Abortion… The hardest decision to make
When my sister was seventeen and a senior in highschool, she became pregnant. At the time she was in an unhealthy relationship with, as she explains,”An unmotivated, abusive piece of sh*t.” Initially my mom wanted her to get an abortion, especially because my mom felt the relationship she was in was toxic, and she was concerned about the well-being of my sister and the baby. When my sister found out she was pregnant she was sad because she felt our mother was disappionted in her and because she was just about to break up with the father.
There were three options: raise the baby, give the baby up for adoption, or get an abortion. My sister felt she had enough support from our family to raise the baby herself. However choosing to raise the baby isn’t always the best decision for other families, which is why women should always have the right to choose.
Reasons why women get abortions
Every pregnancy holds different circumstances and some women are not ready for motherhood. Reasons For Abortion says that, “Most women decide to have an abortion because the pregnancy represents a problem in their lives.” There are a variety of compications that a women may encounter that causes her to choose abortion.
It takes a lot of emotional strength to raise a child, some women are not emotionally inclined to enter motherhood. Some adolescents are faced with a hard decision to either drop out of high school or college in order to raise the child. Dropping out of school can lead to many economic challenges for the young women down the road.
When a woman is not emotionally prepared for motherhood the child may not get the proper care, be a subject of abuse, and grow up in poverty.
Health of the Baby
Some women feel that getting an abortion is best for the long-term health of the baby. Around 3% of babies born in the US have major birth defects (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). Sometimes it is the best decision for a mother to terminate the pregnancy so the baby doesn’t live with major birth abnormalities. A women may have a late abortion when families find out about birth irregularities. This may sound like a selfish thing to do, for an unborn baby is still a person, but the mothers/families should have the right to decide if they want to raise a child with disabilities or terminate the pregnancy. This is a very hard decision to make, therefore it is made when thinking about the baby’s quality of life and the economic complacations the family may face.
Health of the Mother
In some cases a mother getting an abortion is the best option for her overall health. Erica Levi, a obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of North Carolina says in USA Today that, “There are certain cases where ending the pregnancy is the only option, cases where it would be putting the mother’s life at risk to continue the pregnancy.” She also says, “Conditions that might lead to ending a pregnancy to save a woman’s life include severe infections, heart failure and severe cases of preeclampsia, a condition in which a woman develops very high blood pressure and is at risk for stroke.” Pregnancy isn’t always risk free, and sometimes abortion can be the only option to avoid those risks.
When a woman is addicted to drugs, it influences the baby’s health inside the womb. Studies have shown that drug abuse during pregnancy may result in premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight and a variety of behavioral and cognitive problems. Prenatal drug exposure will cause damage to fetal development. When a woman is addicted to any drug, it would be best for her and the health of the fetus to get an abortion.
Rape or Incest
Many people do not agree with legalized abortions even if a pregnacy was caused by rape or incest: “How can you deny an abortion to a twelve-year-old girl who is the victim of incest?,” asks David C in Rape, Incest and Abortion: Searching Beyond the Myths. The reasons why women get abortions after these malicious acts is because it is a way to put a closer to the assult. Sometimes abortion is not the best option for the victim, however woman should have the right to choose what they want to do with their body after they have been violated.
In the video below, Mary McCormack tells Susanne’s story. Susanne was denied an abortion even though she was in pre-mature labor because abortions were againts the hospitals policy. Susanne had to go through an excruciating labor only to deliver her son that died moments later. Susanne was denied her constitutional right to have an aboriton- she had no real choice for her body.
Video: Center of Reproductive Rights
Misconceptions about abortion
Abortions didn’t exist before Roe V. Wade
Abortions before Roe vs. Wade were illegal and “women would do anything to get rid of unwanted pregnancies” says Dr. Daniel Mishell, Jr. To provoke abortion women would take treatments by mouth that included “bleach, detergents, and a range of herbal and vegetable teas. […] Potassium permanganate was placed in the vagina, often causing chemical burns. Toxic solutions were squirted into the uterus, such as soap and turpentine, often causing kidney failure and death.” Doctors would use inappropiate tools to remove the baby: “These include coat hangers, knitting needles, bicycle spoke, ball-point pen, chicken bone and rubber catheter.” Some women were so desperate to terminate the pregnacy they would throw themselves off stairs and rooftops.” Illegal abortions caused infections, the technigues were dangerious and sometimes deadly. Although woman in this time had the option to get an abortion, it was a very unhealthy proccess.
Abortion is not constitutionally protected
Roe V. Wade can be considered one of the most controversal court cases in the twentieth century. Roe V. Wade granted women the right to choose if they wanted to have an abortion within the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Medical data has concluded that abortion before the end of the first trimester is safe, for the fetus has no means outside of the mothers womb. Within the second trimester a womans risk for danger in the pregnancy increases, and the States can allow abortion to protect the mothers health. Again, the fetus cannot survive outside of the mothers womb, therefore abortion should not be denied. Roe V. Wade did not legalize abortion within the third trimester. In the third trimester the fetus is mostly developed and could survive out of the womb.
Does legalizing abortion just make it a new form of birth control?
I believe that abortion should be legal within the first two trimesters of the pregnancy. In the third trimester of the pregnancy if there are concerns with the fetus or mothers health, the doctor should be the appropriate person to make the decision. I also feel that their should be abortion regulations, this means that their would be a limitation on how many abortions a woman can have- so the right is not misused. This does not interfere with a womans choice, this would assure that abortion is not a form of birth control.
When my mother wanted my sister to get an abortion I did not agree with her. I couldn’t imagine not meeting my neice or nephew. However, I believe that every women should have the right to chose if she wants to carry or not. There should not be a law that forces woman into motherhood. Some women are not adequate to be mothers, whether that means emotionally, mentally, physically or economically.
Abortion is the hardest and last decision any woman wants to make. Abortion should always be a legal option for woman because every pregnancy holds different circumstances. A law should never prevent a woman from getting an abortion if that is the decision she makes.
Featured Image by OpenDemocracy