Pro-Choice Abortion: History Of Abortion Legalisation
For decades, women have continued to fight for their rights in an attempt to decide their own destiny and life choices. Abortion has been a highly controversial issue and debate that always attracts public attention. This is an important topic because the decision will either give or restrict power to women. Although having an abortion may take a physical and mental toll on a person, the legalization of abortion will grant women the rights that they deserve and promote women’s safety. This also helps reduce the risk of children growing up in abusive, traumatizing, or impoverished environments that may negatively compromise their growth into adulthood, as well as their ability to become responsible members of society.
Abortion was legalized in 1973 through the United States Supreme Court of Roe. v Wade. As of today, the United States debate over abortion is categorized between “pro-choice” or “pro-life”. However, many people consider abortion as a morally wrongful act and should not be acceptable under any circumstances. This belief and the laws that strictly prohibit women from aborting unwanted pregnancy places an unfathomable pressure on them, subjecting these people to depression, fear, and many other factors that directly affect the physical and mental health of both the mother and child. In 1960, women marched, fought, and spoke-up through the women’s liberation movement to make abortion legal and safe (Source 5). This movement also shined a light on gender equality. After the law was passed, certain circumstances permitted the right to get an abortion, such as pregnancy as the result of rape.
Women who were victims of rape can become dangerously traumatized during pregnancy and birth, which puts both the mother and child at fatal risks of negative side effects or complications. Throughout the journey of pregnancy, the image of her assailant may continue to haunt the woman. One in every five women in the United States is raped at some point in their life (Source 1). After experiencing such a life-altering incident of sexual assault, a mother who is forced to give birth and raise her child while coping with possible symptoms of PTSD and other mental trauma, may neglect her child, become depressed, or even commit suicide. If abortion is legalized, in some way it can help sexual assault victims recover from the assault and reduce mental health problems in woman. However, most pro-lifer would argue that the life of an innocent being is more important and valuable than the needs of a rape victims. But in fact, the mother will not be in the right mental state of mind to properly care for her child. If abortion is made illegal, women will still seek an abortion without appropriate medical procedures and put their health at risk because they were denied basic rights.
Society often views abortion as a murderous action, but it can impact the community positively by decreasing criminal activities caused by children who were neglected, abandoned, or not raised in optimal conditions. Most mothers who are unprepared and are unable to raise a baby will place them in foster care. In the most crucial early developmental years, children who are raised without the proper nurture may grow up to make poor decisions that may even put others in harm’s way. Placement in foster homes will leave the child feeling neglected and abused, which will also hinder their brain development, basic fundamental values, and decision-making skills. Such experiences will affect the child’s brain to fully participate in society or a long-term consequence of them growing up to become abusive individuals. Since they are challenged with not being able to live with their biological family, most of the young adults will grow up committing crimes. The legalization of abortion can reduce violent crimes to at least 50 percent. Researchers have also noticed that states with high abortion rates correspond to low crimes executed (Source 4).
At the beginning of February, Justice Roberts sided with liberals by striking down the state law that only allowed one abortion clinic in Louisiana. The outcome of this decision gave pro-choice supporters more power, however, there still remains multiple abortion clinics in the state of Louisiana (Source 3). Women should be given the freedom to make the right decision that is beneficial towards themselves and their babies. In order to solve the issue of legalizing or criminalizing abortion, both sides should compromise to a common ground. States should pass a law that allows mothers the decision to abort her child in the first four months of pregnancy. This will grant women the right to make their own choices and seek the medical relief that they need. On the other hand, if a fetus is already fully developed, then abortion should be determined illegal. By passing this kind of law, both parties of the debate will have an equal compromise regarding the issue.
Considering all of these aspects, pro-life activist must take a step back and re-evaluate their case. If this right is to be restricted, it will eventually lead to more rights taken away. Abortion is meant to give the opportunity for women to embrace their bodies, claim their freedom and the equality that they rightfully deserve alongside their male counterparts in any personal and professional setting- in their home or the workplace. As implied in the second source written by Judith Jarvis Thomson, the mother is alive while the embryo is not; therefore the choice should belong to the mother and her life should not be jeopardized (source 2). The pro-life activists must wake up and realize that women are subjected to many life risking and serious health factors throughout pregnancy- it’s about more than just the existence of the embryo. Give the choice to the women.