Since the beginning of modern civilization, everything a woman does was controlled by their husbands, fathers, and even the law. Now, women have much more freedom than hundreds of years ago, but one thing that remains heavily controlled is the topic of abortion. Every year about forty-two million women worldwide choose abortion. Nearly half of these women are subjected to unsafe and illegal abortions due to laws preventing legal ones. Five million of these women will suffer long-term health effects due to the procedure, and another 68,000 will die due to complications (NCBI). Each woman may have a different reason that they choose to get an abortion. Abortion should be a woman’s choice because of the constitutionality of the law, because she will be the carrier of the baby, and because of cases where abortion is the only option.
For some background, abortion in the United States was legalized on January 22nd, 1973, due to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. This case legalized safe abortions and aimed to prevent the growing number of unsafe and illegal ones (Planned Parenthood). Although nationwide abortion is legal, individual state laws can make accessing safe abortions extremely difficult. For example, recently Texas passed an abortion ban named the “Texas Heartbeat Act” which bans abortions after six weeks (Catholics for Choice). This ban directly violates Roe v. Wade. At the six week point in a pregnancy, most women do not even know that they are pregnant. By banning something that typically takes 9-10 months, Texas has made it impossible for someone in need of an abortion to get one. Many in this situation may not have the funds needed to pay for an abortion if they by chance even know that they are pregnant. Catholics for Choice, a religious organization in support of legal abortions even called Texas’s abortion ban, “downright dystopian…this ban is shameful, lawless, and a violation of human rights.” Despite the typical stance of Catholics against abortion, this organization recognizes the unconstitutionality of this law because it controls what should be a woman’s choice. Healthcare decisions are placed in the hands of those receiving the treatment. Abortion is a form of healthcare and should be treated as such by letting the woman who is pregnant decide what to do about her pregnancy.
Although a baby is made by two people, the woman in the situation will be the one carrying the baby to full term. Because pregnancy is such a long and grueling process, no one should be forced to go through it. There are so many reasons that women choose to get abortions and they should not be invalidated by lawmakers telling them what to do. Pregnancy is a long and scary process and many women do not want to go through that. Pregnancy can even have negative health effects that many women do not want to subject themselves to by carrying a baby full term. For example, a woman’s heart enlarges during pregnancy, “A very small percentage of women can develop heart failure if it stays enlarged after pregnancy. You can still develop preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome up to 6 weeks after you deliver your baby” (Post Partum Trainer). HELLP syndrome is a complication that stems from pregnancy that can have extremely negative health effects on some women. Some symptoms include blurry vision, chest pain, swelling, and throwing up (March of Dimes). Factors like this can play a huge role in the decision a woman makes about her pregnancy. Pregnancy can be extremely dangerous for some women, especially those with preexisting conditions. Even though, in the end, the pregnant woman is the one carrying the baby. She should be making the final calls because it is her body so therefore it is her choice.
While many women would love to have a child, in some cases abortion is their only option. Women get abortions for a large variety of reasons; some extremely common reasons include, not being financially or physically prepared to take care of a baby, partner-related reasons meaning someone would not want to raise a child alone, and even because someone does not ever want kids (Very Well Health). All these reasons are valid reasons to get an abortion. Lawmakers should not be able to control if, when, and in what cases women are allowed to get an abortion. The idea of getting an abortion does not excite anyone. Abortions are performed to better the lives of everyone involved in the situation. It is better that a hypothetical baby is not born than to be born in a situation where they would not be appreciated or well taken care of. In some cases, abortions are sought out because of rape or even incest and the woman does not want to have a baby made by those means. Many women also get abortions for their safety. Countless women die yearly during pregnancy due to not being able to get an abortion, “…abortion-related deaths leave 220,000 children motherless” (yearly) (NCBI). Abortions are performed to prevent negative health effects concerning the mother and the fetus. Without abortion, the rate of death among mothers and pregnant women would be much higher than it is. Not all women want or have the means to have a baby and raise a child. Abortion needs to remain legal so women can have a choice to do what is best for them and their fetus.
Some individuals argue that abortion is unlawful and compare it to the killing of innocent children. For example, the argument that life begins at conception is often taken (ProCon). Biology proves that once a female egg cell is fertilized by male semen, it becomes an embryo and afterward into a fetus. The non-supporting side of abortion argues that this is the point where life begins (Acpeds). They argue that soon after this growth the fetus becomes a baby, a baby that should not be innocently killed. While part of this argument is true, it is not a valid reason that abortion should be outlawed. Yes, an embryo turns into a fetus. But the embryonic period does not end until after the 10th week; then it turns into a fetus. This argument tries to use biology to argue the negative aspects of abortion, but it does not reach the mark because of a lack of evidence. This still does not make a good enough argument to ban abortion; a woman should be able to choose what she does regarding her body.
Abortion has always been a heavily argued topic, and it seems that the debate will not be ending anytime soon. The United States was built on progressivism, and it will always be growing and changing for the better. Putting restrictions on what women get to do regarding their healthcare is just moving backward. Abortion needs to remain legal and the choice of the woman carrying the baby because of the constitutionality of the law, because she will be the sole carrier of the baby, and because of cases where abortion is the only option. The time has passed where everything a woman does needs to be controlled. It is now time for progressivism and freedom of choice. Abortion in all cases needs to be made safer and legal.
Haddad, Lisa B, and Nawal M Nour. “Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality.” Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, MedReviews, LLC, 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/.
Parenthood, Planned. “Roe v. Wade: The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion.” Planned Parenthood Action Fund, https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/roe-v-wade.
“Catholics for Choice Condemns Texas’s Dystopian New Abortion Ban and the Supreme Court for Allowing It to Take Effect.” Catholics for Choice, 2 Sept. 2021, https://www.catholicsforchoice.org/press-releases/catholics-for-choice-condemns-texass-dystopian-new-abortion-ban-and-the-supreme-court-for-allowing-it-to-take-effect/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-eeMBhCpARIsAAZfxZBWyo4YioZH4OQlHh1A0e_ElCO1cik8Ktb1Y94rycfI-b6yh0tfyn8aAoyVEALw_wcB.
Robles, Brittany. “100 Remarkable Pregnancy Facts (You Probably Don’t Know).” Postpartum Trainer, MD, 3 Nov. 2021, https://postpartumtrainer.com/pregnancy-facts/.
“Hellp Syndrome.” Home, https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/hellp-syndrome.aspx.
Dawn Stacey, PhD. “Why Do Women Have Abortions?” Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 1 Sept. 2021, https://www.verywellhealth.com/reasons-for-abortion-906589.
“Pros & Cons – ProCon.org.” Abortion, 4 June 2020, https://abortion.procon.org/.
“When Human Life Begins.” American College of Pediatricians, https://acpeds.org/position-statements/when-human-life-begins.
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