the life of the fetus is resistance to the will of the Creator.
Nowadays, every woman can do abortion, if she wants. From spiritual and religious point of view, it is a manifestation of the irreligious and immoral life position, the so-called secularism. From a philosophical point of view, it is a result of utter subjectivity: it creates an image of freethinking man who himself seeks to determine what is good and what is bad, is not bound by any moral or religious principles (Herbitter et al., 2013).
Why in today's society abortion is perceived as something ordinary? People began to believe that morals change, and today to consider abortion a crime is an anachronism. Their main argument is that every woman has the right to dispose of her body. Is the embryo only part of the mother's body, which then, of course, has the right to dispose of it as she wants? Or is it a human being who is totally dependent on the mother's body only at the stage of fetal development? How to answer this question by means of science?
Today it has been established that human life begins at the very moment when there meet and connect two sex cells: male and female, resulting in a single cell - the zygote, containing the genetic material of both mother and father. Famous French professor, an expert in the field of cell genetics, Jerome Lejeune writes that like all scientists who impartially observed biological phenomena, he thinks that a human being begins its life from the moment of fertilization. It means that the deliberate destruction of an embryo of any age is equivalent to murder.
Bernard Nathanson, head of abortions clinic over the years of his work has made 60 thousand abortions. Wondering how his actions were harmless, he conducted research with the use of modern technologies: ultrasound, ECG of fetal heart, radiobiology. The results were stunning. Nathanson said that the fact that the embryo was a separate human being with all their special, personal characteristics, could not be questioned. To confirm his findings, Nathanson resorted to abortion ultrasound filming three-month old embryo’s abortion. This tape is called "The Silent Scream" and it proves that the fetus has a presentiment of the threat posed by the instrument, with which operation is performed (Domingos et al., 2013). He begins to move faster and more alarming, his heartbeat quickens to 200 beats per minute it widely opens its mouth as if shouting with a silent scream. Seeing these shocking pictures, many people, including doctors, proponents of abortion have become their opponents.
How is abortion performed? If a pregnancy is early, doctors usually resort to the vacuum suction. In a woman's uterus there is introduced plastic tube with sharp edges. The child's body is cut into pieces and sucked out into a special container. If pregnancy is later, there is introduced into the uterus curette - a sharp knife ending in a loop. This knife scrapes the uterine cavity, and then the child is cut with it.
After 12 weeks of pregnancy, there becomes needed another tool like forceps, as a child has formed arms and legs and bones started calcination. With this tool doctor grips the hand, or leg or other part of the child's body and with a twisting motion tears it away. It is repeated again and again until all the child is dismembered so apart. The spine should be broken, and the skull crushed so that they can be removed. Further, these parts are sent to the trash or used as raw materials for the cosmetic industry.
The procedure worsens by the fact that the unborn child feels pain just like any human. It is also widely recognized today and scientifically established. Already 7-week human pulls or turns his head away from the painful stimulus. At 11 weeks, not only the face but also all of the baby's arms and legs become sensitive to touch. By 13 weeks, the response to pain occurs at all levels of the nervous system (Naqvi & Edhi, 2013).
Painful sensations culminate when as a method of abortion there is selected saline amniocentesis. In this case, through the peritoneum of mother, with a large syringe into the amniotic fluid baby is fed with concentrated salt solution. Child swallows this solution, breathes it and begins to convulse. If there is no complications, the next day, the mother gives birth to a dead child.
Domingos, S. R. D. F., Merighi, M. A. B., Jesus, M. C. P. D., & Oliveira, D. M. D. (2013). The experience of women with abortion during adolescence as demanded by their mothers. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 21(4), 899-905.
The study is dedicated to researching the experience of those women who induced abortion by demand of their mothers in adolescence. The study showed how difficult it can be for such women and what outcomes it can bring about. It is useful for my study, as it shows one of social phenomena that also can bring about abortion and the result it has on all the decision participants.
Herbitter, C., Bennett, A., Schubert, F. D., Bennett, I. M., & Gold, M. (2013). Management of Early Pregnancy Failure and Induced Abortion by Family Medicine Educators. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 26(6), 751-758.
This study is dedicated to the study of physician educators, who turned out to be more experienced with early pregnancy failure management, than elective abortion. It means that there is a need to increase family physician faculty members who provide induced abortion. This study is important for my research, as it discovers the problems among doctors in the same area.
Lubinga, S. J., Levine, G. A., Jenny, A. M., Ngonzi, J., Mukasa-Kivunike, P., Stergachis, A., & Babigumira, J. B. (2013). Health-related quality of life and social support among women treated for abortion complications in western Uganda. Health and quality of life outcomes, 11(1), 118.
This study is dedicated to the abortion complication treatment in the developing country. It shows that most complication are related to diminished HRQoL, and the association magnitude depends on the social support. This study is useful for my work, as it shows the situation in the developing country and specifically the complications peculiar to such environment.
Mitchell, E. M., Heumann, S., Araujo, A., Adesse, L., & Halpern, C. T. (2014). Brazilian adolescents’ knowledge and beliefs about abortion methods: a school-based internet inquiry. BMC women's health, 14(1), 27.
The study is dedicated to manifesting the knowledge and beliefs of the Brazilian adolescents about the current abortion methods. It showed that this kind of knowledge depends on many factors, such as social spaces and gender. This study is important for my research, as it shows the current problems among adolescents, the gaps that have to be filled so that abortion decision was really well-founded.
Naqvi, K. Z., & Edhi, M. M. (2013). The horror of unsafe abortion: case report of a life threatening complication in a 29-year old woman. Patient safety in surgery, 7(1), 1-4.
This study shows the risks of unsafe abortion on one of particular examples. The woman presented within the framework of the study, 29-year-old, ended up with a short bowel syndrome as the result of abortion. This study is useful for the research, as it specifically shows the possible results of unsafe abortion.