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Abortion cases have increased drastically over the years especially among the youth, most of who do it using inappropriate ways which may pose great health risks. This has raised a lot of concern with some parties requiring abortion to be legalized arguing that it can be used as a family planning method while others especially church leaders are against the vice based on the argument that no man should take another man’s life (Willke, 2006, p. 1).
Merits of Abortion
Those who advocate for abortion claim that it is a way of; population control, curbing unnecessary maternal deaths, furthering women rights issue and showing compassion to rape and incest victims.
The pro-abortionists argue that there has been a population boom arising from the many unwanted pregnancies. In the current competitive world, the parents to be are afraid that they may not sufficiently meet their parenting roles in nurturing their young ones.
The current high cost of living disqualifies them from providing a decent physical, material, moral and emotional support to their children (Mfon 2011 p.1). It is quite apparent that their children may resort to societal vices such as robbery, prostitution, ignorance and a resignation to the complacency of poverty in their deep depression.
Limited resources coupled with the unequal distribution of social amenities calls for the need to control population growth through Planned Parenthood, in which case some pregnancies would have to be terminated. Birth control pills and the use of contraceptives may not be the only avenues exploitable for family planning, it is not always that the majority of the population employs them; some people opt for abortion as a final alternative.
If continued unwanted teenage pregnancies may be loaded with grave complications, the young mother may not be ready to continue a pregnancy both physically and mentally (Lowen 2011 p. 1). Apart from health problems, an adolescent mother cannot bear the psychological weight of nurturing a child with little or no support from the parenting father. Unwanted pregnancies for minors may unfortunately halt the adolescent’s studies, which narrows and darkens the future prospects of the youth.
Abortion, if legalized would curb unnecessary maternal deaths, in that, it would be done in the open and mothers would not be afraid of consulting qualified personnel for the same. The State would also be able to offer a helping hand in establishing and equipping special health centers for a well monitored and a safe abortion. This would avail a secure medical support for those who decide to abort. The physician would also be secure and would not need to carry out abortion services under cover (Johansen 2000 p. 1).
If abortion is outlawed, it would not curb unwanted pregnancies women would be subjected to secretly seek for medical services from unqualified personnel posing a danger to the safety of their lives in the whole process. If allowed, care would be ensured by qualified physicians that it should be carried out in the first trimester of the pregnancy when it is most safe. The risk of abortion affecting women’s health and their ability to conceive in the future would thus be enormously reduced.
If abortion is legalized it would be easy to follow up the progress of maternal cases at a national scale for it would be easy to collect data and crucial information from the authorized health centers for statistical analysis and evaluation.
If abortion is outlawed it would always be done under cover rendering it impossible to collect any accurate and reliable data (McHenry 2010 p. 1). Thus the nation would be limited in resolving this issue, for the death of mothers in the course of abortion would always be given such tags as ‘a miscarriage’ or ‘therapeutic misadventure.’
Everyone is entitled to the right of moral autonomy and pregnant mothers are not excluded from this right either, they have a right to make personal decisions for the benefit of self and that of their young ones without having other people meddle with their course. A woman should have control over her body, in pregnancy a woman knows the level of stress she bares. Thus if she pleases to discontinue the pregnancy she should do so without any restrictions.
Barring her the right to her body is a violation of her primary civil right. It has been asserted that human life begins at conception and that abortion is outright murder, but the pro-abortionists validate that not only the fetus but also the sperms and eggs are alive. Admitting that life in every form should be respected, however the woman who bears most of the responsibility of nurturing the child should have a greater right than the fetus.
Abortion is a concern of justice and equal rights for all; it is neither a matter of indoctrinated sectarian dogmas from religion nor a debate on secular humanism (Murti 2006 p. 1). These theories and beliefs should not be imposed on a Nation whose women are hurting in silence. The time is come that this issue were solved amicably for in claiming the right to moral autonomy for women does not necessarily mean that women would be unreasonable to the extent of carrying out abortions anyhow.
Abortion should be legalized especially for all rape and incest victims if it pleases them to procure it. These victims need love, accommodation and acceptance having been humiliated in such ugly traumas; it would only be fair and just to let them write off the memory of such an agonizing predicament as they please by terminating the pregnancy. Most incest and rape cases happen to the youth and young adults, who are yet to be at the prime of their lives.
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There is therefore the fear of being looked down upon by their social affiliates and the demanding challenge of providing for and nurturing the unwanted child is generally enormous, thus quite often many such victims opt to abort the child (Lee 2004 p. 1). If brought into being a child of incest would be a continual reminder of the shameful act once committed which would always haunt and break the victims.
Basically in these cases of rape and incest the parenting father does not take the responsibility of bringing up the child, the mother is thus torn between overcoming the psychological trauma and languishing to provide and nurture the child. The mother may wonder how she would in a future time answer the child such questions as ‘who is my father?’ or ‘were you married when you brought me forth?’
Demerits of Abortion
Pro-life campaigners have always held that abortion; is a violation of the infant’s basic right to life, risks the mother’s biological and mental health, and strains ones social relations.
The pro-abortionists have argued that if life starts at conception even so do we need to respect the life of the sperm and that of the ovule, but in declaring this they are overlooking the fact that the sperm and the ovule are akin to any living cell for instance a blood cell. The truth of the matter is that, it is only after the fertilization of the ovule by the sperm that a human person is formed (life starts at conception). The conceived unborn child has an intrinsic yearning to live – it is therefore its right to live (Rand 2008 p. 1).
As much as a woman claims to her moral autonomy, much more also does the unborn voiceless baby have a right for life. It is a different person from the mother (with different or the same sex as the mother), entitled to its own rights. It is only when the mother’s life is at stake that abortion can be conceded. However, this is a great injustice to the voiceless unborn child; for sure most abortions are done for the reason of convenience, not for physical or medical reason.
God is the author of life and He alone has the right of taking that life, so whatever dilemmas women may be in it is quite obvious that God would give them a way out; but this can never be through killing the unborn child (Head 2011 p. 1). Let me illustrate this by citing this ultimate law of justice; do to others what you want them to do to you, suppose the pro abortionist mother were aborted by her mother would she have had the opportunity to even fight for her rights to moral autonomy?
Let justice be accorded to the unborn for they have their advocate – even their Maker. No one knows what the future holds for these young ones, it may well be that these unwanted ones may prove important in the near future. Moreover, the laws of the modern society prohibit murder and legalizing abortion would contravene the very justice the law purports to uphold (Anderson 2003 p. 1).
Abortion is associated with grave immediate and long-term risks causing eventual deaths or prolonged biological health disorders to the mother and children in case of failed miscarriage. Ibid observed that, “a growing number of children are requiring special education because of mental deficits related to prematurity.”
Now that the law has not entirely authorized abortion many women secretly subject themselves to the mercy of unauthorized personnel, women undergoing abortion risk; damage to their reproductive system, extensive bleeding, blood clots, infections, sterility and ultimately death. Maternal deaths have been on the rise; with 2009 abortion statistics giving an annual approximate of1.4 million abortions in the United States.
This translates to more than 3000 abortions every single day and one abortion every 22 seconds (Naik, 2010, p. 1). The reluctance of women from consistent medical attention also accounts for increased post abortion complications. Venereal diseases for instance Gonorrhea if present causes difficulties for an induced abortion to be carried out. Moreover, the fallopian tube is very delicate and any infections in the womb can spoil it permanently for such infections usually stick it up (Link 2010 p. 1).
Abortion has also been known to be the cause of future premature births, breast cancer and repeated miscarriages to those who did it. All these risks sap and wane the mothers biological faculties dismantling the hope of ever having a healthy child. In addition, the medical processes involved in abortion are complex; in difficult situations blood transfusion is performed in which case the risks of infection and death are heightened (McKinley 2008 p. 1).
With all these possible outcomes it is quite evident that a productive Nation would advocate for a healthy citizenry. In the long run, abortion psychologically hurts the mother’s mental health; the guilt of the cruel and unmerciful act of terminating the life of an innocent person weighs heavy on the shoulders of the offender. It afflicts one with a festering incurable wound of remorse, for with the victim out of sight the hope of making amends is narrowed.
The stress which come with this burden of guilt ultimately drive one to despair accompanied by emotional breakdown expressed in form of nervous tension, sleep disorders, hopelessness and to a higher degree suicidal attempts (Kinney 2010 p.1). Although it may be argued that the post-abortion patient gets some relief in having aborted successfully, one should not overlook the fact that such relief halos are always followed by sporadic emotional paralysis, under which state one is momentarily out of touch with their feelings.
The deteriorated mental health consequently leads to a low self esteem which adversely affects post-abortion patient’s social relations (Peikoff 2010 p. 1). At the family level this is characterized by sexual dysfunction for the married, in form of fear for male companions, reduced sexual desire, and heightened pain during intercourse. Other post-abortion patients resort to moral deliquescence such as prostitution, promiscuous living, child abuse and child neglect.
Chronic family disorders ultimately lead to unforeseen family conflicts, domestic violence and divorce. This destabilizes the moral strength of our society and strains our children psychologically (Moran 2010 p. 1). At times children are baffled when they know that quite often their mothers/ relatives abort innocent infants. In a bid to overcome the challenge at hand, many post-abortion patients justify their act; this rationalization renders them easy bait for repeated abortions.
Low self esteem subjects post-abortion patients to self denial, limitation complex and to escapism; in which case they seek solace in drugs and alcoholism (Kilgore 1999 p. 1). Their health is thus negatively affected narrowing their chances of survival and reducing their lifespan.
It is good to weigh options concerning abortion for it is part of the society and though we may turn our face away from it, it would always affect our community. Nonetheless, we must admit that having our own way in life is not an end in itself; it is a fact that we are not our own – for another made us.
However wise we may be, even then would we be limited in knowledge and in understanding. There is one who takes charge over the affairs of men and He can resolve the most complex of issues. Even as He who gives life and forms a person does it in mystery even so would He nurse, nurture, provide for and prosper that voiceless one whose life is targeted for termination. Let us be the voice of the voiceless, it may be that they would be our voice someday.
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