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The Politics of Abortion Essay

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Updated: May 29th, 2021

Abortion has been a highly politicized agenda in American society. Presidents have used reproductive health rights as a campaigning angle for decades. Different presidents that have held office have offered various views on the subject. Whereas the previous US president, Barack Obama, was pro-choice, the current president, Donald Trump, has strongly advocated for the banning of abortion. The impact has not only been felt in America but in all countries and organizations that receive foreign aid from the US government. The essay will look at how the politics of abortion has explicitly changed in the USA via two brief entries. As per the instructions, one entry will be the post-Gratz abortion timeline, meaning after the year 2000. The second entry will be on the politics of abortion in the last year.


In 2003, the politics of abortion favored the pro-life stand. The main reason behind this was the fact that the then president, George Bush, was a strong supporter of the same. The US government heavily supported the Mexico City Policy, which stated that any organization or country receiving foreign aid from the US must abstain from promoting activities that either supported or rejected abortion. The Republicans supported the Mexico City Policy whereas the Democrats rejected it. It is crucial to point out that 2003 stands out as a critical year in the politics of abortion as people started to take individual stands (as opposed to party stands) on the matter. In a high court ruling in the same year, a narrow win of 5 votes to 4, upheld the abortion ban. However, the difference of one vote proved that people were changing their minds on the issue.


In 2017 the politics of abortion had changed significantly compared to that of 2003. The then-president, Barack Obama, was pro-choice. This means that he believed that each individual had a right to decide whether or not to have an abortion. The changing politics of abortion ensured that abortion rates in the US dropped. More women believed that protection of their rights by the government also translated to better reproductive health services. These include improved advice on family planning and woman’s health. Additionally, teenagers had easier access to reproductive health services at hospitals ensuring that they made better decisions. However, 2017 was a controversial year in regards to the politics of abortion. Due to the changed political regime, by the end of 2017, the Mexico City Policy had been reinstated. President Trump then ensured that foreign organizations that dealt with abortion agreed to be non-participant in the matter to continue receiving funding. Additionally, whereas in January 2017 abortion clinics could get funding from different donors, in December of the same year the ruling supporting the right to funding was overturned.


In conclusion, the politics of abortion have changed over the decades. Due to the changing political regimes, different presidents and governments have had diverse stands on the matter. 2017 offers a unique opportunity for scholars to debate on the impact of leadership on the abortion debate. The Democrats held the government at the beginning of the year, thus, supported the pro-choice stand. On the other hand, the Republicans held the government at the end of the year. Therefore, the current government supports the pro-life stance. In as much as people make individual choices on matters of abortion, the political party the person is affiliated to also impacts some decisions on the same.

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IvyPanda. "The Politics of Abortion." May 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-politics-of-abortion/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "The Politics of Abortion." May 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-politics-of-abortion/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Politics of Abortion'. 29 May.

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