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Abortion has been a controversial term since the ancient times. Literally, the term is used to refer to the act of bringing a pregnancy to an end, by either extracting an embryo or the fetus before maturity (Forster 52). Accidental abortion is known as miscarriage; however, intended form of abortion is what we call induced abortion. In some case it is referred to as the late termination of pregnancy; the removal of the fetus is done when it has the potential to survive in the outside environment. In developed countries the practice has been allowed under certain conditions, and it is done using modern techniques, which are safe and take care of the future health, physical, biological, and psychological needs of the individual. Application of modern surgical methods and medication followed up by family planning methods, like the pill, to maintain the life of the woman in a normal way. This secure approach does not expose the woman to long-term side effects of abortion, which are both mental and physical. Contrarily, over 47000 people succumb to death because of abortion and over 5 million get bedridden annually because of induced abortion. In the recent past, the abortion rates rapidly increased to up to 56 million cases in 2002. However, there was a remarkable decrease of the cases from 2003 to 2008 which was attributed to the massive campaigns on family planning and the use of condoms.
Ethical, State and religious views on abortion vary from place to place. In several regions, the act is allowed in certain situations like rape, biological problems, in case the woman's life in endangered, or incest. However, abortion has remained a debatable issue morally, ethically and legally. Though the World Health Organization has recommended safer and lawful methods of abortion and some States even legalized it, I am totally against the practice. In my essay, I will argue out and defend my choice of why I am against abortion.
The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell led a standstill in the legal abortion sector of the United State of America. His trial brought out the darker side of abortion, and controversial debates arose basing on the issue. The trial brought out the aversive impacts of abortion not only those carried out illegally, but also those that were considered legal in clinics.
Abortion exposes women to several short-term health risks. There are numerous immediate risks that range from continuous bleeding, bacterial infections, unfinished abortion, clotting of blood to sustaining injuries in the birth canal or surrounding areas (Forster 56). It may also lead to other complications like heart failure, difficulties in breathing, complications in the renal areas, shocks, complications in the metabolic processes, and even ectopic pregnancies.
It is clear that women who have aborted are susceptible to such immediate complications. Further studies reveal that the immediate risks have led to the death of about one-fifth of the women involved in the practice. The issues arise in all cases regardless of the legality of the practice or the medical conditions under which it was carried out.
Abortion, also, has a negative implication on the future reproductive life of the woman (Forster 62). One of such implications is the occurrence of premature death; this happens when the woman gives birth to four or more weeks prior to the biological due date of childbirth. Abortion has been named an absolute factor on medical grounds of premature delivery. There are several that lead to premature childbirth and abortion in women; they include the mechanical stress, the biological system, infections, and processes that might have left scars in the endometrial. Premature childbirth is the leading causal factor of mortality among infants both in the United States of America and in the entire world. Unfortunately, a larger percentage of them have been linked to abortion practice in the early stages of the mother's life. In addition, premature birth has also given rise to babies with a lot of complications that include underweight, visual impairment, mental retardation, problems in the behavior, chronic medical issues, and even hearing impairment. In case the problems are not noticed at early stages of development, they may increase in the future.
Premature pregnancies linked to abortions have also strained government expenditure. In fact, medical bills for such cases are approximated to be over $1.2 billion annually, not taking into account the cost the government incurs on the long-term effects to the families and the children of the victims (Forster 66).
Another risk associated with abortion is the development of placenta prevails in subsequent pregnancies (Forster 70). The problem is characterized by the partial or total coverage of the mother’s cervix leading to uncontrolled bleeding prior or in the delivery process. This can put both the mother’s life and the baby’s life in danger. The mother faces the greatest risk of hemorrhage, which if not controlled it lead to huge losses of blood within a span of fifteen minutes; such losses is a threat to the life of the mother. The abnormal positioning of the placenta has always necessitated an impromptu cesarean operation for early delivery of the child and save the life of the mother. Induced abortion has always been linked to the situation due to the dilation and curettage. The risk also appears among women who got infections during the abortion process.
Health evidence has also brought out, clearly, the relationship between trauma, which is caused by abortion, and traits of being depressed, anxious, and even suicidal feelings. Abortion victims have been proven to be highly susceptible to mental problems. Over 10% out of the total population of women who are depressed are victims of abortion (Forster 75). Studies show that women whom their first pregnancy was aborted fall under high-level depression risks when compared to those who gave birth. Same studies have also tested the level of anxiety, and assert that in some cases the situation has become much worse due to the feeling of committing suicide.
Abortion is also linked to certain types of cancer (Forster 80). This issue has been a hotbed of debates within the medical fraternity as many individuals have raised up to dispute the claim. Nevertheless, it is medically proven that successful first mature delivery reduces one's susceptibility to breast cancer. Therefore, medically, abortion during the first pregnancy reduces or even faces out the protection against cancer.
In a recap, it is evident that abortion poses many risks to the woman that not only endangers her life, but also the life of the baby in subsequent pregnancies. The risks range from physical, psychological to biological. However, it is very unfortunate that a number of abortion cases, impacts and even those who take part in the action illegally go unreported. There are also many myths going round about the practice. However, even from the religious point of view abortion cannot be justified.
Forster, M.”Long-Term Physical and Psychological Health Consequences of Induced Abortion ”: Journal of Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 67(70):2012, 52-100 2002. Print.
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- Selina Kolls (Author), 2008, Abortion. A brief summary, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/336771