No one should be condemned for procuring abortion since it is a safe medical procedure. The debate for or against abortion has attracted criticisms and approval alike. Society seems to be divided on whether to allow or reject abortion. In certain cases, such as when the life of the mother is at risk, abortion has been the 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. 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 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). Abortion is allowed in medical situations where the life of the mother is perceived to be in danger (Raymond & Grimes, 2012). Recently, there has been debate whether abortion should be legalized or criminalized. This issue has generated hot discussions, with both the proponents and opponents advancing their arguments. In 2011, about 1.06 million abortions were performed in the United States; however, there have been decrease preceding years.
Abortion allows victims of rape to avoid unwanted pregnancies. In most cases, pregnancies arising out of rape are terminated. Upon realization, a victim seeks medical attention where they are given either contraceptives or abortion inducing medicine. Termination of the pregnancy allows the victims to carry on with life without the unwanted pregnancy. School going girls need to concentrate in school without the distraction of a pregnancy (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. Proper practice requires that women should be allowed to contribute to issues facing them, including the number of children they desire to sire. 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 have become common in the modern society due to irresponsible sexual behaviors. 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 (Derbyshire, 2006). 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 in the book of John found in the New Testament of the Bible, the fetus played in its mother’s womb (see Luke 1: 41). 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 its 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. However, this practice will evoke confrontations with the church and other opposing sectors. Through civic education, the society can achieve a compromise and end the age-old tussle.
Derbyshire, S. (2006). Can Fetuses Feel Pain? British Medical Journal.
Pedersen, W. (2008). Abortion and Depression: A Population-based Longitudinal Study of Young Women. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.
Raymond, E. & Grimes, D. (2012). The Comparative Safety of Legal Induced Abortion and
Childbirth in the United States. Obstetrics and Gynecology.