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Abortion: Pro-Choice and Pro-Voice

Published on December 14th, 2019 at 12:37 am

By Keely Ford

One characteristic of human nature that is instinctual and fundamental is reproduction. While reproduction is absolutely paramount in the continuation of mankind, not every pregnancy is planned or beneficial. Likewise, abortion has always been a controversial topic, especially since it was legalized in the United States in 1973 in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. Some may argue that abortion is morally wrong and can be considered murder because it does not give the fetus a chance to live on its own, however, this is incorrect. Nearly 98% of abortions are safely completed before the fetus can live outside of the womb by itself (“Abortion Facts”). They are performed when the fetus is too small to have developed any nerves so it feels no emotion or physical pain. Abortion should remain legal and be supported because women should have the right to control their own bodies, some pregnancies can harm both the mother and the child, and the pregnancy may be unplanned and therefore the mother may be ill-suited to care for a new child. Women should have the option to choose whether they would like to keep the child or not because every woman’s personal situation differs depending on the environment and conditions into which a child would be brought into the world.

The option to have an abortion is essential because women should have complete control over their bodies and therefore should be able to make their own decision when they discover that they are pregnant. While women may not always receive the “respect they deserve, and perfect equality between the sexes remains more a goal than a reality, almost no one would publicly call into question the fundamental equality of women with men as persons, and so almost no one denies that women have rights and dignity and therefore always merit consideration and respect. From the respect due to women, it makes sense to recognize the views and the experiences of women, since they are at the center and not at the outskirts of the abortion issue” (Kaczor 8). In simpler terms, women and men are equal beings, and therefore women are entitled to certain inalienable rights such as how to manage their own bodies, especially when it comes to pregnancy, which directly affects them. Since women are so directly affected by pregnancy and abortion, their opinions should be the only ones that are taken into consideration when debating the legalization of this controversial idea. All people have certain rights, and “because a woman has a right to control her own body, she therefore has a right to undergo an abortion for any reason she deems fit… First, the unborn entity within the pregnant woman’s body is not part of her body” (Beckwith). A woman should have total control over her own body and should be allowed to get an abortion if that is what she wants to do. She does not need to justify her decision for anyone because other people are not directly included or affected and she has every right to make an educated decision after taking into account her own thoughts and beliefs. The woman is the only person that truly has to endure the pregnancy and the birth of the fetus if she chooses not to have an abortion and she should have an option available to her if she does not want to continue with her pregnancy.

Additionally, abortion should remain legal because some pregnancies can be dangerous for either the mother or the child due to unforeseen circumstances. Sometimes there are complications with the fetus which can put the mother in severe danger and even threaten her life. Women who unexpectedly become pregnant “might develop significant health problems as a consequence of not seeking out and engaging with adequate prenatal care” (Bodnar et al.). Therefore, a woman who did not intend to become pregnant should not have to suffer medically and should be entitled to decide to get an abortion in order to protect her own health. Denying her the right to get an abortion does not guarantee that she will do everything correctly and safely in her pregnancy if she did not want to become pregnant in the first place and was forced to carry the fetus. Also, “women who begin pregnancies with pre-existing medical conditions and who lack access to medically necessary abortion may go on to have severe maternal morbidity or mortality” (Bodnar et al.). Sometimes pregnancies can have unexpected complications which can severely threaten the life and well-being of both the mother and the unborn child. In these difficult circumstances, an abortion may be necessary in order to protect the life of the mother. Thus, abortion should be a viable option for women because they should not have to lose their lives over pregnancies that developed rare complications and instead should be able to terminate their pregnancies so that they can continue living.

Similarly to how some pregnancies can be dangerous for either the mother or fetus, a woman may become pregnant unexpectedly, and may not be in the right situation to care for a child properly at that specific stage in her life. Whether it be financial, environmental, or any other reason, every woman should have the right to choose abortion if that is what she believes is best. Most women, even those “who believe abortion is ‘wrong’, even a ‘sin’, have their own pregnancies terminated because they believe it to be the most appropriate option in their particular circumstances” (Furedi 159). Essentially, women are not glorifying abortion, however, they recognize that it is a better option for their future child because at that moment they may be unfit to care for and support another human being. Women choose abortion because “continuing with the pregnancy was assessed as having adverse effects on the life of the woman and significant others. Women’s reasons were complex and contingent, taking into account their own needs, a sense of responsibility to existing children and the potential child, and the contribution of significant others, including the genetic father” (Hardiman et al. 365). Therefore, influence from environmental or surrounding forces often require abortion as an option because a woman may not be at a stage in her life where she can properly care for an infant, and she should have the choice to do what she believes is best for herself and the fetus.

Abortion should be a legal and accessible option for all women because women have a right to control the decisions that directly affect them and their bodies, some pregnancies can have dangerous complications that can threaten the lives of the mother or the fetus, and sometimes the mother is not in a good place in her life to be able to care for an infant. Before making a decision about supporting abortion or not, people should visit a local Planned Parenthood center or abortion clinic to educate themselves and learn specific facts about the potential benefits or negatives of abortion. Also, people should not be so quick to judge the women who have had abortions in the past because they have no idea about the conditions and mental state that the woman was in at the time of her pregnancy. Women consider many factors when making the decision to get an abortion, including their own personal thoughts and input from the people around them. In the end, people who support abortion are not “pro-abortion” because no one is advocating for the termination of pregnancies. However, instead, they are “pro-choice” because they believe that abortion should be an acceptable option and choice that women should be able to make if they feel that the conditions are less than favorable to bring a child into the world.

Works Cited

“Abortion Facts.” National Abortion Federation, 2019.

Beckwith, Francis J. Personal Bodily Rights, Abortion, and Unplugging the Violinist. International Philosophical Quarterly, 1992.

Bodnar, Lisa M, et al. State Medicaid Coverage of Medically Necessary Abortions and Severe Maternal Morbidity and Maternal Mortality. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2017.

Furedi, Ann. Wrong but the Right Thing to Do: Public Opinion and Abortion. London, Palgrave Macmillan, 1998.

Hardiman, Annarella, et al. Archives of Women’s Mental Health. Springer Vienna, 2009.

Kaczor, Christopher. The Ethics of Abortion. New York, Routledge, 2015.