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Causes of Abortions and the Argument Surrounding 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.

Becoming pregnant and raising a child is a huge responsibility. When this responsibility is put onto someone it is called an unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancies are a result of many different factors. Lack of contraceptive use, access to contraceptives, lack of sexual education, and inability to have control over a woman’s own body are all factors that can cause an unintended pregnancy.

            The first reason a woman may have an unintended pregnancy is because of lack of knowledge about contraceptive use. The lack of knowledge of contraceptive use results from how much schooling a woman receives. The information a woman receives about contraceptives may also be incorrect. The information that is a woman may incorrectly believe is that an IUD can cause abortions every month or that the pill can cause infertility. This false information about contraceptives can contribute to women not using contraceptives. The incorrect information about contraceptives is shown when women use contraceptives incorrectly. Women may be unaware of how to use a contraceptive properly which results in these women inadvertently exposing themselves to pregnancy. The next way the lack of knowledge about contraceptives is displayed when information about contraceptives is affected by education level. Women in less developed countries may not be able to receive an adequate education. “The basic knowledge of reproductive physiology among adolescents in some less developed countries may be so poor that they are unaware that girls are able to become pregnant the first time they have sexual intercourse.” All of the incorrect information about contraceptives can result from lack of education, incorrect information, and incorrect use of contraceptives.

Another cause of unintended pregnancy is lack of access to contraceptives. The unmet need of women who do not want to get pregnant at the time and the inadequacy of contraceptives available to these women can be a cause of unwanted pregnancy. When obtaining contraceptives, the lack of resources needed to receive them can be an obstacle for women who do not want to be pregnant. An obstacle that a woman may encounter that will prevent her from obtaining contraceptives is when a partner or family may also be opposed to the idea of a woman taking contraceptives. This will create an added pressure for a woman to result to keep her pregnancy. Another factor in lack of access to contraceptives is a cultural pressure to high fertility and cultural stigmas against contraceptives. In some countries, the only accessible option for contraceptives is abortion. Improving the access of contraceptives to women would lower the rate of abortions. Abortions are a result of the lack of ability to receive contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Another cause of unwanted pregnancy is from the failure of contraceptive methods. When a woman uses a contraceptive, it does not guarantee that a women will not become pregnant. A woman can still have an unwanted pregnancy while using contraceptives because contraceptives are not a faultless method. Contraceptive methods can fail because the are used incorrectly. When a woman uses a contraceptive pill and forgets to take it or delay the use of the pill because they are not frequently engaging in sexual intercourse. The failure use of the pill can greatly increase if the pill is stopped even for just a few days. The infrequent use of the contraceptive birth control pill can result in a pregnancy.

When a woman has a lack of control of her own body in sexual relationships it can result in unintended and unwanted pregnancy. Women often times cannot have control over when they have sexual intercourse. Women can be put into a situation where they unexpectedly have sexual intercourse and do not have the time or ability to protect themselves. Sex against a women’s will is a common occurrence and can result in women becoming pregnant against their own wishes. Coercion is a common way a woman be pressured into having sexual relations for something. Someone may want sexual intercourse from a woman in exchange for something that a woman may want or need. “In a study carried out in one of the most developed regions of Brazil, 30% of the women interviewed reported having had sex physically imposed on them or having been coerced into sex, and an additional 32% reported having had sex against their will because they felt obliged to comply with their partner’s desire.” The study shows that there are many ways a woman can be pressured into having sex without the ability to receive protection against an unwanted pregnancy. When a woman has a lack of control over her body or is being forced into have sexual intercourse to result in someone’s satisfaction, these situations can create a problem for a woman who does not want to become pregnant. Pressuring a woman into a situation where she does not have control over her own body can result in her becoming pregnant against her own will.

The argument about abortion is very complicated. The argument for and against abortion is something that is discussed greatly. Abortion is a hard and sensitive topic to discuss with a majority of people. Most people have a stance on abortion and have already decided whether they think it is right or wrong. The choice of either being pro-life or pro-choice is a big statement of opinion. There does not seem to be much ground that each side of the abortion argument can agree on. When a woman becomes pregnant, she now has a human life growing inside her body. Pregnancy is something that is extremely life-changing. When a woman wants to get rid of the pregnancy for a variety of reasons, she is making a hard decision. An unwanted pregnancy is not something that should be taken lightly. A woman gets rid of pregnancy for many reasons that are justified. There is a belief from the pro-life side of the abortion debate that women do not have any justifiable reasons for terminating a pregnancy. There are many valid reasons a woman would choose to end her pregnancy and she should be allowed to pick how she wants to continue with her pregnancy.

When a woman has an unwanted pregnancy, she must choose whether she is going to carry the baby to full term or choose to end the pregnancy. People who advocate for a woman to keep the baby and give birth to the child offer another possibility for the baby’s life which is giving the child up for adoption. If a woman cannot afford to raise a child, the option of putting the child up for adoption is something that could be done so that way the woman is not forced to raise a child that she cannot pay for.

A pro-life argument for not letting a woman have control of her unintended pregnancy is that life begins at conception. The controversy stems from whether the genetically unique cells should be considered human beings. This debate is an emotional and passionate discussion. Neither side of the abortion argument thinks they are incorrect and feel as the opposing side’s morals are wrong and flawed.

Rape violates a person and is a horrible thing to happen to someone. Rape is traumatic and can cause long-term negative effects on someone. “About 18 million women have experienced vaginal rape in their lifetime.” (Pregnancy Resulting from Rape)When a woman becomes pregnant because of having non-consensual sex with someone it can be jarring. A woman can view their fetus as a result of the rape and not her baby. Some women have a hard time differentiating the experience of being raped from the baby itself. When a woman becomes pregnant from a rape, she may have long-term effects from the rape such as depression, unstable relationships, and self-destructive behavior. The pro-life argument fails to consider the type of mental state a woman may be in after becoming pregnant with a child from nonconsensual sex. If you force a woman to raise the child that resulted from rape she may not be in the right mental state. A woman can have a hard time forming attachments to the child and viewing the child separate from the experience of being raped. A woman who is engaging in self-destructive behaviors is not a mentally strong person who is ready to raise a child. If a child cannot be loved by their mother because their mom has a hard time forming attachments to the child is not the life that a child deserves. Forcing a woman to raise a child she did not want is something that should be allowed especially when a woman was forced to have sex in the first place. An abortion may be the only option available to the woman that would benefit her mental health, her body, and her overall life.

An argument of the pro-life side of the abortion debate believes that because a fetus can have surgery inside the womb means that the fetus is entitled to the mother continuing the pregnancy and giving birth to the fetus. “Heart surgeries on babies in the womb are being performed as early as 21 weeks gestation.” Being able to perform surgeries on a baby in the womb is a great medical advancement. Surgery performed on the babies who need to have surgery can be very valuable to the mother of the fetus and the fetus. What this argument fails to consider is that the fetus inside the womb cannot have surgery before a certain point in the fetus’ development. A baby is not fully developed before a certain time before they can even consider surgery as an option for the fetus. Just because a fetus can receive a surgical procedure does not make the woman carrying the baby entitled to have the baby.

A fundamental part of human life is having your own body and having full autonomy over your own body. The pro-life argument ignores that everyone deserves to have independence, and everyone deserves to have control over their body. People should be able to make their own decisions. Forcing someone to do something with their own body is violating and is infringing on a person’s rights. A pro-life argument against abortions may talk about the emotions that a woman can feel towards abortion in the future. A pro-life person may say to a woman who wants to get an abortion that she may regret and have uncertainty about it in the future. Emotions are something that constantly changing throughout people’s lives. Emotions are fluid and personal to people. Guessing the emotions that a person may feel in the future is not something that people should create laws over other people’s bodies on. The belief that abortion is uniquely emotionally harmful to the woman who is pregnant, which might be an argument presented by a pro-life person, is not founded on anything. This argument is only speculating that the pregnant woman would feel a certain way in the future.

References

Dr. William R. Lile. “A Patient Is a Person, No Matter How Small.” Family Talk, 31 Mar. 2021, https://www.drjamesdobson.org/blogs/dr-william-r-lile-do-facog/patient-person-no-matter-how-small.

Flanagan, Caitlin. “The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 Nov. 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/12/the-things-we-cant-face/600769/.

“Pregnancy Resulting from Rape.” https://www.jognn.org/article/S0884-2175(15)33527-9/fulltext.

Talbot, Margaret, and Eliza Griswold. “The Study That Debunks Most Anti-Abortion Arguments.” The New Yorker, 7 July 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/the-study-that-debunks-most-anti-abortion-arguments.

“Understanding Pregnancy Resulting from Rape in the United States |Violence Prevention|injury Center|CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 June 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/understanding-RRP-inUS.html.

“When Human Life Begins.” American College of Pediatricians, https://acpeds.org/position-statements/when-human-life-begins.

“Access to Contraception.” ACOG, https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2015/01/access-to-contraception.

“Clinicalkey.” ClinicalKey, https://www.clinicalkey.com/#!/content/playContent/1-s2.0-S1521693410000180?scrollTo=%23hl0000072.

Haddad, Lisa B, and Nawal M Nour. “Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality.” Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, MedReviews, LLC, 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/.

“Insurance Coverage of Contraceptives.” Guttmacher Institute, 10 Nov. 2021, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/insurance-coverage-contraceptives#.

Lawrence B. Finer Lori F. Frohwirth, et al. “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.” Guttmacher Institute, 3 Feb. 2020, https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives.

“Preventing Unsafe Abortion.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preventing-unsafe-abortion.

“Unintended Pregnancy.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 June 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/unintendedpregnancy/index.htm

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

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/

Clinicalkey. ClinicalKey. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.clinicalkey.com/#!/content/playContent/1-s2.0-S1521693410000180?returnurl=null&referrer=null

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