The debate for or against abortion has attracted criticisms and approval alike. The society seems to be divided on whether to allow or reject abortion. Abortion is allowed in medical situations where the life of the mother is perceived to be in danger (Raymond & Grimes, 2012). In such cases, abortion becomes a recommended choice by medical practitioners. Beyond medical cases, abortion is largely prohibited, the contravention of which could land one in jail. The debate on whether or not abortion should be allowed has split the society into two factions. Proponents of abortion are treated as progressives, while the opponents considered as conservatives. Conservative jurisdictions worldwide treat abortion as murder. On the other hand, progressive states allow abortion as a reproductive health right. It is agreeable that abortion causes some health complications on the life of the mother. However, abortion has more advantages as compared to its disadvantages. I support the view that abortion should be legalized to allow women enjoy a healthy reproductive health.
Abortion is as old as medical practice itself. Since time immemorial, complications always arose during pregnancy and medical attendants seek remedies for the problem (Derbyshire, 2006). Earlier societies treated life as sacred and always fought to protect it. There was no major distinction between the life of the mother and that of her unborn child. The traditional society was deeply religious and followed the doctrines of the church. Under the biblical teachings, no life could be ended arbitrarily. It is only in exceptional circumstances when life could be taken. On the same note, an unborn child was considered as a living being; hence terminating pregnancy was tantamount to committing murder. Procuring abortion was unheard of and perpetrators were judged harshly.
In the modern society however, abortion is legalized in some states, under the pretext of upholding the rights of women to reproductive health. The shift from a conservative society to liberal ideals was propelled by the changing social values and norms. Unlike in situations where abortion was procured to save the life of the mother, nowadays abortion is permitted even in non-medical situations. Today, teens engage in pre-marital sex as opposed to the traditional society. Unwanted pregnancies arise and parents often resort to abortion to avoid plunging their children into early parenthood (Pedersen, 2008). The frequency with which abortions are conducted in the modern society has necessitated debate on whether it should be legalized or criminalized altogether.
Abortion allows victims of rape to avoid unwanted pregnancies. In the unfortunate event that a lady is raped, there are chances that she could get pregnant or contract sexually transmitted diseases. Depending on the stage at which one seeks medical attention, they could be given contraceptives or abortion inducing medicine. Termination of the pregnancy allows the victims to carry on with life without the unwanted pregnancy. Pregnancies will prove a hindrance, especially to school going girls who need to concentrate (Pedersen, 2008). Besides, the cost of maintaining the child should the girls opt to keep the pregnancy will prove a challenge. It is only fair that the studies of the girls are not interrupted by an uncalled for incident. Under such circumstances, abortion should be allowed.
Civil rights activists argue that women should be allowed to exercise full control of their bodies (Raymond & Grimes, 2012). Exercising full control of one’s body entails taking charge of all the body functions. Reproductive health is one of the most crucial elements of a lady’s sexuality. To a large extent, ladies should be allowed a say in how many children they should bear. Traditionally, that role was reserved for the men who were the heads of their families. Allowing the women a say in the number of children they should sire is considered as one of the emerging civil rights concerns. In a society that preaches equality of the sexes, no gender should exercise dominion over the other. Women should equally play a significant role in their homes. Based on this understanding, the choice of proceeding with pregnancy or terminating it should entirely depend on the woman. If a woman chooses to abort her fetus, she should not be restricted by repressive laws.
Abortion is a safe procedure when conducted by a qualified medical practitioner. The fear of medical complications after abortion is unfounded since a higher percentage of patients recover well after the procedure. In areas that permit abortion, women do not have to fear using the services since they are regulated by law and safety procedures are adhered to strictly (Raymond & Grimes, 2012). On the other hand, people resort to dubious and unsafe procedures in areas where abortion is prohibited. Teen pregnancies are almost inevitable in the modern society, so are unwanted pregnancies from rape or incest. Ultimately, the affected parties resort to abortion as a way of avoiding the public embarrassment that comes with it. Legalization allows victims to contract regulated and safe procedures. Criminalization makes it unsafe for patients who seek the services from ‘backstreet doctors’. Allowing abortion will save the lives of the women which are endangered by unsafe medical procedures in regimes where it is illegal.
Opponents of abortion use the sanctity of life to build their argument. According to these critics, life begins at conception and procuring an abortion is tantamount to killing a person. Drawing inspiration from the scriptures, the conservative thought against abortion refers to various verses in the Bible that state that life begins at conception. For instance, John the Baptist, mentioned in the Bible, was known while in his mother’s womb, implying that life begins at conception. Conducting abortion therefore is killing the unborn children (Derbyshire, 2006). No life is lesser than the other. The importance of the mother is underscored in discussions favoring abortion. However, the fetus is equally important, as it possesses life of equal significance. No person should be killed regardless of their age.
In addition, abortion portends health risks to the women. A woman may be rendered barren if her womb is destroyed in the process (Raymond & Grimes, 2012). Besides losing her womb, a woman may contract diseases due to the open wounds, or from the surgical instruments. In cases where abortion is facilitated through injection or drugs, such drugs may have adverse effects on the patient, long after the procedure. In other cases, abortion has been associated with high stress levels in patients. A number of the patients’ lives are altered forever. Only a few are able to overcome the trauma associated with abortion. In rare instances, some cases may get suicidal (Pedersen, 2008). The challenge of raising ‘an unwanted’ child is lesser as compared to the stigma and trauma associated with procuring an abortion.
To or not to legalize abortion is an emotive issue in the modern society. Human rights activists argue that the civil rights of a woman allow her total control over her reproductive health. By virtue of this argument, women should be permitted to procure abortion when they feel appropriate. Proponents of this point state that once abortion is legalized, it will be conducted in a fairly orderly and safe manner. Besides, abortion is a fairly safe procedure that should not harm anyone. On the other hand, opponents of abortion assert that allowing abortion is tantamount to committing murder as life begins at conception. From a deeply religious background, the opponents claim that life is too scared to be taken away arbitrarily. In addition, abortion contributes to higher stress levels in individuals after abortion, sometimes degenerating into suicidal thoughts.
The argument for or against abortion is premised on the different individuals’ ideals and socialization. However, society is fast changing and her social norms are fast changing. The community can no longer support repressive ideas whose purpose is to deny some members of the society their enjoyment of civil rights. Legalizing abortion will allow women to freely seek medical attention when they feel that their lives are in danger. In addition, it will ensure the health of women by not exposing them to the use of unconventional and unsafe medical practices. Legalizing abortion has many benefits as compared to the challenges that come with it. Every world government must legalize abortion and make concerted efforts to help the victims of such a procedure.