Stopping abortion simply stops safe abortion, not abortion as a whole, said by Staci Fox, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Southeast (Hundreds protest Alabama abortion ban). Abortion has been a debatable topic, especially since the Roe v. Wade case. The Roe v. Wade case was held due to Jane Roe stating that her right to personal privacy had been restricted by the unconstitutionally vague state laws (Roe v. Wade). A right to privacy is protected by the 14th amendment in the Due Process Clause, giving women the option to abort. It’s also balanced out by protecting the possibility of human life (Roe v. Wade).
Included with Americans’ right to privacy, the Supreme Court then included the right of women to decide whether to have children without any state interference (History of Abortion). However, with time, the Supreme Court had allowed more restrictions on the process of abortion such as parental involvement, required waiting periods, and biased counseling (History of Abortion). Though there has been a fair balance in regards to abortion, pro-life and pro-choice groups are still unable to overlook their differences. Pro-life groups mainly argue a fetus is equal to a human being and should be saved; pro-choice groups mainly argue a woman’s body is hers to make decisions on. Abortion should continue to be an option for women because it’s their body to make decisions on, illegal abortions will be done instead and cause more damage, and unwanted children/pregnancies can cause poverty and anguish.
Since a woman’s body is her own, she should be able to decide what she believes is best for her body. Just like men, women are human beings with human rights that matter. They should be given the right to do what they’d like with their bodies without worrying about what others have set in place for them. However, Alabama’s new law on banning abortion is attacking women’s right to choose, overturning Roe v. Wade’s ruling to uphold access to abortion as a constitutional right in the United States (Penny). The laws following Alabama’s abortion ban are based on trying to control, own, and/or limit women of their rights (Penny). In Ohio, an 11-year-old child was abducted, raped, and made pregnant (Penny). With the ban in place, the child would be forced to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth regardless of how she had ended in that situation (Penny). Forcing the child to do so is simply stating that her pain from the pregnancy is irrelevant and that she doesn’t have the right to decide who has access to her own body (Penny).
Fortunately, the 11-year-old child is able to have an abortion since Ohio’s Human Rights Protection Act – a bill that prohibits women from getting abortions if a heartbeat is detected – will be executed in January 2020 (Shaw, Human Heartbeat Protection Act). Women who decide to have abortions just because they don’t want to be pregnant are considered selfish by society. However, by being “selfish”, women are prioritizing their own needs and desires over a child they don’t want (Penny). Though carrying the pregnancy to term and giving the child up for adoption is kind, they shouldn’t be threatened with imprisonment and/or death for not deciding to be “kind” to a child that they don’t want (Penny). Abortion does end a human life but forcing a woman, or anyone, to do something against their will is far worse than letting a person suffer for wanting what they want.
Returning to unsafe and illegal abortions can hurt women and possibly even kill them. Women who undergo unsafe abortions are at a high risk of severe medical problems. These problems include incomplete abortions, heavy bleeding, infection, uterine perforation, and damage to the genital tract and internal organs (The Impact of Illegal Abortion). Uterine perforation and damaging the genital tract and internal organs are caused by puncturing the uterus with a sharp object or inserting dangerous objects such as sticks, knitting needles, or broken glass into the vagina/anus (The Impact of Illegal Abortion). Because internal injuries may not result in abortion, women will resort to causing external injuries. To cause external injuries, women will either jump from the top of stairs or a roof, causing blunt trauma to the abdomen (Haddad and Nour).
Other methods of unsafe abortion are drinking harmful liquids such as turpentine, bleach or a blend mixed with livestock manure (Haddad and Nour). Legalizing abortion allows women to acquire prompt abortions which reduces the risk of complications from attempting unsafe abortions (The Impact of Illegal Abortion). Annually, seven million women are registered to hospitals for complications of unsafe abortion (The Impact of Illegal Abortion). Five million women will suffer long-term health issues among the women who survive unsafe abortion, while 68,000 women die yearly of unsafe abortion, resulting in one of the top causes of maternal mortality (Haddad and Nour). Unsafe abortion seems to be as simple as sticking a sharp object inside a woman or as terrifying as jumping from the top of a roof. Regardless of what unsafe abortion is, the results are life-long to those who survive and death to those who didn’t survive.
A result of a woman not being able to abort is children being born and unwanted. When a woman is denied an abortion, it not only affects the children she already has but those she may have in the future as well because any additional kids may limit her ability to care for her existing children (Foster). A woman denied an abortion loses the chance to achieve her life goals, secure financial stability, and have a child she wants to love and support (Foster). Women denied an abortion were found to have constant mental illness and stress along with anxiety and guilt than those who received an abortion (Grimes). Being denied an abortion can result in living in households without enough money to pay for basic living expenses and lack of maternal bonding – feeling trapped as a mother, resenting their baby, or yearning the times before they had the baby (Foster). Children born to mothers denied abortions had a small but significant cutback in achieving developmental milestones compared to those who received them, and the reason for this may be due to the greater financial burdens on the family (Foster).
Unwanted children are more likely to be juvenile delinquents due to birth complications and rejection from their mother (Grimes). Not only was delinquency more common in these children, but criminal activity, public drunkenness, receiving public assistance and having learning disorders were all high among children birthed to mothers denied an abortion (Grimes). Women who got abortions were more likely to get pregnant a woman who was denied an abortion because giving a woman access to abortion gives her the chance to have a child with someone she’s ready with (Foster). Birthing unwanted children have various negative results of different categories for the mother and the child.
Though many mothers had experienced resentment and agony carrying their unwanted pregnancy to term, plenty of other mothers had experienced differently. Given the right support and help, it’s possible to separate the innocence of a child from the guilt of the father (Gray). 80% of women who aborted their children had stated that abortion was the wrong choice, and those who gave birth had said they didn’t regret their choice (Gray). For example, Ryan Bomberger was birthed to a woman who was raped and put up for adoption (Gray). Though he was put up for adoption, he grew up in a loving, diverse family with an appreciation for diversity, this defying the characteristics of a birthed unwanted child (Gray).
By helping understand sex education including medically precise information about abstinence and contraception, offering insurance coverage for family planning services, allowing greater access to emergency contraception, and showing more programs that restrain domestic and sexual abuse, abortion and unintended pregnancy can easily be avoided (Arons and Saperstein). If carrying the pregnancy to term is required, offering education and career opportunities, health and child care, and other basic supports can also help in reducing abortion, especially in young women (Arons and Saperstein). A person should be helped when they’re forced into situations where they’re unable to help themselves in regards to basic needs and/or support.
Abortion should continue to be an option for women because it’s their body to make decisions on, illegal abortions will be done instead and cause more damage, and unwanted children/pregnancies can cause poverty and anguish. What matters is a woman’s freedom to control her own life. Banning abortion is saving another’s life, however, it is taking another’s opportunities to live their life. For a woman, she loses possible financial stability, mental and emotional stability, and any possible chance of achieving the goals she had set for herself. For a child, he/she loses the love and support of the very person that gave them the chance to live. To prevent a child from that loss and the feeling of being unwanted, and to prevent a woman from various losses, abortion should be allowed and available.