Abortion, legalization of abortion. However, understanding the overall

Abortion, which for me and many others is one of the most
controversial ongoing issues today and has become very common here in the
United States. There are many reasons that defend the legalization of abortion.
However, understanding the overall medical information as well as the in-depth
perspectives on abortion can help to solve this on-going controversial issue.
Unlike the most known common perception that abortion is performed in an unsafe
surrounding area and could have some potential long-term problems, abortion
contrary to popular belief is actually performed by professionals and has very few
complications if it is performed within the twelve-week time frame of

First and foremost abortion is a practice that terminates a
pregnancy by using a medicine or a surgery to remove the fetus from the uterus.
For quite some time, abortion is something that has been part of human culture.
The most common reasons for having an abortion is because women who have had
children are fairly young. It is also done because of rape, relationship,
academic, working, financial issues.  In
the United States, the issue of abortion is an extremely controversial subject
that matters not only to the medical field but also to the political and social
fields. Pro-life (illegal abortion) advocates have stated that; life begins at a
conception, so the fetus is entitled to have full human rights to live;
abortion should be considered a crime of murder; women should use
contraceptives in the means of preventing pregnancies; abortion increases the
likelihood of having some future side-effects. On the other hand, pro-choice
(legal abortion) advocates have argued that; it is entirely the women’s rights
to control their own bodies without having any kind of interference; abortion
does not asphyxiate a baby, but it just ends a pregnancy; the modern-day abortion
is safe because it is performed by professionals in a safe setting; women who
choose abortion do not have ability to raise the child. The two sides over this
issue have been strained for a long time. However, again, viewing abortion in
terms of the medical perspectives it is significantly vital to understanding the
Pro-life advocates have argued about the moral status of the fetus. However,
the beginning of human life cannot be determined and it extends beyond the
knowledge of medicine. The problem of the moral status of the fetus is done by
experiences, religious and philosophical beliefs, moral belief, and so on.
Medicine does not have the ability to establish when the moral status on the
fetus occurs. The fetus within the 12 weeks is in fact not fully developed, so basically
arguing about the fetus’s moral fetus in my opinion is somewhat an unreasonable
and unnecessary argument. Also, according to Elizabeth Harman, “inaccessible
facts determine a fetus’s moral status. We can’t ever know how to treat an
early fetus, because we can’t be sure of its moral status.” (Harman).
Furthermore, the fetuses cannot feel pain during abortion (Rosenfield).
According to Stuart W. G. Derbyshire, “necessary to the development of pain
experience is also yet to occur.” (Derbyshire), and “there is no evidence that
brain and neurological system are developed enough even at twenty-four weeks
for the fetus to experience pain” (Rosenfield). Arguing about something that
has not been proven is not right. Even though today’s medical techniques have
been developing at a good rapid pace, there are certainly some concepts that
cannot be proven with them.
Abortion can be performed naturally or artificially. An Abortion that occurs
within the first twenty weeks is called a miscarriage and after twenty weeks is
called a stillbirth. The types of surgical abortion procedure are varied on the
stage of pregnancy. It is usually divided by trimester. In the United States,
about 90% of abortions are done during the first 12 weeks of the period (first
trimester) because it is the safest time to have an abortion. The most common
abortion procedure during that period is called the suction curettage (vacuum
aspiration), which the contents of the uterus are suctioned out through a plastic
tube inserted thought the cervix. The next step is a s followed, the curettage
is performed to make sure that all fetal tissue is removed. Other procedures
performed in the first trimester are Methotrexate & Misoprostol (MTX) and
Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA). MTX is used up to about the first 7 weeks of the
pregnancy but not usually used in the united states and an MVA is a procedure that
is used during 3-12 weeks since it’s the last period and is also considered to
be less dangerous/risky. Early on in pregnancy, most women can have abortions
done at clinics and or outpatient facilities in hospitals (American Pregnancy).
At 12 to 20 weeks of pregnancy (second trimester), the most common abortion
method is a dilation and evacuation, which is 97-99% effective. The cervix is
dilated slowly “using sponge-like materials that expand as they are absorbed by
local cervical fluids” (Rosenfield). And the uterine content is removed by
using forceps in conjunction with vacuum aspiration. The other abortion method
that is commonly used in the second trimester is called the instillation
abortion. The fetus dies because of saline solutions that are implanted into
amniotic cavity throughout the stomach. Another procedure is called an induction
abortion. It is infrequently performed abortion which “salt water, urea, or
potassium chloride is injected into the amniotic sac; prostaglandins are
inserted into the vagina, and Pitocin is injected intravenously.” (Abortion).
The third semester (late term) abortion is not usual and has been restricted
depending on the state laws. Induction abortion and Dilation and Extraction
(but now illegal according to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995) can
be done during this period. Dilation and Extraction is a surgical abortion
method which is used after 21 weeks of pregnancy. The cervix is dilated, and
the fetus is extracted in pieces by using surgical forceps (Abortion).
Another type of abortion, medical abortion (nonsurgical abortion) involves
taking medications, which is safe and 90-97% effective. The drug is used with a
prostaglandin, which makes uterine contractions and removal of the uterine
contents. And then, mother needs to take a second medicine, misoprostol. It
causes the uterus to empty. After abortion, she should necessary visit the
doctors regularly and watch out for the risk of infection. Continuous care and constant
attention is very significant key to making sure that the abortion is done
correctly and most importantly that mother is safe, not having any
In addition to that, legal and professionally performed abortion is safe. With
the increased number of residency programs providing training in abortion
procedures, abortion in the United States is provided by more
obstetrician-gynecologists (Rosenfield). Those physicians are intended to offer
the safest procedures for the woman as well as the fetus. RU-486, the drug
mentioned above, is distributed only to physicians who can diagnose the
duration of pregnancy accurately and have specific treatment, which makes it safer.
If abortion were to be illegal, there are some people that would try to imitate
the RU-486 and make very unsafe abortion pills themselves, which could result
in in a much more dangerous outcome.
Furthermore, complications of abortion have rarely occurred. And even when they
do happen to occur, they are not usually serious. General anesthesia may occur;
however, it is considered as an unnecessary additional risk. Prophylactic
antibiotics may be prescribed, but infection have hardly occurred. “Medical
evidence has consistently shown that a woman who has one properly performed
induced abortion is the first trimester of pregnancy has the same change of a
normal outcome of a subsequent pregnancy as a woman who has never had an
abortion.” (Rosenfield). Complications during or after the abortion may be one
of the biggest reasons why women are afraid of going through with it. However,
like I have stated if the abortion is performed within the 12 weeks, there is
nothing to worry about.
 “The risk of death from complications is
less than 0.6 in 100,000 procedures, whereas the risk of women dying from
giving birth is 13.3 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies” (Abortion). It is getting
less and less than in the early 1970s, when the complication rate was more than
4 per 100,000. Both psychological complications and physical complications
relate to the type of procedures and the pregnancy age of abortion. Earlier
abortion results fewer complications than later procedures. In addition, there
is no post abortion syndrome (a negative emotional or physical response to
abortion) that meets the American Psychiatrist Association’s definition of
trauma (Rosenfield). A study from the “University of California” and “San
Francisco” found that the majority of women who had an abortion felt that they indeed
made the right decision. 90% of them felt relief a week after the abortion, and
80% of them who reported having mostly negative emotions about their abortions
still felt that they made the right choice (Erdreich). And since most women
have abortion within the 12 weeks of pregnancy, they did not feel as guilty as
people thought they would have. They surely thought over and over to come to
the decision to have the abortion. Consequently, they do not regret the choice of
going through with it and feel that at the end of the day, they made the right
choice for both them and the child. According to former U.S. Surgeon General C.
Everett Koop, “…emotional problems resulting from abortion are minuscule from a
public health perspective.” (Koop). Abortion is a decision that the mothers
make, which at the end of the day becomes their responsibility. They know what
the consequence would be if they bear the burden of an unwanted child.
The opponents of abortion as a whole have stated that women who have abortions
have an increased risk for developing breast cancer. They argue that abortion
causes a termination of cell differentiation (that results from changing
concentrations of hormones) perhaps result in a following increase in the risk
of cancer growth in the tissues. However, a relationship between abortion and
breast cancer has not been proven. The National Cancer Institute (NCI)
concludes that “Induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast
cancer risk”. Moreover, a study that was done in Sweden shows that 49,000 women
who received abortions before the age of 30 showed no sign of risk of breast
cancer and surprisingly stated that there could be a little reduced risk.
Besides, the New England Journal of Medicine studied 1.5 million women in 1997
to avoid the pitfalls and stated that “a woman need not worry about the risk of
breast cancer” when it comes to abortion (Anti-Choice Claims About Abortion and
Breast Cancer). These studies by prominent institutes show that a relationship
between breast cancer and abortion is just a hypothesis which has not been
medically proven.
Moreover, abortion has enabled couples to have the option to determine not to
have babies/baby with severe medical conditions or abnormalities. This
selective abortion based on genetic abnormalities is not discrimination at all because
it is not fair for the children/child to go through such hardship without
knowing that truth. For instance, syndromes like Fragile X Syndrome, Down
syndrome, and Cystic Fibrosis can be known before the childbirth. Preventing it
ahead actually helps both parents and children to live better.
Besides, in reality, using contraceptives is not always readily available,
especially for those who are poor and young. Or, pregnancy can occur even with
responsible use of contraceptive. Access to abortion is necessary because of
that. Women need prescriptions to get birth controls methods; however, many
insurance plans do not cover prescription contraception. Main contraceptive
services include the IUD, the diaphragm, the hormonal implant, the path, the
shot, and the pill. According to Guttmacher Institute, approximately 75% of
women who are enrolled in top selling insurance plans do not have the core
coverage for contraception; only 51% of the plans cover at least one
contraceptive service; emergency contraception is not generally accessible in
most health plans either (Kurth). Obviously, contraception is fairly expensive
and if contraception is not commonly covered by insurance, the majority of women
have no choice of preventing unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, illegal abortion
will cause women not to have any choice at all.
Women know more about their situation than anyone else and seek abortion to
keep their responsibility. There is no obligation for the women to be forced to
have unwanted babies. There are hardly any mothers who have abortions easily.
It is all result of enough counseling and situations that they cannot handle.
Think of a young woman who is too poor to buy contraception. She suddenly got
pregnant with unwanted child. The young woman is now held with responsibility
of raising the child when in reality she can’t. Abortion might be better for
the child who will eventually suffer after the birth. Many pregnancies are
unintended, even though having a child is an important decision which needs
enough planning and preparation. An unwanted baby should not be born in this
unprepared world.
Finally, Abortion is widely legal with various restrictions throughout this
industrialized world, but illegal in developing countries where unsafe abortion
is performed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a woman in a
developing nation dies in every 8 minutes because of the unsafe and illegal
abortion (Haddad). Like the case above, making abortion illegal will likely increase
unsafe abortions. However, the safe procedure and few complications of abortion
make the abortion to be legalized. Abortion is a serious and life altering
decision that is not decided easily by mothers. It may be an ongoing debate
issue for a long period of time and since a demand will always exist, the long
going issue will keep raging on. Understanding the medical perspectives of an abortion
takes it one step further toward the resolve. Abortion, at least medically speaking,
should be legal.

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