Abortion is the medical procedure to end a pregnancy. Sometimes, pregnancy can risk the woman’s health so its termination becomes a basic healthcare need for the woman. Although abortion should be the right of every woman in case it undermines their health, many people consider it taboo making it a controversial topic. In many countries, abortions are illegal because of religious reasons, however, women all around the world go for abortions all the time despite the laws. So, restricting abortions compel people to adopt illegal ways and undergo unsafe procedures. In other words, when a law criminalizes abortions, it does not stop women from undergoing it, it just makes the process less secure and compromises the health of the women.
From a healthcare perspective, it is the ethical duty of a doctor or a medical professional to prefer the health of their patients. Doctors are obliged to restore the health of their patients and to address their problems with proper treatments and solutions. So, if the pregnancy comes into the way of a woman’s health, a doctor must perform the procedure to help his patient. In the USA, nearly 1.5 million abortions are done on an annual basis which makes this the most common surgical procedure (Weitz, 2010). However, it is important to mention here that due to the stigmatization of abortions, a handful of doctors are trained and offer abortion services. The consequence is that women needing abortions have to travel hundreds of miles to visit abortion clinics located in far-off places since they are not common.
When abortions are not legal, women go for unsafe procedures. According to medical research, According. Unsafe abortions are the 4th leading cause of maternal deaths. Specifically, 13% of the maternal deaths are caused by unsafe abortion and 20% of deaths occur due to pregnancy and childbirth pressures (Nobis, 2019). It is important to mention here that approximately all of these deaths happen in those countries where abortions are unlawful. Furthermore, according to the Hippocratic oath taken by every doctor, they are required “not to harm” their patients so it becomes a personal decision for every woman to abort the baby or compromise her own health (Kottow Lang, 2015). However, if the government makes the decision of abortion legal, a woman would more relaxed about her choice and will make an informed decision.
Although abortions should be made illegal, some people will argue that abortions should be banned due because killing a life is murder. They argue that since murder is illegal in all fifty states of America, why killing an unborn baby should be legal? Unborn babies have heartbeats which are the evidence of their physical existence (Huq, et al., 2017). However, criminalizing abortions will prompt women to go illegal ways to get the procedure done particularly in rape cases or life-threatening situations. From a healthcare perspective, it is recommended that abortions of fully developed babies should be made strictly illegal unless it compromises the women’s health. Furthermore, women should be educated about preventing unwanted pregnancies using birth control and other preventive measures instead of adopting abortion which should be reserved as the final option.
Weitz, T. A. (2010). Rethinking the mantra that abortion should be” safe, legal, and rare”. Journal of women’s history, 22(3), 161-172.
Nobis, N. (2019). Thinking Critically About Abortion: Why Most Abortions Aren’t Wrong & Why All Abortions Should Be Legal.
Huq, M. E., Raihan, M. J., Shirin, H., Chowdhury, S., Jahan, Y., Chowdhury, A. S., & Rahman, M. M. (2017). Why Abortion is Illegal? Comparison of Legal and Illegal Abortion: A Critical Review. Mymensingh medical journal: MMJ, 26(4), 944–952.
Kottow Lang M. H. (2015). Abortion: taking the debate seriously. Medway, 15(4), e6139. https://doi.org/10.5867/medwave.2015.04.6139