Abortion and Adoption
How it works
Abortion is not as simple as walking into a medical office and having the procedure performed. Although Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in the United States in 1973 women often have to deal with judgment from others including not only protestors but significant others and family members, choosing between abortion and adoption, emotional stress possibly from the reason they are needing an abortion, physical complications, as well as state governments trying to take away their right to have an abortion performed. There is enough weighing in on a decision as difficult as abortion even if one is pro-choice, that women should not have to worry about their reproductive rights being risked by states continuing to place stipulations on the procedure.
Before abortion was legalized there were only a few options if an unwanted or mistimed pregnancy arose adoption, raising the child, or illegal abortion. Adoption is giving the child away to a person or family who would take the child in and be legally responsible for them, often it is a stranger who adopts the child and is a closed adoption where the birth parent(s) have no further contact with the child, but can also involve a family member adopting the child or an open adoption where the birth parent(s) have some visitation with the child.
How it works
The parent(s) may chose to raise the child themselves even if they are not able to afford it or give the child to a family member to raise, where the child may or may not know the true relationship with their birth parent(s) are. Illegal abortion is performed either by a healthcare professional or the person wanting or needing the abortion performed and has a high chance of complications including death, these risks which have decreased greatly since the legalization of abortion.
While there are other options besides an abortion they are not the best choice for an individual. Legal factors influencing that decision as stated by Patricia Richard include “a “life only” exception, medical ground encompassing threats to the woman’s health as well as to her life, eugenic or fetal indication, juridical indication such as when pregnancy results from rape or incest, and social factors including such conditions as inadequate income, age, substandard housing, and unmarried status” (Richard, Patricia Bayer).
Other legal factors are left up to the states after Webster v. Reproductive Health Services in 1989 that include “a Missouri regulation that requires physicians to conduct viability tests prior to performing an abortion and prohibit the use of public facilities or public personnel in the performance of abortions” as well as “changing the abortion debate from the federal to the state level” (Medoff, H).
Other stipulations some states have placed on abortion are prohibiting partial-birth abortions (after 20 weeks), restriction of insurance coverage in private plans, requiring a specified wait period or counseling, in the case of minors parental consent and most states prohibit abortions unless necessary to protect the woman’s life or health and even allow individual healthcare providers to refuse to perform an abortion causing women to search out of state for abortion services or worse an illegal abortion.
Though the largest hoops women have to jump through are legal ones, they also have to consider if they can afford an abortion (or a child), religious afflictions, pressure from family members or significant others, violence or harassment at an abortion clinic, their reproductive rights, and their emotional state leading up to and after an abortion.
Many times religious afflictions and pressure from family members or significant others can overlap, according to Katrina Kimport et al “conveying negative opinions about abortion to women who have had or are considering having one can have long-term emotional consequences. Friends and family should realize that their words matter and may have lasting impact” (Kimport, Katrina et al).
Women are not only pressured by family and significant others, they can also be pressured by protestors “anti-abortion violence has caused considerable property damage and some loss of life, increased the need for security at abortion clinics, and increased the fear and stress of workers at abortion facilities and of women seeking abortion services” (Jacobson, Mireielle). Anti-abortion violence does not just include physical violence, but psychological damage as well. “Overall, women in our sample expressed a need to control their decision making regarding abortion.
When they felt that the decision to have an abortion was not primarily their own or was made under duress, they reported emotional difficulties” (Kimport, Katrina et al). While there is research that shows some women experience negative emotions following a terminated pregnancy, “some women mourn not only the fetal loss, but other losses, including the loss of a romantic relationship, other women experience guilt or anger at themselves for becoming pregnant unintentionally” (Kimport, Katrina et al). Women want their decision to be validated and supported by their friends, family and partner especially if the pregnancy resulted from a rape or incest that could remind them of that for the rest of their life.
Terminating an unwanted pregnancy is not the only reason women consider abortion. These other factors that influence one’s abortion decision and include health risks for the mother from carrying a child to term such as “renal and cardiac diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer” as well as fetuses with “genetic defects, such as Tay-Sachs, Down syndrome, sickle-cell anemia, and neural defects (including anencephaly, a fatal condition in which a large part of the skull and brain are missing)” and most complications due to abortions such as death are typically a result of an illegal abortion (Richard, Patricia Bayer).
If abortion were to be banned again, women who have life threatening diseases and complications from pregnancy would have to risk their and their baby’s life. In addition women who have an amniocentesis performed to find out their child has a disease that would cause them to have a painful quality of life or a very short life they would not be able to spare their child a short lived, pain filled life. Not only would it spare a mother and/or her child’s life, “a commissioner in charge of a California statewide screening program which detects neural tube defects estimated that if ninety percent of women found to be carrying severely deformed babies chose abortions, $13.3 million would be saved in lifetime medical costs for every 100,000 women screened” (Richard, Patricia Bayer).
While there are ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and would be more effective with easier access to education and accessibility to birth control, it is not always guaranteed to prevent pregnancy. Now with birth control possibly no longer being covered under insurance that will cause abortion to become more prevalent when dealing with an unwanted pregnancy again and will have more women relying on having the right to have an abortion performed.
“A prohibition in the form of a constitutional amendment claiming that a human life begins at fertilization and that a fertilized ovum is a person entitled to constitutional protection would outlaw at least some oral contraceptives and the intrauterine device (IUD)” (Richard, Patricia Bayer).
Prohibition of abortion not only affects women, but doctors as well by allowing the government to tell them what medical procedures they can and cannot perform (Richard, Patricia Bayer). The United States government should not have the power to restrict women’s reproductive rights and what they would like to do with their own body, especially when men have the right to use erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra regarding their own reproductive rights.
When making a decision as difficult as abortion women understand there is more to it than just having the procedure performed. Most women have done their research prior to considering it or scheduling their appointment, as well as their doctor discusses their options with them before they are allowed to follow through with the procedure, “nonetheless, gaps in the literature may explain the persistence of the belief that abortion harms women” (Kimport, Katrina et al). Not only should abortion and contraceptives stay legal, but state stipulations on the procedure should also be lessened and therapy should be more readily available for women post-abortion procedure.
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Abortion and Adoption. (2019, Apr 27). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/abortion-and-adoption/