Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
According to Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Unwanted pregnancies can be very stressful. This abortion procedure is the termination of pregnancy that’s done during a later stage of pregnancy, usually between 14 and 24 weeks. In some cases, late-term abortions are done in the second trimester, these undergo a surgical abortion called dilation and evacuation. There are four medical procedures related with late- term abortion which include dilation and evacuation, early labor induction, intact dilation and extraction, and hysterectomy abortion (Livestrong). Women should be able to abort because in some cases abortion is a better option, women should have control over their own bodies, and the fetus is not an human being.
Abortion should be an available option is in the occurrence of rape. According to RAINN statistics 207,754 sexual assaults occur each year and of these 2/3 of the victims knew who the perpetrator was and at least 38%, 78,000 victims confirmed that the rapists had been a close acquaintance or a friend. Of these numbers 32,101 pregnancies have occurred from rape each year. According to these statistics, it is very likely that the pregnant woman may have had a relationship with her assaulter. Even if the victim did not know the assaulter both instances should allow the woman the choice to have an abortion: She did not choose to be raped and therefore should not be forced to keep the fetus. What if this intense trauma will also not allow her to love the child? What if the father will try to contact her and become involved if she keeps the baby? In this instance of rape there are many things to be considered: What if the woman does not want to carry this baby because she has developed intense trauma from this incident? What if she has developed an STD from this incident and keeping the baby would be a danger to her life and its? I feel that in these instances abortion should be an available option and may even be the better option.
However, Abortion should not only be available to woman in these extreme cases, it should be an option to anyone. If a woman is pregnant but does not have enough money to support her child and does not want to give it up for adoption she should have the choice to terminate the pregnancy. Another example could be if a young girl becomes pregnant from a mistake on one night where she was intoxicated and made an unwise decision. This one mistake should not have to follow her for the rest of her life, causing her to drop out of school and start working. She should be able to choose whether or not to have an abortion, and not have this accident alter her whole future.
Another important instance to consider is if the mother during pregnancy receives word of a disability. After interviewing Dr. Steven E. Chavoustie, a board certified MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology, I learned that certain disabilities that occur during pregnancy take a number of weeks to be correctly diagnosed. Down Syndrome, Edwards, Patel, and Trisomy 13 & 18, take 11 weeks to show on the fetus and are discovered through a test called Cryonic Villi sampling.
Another illness that cannot be discovered until at least the 16th week is Cystic Fibrosis. Upon discovering that the fetus has a disability I think the mother should morally have the choice to terminate the pregnancy. The father’s opinion should again be considered, but the mother should have final say in what happens to her own body. Especially over the fetus’ right to life, since it isn’t even a human being yet. It is understandable and even admirable if the mother decides to keep the baby but this should be her decision. Not everyone can raise a child with disabilities nor does everyone have the money to provide the help this child will need.
The arguments that lead to not having abortion is that the mother will still have financial problems or hardship after having a abortion. Either way the mother will have to take care of herself after she has a abortion. As Don Marquis a professor of philosophy states in his paper,An Argument that Abortion is Wrong, “Women have the right to control their own bodies, but the right to life overrides, the right of a woman to her control her own body. Therefore abortion is wrong” (Marquis). There is government aid for families who need money and a single parent which are federal grants to parents for supplemental foods for low-income pregnant parents. The other argument is that leave the baby for adoption. Instead of taking a babies life that is about to be born let it be adopted to a person that would like to adopt a children.
Abortion also creates a irresponsible behavior surrounded by people and they do not take responsibility for their own actions. It gives them a freedom of doing what they want because They wholeheartedly believe that the fetus has the right to life and fear that if abortion were legal it would become an easy solution to any mother that was having second thoughts. Of course adoption is an option, but it’s harder. Putting your child up for adopting mean you have to carry the child in your stomach for 9 months. During them 9 months you start to create a bond with the child while it’s in your stomach, which makes it hard to give them up when the baby comes. Adoption can be a good thing for your child but also can be bad. There are so many thing that could happen. Your child can go to a family that abuses them, they could not be adopted at all and just stay in foster care, or the child could feel neglected and wonder why his biological person never wanted him. Abortion can make sure none of that ever happens.
The fetus is not a “person”. In the first couple weeks the fetus is merely an embryo the size of a pinhead, there are no human features present, only a clump of 100 cells. (Curran, Mark) When aborting the fetus doesn’t feel anything. Every day in your body, cells are constantly dying and being created, therefore why would these 100 cells dyeing be any different? I believe that abortion is morally acceptable and the woman in this situation should have the choice, whether or not to terminate the pregnancy. Professor Thomson, a professor of philosophy states in his discussion, Defense against Abortion, “A newly fertilized ovum, a newly implanted clump of cells is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree” (Thomson). He introduces the fact that the fetus is not even a person in these first couple weeks. The fetus is merely a clump of cells beginning to take the form. He uses the simile of an acorn to compare the real difference between a large clump of cells and an actual formed baby. Furthermore I agree that a person itself is defined by Sentience, or the capacity to have conscious experiences and feel pain, self-awareness, emotionality, and reason (Warren). Since a fetus does not contain any of these I do not consider it murder and therefore it is not immoral to have an abortion.
There should be a justification for late term abortion. Though the fetus is fully formed and considered “more” of a human being, the mother’s choice is still important, what makes her right less important than the babies? Steven E Chavoustie explained to me that Anencephaly, a tragic birth defect where the baby doesn’t have half of her brain, is not discovered until 30 weeks after the pregnancy. I feel the mother in this situation as well, should have the option to abort. Yes the baby is fully formed and more “human-like” but with Anencephaly he or she will not live past a week after birth. I cannot even imagine how tragic it would be for a mother to discover this and then have to carry the baby through term against her will. She should have the right to choose to terminate the pregnancy and only keep the baby if she wishes. She should not be forced into keeping the baby and a third party should certainly not make this choice for her, it is ultimately not them who will have to deal with the consequences.
The mother’s safety is also another factor. If later on into the pregnancy the mother discovers she will die upon giving birth to the child and the only way to save her life is to have a late term abortion this option should be considered. The mother constitutionally has the right of what happens to her body therefore abortion should be an available decision.
Though much debate is still present, I believe that abortion should be an option. A woman should have a say in what happens to her body and should not be forced to keep a fetus that is not even a human being yet. She should also make the final decision over the father because it is ultimately her body. There are also some unfortunate and tragic cases where abortion may be the best answer or at least a choice a woman should have. Furthermore a third party should not have a say in the final outcome because it does not directly affect them, they are ultimately not the people who will have to raise the child. To take away a woman’s choice to abort is to take away her right to freedom.