Abortion refers to a condition when pregnancy is ended to ensure that the child is not born. In the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the gestation period child has not yet been formed in their mother’s womb. Some nation has allowed abortion in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. However, most scholars and other opinion viewers have raised issues concerning the legalization of abortion in the first 16 months regardless of their reasons. The topic of abortion raises various ethical concerns about the act, where some claim it’s immoral, and others claim it is moral regardless of the reasons for abortion. This essay strongly disagrees that it is immoral for women to perform abortions within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy regardless of their reasoning. Abortion should be allowed to women in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy with no definite reasons provided the woman agrees to abort. This essay will focus on the reason for supporting abortion in the first weeks of pregnancy and other contrary points against it.
Abortion in the first 16 weeks
First, abortion should not be immoral in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy because a woman may not be ready to get a child at the time. Thus, most women engage in the abortion act in the first 16 weeks to postpone and stop having children. Ethically individuals have the right to choose what they want about their lives, situations, and various aspects of life. Thus, denying a woman right to abort during the first 16 weeks is against, and according to utilitarian ethics, this would help many women out there who are not willing to have kids should not be criminalized. Utilitarian ethics claims that decisions should be made based on the majority benefits (Vaughn, 93). Also, the criminalization of abortion and terming it as immoral does not deter women from aborting. According to research, there have been many abortions, especially for women during the first 24 weeks, which indicates that criminalization does not affect women deciding to abort.
Similarly, if the intention of criminalizing abortion is to protect the fetus, then criminalizing and making abortion immoral is not effective. Protection can be attained through other ways like pre-abortion counseling. Thus, abortion in the first 16 weeks is not immoral or criminal. The prevention of moral and legal abortion leads to clandestine abortion, unsafe abortion, and a high mortality rate of poor and young women.
Secondly, making abortion illegal and immoral in the first weeks ravages the basic human rights of women and girls. This would be against deontological ethics, which states that individuals should be treated with dignity and respect. Thus, women willing to have an abortion in the first weeks should be allowed as a way of respecting their choices. Most pregnancies result from a lack of even access to secure and exalted medical care services for women suffering from unwanted pregnancies. Thus, it would be discriminating to make abortion of the first 16 weeks immoral because it violates women’s rights. Society’s failure to ensure an even workout of reproductive rights ravages women’s right to existence, medical care, cognitive and ethical integrity, self-respect, and the right to freedom from torture, brutal, and humiliating treatment.
Moreover, the criminalization of first week’s abortion as immoral increases the mortality rates and health problems triggered by hazardous abortions. Safe abortion does not imperil women’s health (Vaughn, 130). At the same time, unsafe abortion is a serious public health difficult linking severe risks to millions of women’s health and lives. According to the report by WHO in 2014, it indicated that unsafe abortions cause more than 10% of maternal deaths. Thus, according to the social justice theory, it would be significant to consider giving women an opportunity to have a safe abortion within their needs (Vaughn, 92). This would ensure equality in reproductive health. The social justice theory claims that individuals should be given something that they need, and in this case, women should be given good reproductive health services.
Furthermore, criminalization and making illegal abortion negatively affect access to legal abortions. Society has made abortion seem immoral, and this has made numerous women who have a freedom to a lawful, harmless abortion but cannot get one due to the disgrace involved with the act (Vaughn, 150). Typecasts about maternity and social concept about abortion cause bias against females who decide their productive ability. The immoral interferences of judicial representatives, attorneys, and medical professionals obstruct lawful and safe abortion, pushing female to furtive abortions. Most of the challenges faced comprise of lack of corporation with the health officers, the health professional’s fear of legal penalties, and a judgmental statement from healthcare workers.
Additionally, the criminalization of abortions significantly affects the broke and young women. Ladies from rich and medium socioeconomic homes have adequate admission to sufficient, harmless health care, and they rarely access post-abortion complications (Vaughn, 200). At the same time, the women born from poor backgrounds are disadvantaged and have no access to adequate and health care. Due to the lack of safe health care, the low social class women are compelled to choose furtive interferences in risky hygienic conditions. Also, women at a young age experience these poor and furtive services leading to increase mortality rates of the young. The high mortality rates for abortion are a regrettable reflection of discrimination against women from poor backgrounds.
Also, the criminalization of abortions subjects women to possible torture and organized brutality. Ladies who seek non-outlawed abortion are frequently victimized by censorious judgment and organized ill-medication, and they are blocked from the request and urged not to abort. At the same time, some are exposed to legal interferance by judicial represantantives and attorneys aspiring to avert the practice. Based on the virtue principle of ethics, women should be protected from this legal intervention and adopt the virtue aspect, which claims that a judgment or views should be based on virtues and not laws (Beauchamp and Childress, 10). Many women have been raped, tortured, and even killed as they try to access abortion in their early stages and thus, making it even more immoral than abortion itself. Likewise, the outlawing of abortion authenticates a furtive bazaar that benefits at the expense of women’s autonomy. Making abortion illegal tends to limit access to abortion, and furtive markets benefit through surgical abortion and the sale of pills. The furtive market thrives at the expense of women’s lives and health.
Finally, the outlawing of abortion goes against the code of an democratic society. The outlawing and the take of abortion as immoral are based on protecting the fetus’s life and because there are other ways they should be adopted instead of stigmatizing women (Vaughn, 230). Furthermore, blocking a woman the freedom to decide if to become a mom or when to do so heightens the gender disparities in education, social, cultural, economic, and political life. Thus, the outlawing of abortion moves against the creation of even communities. Therefore, the first phase towards gender parity is to ensure that female manage their reproductive life, including retrieve to contraception and reliable abortion. The independent power of women to their bodies is critical in attaining gender parity.
However, based on ethics, the unborn children also have their rights, and thus aborting a child is going against ethics (Dickens, 275). Abortion should be banned because many babies are killed from abortion, and the thought that one is poor and they do not want to be a mother can be solved by putting up the child for adoption, and most mothers do not understand the health implication of abortion that can lead to severe bleeding and even death. Still, if a doctor kills a child intentionally during or after delivery, it is termed murder, but when a mother decides to kill a child, it is the mother’s choice. The mothers should also be termed as murders, and there is no time or situation that a mother should kill from the day she conceived.
Nevertheless, abortion can lead to severe negative impacts on the mother’s health. The side effects of pills or surgical abortion can lead to severe abdominal pain, biliousness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, abortion can lead to the jeopardy of severe difficulties such as bleeding, infection, and harming of organs (Dickens, 277). Abortion can lead to severe bleeding, infections, partial abortion, harming of the cervix, scraping of the uterine liner, and harming of internal tissues. Moreover, it can lead to the mother’s death, affect the preterm birth for upcoming pregnancies, and may lead to breast trauma.
Still, abortion can lead to emotional and psychological impacts. Abortion leads to a decline in both emotional and psychological health. Females who undergo abortion can have an eating disorder, relationship problems, guilt, depression, and flashbacks of abortions (Resnik, N.A). Also, it can lead to suicide, sexual dysfunction, drug abuse, and religious results.
Generally, abortion before 16 weeks should be legalized as women should be given the right to be either mothers or the right time they wish to become. This would promote egalitarian society accommodation women their wishes and choices. Various virtues should be used to judge abortion instead of the legal perspectives of the law. Moreover, the criminalization of abortion increases the risk of women’s mortality due to access to furtive abortion options. The criminalization of abortion leads to the torture of women and thrive of furtive business. However, abortion has a few risks of abortion involved, such as health challenges, psychological impacts, and denial of rights to the unborn baby. There is a mechanism to protect them, such as increasing women’s accessibility to contraceptives and counselling. Therefore, abortion within 16 weeks of pregnancy should be legalized as it falls with social ethics.
Vaughn, Lewis. Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company, 2015.1-205.
Beauchamp, Tom, and James Childress. “Principles of biomedical ethics: marking its fortieth anniversary.” (2019): 9-12.
Resnik, David B. The ethics of research with human subjects: Protecting people, advancing science, promoting trust. Vol. 74. Springer, 2018.
Dickens, Bernard M. “Post‐abortion care: Ethical and legal duties.” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 147.2 (2019): 273-278.