Monday, April 8, 2013

Abortion: A Never-ending Debate

            Abortion is one of the most controversial issues facing America today. Out of the six million unplanned pregnancies a year, over 1.2 million end in abortion; meaning one third of our current generation doesn’t exist due to this. This problem weighs the scientific, religious and political issues involved with the procedure of an abortion. In 1973 the Roe v. Wade case resulted in the legalization of unrestricted abortion, which caused conflict between the Pro-life and Pro-choice supporters. Evidence supports that abortion didn’t just become a possibility recently but instead has been around since ancient history although modern convenience has created Abortion as a more feasible option. So why is it still a lasting problem today? The problem lies in the opportunity of other solutions that can eliminate the process of abortion.


What is it

An Abortion is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy before the fetus is viable. In most common cases, the mother medically takes pills that inhibit the growth and development of cells, which then contract the uterus, causing the fetus to be forced out. For in-clinic cases, the baby is killed and then manually removed from the uterus using tools. The procedure is usually done in the hospital or Planned Parenthood health centers. While both methods are very effective and involve further meetings with the health care provider, many can lead to further health problems. With knowing these circumstances, people still question why mothers would consider an abortion. 

A pregnancy resulting in an abortion is caused by many influences including social, economic, religious, and circumstantial factors. As a society, we have a strong desire for convenience. Developments in technology, medicine and many other things are constantly advancing in order to make tasks easier for users. When abortion became an option, the idea of eliminating all the burdens that come along with a child sounded like a good idea to mothers with circumstances that made it hard to deal with those burdens.
Economic factors apply to families who can’t afford to raise their child. The average cost of raising a child averages around $200,000. Families with insufficient funding use this as an excuse to show that they would not be able to provide care for the child once it is born. 52% of women who have an abortion are under the age of 25. Young women around this age usually do not have enough money to raise a child, resulting in abortion.  
Many religions stand against abortion as it considered murder. The sixth commandment states, “Thou shalt not kill”. But at the same time, fornication is also a sin. Fornication refers to sexual intercourse between two unmarried people. 65% of abortions happen between unmarried couples. These couples are faced with the choice of committing a sin or dishonoring a commandment, which in both ways is sacrilege.
            Certain circumstances influence women towards the option of abortion. Sexual assault is also a large problem facing America. Although only one percent of abortions are performed due to rape, it is still a lasting influence. In our generation, a High School degree along with further education is essential when competing for jobs. Having the burden of a child while trying to attend school can be extremely difficult. This can also influence the mother’s choice of receiving an abortion in order to create a brighter future.



            Many conflicts in abortion come from political, religious, and scientific views. The political conflict with abortion discusses the control over the procedure of giving an abortion itself. Many abortion cases have been taken to court including the famous Roe v. Wade case, which legalized abortion. According to Margaret Thomas a physician at Litchfield hospital claims that conflict still stands today in whether the procedure should be legal as well as where do the physicians giving the procedure stand on the issue. The religious conflict with abortion discusses the idea of killing a fetus before it is born. This violates many religious beliefs and is considered a sin. The scientific conflict with abortion contributes to many questions regarding life and when exactly it begins. The most common belief is that life begins at conception, when the egg is fertilized. Other beliefs are when the baby is born, when it takes human shape or when it is disconnected from the mother. Not knowing when human life begins makes it hard to determine if an abortion is actually killing a human.



            Receiving an abortion can be beneficial in certain circumstances. The option of abortion gives young women opportunity to pursue their future without the worry of raising a child and struggling financially. It also gives women the control over their bodies and decisions.
            Women who are victims of pregnancy due to sexual assault crimes are given the opportunity to overlook what has happened to them. They can choose to abort the baby and keep the incident a secret rather than raise the child, which would place as a constant reminder of the incident associated with the child. 
            Health issues in mothers can create a valid purpose for receiving an abortion. Women who suffer from heart disease or sickle cell anemia can have medical complications when giving birth. If the mother’s health is at risk, a doctor might advise the mother to receive an abortion.



            Receiving an abortion can result in many life long issues. While some women are sure of their decision to get an abortion, others spend an immense amount of time considering if it is a suitable idea.  Although the majority of women feel relief after receiving the abortion, many also feel regret for a longer period of time. Some women also develop depression and other psychological issues including the 28% that attempt suicide. Many women develop problems in depression, anxiety and guilt, and commonly deal with alcohol and drug abuse.
            Abortions can also lead to physical problems. Immediately after the procedure, women experience nausea, vomiting, bleeding and slight pain. More serious effects such as infection and damage to the uterus can occur and make it nearly impossible for the mother to become pregnant in the future. All of these disadvantages of the procedure are subject to different women but are also very overlooked.
            Not only is just the mother the one to make the decision when receiving an abortion but the physician also. The amount of physicians willing to give an abortion has been constantly decreasing over the years. It can be very contradicting for a doctor to give the procedure when they stand against it themselves although they do not have much of a choice, given it is their job.


Real Life Story

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Jennifer, a young girl still suffering the aftereffects of abortion, explains her experience with her decision to abort her first baby. She was 17 years old when she became pregnant, neither married nor in a long term relationship. Like many other pregnant teenagers, she tried to keep it a secret from her parents and family. After informing the father of the child of her pregnancy, he explained how this inconvenience did not fit into his plans. Once her parents found out of the situation, they made the decision for her that the baby needed to be aborted so she would not "bring shame to the family". Her sister took her to a planned parenthood center where the abortion procedure was completed. The center lied to her about how far along in her term she was in order to legally perform the procedure. She explains how she felt victimized and experienced many nightmares for years in which she felt regret for what wasn't even her decision. For the longest time she could not forgive her parents, family, and the planned parenthood who had lied to her but she also felt that the was the one thing God could not forgive her for. “We are told that women should have the right to choose, I was not given a choice. I was led to believe that this was the only choice I had to make…..Women should be told how the decision of abortion could affect them physically, emotionally and spiritually….”



Safe Haven Laws
            Educating mothers of unwanted pregnancies is very beneficial to show them all of their options. Other options besides abortion are highly promoted by the public. Many churches and organizations run campaigns that provide help for women that are in situations that might result in abortion. Recent Safe-Haven laws allow mothers with un-wanted infants to leave their child at a church, hospital, fire station, or planned pregnancy health centers, subject to each state. They are not asked to provide any information and will never be contacted.
            Another option replacing abortion is adoption. Adoption is commonly used in many countries. It helps both mothers who cannot provide care for their child and families who are looking to provide for children that are not their own. This practice allows for mothers to feel assured that the child will be safe with their adoptive parents.
             Providing the mothers of unwanted pregnancies with psychological support is advantageous. Mothers can learn about their options and which ones might work best for them. If the mother decides to raise the baby, continuing this support can be beneficial to provide the mother with financial resources and counseling. Contributing alternates of abortion to mothers can help them face the decision, which could potentially cause life long effects.

            Abortion is one of the most controversial issues facing America today. It has been going on since ancient history and has not yet been resolved. The problem faces the scientific, religious and political issues involved. Although abortion was legalized in 1973, conflict between apposing sides still exists which presents many advantages and disadvantages with the procedure. Providing support for women facing the option of abortion can help them decide what might be right for them and also prevent them from experiencing long-term effects. 

MichaelR. Caudle, Margaret Thomas, R.W. McCallum, F. Alderton, T.D. Millar, PhilippaG. de Takats, Abortion, The Lancet, Volume 345, Issue 8949, 4 March 1995, Pages 587-588, ISSN 0140-6736, 10.1016/S0140-6736(95)90497-2. (

Riler, Keith. "The Forgotten Solution to the Abortion Debate." American Thinker 8 July 2012: n. pag. Web.

Shrage, Laurie. Abortion and Social Responsibility : Depolarizing the Debate. Cary, NC: Oxford UP, 2003. Print.