Should Abortion Be Legal?

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Should abortion be legal?

Should abortion be legal?


Abortion is illegal in Uganda; practically mandated in India and China, where there are one-child-per-family policies; a form of birth control in Russia; and perhaps the most contentious issue in the United States. In some countries, abortion doctors criminalized, while in other countries, abortion providers as well as women who have abortions can be fined or jailed. In the United States, abortion doctors and clinic staff murdered, and recently in Brazil, a bishop excommunicated a 9-year-old girl and a doctor over an abortion. This girl was pregnant with twins after allegedly raped by her stepfather; the doctor performed the abortion because he did not think her 80-pound body could carry a pregnancy to term. Brazil allows abortion only in cases of rape and in order to save the life of the mother.

The vast array of circumstances with abortion around the world gives the impression that there is no consensus on the issue—yet, some protest that the shared goal among many of these practices and restrictions is a desire to control women. Abortion rights supporters believe that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should be the woman's alone (in consultation with medical professionals); supporters of the right to life publicly denounce abortion as murder. (Dorothy, 1997)

Discussion and Analysis

Women have sought to induce abortions since ancient times, and medical recipe books dating from the colonial period in the United States commonly included descriptions of herbal abortifacients (substances that cause abortion), sometimes couched in ambiguous terms such as “remedies to restore menstruation.” In the early 19th century, laws prohibiting abortion began to appear, beginning with Connecticut in 1821, and such laws became common in the 1860s. By 1900, abortion was illegal in most American states, although some states allowed exceptions, such as in the case of rape or incest. Abortion remained widely restricted until the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973, which prohibited states from restricting women's access to abortion in the first trimester (three-month period).Types of Abortions

Medically speaking, an abortion is a procedure that removes a pregnancy by emptying the contents of a woman's uterus. There are medical and surgical abortions; most abortions happen in the first trimester, within the first 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Medical abortions are a newer invention and are less invasive. The only marketed medical abortion product is Mifiprex, popularly referred to as RU-486, which prescribed by a doctor and requires a follow-up appointment, but can be administered at home and usually happens around the eighth week of pregnancy. Regardless, surgical abortion remains the most prevalent in nations where abortions are legal: 87 percent in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is a third type of abortion—unsafe methods such as drinking turpentine or bleach, inserting herbal preparations, or inserting foreign objects such as chicken bones or sticks. Worldwide, these abortions account for 48 percent of all abortions, thus a higher percentage than any other form. (Tribe, 1992)

Surgical abortions are either the more common, manual vacuum ...
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