Since 1973, when it became legal nationwide, abortion has been one of the most persistently controversial issues in American politics and culture. This involves several interwoven issues: the question of when life begins and moral status of the embryo or fetus; the moral status of the pregnant woman and her right to reproductive autonomy; and the role of the government in regulating the procedure.
With that said, abortion ought to be legal in any democratic society where a woman can freely, and without pressure from anyone, make the best choice for her and her unborn. We are already faced with numerous social issues and we cannot afford to add another one to the list. The stakes are high for women who have to go through with it. They will be mentally scared regardless, but the damage will be even greater if they do not have the freedom to make the best decision possible.
One question that always comes up whenever the topic of abortion is heard is; whether or not abortion is an immoral practice. The answer to the question depends solely on one's beliefs. Pro life advocates argue that through abortion women have the right to murder, hence immoral. Before murder can even be considered, one must decide whether a fetus is a person or just phase of the developing stage. New Republic's senior editor Gregg Easterbrook states that abortion should be allowed in the first two trimesters due to scientific research showing that tons of fertilized eggs die off. Only about half of all zygotes implant in the uterine wall become embryos while others fail to continue dividing and expire. Of those embryos that do trigger pregnancy, only around sixty-five percent lead to live birth. Therefore women should be allowed to do the same effect using artificial means.
Ridding abortion does not mean the problem would stop there. We can say with certainty that women will seek other remedies if they need to that could compromise their health, and even their lives. Two decades before abortion was made legal in the U.S (United States), it was estimated that nearly one million women sought out illegal abortion. Thousands died, many more mutilated and treated as criminals. By securing women's freedom to choose, we prevent unnecessary compromises to their lives and well being. Women with heart disease, kidney disease, severe hypertension, single-cell anemia, diabetes, and other illnesses that are often fatal, the availability of abortion has helped avert medical complication that could have resulted from childbirth.
Society has come a long way as far as the economic and political equality of men and women are concerned. Having the freedom to choose is another stepping stone for women to elevate their status where it would otherwise be impossible twenty years ago. Therefore, abortion is another way for society to accept woman as equals and respect their decision regardless. Otherwise an accidental pregnancy or rape can have serious ramifications to a women's economic and personal freedom.
Technology has made the world smaller and is doing so at an alarming rate. As the world becomes smaller, population becomes a problem. Imagine a society that prohibits abortion, especially in time where land and space are not only limited but are difficult to obtain. The population would explode tremendously giving rise to more serious problems like crime, children bearing children, and so on. Moreover, studies show that forty percent of fourteen year olds will become pregnant before they turn twenty.
A family's well being can also be affected by illegal abortion. Even when precautions are taken, accidents can and do happen. For some families, this might not be a problem. But for most, such an event can be catastrophic. An unintended pregnancy can lead to stress, disrupt stability and force many families below the line of economic survival. Studies and research show that the average American family faces ongoing financial difficulties and by taking the freedom from women we are pushing them further down the economic survival line.
At the most basic level, the abortion issue is not really about abortion, but rather, it is about the value of women in society.