Social Issues of Abortion in America

Dr. Marnie Carroll

SOCI 212 IOO2 FALL 18

American Military University

Michael A Halbur

Social Issues of Abortion in America

Abortion is a sensitive subject among lots of cultures and has been around since the 1800s. Ever since abortion has been around there has been people against it making it a social issue. This should not be a big of an issue as it is and has been, women should have the right to choose whether or not to keep a child.

If you have one right in your lifetime it should be to do as you please with your own body. Women have fought for equal rights and gender equality for a long time and taking the right to not have a child when you’re not in a place to take care of yourself let alone a child should not be as big of an issue as it is. In today’s world a woman does not stay at home and tend to the children and house chores.

The rolls are changing, and many women are the bread winners of the household and because of this it’s more important than ever for a woman to be able to choose when she will birth a child. Having a child when you’re not ready in your career can be a huge setback. Some are able to handle both but altimetry it’s the woman’s choice whether or not she is ready. To get a clear understanding on the social issue of abortion we need to know the history of abortion in America and where we are today on this subject.

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The United States has been setting laws and dictating when and if you can have an abortion no matter how the child was conceived. Dating back to the 1800s when we were still under control of the English Common Law it was deemed illegal to have an abortion and by the 1870s it’s was considered a felony to have any kind of abortion. The law itself was coded under the malicious shooting and stabbing act of 1803 (Usborne, C. 2011). The reasoning behind the laws making abortion illegal in this time period was due to a few factors. The medical treatment in this time was nowhere what it is today, and the procedures were extremely risky although, so was giving birth resulting in a lot of women dying because of it. Back then we were trying to create more of a population in fear that immigrants would end up over populating the Americans. This law did not stop women from seeking abortions and only made them go to less reliable sources that were called back-ally abortions. There was no real record keeping but its thought that about 1.2 million woman had abortions per year. Thousands of women were injured or killed because of these practices from 1880 to about 1973. It wasn’t until 1973 when the supreme court in Roe v. Wade made the decision to allow women to get abortions with a well trained and legal doctor. Because of this there were a lot less injuries and deaths to the women than before.

The Roe v. Wade came from a Texas law that prohibited a woman from having an abortion unless she it was to save the woman’s life. This law was in practically every state across America for over a century. A woman by the name of Jane Roe brought a law suit on Wade a district attorney from Dallas (Roe V. Wade, 2013). The issue was that the law was extremely vague on to what saving the mothers life actually was and they were protected under the Privacy Act. As long as you had some money you could use this at your advantage and get a legal and safe abortion without going to a back-alley doctor where the risk of infection, illness and even death was extremely higher than getting an abortion at a local doctor. Jane Roe’s fight was that it denied equal protection because woman with money could easily go get a safe and legal abortion while women without money were almost forced in to having the baby or going to a back-alley clinic to have an unsafe abortion. It was on the twenty second of January 1973 when the Supreme court ruled in the favor of Roe, this was a huge win for women in America.

When describing social issues like abortion, perspective and the feminist theory are more than appropriate. I would describe the abortion in the same topic of religion meaning all groups feel that they are right, or their ideas are superior. There are so many people for and against abortion that it makes it a sensitive topic of discussion. Law makers and the support of or against abortion and largely made up of men and this poses an issue when it comes to women rights and as a man do you really have an idea of what a woman goes threw when it comes to abortion? Because of this women’s rights especially on the subject of abortion are in danger if you will. The feminist theory states that “Gender inequality exists because it benefits a group in power and with power to shape society-men.” (Leon-Guerrero, 2011). The issue in taking a woman’s right away from them to decide when and if they are going to have a child is a right, I believe all woman should have above all others. Passing the law in 1973 was a huge stride in the right direction when it came to woman’s rights, but this was still 50 years after women earned the right to vote that they had a victory for their own personal right over their body.

For the most part there are two groups when it comes to abortion and both have relevant points that are aggressively defended by both parties. Pro-life stands on the ground that a fetus is life and in turn has rights as well. A lot of this comes from late abortions and depending on what trimester they’re in. I get this but where do you draw the line? This is the reason that there is so much controversy when it comes to abortion. Some feel you have the right up until you give birth. Others feel that at the first sign of quickening “feeling of life” it should be illegal to have an abortion. Personally, I feel that if its been so long that you can feel the child moving that you should be in it for the long hall. However, this is the issue you run in to and me being a male I still support that a woman should be able to choose for herself. In 2013 the FBI launched an investigation that opened up the raw truth of a lot of abortion clinics in America. This one in Philadelphia brought several murder charges along with several criminal charges. The doctors name was Kermit Gosnell and he had been practicing at his abortion clinic for over 30 years. This was a huge event that had a lot of media coverage that brought the fight of abortions in America back to life. There were multiple charges for delivering children alive and cutting their spinal cord to abort them, he was also facing murder of a young woman when he gave her a lethal dose of abortion medication. This painted a horrific picture that was casted over the media that America was watching and made all clinics seem like dirty horror houses. Many states put their own stipulation on when you could have an abortion unless it is for the woman’s physical wellbeing.

The pro-choice started with Roe V. Wade and was a significant event for women’s rights. It may seem like the Pro-Choice movement is on a wining trajectory but because the abortion policy is governed at the state level and this is where Pro-life is winning and making its moves. Pro-life advocates have pushed and passed a lot of states laws that mandate waiting periods, parental notification, ultrasound laws and special zoning laws that have to be followed by abortion clinics. Another issue pro-choice and feminist group are facing is a generation difference. Many of the women that run these organizations are baby boomers and they were around during the Roe V, Wade and witnessed the struggle and accomplishment of this movement. Now there are a lot of millennials in their 20s and 30s that are fighting for power of these organizations creating tension amongst them. Times are changing and the general populations opinion on abortion is shifting. A lot of this has to do with technology and the ability to see a fetus and see that there is life there really early on. The issue with taking the right to have an abortion away or making several laws that make you wait and jump through loops in order to get an abortion is taking away from woman’s rights. Not only do waiting periods make it inconvenient in today’s society where everything is a rush it also makes the mental and physical side of having an abortion that much more difficult.

The issue with abortion is finding a common ground where we can find a solution however, there is much more that go in to finding a solution than you would think. This is the real world and you cannot please everyone no matter what choices you make. A lot of the issues have to do with religion and the moral dilemma on whether a fetus is or can be considered a living person with rights. Do you force a woman to carry an unwanted child and if so, what is the consequences to doing so? Will she tend to the health benefits like not drinking or smoking or will she drink and smoke just in spite of the unwanted child in a means to try and have a miscarriage. What about rape? If a child is conceived out of rape should the woman be able to have an abortion? The truth is we all have our human basic rights and for woman that should include whether or not to keep a child. Brining a child in to a home of poverty to begin with has a negative impact on society as a whole. An unwanted child will have less parental guidance and be subject to crime to get their basic necessities. We do have things in place to help protect a woman’s right to choose when she will have a child. Things like birth control, plan B and condoms are a fight to help unwanted pregnancy. What happens when these things fail? Is it an act of higher power telling you its your time or just a simple failure because birth control and plan B are not 100% effective? This is the moral issue that we as Americans face when talking about abortion and whether or not it should have restrictions or be featherless for a woman to go to an abortion clinic.

Birth control is a step in the right direction but with out health insurance it can be expensive and hard to get ahold of. Birth control along with abortion only benefit us as a whole. The less people being born in America would eventually create more job opportunities, less crime for poverty cities that have an overpopulation with large families who didn’t have access to abortion or birth control. This is not the answer to everything but it is a step in the right direction when it comes to women’s rights and unwanted pregnancies turning in to a child being born when their not stable enough to contribute the time and energy to raising the child.

The social issue is that we want to dictate the actions of others and push our beliefs on to them about whether or not it is okay for them to have an abortion. Its easy to sit on the outside and say that someone should keep their child when you are not the one that has to raise, pay and mother the child. Slowly putting state laws dictating when and if you can have an abortion is just a step to taking away your right all together. You have pro-choice and pro-life fighting over their moral views when its really only the individual’s issue and choice. We couldn’t push our judgment on others for things like abortion when we have no idea where that person is in life and whether or not they can even be a loving mother at that time. Things like birth control and abortion let a woman control their life and improve society as a whole by becoming better at their profession and for some get themselves out of poverty to eventually have the child in an environment that they see fit. Giving their child a better life than they had instead of bringing them in to the same situation but now with more responsibilities.

References

Frum, D. (2004, August 25). Pro-Choice, But Still the Best Choice. Wall Street Journal, p. A.10. Retrieved from

Greasley, K. (2014). The pearl of the “Pro-Life” movement? Reflections on the Kermit Gosnell controversy. Journal of Medical Ethics, 40(6), 419–423. A. (2011). Social Problems: Community, Policy, and Social Action. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Munson, Z. (2008). The making of pro-life activists how social movement mobilization works . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Roe V. Wade. (2013). In American constitutional law (9th ed.). New York, NY: Westview Press. Retrieved from

Usborne, C. (2011). Cultures of abortion in Weimar Germany. New York: Berghahn Books.

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Final Paper Halbur AMU Abortion. (2019, Dec 19). Retrieved from http://paperap.com/final-paper-halbur-amu-abortion-best-essay/

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