After the U.S. Supreme Court’s verdict in Roe v. Wade affirmed abortion as a essential right on January 22, 1973, the discussion regarding if abortion should be legalized continues to split American citizens. Proponents of legal termination of a pregnancy argue that it is a person’s choice that should not be restricted by administrative or devout authority. It supersedes any right asserted for a fetus. They claim that expectant mothers would resort to inherently dangerous botched terminations if there is no legitimate avenue. Antagonists who identify as pro-life assert that life commences at insemination and that abortion is thus the morally reprehensible murder of an innocent person. They argue that abortion results in pain to the unborn fetus and that it is immoral to support termination of pregnancies when couples who are unable to conceive biologically seek to adopt.
Pros of Restricting Abortion Services
The Pro-Life, or right to life, has successfully fought for life by restricting access and limiting the number of procedures performed each year. Scientists determined that there has been a marked decline in abortion services since the integration of restrictions on abortion. Without legal, unlimited abortions, women are susceptible to injury, infections, and even death to end unwanted pregnancies. Every year, 45 million pregnancies out of 175 million are terminated by abortion. Twenty million terminations, or approximately half of all pregnancies, are therapeutically unsafe, leading to mortalities of approximately 80,000 women annually (Nickols et al., 2020. Every year, many women are infected, injured, or psychologically damaged because of biologically botched abortions. Abortion is a public health issue due to the sheer number of females killed or maimed during unsafe surgical abortions. By enacting abortion restrictions/laws on a state and local level, the significant rise in Pro-Life legislation is liable for the downfall in abortion services (Nickols et al., 2020). Parental involvement laws, Medicaid finance restraints, informed-consent regulations, and partial-birth termination prohibitions are the four most common forms of Pro-Life legislature that have had the most impact on reducing abortion rates. Restrictions/laws have played a significant role in the fight for fetal rights. The excellence of Pro-Life laws over the last 31 years has made it possible for pro-lifers to legislate regulations to safeguard the unborn baby. Pro-Choice or Pro-Life, the rationale behind most females’ abortion choices is generally one that neither movement concurs with.
Whether someone agrees or disagrees with terminating pregnancies, they can generally find common ground in their disgruntlement of the female’s right to terminate the unborn child. The Pro-Choice movement contends that a mother’s choice to terminate a pregnancy ought to be inconsequential to her right to medically safe and legal termination. According to Nickols et al. (2020), the Pro-Life movement contends there should be no rationale to terminate pregnancies. Notwithstanding the two contrary views, each group usually takes a dim view of the mother’s reasoning for desiring to terminate her pregnancy. Another agreement between the two groups is that intentional killing after a particular trimester of pregnancy is considered murder and, therefore, illegal. Both groups hold contrary viewpoints on the fetus’s life value during the early stages of its development (Nickols et al., 2020). Nevertheless, both groups can acknowledge that the fetus is regarded as a human being and should be regarded as such at some juncture. Because of different viewpoints and rights, the life of the unborn child will remain a controversial subject.
Cons of Restricting Access to Abortion
Restricting abortions are attributed to various negative impacts. Foremost, in complicated pregnancies, a lack of access to safe abortion leads to death from indirect causes. The estimated number of deaths caused by unsafe abortions ranges between 8% and 18%. Abortion-related deaths ranged from 22,500 to 44,000 in 2014. Abortion health problems have declined for several aspects, including greater accessibility to doctor-induced termination, preparation programs for healthcare professionals, and the overarching development in health systems. Nonetheless, data on the impact of these modifications is inadequate. Unsafe abortion is a significant factor affecting women’s access and quality. According to Kortsmit et al. (2020), 6.9 million mothers between 15 and 44 obtained healthcare services for medical complications attributed to unsafe abortions. Beyond the direct impacts on a woman’s health, the ramifications of illegal abortions could be noted. Illegal abortions, for instance, may lead to maternal injury and mortality, leaving existing kids without a mother, or in protracted health problems, for instance, fertility complications. Each day, almost 830 women die from avoidable causes linked to childbirth. Most of these deaths result from indirect health problems that occurred prior to pregnancy but were aggravated by the pregnancy (Kortsmit et al., 2020). Many of these deaths could have been prevented with holistic birth control policies that help avert difficult births and advising about the risks of intricate pregnancies to term and the freedom of terminating a pregnancy in safe, legitimate situations.
Restricting access puts women at risk of inhumane treatment and organizational victimization. Women who seek a non-criminalized termination of pregnancy are regularly subjected to contemptible decisions and institutional ill-treatment. They are denied the request and left to their equipment, urged not to terminate the pregnancy, and confined to unauthorized intervention by judicial officials and solicitors seeking to prevent the practices (Nickols et al., 2020). As established by the Human Rights Committee in L.M.R. v. Argentina, these situations constitute brutality and cruel, inhuman, and inhuman treatment. L.M.R. is a young woman with a developmental disability who was sexually assaulted and denied access to unauthorized abortion. Acknowledging that constraints on abortion access infringe the federal ban on torture and ill-treatment, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the matter, Juan E. Méndez, prompted all States whose laws authorize abortion procedures in varying situations to protect the real accessibility of these services without adverse effects for the woman or health practitioners.
Restricting abortion does not affect women’s decision to have abortions. The extremely high rate of abortions implies that restrictions may bear minimal or no effect on a woman’s choice to terminate. Correspondingly, if the primary objective is to maintain the fetus, restricting abortion has never been effective. Security can be provided through public policy, which is also in line with female rights, for instance, comprehensive health care that involves pre-abortion guidance services. Rates of abortion do not decline because of highly restrictive laws. For instance, in regions where contraception is apparently legal, the number of abortions is 12 per 1000 females of reproductive years (Jozkowski Crawford & Hunt, 2018). In Latin America, where abortions are prohibited in most countries, the rates are 29 and 32 per 1000 women, respectively. Criminalization only leads to botched abortions and increased mortality for low-income and young females.
Individuals who support abortion rights believe that the right of the woman takes priority over the right of the fetus. Pro-lifers believe the right of the fetus takes precedence over the right of the female. Individuals who endorse abortion rights defend the right to have them. Pro-life activist groups fight for the fetus’s life. Pro-choice proponents have made it biologically safe for women to perform abortions up to a point in their pregnancy. By implementing restrictions on abortion and laws, pro-life legislation has had a significant effect on reducing the abortion rate performed every year. These limitations and regulations have decreased the number of abortions but have not entirely eradicated them. As a result, the issue of abortion is far from over.
Jozkowski, K. N., Crawford, B. L., & Hunt, M. E. (2018). Complexity in attitudes toward abortion access: results from two studies. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 15(4), 464-482.
Kortsmit, K., Jatlaoui, T. C., Mandel, M. G., Reeves, J. A., Oduyebo, T., Petersen, E., & Whiteman, M. K. (2020). Abortion Surveillance—the United States, 2018. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 69(7), 1.
Nickols, S. Y., Ralston, P. A., Browne, L., & Thomas, S. (2020). The Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge and the Cultural Kaleidoscope: Research Opportunities and Challenges. Vitalsource Bookshelf Online. Retrieved November 18, 2021, from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/reader/books/9781307713084/pageid/43.