The abortion debate is a continuous debate surrounding the moral, legal, and religious status of abortion. The two sides of the debate are the ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ movements. The ‘Pro-choice’ stress the right of women to decide whether to end a pregnancy or not. The “pro-life” affirms the right of a fetus and consider abortion illegal. Both terms are endorsed by the mainstream media, and words such as ‘abortion rights’ or ‘anti-abortion’ are often preferred. This essay would focus on different view related to abortion. The major questions that would be focused for the purpose of this paper would be:
- How have the abortion laws improved the status of women in developed countries?
- Even if the abortion laws made, are they enough to ensure that women of all races and classes can exercise this right?
The 21st century is the century of modernization and technology. Individuals all over the world are progressing, machines are getting better day by day, internet rules the world, social media is the fastest way for information to travel and all of this has made the globe a place with no boundaries, but the modernization has some consequences. Rostow gave a model of growth in the 1960 for a traditional society, this model has five different stages that are a traditional society, before taking off, take off, the drive to maturity and the age of high mass consumption (‘Barriers to an early abortion remain in developed countries’, 2015) When Rostow’s model is applied to today’s society, it can clearly be seen that all developed countries like America and China have acquired the stage of high mass consumption, this stage says that this is the final stage of development and after this nothing to develop the country is needed. It says that during this final stageuman development is in its full form, everyone is employed and there are no homeless individuals on the road, no one sleeps hungry, the economy is progressive, crime is zero, women are treated equally and are given their full rights but it is the actual case? The answer to this is no (‘Barriers to an early abortion remain in developed countries’, 2015) Even after acquiring the high mass consumption stage, the economy may be progressive and individuals of a country have jobs but they are not satisfied with anything. (Berer, 2019) Crime rate is increasing, women are not safe on the roads, more and more individuals want to commit suicide, youth has anxiety and is going through chronic depression, children are angry at their parents for parents have lost patience. We forget that humans are social animals, we get bored easily and we need to feel sadness before feeling happy (Berer, 2019).
One of the taboo topics that have been ignored by this society is ‘Abortion’. Abortion is the process of ending of a pregnancy. Pregnancy is a condition where a woman is pregnant that is she is expecting a child. There are five trimesters in a pregnancy, these five trimesters have different types of abortions at all of them. Misoprostol is the most basic type of abortion that is done to avoid bleeding and further complications, this can be done up to 5 weeks of the pregnancy. A medical abortion can be done up to 10 weeks of the pregnancy, a vacuum aspiration can be done up to 16 weeks, dilation and evacuation up to 16 weeks and induction is done in the 2nd trimester that is 13 to 27 weeks (Bianco, Belizán & Althabe, 2007).
Abortion has been said to be a human right by many different organizations, these organizations are international. (Dyer, 2017) These international organizations include the United Nations Humans Rights Committee, the Regional Human Rights Court, the African Human Peoples Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter American Court of Human Rights A program of action was signed at the international conference that happened in Cairo in 1994, in this conference, 179 governments joined hands and made a commitment to work for the prevention of unsafe abortions. An unsafe abortion was recognized by WHO (The world health organization) in 1967 and by 2003, policies and guidelines were formulated that included different sections such as suggestions, recommendations, do’s and don’ts and that there are abortion laws so that health of women can be protected, it was expected by the United Nations Population Fund that as a consequences to this maternal mortality and infant mortality both will reduce up to seventy percent in the developing world (‘Drone flies abortion pills to Northern Ireland to highlight its abortion laws’, 2016)
Abortion has become an accepted term all over the globe and trends have been changing when it comes to this word, the abortion law is running towards liberalization. Since the start of 2000, different twenty-nine countries have made a difference in their policies by making a difference in abortion laws. (Jalali, Doosti & Ighani, 2018) The basic examples is of Ireland, they legalized abortion, South Korea had put a ban on abortion but now they have changed their policy by calling their own ban unconstitutional. Many other countries have taken steps to introduce abortion laws where the rest of them are trying to tighten the restriction that they had put on so that policies can be implemented and followed by all (Jalali, Doosti & Ighani, 2018).
In the developing countries, women want to have abortions but they cannot make this decision for themselves as there are many other factors that are associated with their abortion. In the developing countries, women lack education, skills and are emotionally blackmailed by their husbands and their families to bear children even when they don’t want to. (Millar, 2016) The concept of contraception is not encouraged and superstitions like children are from God, this is God’s will (The use of religion card) are instilled in the mind of the women and they are shamed and called names if they still don’t want to have children. These women are either married, or are stuck in the hands of poverty and already have a lot of mouths to feed, there is another famous concept in the developing world that people believe and that’s more the children, it will be good as there will be more hands to go out and earn for the family (Millar, 2016).
There are abortion laws in these countries but they are not followed as abortion is not only considered a taboo but a sin too that if a woman does abort her child, she’s bringing bad luck to the family as their God is now angry with them for they have returned his gift that he sent in the form of a child. (Oakley, 2003) There is no concept of family planning, women are accounted as emotional fools that are weak and cannot make decisions for themselves, if a woman has a complication she can be given the title of infertile and then left on one side without seeking any medical help while her husband can be asked to re marry so that their family legacy can continue to grow and flourish.
In the developed countries, women are educated and not under any pressure. They are consulted when it comes to expanding the family. (O’Rourke, 2016) Women in the western world are stronger not because they are educated but because they have someone at the back that is supporting them and that is the government, if a law is made, it is implemented by all hospitals and individuals. In the developed countries, abortion rate is increasing as women tend to get pregnant at the a very young age, she may be in school or in high school and she may want to finish her studies before she becomes a mother, a woman can have complications that can lead to her bad health, a woman can already have enough children and it’s possible that she does not want more, she might not be able to afford a child as there are many different things that come with a child, there can be many different scenarios that lead women to abortions and can help them change their lives (Oakley, 2003)
Developing or developed country, the person who has to bear a child for 9 months in her body has the only right to make a decision on her keeping the baby or not. (Overall, 2015) Recently, a new policy was formulated by the president of the United State of America that said that long term abortions are not allowed anymore that started an international debate in every organization. Mr. Trump believes that when abortions are done in the long term, babies are ripped apart from their mothers which is bad for the health of both, to which many commented that if their child has died in their body, are they supposed to carry that dead baby in their body for the whole 9 months rather than taking him/her out and putting them the rest, did Mr. Trump not think of the mental pressure this puts on the mother? What will happen to a mother is she has to carry a dead baby inside her for nine months just because abortions are banned in the USA.
A woman that has the child inside her has the only right to decide is she wants to abort her baby or not, people around her may be going through a lot because of that particular event but it needs to be understood that the child is being taken out from her which makes her pain the greatest no matter what the issue be. Men and women both need to be educated about the laws of abortion so that they know how their state protects the female and how it is always safe to save one life rather than losing both (Overall, 2015)
- Barriers to an early abortion remain in developed countries. (2015). Nursing Standard, 29(46), 14-14. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.46.14.s15
- Bianco, M., Belizán, J., & Althabe, F. (2007). Abortion debate in Latin America and beyond. The Lancet, 370(9595), 1309-1310. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(07)61569-4
- Berer, M. (2019). Reconceptualizing safe abortion and abortion services in the age of abortion pills: A discussion paper. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2019.07.012
- Despite Differences in Legal Status, Abortion Occurs at Similar Rates in Developing and Developed Countries. (2008). Perspectives On Sexual And Reproductive Health, 40(1), 55-56. doi: 10.1363/4005508
- Drone flies abortion pills to Northern Ireland to highlight its abortion laws. (2016). the Pharmaceutical Journal. doi: 10.1211/pj.2016.20201347
- Dyer, C. (2017). Mother wins right to challenge prosecution for buying abortion pills in Northern Ireland. BMJ, j527. doi: 10.1136/bmj.j527
- Jalali, N., Doosti, M., & Ighani, M. (2018). A survey on abortion laws in Asian countries. International Academic Journal Of Humanities, 05(01), 101-111. doi: 10.9756/iajh/v5i1/1810011
- Medoff, M. (2010). State Abortion Policies, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider Laws, and Abortion Demand. Review Of Policy Research, 27(5), 577-594. doi: 10.1111/j.1541-1338.2010.00460.x
- Millar, E. (2016). Mourned Choices and Grievable Lives: The Anti-Abortion Movement’s Influence in Defining the Abortion Experience in Australia Since the 1960s. Gender & History, 28(2), 501-519. doi: 10.1111/1468-0424.12220
- Oakley, M. (2003). Abortion Restrictions and Abortion Rates: Has State Abortion Policy Been Successful? Politics & Policy, 31(3), 472-487. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-1346.2003.tb00158.x
- Overall, C. (2015). Rethinking Abortion, Exogenesis, and Fetal Death. Journal of Social Philosophy, 46(1), 126-140. doi: 10.1111/josp.12090
- O’Rourke, A. (2016). The discourse of abortion law debate in Australia: Caring mother or mother of convenience. Women’s Studies International Forum, 56, 37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.wsif.2016.02.012
- Berer, M. (2002). Making Abortion a Woman’s Right Worldwide. Reproductive Health Matters, 10(19), 1-8. doi: 10.1016/s0968-8080(02)00010-1
- The Lancet. (2019). We must all support women in the fight for abortion. The Lancet, 393(10186), 2099. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(19)31182-1
- Women should have right to reject pregnancy, experts say: Laws should not force women to risk death and injury by having a baby, according to a legal academic in Australia who has says abortion can be decriminalised without society and governments making a moral judgement. (2018). Retrieved 16 December 2019, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180503101638.htm