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Abortion has been and will always be a controversial issue across the globe. Those against it argue from moral and religious points of view. There is so much weight put on sanctity of life and what is religiously acceptable as outlined by the most doctrines. On the other hand, social scientists seek a utilitarian approach to the issue. They argue that abortion should be legalized because in the long run it is beneficial to the society. This paper inquires about both of these arguments and seeks a common ground to the issue
The topic of abortion has been a controversial one and will continue. For me, it should be legalized to solve a lot of problems. Women who find themselves in a bad health condition with pregnancy should be given some legal ground to abort. Women who are at a risk in carrying a pregnancy should be considered. This is when medical conditions do not allow them to carry on with pregnancy. The life of a mother will be at stake and it will be very bad not to make a decision in such a situation. Women who get pregnant as a result of rape cases should be given a right to abort the fetus. If that pregnancy is allowed to continue, for some women it will bring bad memories to them when the child is born. Likewise, it will bring financial constraints because the child was not planned for. If the abortion is made illegal women will still find a way of getting rid of the unwanted pregnancy which will brings risk to both the woman and the fetus. The debate against its legalization will bring more deaths as women would simply find other means of terminating the pregnancy by themselves. The rate at which abortion is being carried is bound to increase either legalized or not. When legalized, it is only the fetus that dies; but when outlawed, probably abortion will bring about the mother or the child dying or both. Then there is a case where a mother just gives birth to the baby and tries to get rid of it. Most of them will leave it in a dustbin or put it in someone's doorstep and therefore inconveniencing them.
Making abortion illegal will drive women into dark alleys where it will become risky, costly and awkward. To enact a law that grants a fetus equal right to or more to a woman's rights, who has feelings and she is conscious, is being abusive and weird. This only underrates women. A person who is already living and has a lot of potential to make it in life should be given priority in human rights. Outlawing abortion will be discriminating on women who have low income, where they can only afford risky self-inflicted or back-street services. But rich women can go wherever they find necessary to get a safe abortion. Pregnancy should be viewed as personal and private. Requiring a woman to carry a pregnancy to term is like invading her privacy. Children of forced pregnancy will grow up feeling unwanted, hence disadvantaged and can be inclined to brutal ways like being criminals. This can be unsafe for other children, their families or for the society. Unintended pregnancy has the potential of escalating tensions, distort stability and put people under poverty line (Evans and Kelly, 2004).
So the main decision about abortion lies with the women, but not with government. Women ought to make their own decisions about family matters, their career and how to go about their lives and not for the government to do that for them. Restricting abortion results in interference of doctor and patient relationship. Abortion is a medical procedure which is most common and safest in the whole world today. So the politician's agendas should not be allowed to interfere with the experience, decision and expertise of doctors (Hendershott, 2006).
It is essentially the woman's right to her life that allows her the right to discontinue a pregnancy. Abortion should be a practical issue which women must have the option to make decision about without being interfered with. Furthermore, young women who become pregnant are bound to be left out of school, receive no adequate prenatal care, depend on family members or on public for support to bring up the child, have related issues or may end up financially strained. They end up being dependant on the government for funds.
There is nothing worse that a woman can do to the mankind other than to terminate a pregnancy. A brutal and ruthless crime against an innocent soul is totally immoral. There is no single person who has a right to take away the life of the other. That is why many organizations are heavily funded to execute the fight against this vice. It can be proved scientifically that the termination of pregnancy takes away life from a helpless fetus. The very moment sperm fuses with an egg cell from a woman, a new being is created. It is a mere political deviation from the real issues to argue about the exact time at which life begins. With the use of sophisticated technology of ultrasound it can be shown that there is a functional circulatory system twenty two days after fertilization.
Additionally, the unborn has a full biological system in the first eight weeks. It is therefore valid to argue that a fetus can actually feel pain. There have been recent crusades around the world about respect of all human beings irrespective of their undoing. On a sharp contrary, the loud proponents of abortion are those who yap so much concerning human rights. It is indeed a perilous move to neglect this foundation of fairness and cherish an ideology in which stronger ones are going to trample upon the rights of the weak and defenseless like the fetus.
From the mother's point of view, effects of abortion are far reaching. There are results of this inhuman act which can be felt immediately while others remain to haunt the supposed offender for the rest of her life. Subsequent pregnancies are put in jeopardy. On the lower side, a total of 336 cases of death were reported to the Center for Prevention and Control from the year 1973 when termination of pregnancy was given a go ahead up to 2003 (CDC, 2008). Physical complications are likely to be experienced by a woman whose pregnancy is put to an end. It can go from internal bleeding to cervical wounds and other possible ordeals that a would-be mother goes through. There are also permanent damages which are likely to occur as a result of abortion (Bartlett, Berg and Shulman, 2004). Miscarriage and wrong implantations put future pregnancies on a pedestal. On a psychological point, abortion is likely to develop weird emotional reactions sufficient enough for one to commit suicide. Depression and lifelong guilt have been identified by researchers as other effects coming after an abortion (Jones, Daroch and Henshaw, 2002).
There is unjustified reason which attempts to bring to an end the lives of the unborn. Some of the proponents of this inconsiderate act argue that there are a times when pregnancies occur at the wrong time due to unplanned sex and escalating rates at which rape is occurring. They argue that if such pregnancies are carried to term, the resulting children are likely to end up becoming hardcore criminals because the parents would not accord them the attention every child deserves. They further believe that through abortion, rates of crime are likely to go down. This is unreal approach meant to create a cover up. If this point of view is valid, why are there increases in rates of violence in homes found in jurisdictions which have legalized abortion? There is no correlation existing between rate of crime and abortion of 'unwanted' children. This is a scapegoat which folks of sober minds must condemn with the whole passion possible.
From a religious perspective, it is only God who gives and takes away life. The beliefs clearly show that the killing of unborn children opposes the basics of life as a gift coming from the sole giver of life. Many instances in the holy book recognized life to be starting in the womb, including the seeds of the entire humanity
Rather than choosing the brutality and inhumanity, the proponents need to explore better ways of getting rid of unwanted pregnancies. Resorting to abortion shows how much the family of escapists is growing worldwide. No innocent soul should pay for the negligence of individuals who were given a chance to live by their mothers. If an error occurs it should be faced in a fairer manner other than creating another victim. While on the other side, the governments must ensure security for all using its massive resource base so as to curb pregnancies resulting from rape cases.
It is a reality that even as societies try to hide a fact that several abortions are carried out daily, nothing much has been done as far as social policies are concerned; leave alone the implementation of lame laws in place. Although last year's abortions reduced by eleven percent, such a statistic is proper indicator that abortion is here to stay. What only remains is whether they are safely done or not. Recount emanating from Africa point out this; that the society must move away from traditions and cultural practices. In Africa, a good number of abortions are botched. Almost half of them end up with either the woman in question dying or losing the womb. Most of it is done by quacks in dilapidated health facilities. Therefore, one can argue that it is no longer apt for the society to turn a blind eye. Abortion is widespread and it is time to make it safe by legalizing it (May, 2000).
Secondly, a deep question that needs a lengthy deliberation is; who owns a fetus? A logical and rational mind would realize that it belongs to the one who carries it; the mother, the woman in question, the raped girl, the mentally challenged girl in the corner of the street. To enable us break down this, we should approach this in two ways. First, there is a woman who gets pregnant by her own liking. This means she is psychologically prepared to get pregnant and does so out of her own volition. The other is a woman, vulnerable for a reason or two, who gets pregnant unknowingly or without her liking.
Both classes of women regardless of how they got pregnant are responsible for what happens to the fetus. They keep it, care for it, attend clinic for it and carry themselves in a desired way. In short, it is their fetus. If they deliver successfully, they are lauded and cheered. Should they not be allowed to terminate it at will, provided the conditions and particularly the health state are met? Common, the fetus resides in them and they can decide it is no longer the case. Therefore, abortion should be legalized because it will be the final emancipation of the 'woman' being. Women will have freedom to be pregnant or not, and to change their minds midway by abiding to some laid down provisions of the law (Yagelski and Miller, 2004).
Similarly, some eminent economists have linked legalization of abortion as a major factor which will contribute to better economic growth, subdued crime and better living conditions for future generations. This notion was borrowed from studies which linked family planning in the 1960's to current crime rates. These studies concluded that because the population was now under control courtesy of family planning, while crime rates significantly decreased as a result. This is because population, as it stands now, is capable of sustaining itself. Overpopulation is a predisposing factor for perpetual crime. If abortion is legalized, 'the unwanted' population will be gotten rid off. Those who remain will have been endowed with adequate resources, hence better lives. The world population would be under control and legalized abortion is one of the means (Simon, 2001).
Even though the concerns of religious fraternities, moral and ethical reservations as well as the stands of human rights organizations and influential lobbyists are genuine, I still want to maintain my argument that abortion should be legalized. This is purely on a philosophical and rational point of view. There are several accounts of botched abortions which often end in numerous deaths. This notwithstanding, one question abounds as to who owns a fetus. In as much as governments and the entire citizenry rebuke abortion as a vice, it is rife in our societies. Some cases of unwanted pregnancies are as a result of rapes and molestation.
To surmise it, abortion should be legalized purely on socio-economic grounds and in any case if not legalized, it continues to be perpetuated in our societies.