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Whether Laws That Make Abortions Harder To Obtain Decrease the Abortion Rate


It is worth noting that abortion laws have always been at the forefront, especially when based on the ethical morals laid on women’s decisions when there is an invasion of unwanted pregnancy. However, abortion can be justified if human health has disparities. Women living in poverty-stricken areas have low access to the abortion plan due to the tightened anti-abortion regulations, which is in line with the closure of several clinics across most countries recently (Watson, 2022). This depicts that as compared to rich countries, developing countries might not have the necessary facilities by which abortion can be done, including reaching the abortion providers; hence this is one of the ways that restrict abortion in these areas besides the set down laws. As a result, countries that have laws restricting abortion have fewer cases of abortion as there is less influence in performing the act as compared to countries where abortion is openly allowed.

This paper identifies the cultural and ethical perspectives related to the thesis statement. The level one cultural question entails the impact of cultural values on abortion rates? The level two cultural question is what cultural values are linked to the laws restricting abortion. On the other hand, the ethical level one question entails what ethical obstacles influence how the health sector addresses abortion. In contrast, the level two question is about what ethical issues medical personnel encounters in reducing abortion, especially in places where laws make the abortion act harder.

Cultural perspective

level 1 question: What are the impacts of cultural values and laws on the abortion rate?

Similar to abortion laws, cultural values are ideal for reducing the number of abortion cases in any country. This is because, based on culture, doing abortion draws diverse emotions due to the difference in personal and societal beliefs. In developing countries, most women who seek abortion services have a high rate of stigma as well as a social exclusion in their society (Loll & Hall, 2019). Countries in which abortion laws are established sideline such people from society. Thus, it is useful to understand the perception in society in line with abortion, which is key in forming the design, delivery, and intervention that can wage out the gaps that will oversee safe abortion in women. Additionally, the cultural values laid in a community are heterogeneous, which shows that they might vary with the gender, occupation as well as position that one has in the society. Cultural laws and values that see abortion as a crime might lead to a rise in stigma as well as a hostile abortion environment, which is a way of limiting people’s access to safe abortion services. However, abortion might come with negative consequences, thus calling for a need for strengthening the community-based approach in bringing upon an enabling environment that will oversee the follow-up of laws set up in performing unsafe abortion (Clarke & Mühlrad, 2021). Some communities leverage the existence of abortion cases by imposing harsh penalties on those who cause harm to the child through abortion. Though this reduces abortion, it increases pregnancy rates hence a rise in population. Abortion laws hence significantly reduce the impact of individuals’ engagement in abortion attitudes.

Level 2 question. What cultural values are linked to the laws that restrict abortion

Culturally, the laws that prevent abortion reduce the rate at which abortion occurs. For instance, the catholic, orthodox, and several evangelical churches support laws that put abortion a crime. Cultural values, such as disapproval under all circumstances for abortion as well as maintaining the status of the fetus, are things that prohibit abortion. More so, based on the issue related to cultural relativism, people’s belief in abortion is what makes it morally wrong or morally justifiable (Blysta et al., 2020). Values such as the child’s right and the right to life for each person have been in the limelight in ensuring that there is no reckless abortion. There have been changes in the abortion status and attitude toward abortion, especially in the United States. Cross-cultural results show that abortion is traditionally accepted if the mother does not need the pregnancy or the pregnancy is seen as unacceptable in society, as in the cases of incest. This shows that across all cultures, the most prevalent conditions unto which abortion can be accepted might not be limited to adultery or ambiguous paternity. This can also go hand in hand with the mother’s health and the father’s consent (Harries & Constant, 2020). Recently, the rate of abortion in cultures that highly value children has reduced to around seventy per one thousand women as compared to areas where there are no abortion laws which corresponds to three hundred abortions per one thousand women. More so, cultural laws linked to abortion are associated with religious laws and abortion attitudes, which depict the understanding and the scripture interpretation. In most cultures, the sanctity placed on the sacredness of life brings along a central view on abortion. For instance, most cultures believe that each person has been created in God’s image hence the need to protect life (Watson, 2022). As a result, practicing abortion means ending a life which might go against most cultural views on when life begins and how one starts to bear God’s image.

Ethical perspective

Level 1 research question. What ethical obstacles influence how the health sector addresses abortion?

In most cases, the health ethical obstacle influencing how the health sector addresses abortion is linked to the reproductive justice framework. This is in line with the right to have children, the right to have no child, and the right to parent a child in dignity and safety (Watson, 2022). Besides, most leaders in the general medical and policy circles must be activated to shape the disparity framework. For instance, it is considered that abortion disparities are more prevalent in poor women than in middle and rich women. Most rich women know their rights, while the poor tend to have accidental sex, which puts them in the upheaval of seeking an abortion. However, setting up laws prohibiting abortion is key in ensuring advocacy for poor women confronted with unwanted pregnancies due to the need for intellectual, social, and pollical capital in line with their medical needs. Ethically, the application of a standard health disparity lens when there is a need for abortion care is one way of being ethically justifiable in the preservation and expansion of abortion access. This depicts that when based on the ethical obstacles that affect the health sector in solving abortion, there is an anticipated relationship between patients’ poverty and the need to respect the patient moral agent (Watson, 2022). Suppose health care puts these elements into consideration. In that case, there will be a shift in analysis in line with the aversion act towards the ethics of abortion care, which brings along ethical disparities in solving this issue. However, In areas where abortion laws are strict, contraceptives are used less. This depicts that the pregnancy rate is high due to unintended pregnancies. When there are laws that govern abortion, obstacles can entail the women’s autonomy rights which might conflict with the rights entrusted to the fetus (Harries & Constant, 2020). Studies show that posing a risk to a woman might affect the doctor’s moral obligation in the community; hence an obstacle related to abortion influences the respect accorded to pregnant women regarding termination of pregnancy. As a result, the supreme court has brought along a shift in the bioethics related to the question of abortion in a manner to strengthen the thinking related to abortion ethics (Watson, 2022).

Level 2 research question. What ethical issues are encountered by medical personnel in reducing abortion in places where abortion laws are enforced?

Medical personnel encounters several ethical issues in places with laws restricting abortion. For instance, most nurses might resuscitate orders which might undermine the patients’ needs, going against the patient’s needs (Watson, 2022). This might be termed as malpractice or negligence. For instance, when a patient enters the medical facility in need of an abortion, the medical personnel is entitled to provide care, which might go against the law because the fetus’s moral status is an ethical issue largely encountered by the fetus. Countries that have laws that prevent abortion believe that the fetus has full moral status from the time of conception, while other states believe that the fetus has no moral obligation (Zareba et al., 2021). However, these laws are ideal for protecting the child’s rights because fetuses are humans. Thus, they make biological sense. Furthermore, ethical dilemmas such as the woman’s autonomic rights might conflict with the child’s rights and the doctor’s moral obligations. Preferably, the fetus has the moral right to personhood; hence most medical personnel’s will respect the pregnant woman’s decisions regarding pregnancy termination.


Laws restricting abortion reduce abortion rate but increase the rate of contraceptive use. This shows that making abortion illegal does not decline the number of abortions because once a process is illegal, the need is always there; hence women might look for safe places where they can perform the act. However, in places where abortion is illegal, there are difficulties in getting safe abortions; hence severe complications and risks might occur to the mother. There is a need for a stronger health system to provide universal reproductive care access that will lower the unintended pregnancy rate.


Blystad, A., Haukanes, H., Tadele, G., & Moland, K. M. (2020). Reproductive health and the politics of abortion. International Journal for Equity in Health19(1), 1-4. Retrieved from:

Clarke, D., & Mühlrad, H. (2021). Abortion laws and women’s health. Journal of Health Economics76, 102413. Retrieved from:

Harries, J., & Constant, D. (2020). Providing safe abortion services: Experiences and perspectives of providers in South Africa. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecologypp. 62, 79–89. Retrieved from:

Loll, D., & Hall, K. S. (2019). Differences in abortion attitudes by policy context and between men and women in the World Values Survey. Women & health59(5), 465-480. Retrieved from:

Watson, K. (2022). The Ethics of Access: Reframing the Need for Abortion Care as a Health Disparity. The American Journal of Bioethics, pp. 1–9. Retrieved from:

Zaręba, K., Herman, K., Kołb-Sielecka, E., & Jakiel, G. (2021, November). Abortion in countries with restrictive abortion laws—possible directions and solutions from the perspective of Poland. In Healthcare (Vol. 9, No. 11, p. 1594). MDPI. Retrieved from:


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