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Abortion is a very controversial topic that contains two different groups of people: people who are pro-choice and others that are pro-life. It refers to the termination of a pregnancy by removing or expelling the fetus or embryo from the uterus before it is ready for birth. The people who are pro-choice believe that abortions are a woman’s choice as it is the woman’s body and believe that abortions should be legal everywhere whereas people who are pro-life believe the opposite and that abortions are murder. Different views on the topic can lead to many violent and non-violent riots outside abortions clinics, which could harm the women who has made the decision to abort. In countries that abortion is legal, it is only permitted before 24 weeks unless there is a medical emergency such as the mother’s life at risk or the child being born with a severe disability.
Abortions can be the result of rape, incest, medical emergencies or not being able to give proper care to a baby; so why force a woman to keep the baby when it’s not your body? According to an article from USA Today it says that only 1% of abortions are from rape in 2019. But statistics from Central MN Sexual Assault Centre show that in the last 5 years 60% of rape victims have not reported to police, 90% of 60 million survivors of child rape have not reported to police and 1 out of 6 women in America have been a victim of attempted or completed rape. These statistics show that we will never be able to know the true numbers of abortions that are a result of rape.
An argument that many pro-choice people make is that you can never ban abortions, only safe ones. If a country bans abortion, then people are going to do what they used to before they were legalized which was killing the babies themselves by throwing themselves down the stairs and using coat hangers. This could cause serious medical problem which may result in death for the mother and baby. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately one-third of maternal deaths are due to complications arising from illegally induced abortions. Each year an estimated 25 million unsafe abortions are performed worldwide, 95% of these are performed in low-income countries. This shows that even if all countries banned abortions, people would still turn to unsafe, illegal abortions which would end up resulting in many deaths.
Pro-life people argue that if someone does not want the child, they can give them up for adoption or to foster care. This could be a good choice for the children who go to nice foster families or get adopted but according to BBC, in 2011 there were more than 65,000 children in care in England but only around 3000 of them children had been adopted and roughly 6,800 were identified for adoption but it never went through. This is not saying that the child would never get adopted but it may be years meaning many years of their childhood could be ruined or traumatized from being in care. They may potentially not get the care they need until they’re over 18. In an evidence review from the UK Government Department of Education it says that children in care are significantly more likely than other children to suffer adverse outcomes across all measures, including physical and mental health, education, employment, homelessness, offending behaviors, substance abuse and general wellbeing.
Pro-life people believe that abortions are murder and it could potentially take the life of a child who could grow up to make a world changing discovery or things similar but pro-choice people make the argument that if the woman had to go through with the pregnancy it may interfere with their education which could stop the woman who had to have their baby from making a world changing discovery. According to NSCL, 30% of women drop out of school because of a pregnancy. Not the full 30% of women would have unwanted pregnancies but any of them could’ve changed the future and a pregnancy that may not have been their fault had prevented that.
A big reason people are pro-life is because of religion. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that life starts at conception and some protestants believe that life begins after the first 14 days as the embryo is a living human being from this point, and so an abortion would be murder. They may make an exception if an abortion is essential in order to save the life of the mother, assuming all efforts have been made to save the fetus. Some Christians believe that a woman has a right to a safe abortion, and that it shows compassion if the law allows this. An absolute moralist would believe that abortion is wrong on every circumstance, but a relative moralist believes that abortion is permitted under certain circumstances. For Muslims, all human life is precious and a sacred gift from Allah. ‘Do not kill your children for fear of want. We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. The killing of them is a great sin.’ -Qur’an 17:31. Many Muslims believe abortions may be permitted if the reason is valid if it’s before ensoulment, which changes between 40 days or 120 depending on the person’s belief. However, some Muslim communities believe life begins at conception and would not tolerate abortion.
Where access to safe and legal abortion services are unreasonably restricted, several human rights may be at risk. These include:
This shows that banning abortions would not only be ensuring that there are many unsafe abortions being undergone but it would be a violation of the woman’s human rights.
I believe that all women should have the choice of abortion without being judged no matter how they got pregnant as the fetus exists inside the women’s body, so she has the option to keep it or abort it. I respect other people’s values on the situation as many pro-life people are brought up religiously to believe it’s murder but I believe that if you are a feminist you should be pro-choice as you focus on the promotion of women’s rights and interest which is the opposite of what pro-life people believe in. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood said, ‘no woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother’ and that is what pro-choice is all about, the woman being able to make her own choice. I also believe that women need free access to abortion in order to achieve full political, social, and economic equality with men, the right to abortion in order to have the same freedoms as men and women need the right to abortion to have full rights over their own bodies (including the right to decide whether or not to carry a fetus to birth) – without this right they do not have the same moral status as men.
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