Have you ever been caught in between a rock and a hard place, feeling like your world is slowly collapsing? There is a way out, a way to end your anxiety and tension, but there has been a law put into place forcing you to forever live with your mistake. This situation is relatable for pregnant women who are looking into getting an abortion. Having an abortion means terminating an embryo or fetus before it is birthed. There are many motives to completing this medical procedure, specifically if women have been raped, if the mother isn’t ready to be a parent, or if it isn’t in the best interest of the baby to be born.
Impregnated women should hold the power to have abortions and be in control of their bodies, without having obstacles in their way.
There are two different opinions when it comes to this matter: pro-life and pro-chioce. The pro-life group does not support abortions for they believe that it is equivalent to committing murder.
Typically, this belief stems from people’s religious faith. This mindset comes from the bible where all life is valuable and the creation of a baby is considered miraculous. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the pro-chioce group believes that women have the right to choose what happens to their body. They don’t think that the government and it’s laws should have an influence over this personal decision. The divide between these two groups runs deep resulting in many heated discussions over the topic.
For example, back in 1973 the court case Roe vs. Wade made its way to the Supreme Court. An unmarried and pregnant Texan women named Jane Roe was looking to get an abortion, however the laws of Texas labeled this as a felony. Roe sued Wade, Dallas’ district attorney, for the right to make her own reproductive health decisions. Under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments, Roe won over the courtroom with a vote of 7-2 (Source 2).
Abortions can be done medically or surgically. When done by taking medicine, the process begins by ingesting mifepristone. This yields the production of hormones that allow the pregnancy to prolong. Next, the patient takes a drug called misoprostol which deteriorates the lining of the uterus, making the womb an unsuitable space for a fetus to develop (Source 1). When done surgically, there are two methods: vacuum or dilation and evacuation. When legal, both options are done safely and in the presence of licensed doctors. On the off chance a complication occurs, the patient receives immediate medical attention since they are in the setting of a hospital. If abortions were to be banned by the government, at a national or state level, it wouldn’t stop women from seeking out abrupt ends to their pregnancies. For example, in Brazil where abortions are illegal, 500,000 to 1 million women terminated their pregnancies under the table within a year (Source 3). Although it is possible to get your hands on the pills needed for this procedure online or in the streets, it is extremely dangerous to do so. In addition, buying medicine off the black market could be fatal to the mother because it’s hard to determine the integrity of the medicine (Source 1). This is why keeping abortions legal is more about the safety of the mother’s life rather than the fetus’.
In some cases, having the medical procedure can be in the best interest of the mother and the baby. According to a survey, 75% of the participants reported that having a baby would interfere with their ambitions like achieving a full education or continuing on with their job. (Source 4) In retrospect, it would halt the mother’s life in order for proper care of the baby. In the same survey, half of the women said they wouldn’t want to be a single parent and two thirds said they couldn’t financially support a baby (Source 4).
Raising a child solely by oneself can be mentally taxing, especially when they don’t sign up for it. Having one guardian can make the simplest tasks more strenuous by having to meld two schedules together. For example, in the mornings it can be hard getting your child to school on time and arriving to your work meeting without the extra help of a second pair of hands. On the other side, having a child hood with only a mother can be difficult. With only one salary supporting two people, it can result in money running thin. In a different situation where there are two parents, sometimes it is still hard to make ends meet, and adding a baby to the equation can be stressful. Simple needs may not be able to be met like regularly buying diapers or a safe car seat. Although this may seem selfish, sometimes you have to be in times where your life could be permanently altered.
In my personal opinion, I support the option of impregnated women getting an abortion. I believe that sometimes people make mistakes and you are lucky if there is a way to fix it. Although, the life of an unborn baby is extremely precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. This is why I think that there should be a time restraint on wen an abortion can be preformed, 16 weeks to be exact. This way the mother, and possibly father, have enough time to think about what they want to do with their fetus. This time frame also ensures that they know they are pregnant, even if the woman finds out later than usual. It also allows tests to be done in order to predict if the fetus is healthy or not. The reason I don’t think it should be more than 16 weeks is because I don’t believe it’s okay for a baby to be aborted when it is further down the line of being developed. To me, it seems inhumane.
There are many different reasons women get abortions, but regardless of what they are, it is still a personal decision that shouldn’t be dictated by the state’s or country’s legislation. In 1973, the Supreme Court voted to support women having access to a safe and over sighted medical procedure in which they choose to have or not have a baby. Furthermore, if abortions were banned, it would be found else where to terminate the fetus in a high-risk “operation”. In some situations, birthing a child could also off rail the mother’s life or it is not in the best interest of the baby to be born. Having an abortion isn’t a difficult decision, it’s the situation that’s difficult.