Essay about Abortion as a Problem
Although abortion can be seen as a solution to a problem, many see abortion as a problem itself. A handful of countries, such as The Philippines, allow legal abortions only when the mother’s life is in danger. However, a past president of the National Medical Association, Jasper Williams, Jr., M.D. claims, “The number of medical cases in which abortion is an indicated and appropriate part of the treatment is practically nil. Since 1953, I have never seen a patient who died because she needed an abortion and it could not be performed.” Therefore, the idea that abortion is acceptable in order to protect the mother’s life is irrelevant because it is simply untrue. Abortion is also seen as an ethical issue because it violates the rights of the fetus, which has no say in its termination. The Philippine Constitution declared that the state must “equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” Similarly, the U.S. Constitution states “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property…” Although, it is unclear when a fetus becomes a person, pro-life arguers believe that life begins at the time of conception, which has led to the argument that abortion can be considered murder and that putting an unwanted child up for adoption is a more ethical and respectable option.
American Vice President Mike Pence said, “I truly do believe that life is winning in America for a variety of reasons. Life is winning through the generosity of millions of adoptive families that are opening their homes to children in America every day.” Through adoption, no lives are lost and the mother is no longer responsible for the child. Furthermore, abortion can lead to higher risks of mental and physical consequences for the mother. According to a study done by The British Journal of Psychiatry, “Women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be attributable to abortion.” There are also many physical risks associated with abortions, such as infection of the womb, continuation of the pregnancy, excessive bleeding, and damage of the entrance to the cervix. Most of these complications can be avoided if an abortion is not performed. Many religions do not believe in abortion, such as Catholicism, which supports the belief that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception…abortion willed either as an end or means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” and Hinduism, which supports the belief that all life is sacred and both physical and spiritual life enter the human embryo at the moment of conception. Therefore, abortion at any point during a pregnancy can be considered murder. Abortion is also opposed by people because many women use it as a form of birth control instead of using contraceptives during sexual intercorse. Many argue that the availability of abortion enables women to take advantage of government funded abortions rather than paying for conventional types of contraceptives. This costs governments a great deal of money, which typically comes from citizens’ tax dollars. According to The Heritage Foundation, “A recent report has revealed that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, received over $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds from 2013 to 2015.” This is viewed by many as unethical because it forces all tax paying citizens to support abortion by financially backing it. Therefore, these people believe the U.S. government should eliminate tax-funded abortions altogether.
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Abortions are performed for a number of reasons, such as risk to the mother’s life, rape or sexual abuse, serious fetal abnormalities, risk to the mother’s physical and mental health, social and economic factors, or simply per the mother’s request. Many women who are raped or sexually abused have abortions because their pregnancies were unintended, unwanted, and a constant reminder of the pain they had to endure. This is similar to women who are motivated to have an abortion due to social and economic factors. Indigent women in more economically developed countries are more likely to seek out abortions because children are seen as economic burdens. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 49% of abortions in America in 2014 were performed on women below the federal poverty level. These lower class women make the decision not to bring their child into the world because they have the responsibility to give their child the best life possible, but are aware that they will be unable to do so because they cannot support the child financially. Many people argue that these women should turn to adoption rather than abortion if they are unable to support a baby.
However, the spike in hormones, especially oxytocin and prolactin, during and after childbirth creates an immediate emotional connection between the mother and her baby, making it hard for some women to put their baby up for adoption after birthing him or her. According to the National Journal of Medical Research & Yoga Science, “Oxytocin is described as the ‘hormone of love’ because it is consistently involved in all forms of love…The hormones present at the same time as the Oxytocin release determine how this love is directed…In the presence of prolactin, the love is directed at nurturing and ‘mothering’….” This makes adoption very difficult for the mother and may even persuade her to keep the child even though she is aware of her inability to support the child. Women who are under the age of 18 are motivated to have an abortion by the fact that they can’t raise a child while they are children themselves who are still growing up and who are reliant on their parents to support them. Women who are over the age of 40 turn to abortion because their age puts their fetus at a significantly higher risk of fetal abnormalities and developmental issues. According to Health Plus, the risk of a fetal Down syndrome at the maternal age of at 40 years old is 1 in 100 and increases to 1 in 30 at the age of 45.
The risk of heart defects in babies of women above 40 is almost 4 times that of women 20 to 24 years old, and the risk of clubfoot and diaphragmatic hernia also increases. On January 22, New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, passed the Reproductive Health Act, which allows abortions after 24 weeks to protect the mother’s health or when the fetus won’t survive outside the womb. Many people argue that this law is unethical because during the third trimester, fetuses reach the point of development where they can survive outside of the womb. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, “91.1% of abortions were performed at ?13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (7.6%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ?21 weeks’ gestation.” Furthermore, most women who have third trimester abortions decide to do so as a result of severe complications, such as genetic disorders or fetal abnormalities, and not because they suddenly decided they don’t want to have their baby anymore. Abortion can also have a positive impact on a country’s population. For example, with a growing population of about 970 million, the Chinese government enacted the one child policy in 1979. The policy limited each family to having only one child, which ultimately supported nationwide abortions. With the implementation of the one child policy, China was able to rein in its booming population in an effort to alleviate social, economic, and environmental stresses before the country’s carrying capacity was exceeded.