It is significant to mention that the topic of abortion is controversial, which is why there are discussions in society about the prohibition of abortion to preserve the life of babies. Thus, supporters of the anti-abortion movement try to restrict the practice of abortion. However, there is another concept that women have the right to control their bodies (Clarke & Mühlrad, 2021). Therefore, any legal restrictions on abortion are legitimate. Therefore, I support women’s right to decide for themselves and oppose legislation banning abortion.
The abortion controversy is a debate about the moral and legal status of abortion. There are two main groups involved in the debate: “pro-choice” and “pro-life” (Clarke & Mühlrad, 2021). Each group, with different results, aims to influence public opinion and gain legal support for its position. At the same time, the legality of abortion varies from country to country, depending on the right. For example, in Canada, abortion is available at the request of the pregnant woman; in Ireland, abortion is prohibited (Poliak et al., 2022). Although, in most states, laws permit abortions before 22 weeks for social and medical reasons, and they may be performed in cases and the manner prescribed by law (Johnson et al., 2017). Therefore, legislation regarding abortion affects or enables a woman’s choice.
Millions of women in the U.S. will lose their right to abortion after the Supreme Court overturned a ruling that legalized it across the United States. That is the case of Roe v. Wade, on which the historic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision on the legality of abortion, according to which the right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy. Similarly, in a 1992 decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right to abortion and banned laws that “unduly hinder” access to the operation (Poliak et al., 2022). However, Christian conservatives and many Republicans have long advocated overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling. In this way, the Supreme Court has reconsidered its treatment of abortion in connection with its review of a Mississippi law that Republicans support. It prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, this time with a conservative majority of six justices voting in favor of the (Poliak et al., 2022). However, three judges from the liberal wing of the Supreme Court disagreed and argued that millions of American females had lost fundamental constitutional protections due to the court’s decision.
Additionally, many Republican-controlled states have since begun to pass various laws restricting abortion. 13 states before Roe v. Wade was reheard introduced abortion prohibitions that became effective immediately after the court’s ruling. Kentucky, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Wyoming, and Utah have abortion restrictions. Another 13 states are trying to restrict access to abortion (Sanger, 2017). Some of them are going to ban abortion from the moment of conception, including emergency medical contraception in early pregnancy. Other states plan to continue banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. However, abortion is still allowed throughout the United States to save the mother’s life and to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape or incest (Sanger, 2017). However, before obtaining permission for the operation, women will have to prove it legally.
I believe that contrary to popular opinion, abortion is dangerous to a woman’s life and health, but this is not true. About 73 million abortions are performed worldwide each year, and six out of ten unplanned pregnancies are terminated through abortion (Latt et al., 2019, p. 1). The procedure is widespread enough for the WHO to classify it as “uncomplicated” and, most often, a safe medical intervention that specialists can effectively perform. Moreover, the WHO considers abortion safe if performed under the supervision of qualified staff and familiar with the methods recommended by the organization. According to U.S. statistics from 2013 to 2018, the death rate for safe abortions performed according to WHO recommendations was only 0.4 per 100,000 abortions, meaning only one out of 200,000 women who had an abortion died (Jones & Jerman, 2022, p. 1284). Thus, I suppose that the increase in the number of abortions will lead to more deaths of women through non-professional surgeries, which will be performed ordinarily.
Furthermore, I consider that the legislator and the court should proceed from recognizing a woman’s right to decide independently on pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, the right to abortion should be allowed not only for medical or social reasons but in all cases, the woman’s desire to give birth and raise a child should be considered (Johnson et al., 2017). It is important to note that the new laws adopted in the U.S. and the practice of the Supreme Court will spread the phenomenon of “abortion tourism” to other countries where abortion can be done without obstacles. Moreover, one of the most negative phenomena to which the ban on abortion leads is the so-called “criminal abortion” or “abortion underground” (Francome, 2017, p. 65) In the absence of legal opportunities to have an abortion, women are forced to look for other ways to solve the issue.
As a result, abortions are conducted by persons who do not have the right to perform them and do not have medical education and the necessary skills, which leads to the death of women. Studies show that criminal abortion is the cause of death of 70 thousand of women worldwide every year (Erdman & Cook, 2020, p. 11). Therefore, to avoid such casualties, females should be allowed to make their own abortion choices. Meanwhile, the right to abortion belongs to the category of reproductive rights, which are part of the category of the four generations of human rights. Reproductive human rights have been recognized in international law as fundamental and protected at the ECHR case law level (Erdman & Cook, 2020). Consequently, I believe it violates international law to restrict at the national or state level the desire of women to have an abortion.
It is worth noting that I support President Biden’s decision to sign an executive order protecting the right to abortion. The President signed the proclamation one day after Kansas voters rejected an attempt to remove abortion protections from the state constitution (Jones & Jerman, 2022). The vote was a victory for the abortion rights movement in the first statewide referendum held since the Supreme Court ruling that angered pro-lifers. Thus, an active social movement can influence legislation and court practice changes to permit free access to abortion.
Hence, there is a debate worldwide about restricting the right to abortion. I consider that women and their doctors should decide whether it is safe and appropriate to perform such operations, and the female’s desire to have an abortion should be the main criterion. Nevertheless, I think that legislation that limits this right will lead to illegal abortions that will be carried out in unsanitary conditions. Therefore, such a decision of the state authorities will only increase the mortality rate of women during operations, not save their lives.
Clarke, D., & Mühlrad, H. (2021). Abortion laws and women’s health. Journal of Health Economics, 76, 102413. Web.
Erdman, J. N., & Cook, R. J. (2020). Decriminalization of abortion–A human rights imperative. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 62, 11-24. Web.
Francome, C. (2017). Abortion in the USA and the UK. Routledge.
Johnson, B. R., Mishra, V., Lavelanet, A. F., Khosla, R., & Ganatra, B. (2017). A global database of abortion laws, policies, health standards and guidelines. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 95(7), 542. Web.
Jones, R. K., & Jerman, J. (2022). Population group abortion rates and lifetime incidence of abortion: United States, 2008–2014. American Journal of Public Health, 112(9), 1284-1296. Web.
Latt, S. M., Milner, A., & Kavanagh, A. (2019). Abortion laws reform may reduce maternal mortality: An ecological study in 162 countries. BMC Women’s Health, 19(1), 1-9. Web.
Poliak, A., Satybaldiyeva, N., Strathdee, S. A., Leas, E. C., Rao, R., Smith, D., & Ayers, J. W. (2022). Internet searches for abortion medications following the leaked Supreme Court of the United States draft ruling. JAMA Internal Medicine, 182(9), 1002-1004. Web.
Sanger, C. (2017). About abortion: Terminating pregnancy in twenty-first-century America. Harvard University Press.