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In the past, women did not have many choices regarding reproducing. The lack of knowledge as well as facilities in hygiene and medicine had often resulted in unwanted pregnancies, miscarriages, a death of a woman and/or a child at the moment of birth, or bearing a handicapped infant. The legality of abortions plays a significant role in the lives of both genders. Today, with all the advances in modern medicine, this procedure became less life-threatening because it can be performed at the early stage, which reduces the possibility of negative consequences for women’s health. Since abortions continue to be one of the most topical and controversial issues in the modern society, its basic information, types, as well as positive and negative sides should be considered more closely.
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Abortion is a medical procedure that is aimed to end a pregnancy by removing the fetus from the uterus. Abortions can be made based on different reasons such as genetic or autoimmune diseases, personal considerations, etc. Termination of pregnancy is officially considered as illegal in many countries of Africa (Niger, Congo, Egypt, etc.), Asia (Syria, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, etc.), South America (Brazil, Colombia, Chile, etc.), and many other (“Countries Where Abortion Is Illegal,” n.d.).
Despite the lack of professional knowledge in medical and surgical fields, abortions were held since the ancient times. The citizens of ancient Rome and Greece often supported abortions for different reasons, for example, if a child would harm the social or financial position of the father or both parents.
The duration of pregnancy had played a big role in social and ethical considerations towards performing abortions. In England and colonial America, abortions were not strictly prohibited; however, restrictions on the late pregnancy stages also took place (Farrell, 2010). Today, basing on the Abortion Acts, the termination of pregnancy can be made on the following grounds. First, if continuation of pregnancy goes along with the risk for the physical or menta health condition of a woman, or there is a danger to her life. Second, if there is a risk for a child to be born with physical or/and mental anomalies.
Types of Abortions
In general, two types of abortions can be named – medical and surgical. The type of abortion choice directly depends on the pregnancy progress as the very same procedure that can be harmless at the beginning of pregnancy may result in death, physical disability, or infertility on other pregnancy stages (Farrell, 2010).
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First, second, and third trimesters require different approaches to the termination of pregnancy. Abortions during the first trimester include medical procedures such as a combination of Methotrexate and Misoprostol (effective during the first seven weeks), and Mifepristone and Misoprostol (effective from the first seven to nine weeks). Surgical procedures are as follows: manual vacuum aspiration (effective during three to twelve weeks counting from the last period), and aspiration (can be applied to terminate pregnancy till sixteen weeks starting from the last period) (“Abortion Procedures,” 2015).
Starting from the second trimester, abortions can be made only by surgical procedures. Surgical abortions during the second trimester include dilation and curettage (used for termination up to sixteen weeks pregnancy), dilation and evacuation (used for pregnancy termination after sixteen weeks), and, in some cases, induction abortion. Abortions during the third trimester are not officially legal in many states and are performed only in the cases of seriously adverse medical conditions, for example, vital fetus abnormality or a life-threatening danger to a woman’s health. Termination surgical procedures allowed in the third trimester are aforementioned induction abortion as well as the dilation and extraction procedure that is usually made for termination of pregnancy after twenty-one weeks (“Abortion Procedures,” 2015).
Arguments Supporting Abortions
Many people all over the world consider abortion as a crime against nature and society; thus, they do not supporrt this procedure. Despite the fact that the termination of pregnancy is illegal in many countries, women continue to find ways for ending their unwanted pregnancies for personal reasons.
The very first and the most logic reason for having an abortion is the fact that the pregnancy is unwanted by both parents and was made by mistake. Since a woman is the one who must carry the fetus from the moment of conception till the moment of a child’s birth, it can be fairly considered as a part of her body. Therefore, by prohibiting abortions, a society infringes the rights of women to make choices regarding their bodies, which is discrimination (Messerli, 2012).
Abortions also assist in controlling the spread of transmittable diseases. In the cases, when one or both parents are the carriers of a genetic disease, it is most likely to be transferred to their children, for example, the Alzheimer’s disease, hemophilia, and other. The termination of pregnancy is one of the best ways to fight with such incurable diseases. Moreover, if a fetus was diagnosed with one of few abnormalities, it is most likely that after birth a child will be handicapped for the entire life.
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Having a child is a big responsibility for adults, and when a woman does not want or is not ready for such dramatic life changes, the abortion is the best way to prevent negative consequences. The unwanted pregnancy without the possibility of its termination may result in stress and depression, which can trigger various mental health issues of a mother (Farrell, 2010). In fact, such families often have anger management issues, and unwanted children become victims of domestic violence.
The financial condition of a woman or a family often becomes the valid reason for having an abortion. Many families do not have enough money to raise a child that includes poor nutrition and bad living conditions. Therefore, termination of pregnancy may assist in working on personal financial state improvement, or receiving a degree that would help in the future career (Farrell, 2010). In addition, abortions help to reduce crime rates because unwanted pregnancies often happen in poor areas.
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