Abortion is a medical process which ends a pregnancy so that it doesn’t result in the birth of a baby. An abortion can be carried out during the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy because of personal circumstances, a risk to the mothers physical or mental health or because there is a high probability the child will have a medical condition. It must be preformed in a hospital or a specialist licensed clinic. However there are rarer cases when an abortion can be carried out after the first 24 weeks if its necessary to save the woman’s life, to prevent long term injury to the woman’s physical or mental health or if there is a substantial risk that if born the child would have severe physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
For many centuries abortion was regarded as a serious crime. Over the last 30 years the British Parliament has debated the issue several times. Abortion is now legal in Britain if two doctors agree about it. However a doctor has the right to decline to certify a woman for an abortion if they have a moral objection to abortion but they must recommend another doctor who is willing to help. Approximately 42million women have an abortion world wide every year. 1% in the case of rape or incest, 6% because of health reasons and 93% because of social reasons (unwanted or an inconvenience).
Abortion is the same as murder, the deliberate taking of a human life. No civilized society permits one human being to take the life of another and everyone deserves the right to life no matter how young they are or if they are still living in the womb. Some people believe that a woman deserves the rights to her own body, but aren’t the rights of the unborn child equal to that of the mother? A defenseless baby needs special protection as s/he cannot stand up for his/her own rights. Isn’t this protection supposed to come from the mother? And aren’t doctors and nurses supposed to save lives? Not destroy them.
Adoption is an alternative for an abortion in cases when the mother wants to abort because of personal circumstances or social reasons. There are many childless couples who are desperate for a child but cant have one of their own. Unwanted children don’t exist, there is always someone who wants a child even if it is not biologically their own. In addition there are many advantages to adoption for the biological Mother. She wont feel guilt and shame about her choice, and although she many regret giving her baby away she may have the option to have continued contact with her baby. Most importantly the pregnancy wont end with a death but with a birth.
Some women choose to abort because if born there child may be disabled. This is no excuse for abortion. Disabled people can go on to lead full and rewarding lives. Choosing to abort a baby because of a disability implies that disabled people are less worthwhile than ‘normal’ people. Many people look up to those involved in events like the Paralympics because the athletes are truly inspirational. This alone shows that disabled people are definitely not worthless. Most people with disabilities say that they are happy to be alive and would rather be alive than have been aborted. Every child deserves to be loved no matter what they are like.
Rape and incest are again no excuse for an abortion. The baby still has the same rights to life as everyone else. The situation is not the child’s fault so why does s/he deserve to be punished for it? Abortion in this situation doesn’t punish the attacker or make the pain or the problem any better for the woman. Pregnancy can be eliminated in all rape and incest cases if the woman seeks medical help immediately. Megan Clancy, a writer, once put it like this:
‘There are woman who are raped and become pregnant; the problem is that they were raped, not that they are pregnant.’
For women who choose to have an abortion there may be physical medical complications. The risk of a problem occurring during an abortion is low but they can happen. A hemorrhage occurs in 1 of every 1000 abortions, damage to the cervix occurs in more than 10 of every 1000 and damage to the womb occurs up to 4 in every 1000 surgical abortions and 1 in every 1000 medical abortion that are carried out at 12-24 weeks. There are risks of medical complications later in life too, for example there is a higher risk that later in life the woman could suffer a miscarriage and there is an increased risk of uterine, cervical and breast cancers.
As well as affecting the physical health of the woman abortion may harm her mental health. Women who choose to abort are often minors or young women who don’t have much life experience. Often they will have life long regrets about their choice. In some cases this can cause severe psychological pain and stress. Many studies have shown that women with a history of abortion have higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to those who have never had an abortion.
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