Reflections on Abortions after Roe V. Wade

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Updated: Nov 17, 2022
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The increasing uncertainty of what can and cannot be said within a professional setting is something that has confounded me many times throughout my limited time in the work force. As a member of the National Forensics League, it is easy for me to consider the advantages of individuals “sometimes sacrificing their own” voice in favor of giving way to others to avoid what is socially seen as “civil discourse” (Davenport-Sypher). Obviously, it would be an easier to assert ourselves if everyone around us would yield to our arguments, but we must consider the dissatisfaction found in this system, especially when reversed. No one would be so eager to silence themselves to arguments. Unfortunately, this is how most people tend to feel to the extreme, and where civil discourse is labelled as a thing to be avoided because the lack of people who are knowledgeable of what it truthfully represents. This ignorance is what makes discussing mature topics such as abortion so difficult.

A woman’s right to have an abortion has been a controversial topic on the minds of many dating back to the mid-late 1800s in legal cases. A variety of these cases, including financial instability, rape, unplanned pregnancy, marital rape, problems during pregnancy, and other personal crisis were and are common reasons as to why a woman would decide to have an abortion. There are just about as many opinions on abortion as there are reasons for women to have one, and the controversy of the topic can get confusing to some. As a woman, I believe we should have the right to do what women will with their bodies as they see fit, especially if their mental or physical health is at stake, or if they are not able to financially support a child. However, my beliefs hold me to the expectation that abortion is not the ethical or moral choice and should not be a course of action readily available to women. This mental jumping back-and-forth is oftentimes tiring due to the indecisiveness of the matter, but my opinion leans a bit heavier to the former argument.

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Abortion first became illegal in the 1820s, when surgical practices of abortion were still incredibly risky to women’s health. Although illegal, women still tried to perform self-inflicted procedures that were even more dangerous than if they had consulted professionals. The National Abortion Federation states that “criminalization of abortion did not reduce the numbers of women who sought abortions. In the years before Roe v. Wade, the estimates of illegal abortions ranged as high as 1.2 million per year” (2018). Roe v. Wade was an infamous case pertaining to the illegality of abortion and served as a turning point for those affected by this issue. In this case, “the Supreme Court ruled that Americans’ right to privacy included the right of a woman to decide whether to have children, and the right of a woman and her doctor to make that decision without state interference” (National Abortion Federation, 2018). Jane Roe, a young pregnant woman, went to court representing multitudes of women that disproved of this law. At the time, various states had laws prohibiting a woman’s right to an abortion except in the case of saving the mother’s life. Jane Roe’s movement towards making abortion legal saved many women’s lives, as they no longer had to resort to illegal and unsafe abortions.

This is where I find it difficult to explain my opinion on abortion. Because of the implications that abortion is murder, I must include the point that letting a woman die as a result of unhealthy or endangering pregnancy is also a concern for many people. By choosing to side with it being legal, I am going against all religious precedents I might have followed but conforming to them at the same time. I believe that letting a woman die to save the life of an unborn child may be as unjust as it being the other way around via abortion. Which is why I believe that the current laws are sufficient in most cases because if a woman were to seek an illegal abortion because her life was not strictly in danger, the potential that she could resort to a self-induced abortion is almost just as likely to kill her and therefore results in the same sort of repercussions as if her life were at stake in the first place. We know that this is entirely possible because of the history related to pregnancy-related deaths.

Knowing the history of abortion and all the issues pertaining to it over the years, I believe that making abortions legal in an effort to save the loves of hundreds, thousands, or maybe even more women is the right thing to do. I hope that my letter provides you with a little more insight on the subject of abortion, and that it may enlighten people enough to prevent history from repeating itself for the sake of women all over the world.


Lindsey Spannagel, Class of 2022

Reflections on Abortions after Roe V. Wade essay

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Reflections on abortions after Roe v. Wade. (2022, Nov 17). Retrieved from