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The term “elective abortion” refers to the deliberate disruption of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of gestation (Cockrill & Nack, 2013). Elective abortion has remained common in many countries including the United States. The practice has been legalized and allowed in different parts of the world. More often than not, the decision to terminate the pregnancy is made by the woman based on various reasons other than fetal or maternal health issues.
It is undeniable that pregnancy termination is something that has been embraced since ancient times by many cultural groups. Unfortunately, adequate abortion services and practices have remained unavailable in many regions due to a wide range of obstacles and barriers. The thesis statement for this paper is: Since the legalization of the practice has not led to safer and quality abortion, there is need to tackle the barriers, obstacles, and cultural gaps that make the services unavailable and ineffective.
Argument for Change
In 1973, the United States Supreme Court decided to legalize elective abortion in the country. Statistics indicate that around 1.3 million abortions are performed every year in the United States (Çakmak et al., 2014).
The current situation and barriers experienced in the country have led to numerous challenges that make it impossible for many women to consider the practice. Due to the unavailability of adequate and safe services, more women have been forced to engage in illegal abortion. Analysts have indicated clearly that most of these illegal abortions tend to be unsafe and unhealthy. Researchers and professionals in healthcare strongly believe that most of these unsafe abortions eventually result in deaths or complications.
This fact explains why a new change in the community is needed in order to make the law a reality and ensure more women are able to realize their goals. The first reason why this change in abortion practice is needed is because more women who want to abort might not be able to get the service. This is the case because the services are usually available in specific cities only (Cockrill & Nack, 2013). This means that women in rural regions who need the services might be unable to access them. Consequently, they might be forced to seek help from unprofessional service providers.
The current situation allows physicians, gynecologists, and obstetricians to perform safe abortions in the United States. Unfortunately, most of these professionals are usually reluctant to perform the practices due to lack of appropriate facilities, resources, or skills (Çakmak et al., 2014).
Inequality is another unique problem that has complicated the elective abortion debate in the United States. For instance, statistics indicate clearly that most of the women seeking terminations are usually young, poor, or unmarried (Imber, 2017). Most of these women lack the required financial support and resources. The situation complicates the practice thus making it impossible for the individuals to access quality and safe abortion. A new change will ensure different health institutions and professionals provide desirable abortion services to more women in the country.
The government has remained reluctant when it comes to the provision of adequate abortion services. Although abortion remains legal in the country, many women are usually unaware of different hospitals and facilities that offer such services. A study conducted by Çakmak et al. (2014) revealed that many people in the country believed strongly that abortion was only legal when the life of the targeted woman was in danger. This kind of understanding explains why unsafe abortions have remained common in the country. This is the case because many women planning to abort will get the services from unscrupulous or unlicensed practitioners.
The legalization of elective abortion in the nation is something that has remained controversial for many years. This happens to be the case because the law fails to support the availability of both abortion and post-abortion healthcare support. Cockrill and Nack (2013) go further to indicate clearly that abortion services are available in the country’s public sector. When the proposed change is implemented, it will be easier for women to get quality services and ensure every abortion is performed in a healthy and safe manner.
Social barriers such as lack of information, discrimination, illiteracy, and religious norms discourage more people from embracing the practice. Most of the affected individuals (and their respective communities) tend to be against the practice. These issues explain why more women would not be willing to embrace abortion. Additionally, women who abort are forced to tackle the problems of stigma and stress. Powerful educational campaigns can overturn the situation and promote the intended change in the community. Complexities arising from institutions’ code of ethics, patients’ decisions, and attitudes from workmates discourage more doctors from performing abortion (Cockrill & Nack, 2013). A new change will therefore be needed in order to ensure healthy and safe abortion is available to more women.
Some people will argue strongly that elective abortion is unethical since it results in death. Some irresponsible women might also embrace the practice. The use of abortion can result in premature deaths and complicate the lives of the targeted women. Although these evidences are undeniable, the most important thing to acknowledge is that the decision to abort is permitted under the law (Janiak & Goldberg, 2016). Some women might choose to abort because of a number of reasons. Some women might have conceived without knowing while others might be unable to take care of the baby. That being the case, there is need for every community to support its women. Since the law permits the practice, it is appropriate to promote a new change that will ensure elective abortion is available to more people (Janiak & Goldberg, 2016).
Imber (2017) believes strongly that abortion will always be performed in each and every community. Failure to allow women to access quality services will force them to seek the services elsewhere. Consequently, more complications and deaths will be recorded. The negative views and notions held by many people in the community about abortion will also remain unless safe practices are promoted.
The legalization of abortion is something that has not led to safer and quality practice. More women are afraid of the stigma and stress associated with abortion. The hands of practitioners and gynecologists are tied thus making it impossible for them to perform elective abortion. This happens to be the case because of the attitudes received from their colleagues and the existing code of ethics in different health institutions. These barriers have led to new complications thus making it impossible for more people to receive quality abortion services (Janiak & Goldberg, 2016). In conclusion, a new change in the community is needed to tackle the barriers, obstacles, and cultural gaps that make elective abortion services unavailable and unhealthy in the country.
Çakmak, B., Metin, Z., Özsoy, Z., Çıtıl, R., Önder, Y., & Doğru, Y. (2014). Opinion of women about elective abortion. Journal of Turkish Society of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 11(3), 170-175. doi:10.4274/tjod.83723
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Cockrill, K., & Nack, A. (2013). “I am not that type of person”: Managing the stigma of having an abortion. Deviant Behavior, 34(12), 973-990. doi: 10.1080/01639625.2013.800423
Imber, B. (2017). Abortion and the private practice of medicine. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Janiak, E., & Goldberg, A. (2016). Eliminating the phrase “elective abortion”: Why language matters. Contraception, 93(1), 89-92. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2015.10.008