Lowering the Rate of Abortions
Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. The vast majority of abortions result from unplanned pregnancies. Typically, unplanned pregnancies result from misuse or no use of contraceptives. Some accidental pregnancies result from incest or rape. Carrying a baby to term and raising it is a large emotional and physical responsibility. Taking care of a child can be a massive undertaking that would be unwelcome by someone who did not plan for having a child. There are many reasons women would want to terminate their pregnancy. One reason is that pregnancies become unwanted because a woman is concerned for her health and well-being. Another reason is that the financial demands for raising a child may also be too difficult for a woman to handle. Not being able to afford a child would be a danger to the woman and the baby. Women may not want to raise a child that they did not plan for because they may be unready to be a parent. A woman who has an unplanned pregnancy may not want a child because it would interfere with her lifestyle and other responsibilities. A planned pregnancy is life-changing. Forcing a woman who did not plan to be pregnant into giving birth to a child could be harmful to her life and the child’s life. Children who are born from an unplanned pregnancy are unwanted and could be subjected to the life of abuse and neglect. Children who are a result of unplanned pregnancies could be in danger of being cycled through the foster care system. When children are in the foster care system, they may feel unwanted and abandoned. Less likely to be breastfed, less parental involvement, less social support, and higher chances of illness are all results of an unwanted child being born. Children should not have to feel like that they are unloved and unwanted, and this could happen if their mother is forced to give birth to an unplanned child. Preventing unwanted pregnancies and the hospitalization of women would require more access to contraceptives and more safe sex education.
An abortion can either be “safe” or an “unsafe” abortion to end the women’s pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines safe abortions “when they are carried out with a method that is recommended by WHO and that is appropriate to the pregnancy duration, and when the person carrying out the abortion has the necessary skills.” On the other hand, unsafe abortions are abortions that happen when the people, environment, skills, and medical precautions are not up to the World Health Organization’s standards. Unsafe abortions increase the risk of death for the woman who is carrying the fetus. Around 22,800 women as a result of unsafe abortions. Also due to unsafe abortions, around 7 million women are hospitalized every year in developing countries. Banning all abortions, safe or unsafe, would not be an appropriate solution to the hospitalization of women, because a ban on abortion would violate a women’s right to autonomy over her own body. A ban on abortion as a solution to the hospitalization of women, would prevent women to freely make their own decisions and would prevent women from being subjected to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatments. To prevent the hospitalization of women the stoppage of unwanted pregnancies would be the most effective solution.
To help prevent unwanted pregnancies the use of contraceptives would be an effective solution. Lack of knowledge about contraceptives is a reason that some women may not use them. The women do not know how contraceptives work and how to get ahold of contraceptives in their lives. Women may also choose not to use contraceptives because they believe that contraceptives will have a negative impact on their bodies. For example, some women may believe that the birth control pill could cause infertility. Another reason is that some women may use contraceptives incorrectly because they do not know how to properly use them. This lack of knowledge about contraceptives does not help women and further increases their chances of an unwanted pregnancy.
The lack of access to contraceptives can also be a reason that unwanted pregnancies happen and result in abortion. In the study by Clinicalkey, they mention in their article that “It has been estimated that 125 million women have unmet needs for family planning, mostly in the developing countries.” 270 million women have an unmet need for contraceptives. The unmet need results from women not being educated on contraceptive use and not being able to afford contraceptives. Many women’s unmet need for contraceptives also comes from misinformation about contraceptives The only form of contraceptive available to many women is unsafe abortion. The lack of resources to receive contraceptives and the lack of availability can ultimately result in an unplanned pregnancy and ultimately abortion.
Since many women do not know how to properly use contraceptives, education should be adapted to the women’s understanding so that they can learn how to properly use contraceptives and meet their unmet need for contraceptives. Changing the education to the level that women may require is a good way to make sure the success of contraceptive understanding in women is higher. Having information about contraceptives available to women is not effective if the women cannot understand and put the information into practice. Sexual education for both men and women is essentially important. Without proper sexual education, there would be a possibility that the rate of unplanned pregnancies would be much higher. Men and women who do not have a proper sexual education may be under the false idea if that they only engage in sexual intercourse before the ovulation period that they will not get pregnant. Also, without informative sexual education, men and women could also believe that engaging in sexual intercourse without contraceptives is safe. Many people may be under the illusion that they are engaging in safe sexual intercourse when proper sexual education would have information that would say otherwise. When sexual education is in place in many people’s lives, it teaches people how to responsibly have sex. In the Clinicalkey study, sexual education is shown to delay the initiation of sexual intercourse, reduce the number of sexually active young adults, and greatly prevent unplanned pregnancy in many women. To reduce the number of abortions, increasing complete sexual education in young adults would effectively do that.
The price of contraceptives for women who need them may not be available to them due to their affordability. Contraceptives may also have to either be free or greatly reduced in price otherwise they will remain inaccessible to most women. Providing money to areas of education for women and affordability of contraceptives could drastically change the unplanned pregnancy rate of that area. Financially supporting many women who want and need to receive contraceptives would greatly reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and thus reduce the number of abortions in that location that needs to financially supports women’s contraceptives.
Nearly half of pregnancies, 45%, of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States were unintended. Unintended pregnancies can increase the risk of maternal depression and parenting stress. There are many different reasons a woman may want to terminate her pregnancy. Those reasons can include the large responsibility of a child, the finical burden that a child can put on someone’s income, and changing someone’s lifestyle or previous life plans. There are two types of abortions. One type of abortion follows the World Health Organizations’ requirements and is considered safe for the woman. The other type of abortion does not follow these medical requirements and is considered unsafe. Unsafe abortions can have a negative impact on a woman’s health and can result in hospitalization. To help prevent unwanted pregnancies the knowledge and access to contraceptives should be available to women. Extensive sexual education can also contribute to the proper use of contraceptives and people having responsible sexual intercourse. By reducing the costs of contraceptives many women will have more access to these essential devices in their lives. Implementing many of these solutions can create a decline in abortions.
World Health Organization. (n.d.). Preventing unsafe abortion. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preventing-unsafe-abortion
World Health Organization. (2014, November 28). WHO | Preventing unsafe abortion. https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/unsafe_abortion/hrpwork/en/
The Right Way to Reduce Abortion. (2006, October 23). Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2006/01/20/1796/the-right-way-to-reduce-abortion/
Haddad, L. B., & Nour, N. M. (2009). Unsafe abortion: Unnecessary maternal mortality. Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/
Haddad, L. B., & Nour, N. M. (2009). Unsafe abortion: Unnecessary maternal mortality. Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/insurance-coverage-contraceptives#
Clinicalkey. ClinicalKey. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.clinicalkey.com/#!/content/playContent/1-s2.0-S1521693410000180?returnurl=null&referrer=null