About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1220 |
7 min read
Published: Jul 3, 2023
Words: 1220|Pages: 3|7 min read
Today, abortion is one of the most controversial social and political issues in the United States. Consequently, abortion is used as a political tool by the Republicans to gain support among the conservatives, while the Democrats uses their pro-choice stance to mobilize voters who consider abortion as a feasible option for pregnant women. Evidently, abortion stances have the power to influence political powers and voting behavior in all levels of government. In this argumentative essay about abortion we state that despite the recent abortion restricted enacted by the federal and state governments, abortion should remain as a legal option because it is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, many unwanted pregnancies result in economic deprivation or from unfortunate circumstances, and the current abortion restrictions put women’s safety at risk.
In 1973, Norma McCorvey, a Texas woman who used the pseudo-name Jane Roe, grew up in poverty, wanted to terminate her unwanted pregnancy. At the time, wealthy American women could obtain safe, legalized abortions by traveling to other countries or bribe a doctor to secretly perform their abortions. However, McCorvey and many other women could not afford these options, forcing them to turn to illegal or self-induced abortions. The case of Roe v. Wade allowed the court to rule that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Other cases, such as Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, further supported the constitutionality of abortions. Over time, abortion rights were connected to more abstract and generally applicable concepts of liberty. The Court also connected women’s rights to abortion on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment, American citizens’ right to privacy, and reproductive rights as an enumerated power. However, the States are allowed to place any number of restrictions on abortion, even to the point where the state bans nearly all abortions except for a few cases.
The ruling of Roe v. Wade is challenged by the extremely conservative advocates who want to ban or restrict abortions. According to E. C. Duckworth, the Court left “the State free to place increasing restrictions on abortion as the period of pregnancy lengthens, so long as those restrictions are tailored to the recognized state interests”. Consequently, several conservative states attempt to nearly ban all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, and/or life endangerment. For example, in 2013, the heartbeat bill was struck down as unconstitutional according to the ruling of Roe v. Wade. However, in recent years, several states proposed heartbeat bills, such as Ohio and Missouri. Although state judges have temporarily blocked excessively restrictive abortion bills, nine states have passed bills to unreasonably limit abortion this year.
In the United States, President Donald Trump’s pro-life stance on abortion allowed many conservative states to pass anti-abortion bills that unreasonably restrict or explicitly outlaw abortion when performed early in the pregnancy. In addition to state laws, President Trump nominated conservative judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, federally defunded Planned Parenthood clinics, and reinstated the global gag rule to restrict reproductive health care abroad. On Jan 23, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order enacting the global gag rule, an anti-abortion policy that states nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. family planning funding cannot inform the public or educate their government on the need to make safe abortion available, provide legal abortion services, or provide advice on where to get an abortion. On a global scale, Trump’s Global Gag Rule increased unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, maternal deaths, and newborn deaths. Due to this unjust policy, abortion rates have increased because the organizations that provide access to family planning services lose federal funding and the lack of information results in illegal abortions. Overall, this policy undermines free-speech, dismisses reproductive health, and imposes an anti-feminist agenda.
As well as being political controversy, abortion is a public health issue. Denying women access to legal abortion does not prevent them from having abortions, but just increases the likelihood of receiving illegal abortions in unsafe conditions. According to Cates, Willard, and Roger Rochat, “the total number of abortion deaths in the United States declined from 88 in 1972 to 56 in 1973 to 48 in 1974. Eighty-five percent of the decline is due to the fact that fewer women are dying from illegal (i.e., non-physician) abortions”. Their data also illustrates a dramatic decline in the amount of illegal abortion deaths in the United States following the Supreme Court's 1973 abortion decisions. Evidently, abortion legalization and services need to be more accessible to decrease pregnancy-related mortality.
By banning abortions, many women have no choice but to go through with their unwanted pregnancies. While this seems to be ideal for pro-life advocates, most do not consider the negative consequences of preventing abortions. According to the authors of “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives”, a survey from 2004 concluded “the two most common reasons were “having a baby would dramatically change my life” and “I can’t afford a baby now”. A large proportion of women cited relationship problems or a desire to avoid single motherhood (48%)”. Others felt that their fetus’s health had been compromised due to lack of prenatal care, the risk of birth defects due to their age or genetics, a history of miscarriages, and fetal exposure to drugs or prescription medications. Evidently, having a child could interfere with a woman’s education, is unwise due to financial instability, unsuitable environments, and concerns about the child’s health and upbringing.
While some may understand the socioeconomic conditions and health concerns of the “mother,” other pro-life advocates may advise people to adopt the child. However, the decision to place a child for adoption is nowhere near the easy choice that anti-abortionists believe. Although adoption is a valid option for pregnant women with religious beliefs or personal reasons, most women are either too far along their pregnancy, did not have access to abortion clinics, or could not afford to receive the abortions. Furthermore, there are over 400,000 orphans in the United States’ foster care system, while there were at least 12 abortions per 1000 women. The rates for adoption and abortion are immensely disproportionate, suggesting that women themselves are not overly interested in the adoption as an option.
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