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In 2020 Poland, there was a mass protest regarding a reproductive rights ban. The Poland government had made a court decision to ban all abortions. Thousands of women, men, and adolescents gathered in the streets to get the message across that abortion is a women’s undeniable right. Despite a global pandemic, “430,000 people attended more than 400 demonstrations across the country against the ban on Wednesday” ( Mortensen and Smith-Spark). There are important reasons why abortion should remain legal, whether in Poland, America or anywhere else in our world, reasons that people will never stop fighting for.
A woman’s decision to have an abortion is an undeniable right given by the supreme court. The procedure is a means to protect a woman’s rights, protect a woman’s mental health in unfortunate situations such as molestation, and ensure the best life for the mother and potential pregnancy.
Within the cases of abortion, there are females of any age who experience an unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancies have a high potential to disband relationships connected to the mother, while also creating disappointment, frustration, and fear for the partners and families that ultimately weighs on the women carrying the child. Another reason why abortion should remain legal is that there are females of any age whose pregnancies can be harmful to their health. Fortunately, there is a method to handle unplanned pregnancies; a procedure called abortion, which is characterized as the removal or termination of a pregnancy.
On December 22, 1973, The Supreme Court struck down the Texas law prohibiting abortion. Not only was the Texas law struck down, but the Supreme Court case Roe vs.Wade made abortions legal within the first trimester. (Gender Issues and Sexuality: Essential Primary Sources 84). The court’s decision entitled women to a right and privacy over their bodies. An entitlement protected by the constitution.
Supreme courts make their court holdings for a reason, just how certain actions are legal and illegal. For a reason. As mentioned prior, during the first trimester of pregnancy the ability to have an abortion is left to the sole woman’s decision and her medical advisory. This prohibits state power to intervene until the end of the first three months. Thereafter, states may regulate abortion reasonably to the mother and pregnancy. The Supreme Court cautiously gave women the right while keeping a justified time frame. In the last two trimesters where there is a viable being, the state then has the right to interdict and regulate abortion. (Gender Issues and Sexuality: Essential Primary Sources 84). Unless it is required to preserve the health of the mother.
The Supreme Court’s ruling had relieved women from unintended pregnancies. The Roe v. Wade decision affected the outcome for women who experienced rape and had an unplanned pregnancy because of it. Rape may seem less common to some, but there are still unfortunate instances when it happens between strangers and unfortunately between close friends and family. When a person coerces sexual actions upon someone when consent is not obtained, the mental and physical effects can be detrimental. Especially when a woman is impregnated without consent. “The CDC estimates that approximately 32,000 pregnancies are the result of rape each year. Approximately 50% of pregnant rape victims aborted the pregnancy” (Dionne 2246). Studies show that close to one-third of those rape victims experience dissociated memory, disturbed/lost memory, or other chronic effects, similar to posttraumatic stress disorder. (‘Rape.’ International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 65) It would be unfair for a woman to have to deal with those traumatic effects. A valid reason why a woman has the choice to terminate a pregnancy.
Another instance where the right to an abortion is validated is adolescent pregnancies. Young women face many negative consequences with unintended pregnancies. “Young women who are kicked out of school as a result of an unwanted pregnancy often remember the circumstances of their friends’ expulsion for years after. Young middle school, high school, and college students who discovered that they were pregnant worried about their parents’ reaction and understood that an unwanted pregnancy could jeopardize their educational future” (Schoen 43). Young women with unintended pregnancies can suffer mental health problems. The possibility of losing education, worrying about the family’s input, and the unplanned pregnancy itself lead the mothers to be not mentally ready. The mothers will be not mentally suited for birth let alone pregnancy.
Young children and mature women make mistakes. What does someone do if they make mistakes? Abortions of pregnancies should remain legal because they will occur either way. Women with the fear of being kicked out by their parents, the negative emotions about losing their education, raising a child financially unstable, or in cases of rape, women may do what is needed for them. A possible illegal abortion. It may seem selfish, but it is harder to understand where one is not in their shoes.
With illegal abortions / “under the radar” abortions come many health and physically detrimental effects. They are very unsafe because the procedures are non medically supervised and done in a situation with no medical expertise or done in foreign countries where there is minimal regulation. The mother and potential child become high-risk serious health complications. Senator Dianne Feinstein has her remarks during one of her speeches in support of roe vs wade relating to illegal abortions. “I remember what it was like then when abortion was illegal. When I was a college student, I watched the passing of the plate to collect money so young women could go to Tijuana for an abortion. I knew a woman who ended her life because she was pregnant. ” Senator Feinstein then proceeds, “In the 1960s I served on the California Women’s Board of Terms and Parole. I sentenced women who were convicted of the crime of performing an illegal abortion. I saw what they did. I saw how they did it. And I saw the morbidity they left in their wake. I don’t want to go back to those days”(Alters, Sandra M). Unfortunately, illegal abortions are a real possibility if the right to an abortion is not left intact. With it being legalized, females of any age will have the needed medical regulation they can seek and not hide from. A huge positive when relating to the health of the child carrier which is most important.
Even with wanted planned pregnancies, mothers may have to obtain an abortion when it comes to their health. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan and his wife made this decision. The Senator’s wife Heidi was pregnant with their planned second child. At four months her water had broken rupturing the amniotic sac, resulting in a determined death of the pregnancy. Heidi was told by a doctor to go home and wait for a natural miscarriage. Unfortunately, that did not happen. After three days of no miscarraige, the couple went back to the hospital. The doctor had told them the situation was serious and recommended an urgent abortion to prevent septic from the uterine infection that could kill her. Heidi’s uterus and possibly life was saved from an emergency abortion. The experience was “painful and traumatic,” Heidi shared in a statement. “If it weren’t for urgent and critical medical care, I could have lost my life” (Laura Bassett, “Senator Gary Peters Shares His Abortion Story”, Elle.com, Oct 12, 2020). Just like Senator Peters agrees with, it is important to know these things happen to everyday people. Abortions have the ability to save lives. It would be unfair if that ability was revoked. However, some may believe it should, without thinking of the consequences to the mother.
Abortion is a very controversial topic that clearly has two main views. Pro-choice and Pro-life. Pro-life being in favor of the embryo’s life and Pro-choice being in favor of a woman’s right. The most common counterargument to Pro-choice is that abortion is murder and women are terminating the life of an innocent child. That life begins at conception and that a potential life shouldn’t be ended by someone’s irresponsible decision. First, not all pregnancies that end in abortion were stemmed from decisions which some deem irresponsible. As mentioned prior, the particular of abortion can relieve mental and physical trauma. As well this “irresponsible decision” may save a life. Secondly, Referring back to the point made earlier about the legality of the procedure, abortion is legal until a certain time frame for a reason. Up until six weeks of pregnancy, the embryo is just embryonic tissue. The heartbeat and organ do not form until six weeks according to the mayo clinic. At twenty weeks of gestation will a baby begin to develop and experience pain. Meaning neuronal tracts in the sensory cortex of the brain is largely responsible for the feeling of pain and those are not established until twenty weeks. It is then unreasonable to claim abortion is murder if an embryo does not develop a heartbeat or organs until the sixth week. It is embryonic tissue and cells. Meaning abortion is not murder, especially if done by or before six weeks. Following this, the embryo does not experience pain and is not scientifically being hurt until twenty weeks after gestation.
Another counterpoint to the views of Pro-choice is that if a woman does not want a child she should give it up to adoption. To give the child a happy life and give the ability for someone else to be a parent. This is an invalid point when analyzing the negative consequences to foster care. Children in foster care are predisposed to mental health and substance problems. They are predisposed to getting in trouble with the law. Which can make the new parents’ relationship with the child more difficult. The chance of getting out of adoption is low as it is. “There are approximately 424,000 foster youth nationwide. Despite child welfare’s efforts to prevent the removal of children from their parents, the number of children in foster care has been increasing. Currently, we are at an all-time high as the demand for foster parents is far higher than the supply, and factors like parental opioid addiction are forcing more children to be removed from their homes” (“Foster Care Statistics 2020”, Ifoster.org, ).
As well children in foster care are also much more likely to receive none or inadequate health coverage. In states such as California, Florida, and Pennsylvania where foster children populations are high, most “children were enrolled in Medicaid before they entered foster care, but between one-third and one-half lost their Medicaid coverage when they left foster care; children in foster care were more likely than other groups of Medicaid children to have a mental health or substance abuse problem” (Children in Foster Care: Challenges in Meeting Their Health Care Needs through Medicaid. Policy Brief). As for the mother, it is very difficult to raise a child in her body then put him or her up for adoption knowing the uncertainty if her child will be adequately cared for.
The fair valid view is argued and backed by science, The Supreme Court, and real-life events. The choice to have an abortion is a women’s right. Abortion should remain a legal fundamental right, an inalienable right given by the supreme court and protected by The Constitution. It would be unjust to deny the right to an abortion. Women are human beings who make choices. Choices that may deal with their flesh and bones. Abortion encourages a choice in reproductivity while empowering the ability to control over their body. With control of a woman’s body, there is control of something important to self-actualization, their future. To have a baby has a huge impact on the ability to determine a woman’s future, independence, mental health, physical health, and the ability to save one’s own life.
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