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Every year nearly eight hundred women will die giving birth in just the United States alone. Many die because they are too young or they can not afford to have a standard pregnancy. That is why abortion is legal and many doctors will perform an abortion. The history of abortion is extensive and problematic but in all, women who are rape victims, not financially stable enough to provide for a child, or are not ready to have an infant just yet should not have to be put through the painfully laborious, not to mention dangerous, task of carrying and giving birth to a fetus.
To get an understanding of what abortion is and how it came about in America look to its origin story in the country. Abortion had become a common practice, both legally and illegally, in America, first appearing during the eighteenth century. Abortion originally started with herbs planted in a garden and was taken orally. With the technological advancements also came more alternatives for receiving an abortion. One popular alternative, mainly from advertisement, was the manufacturing of different drugs that would aid in obtaining an abortion. Many would soon find out that this option was very lethal. Consequently, by the nineteenth century a myriad of advancements in technology and understanding how the body works resulted in the most used way of abortion, which is through a practiced physician. On the contrary, numerous physicians rejected the practice of abortion during its surgical start-up. Ironically, those same physicians would assist in over two million abortions annually in just the nineteenth century alone. That is eight times as many abortions given now. After such a rising increase, lawmakers made abortion illegal, with exception to certain cases, until 1973 when Roe v. Wade’s case was brought to the U.S. Supreme Court which decriminalized it (Cates et al). Now you can legally, for the time being, get an abortion in many of the US states. One final important thing to note is that the process of having an abortion is quite simple. The first thing the doctor will do is examine the uterus, then inject a numbing medicine near the cervix, stretch out the cervix as needed, and insert a suction catheter that would suck out the tissue in the uterus. The fetus feels no pain.
Following abortion’s exceedingly controversial past and present, the debate of whether abortion is ethically and morally right arises. Many factors will tie into whether or not the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Factors such as being raped, being too young, or health problems repute the claim that abortion should be illegal no matter the circumstance. If Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion becomes illegal again, it would put many women in jeopardy of their life. Take the case of the Brazilian nine-year-old whose life was saved after receiving an abortion. The nine-year-old was repeatedly raped by her step-father and ended up conceiving his child, putting her life in danger because she became pregnant at such a young age. Without abortion, that little girl would have died. Consequently, rape has traumatic lasting effects on its victims. Reportedly, women who are raped, become pregnant, and decide to keep the fetus are at a higher risk of perinatal mortality and postpartum complications. Mother’s from rape are also more inclined to abuse their child, neglect it, or take its life, which in turn causes an influx of cognitive and emotional barriers for the child. Also important to note is teen pregnancies. It is scientifically proven that a woman’s body is not prepared for pregnancy from the ages of twelve to nineteen. Making abortion illegal would put these already living bodies in endangerment. Not to mention children born from teen moms have a higher risk of health and behavior problems as well as low performance in school. Now, many have protested and claimed that if the mother did not wish to keep the fetus, they could give it up for adoption. But, looking at the facts and statistics, the fetus would be better off never being had than suffering through the foster care system. There are roughly four hundred thousand children in the foster care system. Neglect and quagmire have infested the foster care system and as a result, many foster kids end up physically or sexually tortured. Nearly seven thousand five hundred children will be maltreated in the foster. Obviously, adoption is not the preeminent option here.
One final determinant of how abortion is ethically right is when looking at how financially capable the mother is in providing for that child. Nearly 11.9 million children live in poverty in just the United States alone. Mothers who live in poor areas are less likely to have access to the crucial vitamins and supplements needed to keep her and the baby healthy and she is more likely to be addicted to drugs, have lower levels of education, unemployed, or undesirable dietary plan. These influences factor in on the prospect of the child growing up with adverse psychological and physical deficits. To elaborate, there is an extensive amount of research that proves growing up in poverty leads to impairment of operational functions, the ability to follow rules, and the ability to form relationships. Poverty also affects the child’s birth weight, infant mortality, language development, chronic illness, environmental exposure, nutrition, and injury. Low-income households are also projected to hold an authoritarian and punitive type of parenting which is damaging to the child’s cognitive development. Therefore, if the mother is not financially able to provide for the child, she should be able to have the option to abort it.
As a final analysis, abortion is a necessity for women. There are too many circumstances that factor into the pregnancy that could be fatal or detrimental to not only the mother but the child also. Carrying and delivering a child is a life-threatening task for women, proven through it’s history. If they have been raped, are too young to carry a child, or just simply can not support the being, they should be able to have the decision over what to do with their fetus.
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