Several questions crop up when the issue of abortion is raised. Arguments for allowing abortion vary from emotional to socio-economic aspects. People who support the idea of substantiating abortion argue that every woman has a right to motherhood; it should be her decision whether or not to become a mother. This particular argument is related to several other rights such as the right to equality, privacy, life, and wellness. The emotional feature also plays a crucial role in such arguments.
Just as incidents of rape and death penalty invoke our emotions, abortion should also be considered as a human right of women who want to uphold their self-respect. International law also permits abortion. As a result, several countries are experiencing great pressure to remove/amend the laws pertaining to abortion. A logical point of view suggests that abortion has indirectly slowed down the population growth of the world. From this, it might be implied that the United States’ birth control program has also been benefitted.
In spite of the Supreme Court’s decision, during the Roe v. Wade case in 1973 to legalize abortion, the debate on the repercussions of this decision hasn’t stopped. The anti-abortion groups support the idea of having a ban on abortion, whereas the abortion-rights supporters feel that banning abortion would lead to the human rights violation. For people who are on neither side, the debate has become an intricate issue. Even after 41 years of the Supreme Court’s decision, the heat hasn’t subsided.
As a result of continuous efforts by the anti-abortion groups, 40 new provisions have been decreed by different states (Masci 1). Voting on abortion is influenced to a great extent by religious beliefs (Wetstein 96).
A research conducted by Pew Research during July 2013 suggests that over 54 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing abortion and approximately 67 percent are against the Supreme Court’s ruling of 1973, pertaining to the validation of abortion. The following chart depicts the views of Americans on abortion during different stages:
Answer to questions on whether abortion should be endorsed or not depends on the attribute that the word ‘abortion’ is linked to (Jelen and Wilcox 3). Such attributions can be enlisted as:
- The pregnant mother’s life is at risk
- The pregnancy is a result of sex against the will of the mother
- The unborn child has some defects
- The family cannot afford another child
- The pregnant mother is single and doesn’t want to get married
- The married couple doesn’t want more children
So, people who oppose the idea of authorizing abortion should consider the plight of the pregnant woman under the aforementioned conditions. The circumstances can further be clubbed into three main categories. The first one is when a mother gives more importance to her life than her unborn child. The second one is when she is concerned about her own health. The final one is when pregnancy is a result of forced sex (Venzor 1).
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), in collaboration with some other associates released a report that suggests the yearly abortion rate has declined. The report also suggests that there has been an increase in the number of people who oppose the idea of abortion (NRLC 1).
It is ironical to note that in spite of the decrease in the percentage of abortion, over 3000 abortions take place every day in the United States. The number of abortion since 1973 (when the Supreme Court issued a ruling that substantiated abortion) is over 56 million. The number of abortion cases was highest in the year 1990 (1.6 million). The current figure of annual abortions is 1.1 million (NRLC 1).
All the arguments and the impact on the abortion rates don’t give the government an authority to influence a woman’s decision or rather force her to decide on anything that might be dangerous for her life. It is true that abortions should be averted but what if the newborn baby brings woes (mental stress, financial problems, prestige matter, and baby’s disabilities) with its birth.
Who is going to be blamed? Will the government or the so-called anti-abortion groups come to her aid? Not of course. It is the mother who has to take all the problems on her shoulders. Why then do people advocate for banning abortion when they are not ready to shoulder the responsibilities/repercussions?
It is understood that in spite of the nationwide protests against abortion, abortion services are easily available throughout the United States. But at least now, women understand the importance of the unborn child’s life and are resorting to methods other than abortion in order to save their lives and that of their offspring.
Jelen, Ted and Clyde Wilcox. 2003. Causes and Consequences of Public Attitudes toward Abortion: A Review and Research Agenda. Web.
Masci, David 2013, The New Legal Battlefield over Abortion. Web.
Venzor, Tom. “Protecting the Unborn Child: The Current State of Law Concerning the So-called Right to Abortion and Intervention by the Holy See.” Neb. L. Rev. 89.4 (2010): n.pag. Digital Commons. Web.
Wetstein, Matthew. Abortion Rates in the United States: The Influence of Opinion and Policy, United States of America: Suny Press, 1996. Print.