Abortion: Legal or Illegal Essay
Abortion: Legal or Illegal
While abortions are viewed as immoral and should be deemed illegal, women should have the right to choose what happens to their own body because abortions can be chosen as a way of getting rid of an undesired pregnancy for a rape or incest victim, abortions can be spontaneous or not planned at times, abortions have been around for centuries and abortions can also be medically induced due to medical issues with the mother or unborn child. First, women should have the right to choose what happens to their own body because abortion can be a way for a rape or incest victim to get rid of an undesired pregnancy that resulted from the attack. According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or RAINN (2009), in 2004 and 2005 there were a total of 64,080 women that were raped. According to medical reports, the incidence of pregnancy for one-time unprotected sexual intercourse is 5%. By applying the pregnancy rate to the total number of women who were sexually assaulted or raped that would mean there were 3,204 pregnancies as a result of rape during that period.
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Not all of these women are going to want to carry the pregnancy full term. Victims of rape and incest can suffer from low self-esteem, depression, guilt, feelings of being unclean or dirty and even a dislike for sex and the opposite gender. This is an alarming statistic. It can also be broke down into smaller figures. One out of every six women has been the victim of rape before in her lifetime (RAINN, 2009). If these women want to have an abortion they should have the right to be able to get it and not have to worry about what everyone else believe. Additionally, abortions can be spontaneous at times and as a result completely unplanned. Spontaneous abortion is better known by people as miscarriages. There are some who think that there are several different causes for this. These different causes range from chromosome problems, physical abnormalities and immune disorders. In cases of spontaneous abortions there is usually no warning it is going to happen, as a result the woman does not have a say in the matter.
However, the outside world still looks at a these women differently when it occurs. Some look with pity and others look with disgust in their eyes for these women. Some women who seek an abortion and can not get one for some reason have at times tried doing things that would cause a spontaneous abortion. There are times when a spontaneous abortion happens and not all the tissue from the fetus is passed in which case there are then two choices for the woman. The first choice is surgery. The second option is to take medication to be able to complete the abortion. If the spontaneous abortion is left untreated it can cause harm to the woman that is carrying the unborn fetus. However, if a woman has had three or more consecutive spontaneous abortions then the medical field will label her a habitual aborter (Abortion, 2009). Third, abortions have been around in history for centuries for women. Back when the settlers first arrived in the United States abortion was legal.
Once then Constitution was adopted abortions before quickening were legal and very widely advertised (NAF, 2010). The Japanese have records that date back to the 12th century of inducing an abortion on women who choose to have one. Back in the 11th century authors would put such knowledge into poetry. However, the herbs were not always without side effects. Some of the herbs used during that time frame have been found to be poisonous. In 1898, it was recommended to use a mixture of yeast and pennyroyal tea to naturally cause a spontaneous abortion and bring menses back (Abortion, 1984, 1992, 1998). By 1880, most abortions had become illegal in the United States, except for those that are necessary to save the life of the woman. But due to the knowledge and acceptance of women’s right to an early abortion was rooted deeply in the U.S. society by that time; abortionists continued to practice openly with the support of the public, and since it was illegal by that time the abortionist would be taken to court and the juries would refused to convict them of any wrong doing.
Women who do not want to be pregnant have though out history seeked abortions or have taken the matter into their own hands. This changed in the 20th century with the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v Wade. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of permitting abortion during the first six months of a woman’s pregnancy. The base for the Supreme Court ruling is that the unborn fetus is not protected under the 14th amendment like the pregnant woman is because the fetus is not a person. The most important reason that women should have the right to choose what happens to their bodies is because abortions can be medically induced due to health issues with the mother or the unborn child. There are times when it is dangerous for the woman to carry the pregnancy at all. It is during times like these that women need the right to be able to choose what is best for them.
If abortions were illegal these women would be subjected to the choice of carrying the pregnancy with all the medical problems that will come along with it or seeking an illegal abortion. Illegal abortions can be very risky and can cause death from blood loss or even partial births were the woman ends up giving birth to a dead fetus later in the pregnancy. However, women should have the right to choose what is best for them and the unborn fetus. If the fetus would develop damaged in some way that it would not be able to sustain life outside of the womb then women should have the right to seek out an abortion if they want it. However, on the contrary the religious beliefs of some see abortion as immoral and would like to see it become illegal. These people view abortion as murdering a helpless little person who can not defend themselves.
They believe that life starts at the moment of conception. The Roman Catholic Church stated that “the deliberate ending of a pregnancy” is never acceptable, even if it is to save the life of the woman (Abortion and Religion, 2011). Gwendolyn Brooks, famous poet, wrote in her poem “A Street in Bronzeville” back in 1945 that “Abortions will not let you forget, you remember the children you got that you did not get.”(Abortion, 2003) These are sound arguments against abortion. However, women have the right to say what happens to their own bodies.
The unborn fetus is within a woman’s body. Therefore, the woman has the right to say if it should stay or go. To make women do something against their will, like being pregnant, is to take away their freedom to act in a way that is best for them. According to the Supreme Court, the unborn fetus is not a person. Therefore, since the unborn fetus is not a person it can not be considered murder. It is not murder until life begins and the fetus can survive outside the woman. Indeed, while abortions are viewed as immoral and should be illegal, women should have the right to choose what happens to their body.
Abortion. (1984, 1992, 1998). Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century. Retrieved from http://www.feminist.com/resources/ourbodies/abortion.html Abortion. (2003). In Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical
Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/abcprop/abortion Abortion. (2004). In Encyclopedia of Women’s Health. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/sprwh/abortion Abortion. (2008). In The Columbia Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/columency/abortion Abortion. (2009). In Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/tcmd/abortion Abortion and Religion. (2011, June). Retrieved from http://www.efc.org.uk/PDFs/Abortion%20and%20 religion%20leaflet%202011.pdf BBC. (2012, May 22). Abortion: Historical attitudes to abortion Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/legal/history_1.shtml NAF. (2010). National Abortion Federation. Retrieved from http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/history_abortion.html RAINN. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims Trupin, S. R. (2007, June 20) Abortion – Types Preparation and Procedure Information. Retrieved from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=59088&pf=3&page=1
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 25 December 2016
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