Legalization of Abortion
Abortion has always been an issue of a heated discussion. It belongs to the list of problems that can be argued about forever, and none of the parties will compromise or change its opinions. The participants of these debates have divided into two major groups: pro-lifers and pro-choicers. The formers claim that a foetus is already a human being, and it is against the law to murder it. The pro-choicers have a more general position regarding abortions; they are convinced that a pregnant woman takes on the responsibility for the to which child she is giving life, and this is why she should be allowed to use her right for a freedom of choice and, therefore, her right to abort the baby. Abortions should be legalized, because it is impossible to totally prevent unintended pregnancies. Women who wish to terminate pregnancies and especially women who have serious reasons for this will find a way to do this anyways, which is far more dangerous than an accurately performed medical procedure.
Making Abortions Illegal will not Reduce Their Number
First of all, making abortions illegal will hardly reduce the number of terminated pregnancies. At present, more than 60% of women live in the countries where abortions are legalized (Rabe, 2010). If women are not allowed to make abortions legally, they are going to choose illegal ones, and this will endanger not only the life of a foetus but the life of a mother: “Abortion restrictions do not reduce the rate of abortions, but do make the procedure less safe” (Fritz & Speroff, 2012, p. 937). Giving birth to a child is a responsible action that demands thorough consideration. Most of women are afraid of the problems that having a baby involves, especially if they are underage, single, or come from families with strict authoritarian parents. This is why more than 22% of pregnancies worldwide end in abortion: “The number of induced abortions has declined in developed countries to about 7 million annually. Most induced abortions occur in developing countries, about 35 million annually, where more than half are unsafe, illegal abortions” (Fritz & Speroff, 2012, p. 937). This testifies the fact that legality of abortions does not correlate with the number of unintended pregnancies; which are rather economic conditions in the country and certain personal issues that make women terminate their pregnancies.
Legal Abortions and Unwanted Children
In addition, making abortions illegal may lead to the birth of unwanted children, who will struggle and suffer in their lives. It is rarely the case that an unwanted child unites a family. Women who decide to terminate their pregnancies do this for a reason. Some of them do not wish to be single mothers, whereas others experience pressure on the part of their life partners, who are unwilling to have children. In any case, unwanted children who are born in problem families are not taken proper care of and are not always loved: “Abortion may have prevented “unwanted” children from being born. These unwanted children might, if born, have had smaller investments in human capital by their parents and thus been more prone to end up in trouble when they grew older” (Lott & Whitley, 2007, p. 304). Besides, unwanted children are often born in families where parents abuse alcohol and substances or are involved in criminal activities. Thus, legalizing abortion can reduce the number of unwanted children who, when they are born, are neglected, abused, or even accidentally murdered by their deviant parents.
Abortions: Special Cases
Finally, there are special cases that are not considered legal when it comes to abortions. Opponents of abortions are convinced that genetic defects of a foetus are the only reason for terminating pregnancy. Abortions are also lawful in case of rape or incest. However, not all women report about these crimes, because they avoid publicity and do not wish to experience numerous procedures that will make it lawful for them to terminate their unintended pregnancy (Human Rights Watch, 2006). Sometimes, abortion is necessary for women who are at the end of their reproductive cycle: “Women who are reaching the end of their reproductive years, are sexually active and fecund, and have completed their desired family size are also at risk of unintended pregnancy and abortion” (Sedgh, 2012, p. 147). This shows that making abortions should not be illegal and that every woman should make this choice by herself.
It was a challenge to find reliable sources of information on abortion. Firstly, books that are written by respected scholars have been reviewed. The most relevant from them have been used for writing the paper. To ensure validity of the sources used, it was necessary to clarify if the authors have ever published other works on related topics and had a reputation of great researchers. The same concerns the scholarly articles used in the paper. They come from respected academic journals and were written by well-known researchers who work in academic institutions. The main challenge was to make sure that used sources were credible. Searching for background information about the authors helped ensure this credibility.
Taking into account the reasons that are mentioned above, it can be concluded that legalizing abortions makes sense. Firstly, if abortions become illegal, women will still continue making them, endangering their health and lives. Secondly, prohibiting abortions may lead to the increased number of unwanted children who will grow up in problem families and will be deprived of normal childhood and life. Finally, there are special cases when making abortion is necessary, but these cases are not justified by law. This all shows that making abortions illegal will not change anything for the better; this is why abortions should be legalized.
Fritz, M.A., & Speroff, L. (2012). Clinical gynecologic endocrinology and infertility, 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Human Rights Watch. (2006). The second assault. New York, NY: Human Rights Watch.
Lott, J.R., & Whitley, J. (2007). Abortion and crime: unwanted children and out-of-wedlock births. Economic Inquiry, 45(2), 304-324.
Rabe, J. (2010). Through the lens of reality. Minneapolis, MN: Hillcrest Publishing Group.
Sedgh, G. (2010). Legal abortion levels and trends by woman’s age at termination. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 38(3), 143-153.