Abortion is the process of ending a pregnancy through the removal of the embryo or fetus before it can survive outside of the uterus while miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion. Abortion has been carried out across the world. Religion and culture continue to influence abortion perspectives. The aim of the essay is to present the history and overview of abortion, pros and cons of abortion, and how countries across the world view abortion and integrate abortion into their respective systems.
Across several centuries, abortion was common among different cultures in which women helped each other to abort. For example, in the 1800s, women taught each other to abort in the US and Western Europe, without legal prohibitions. Religious organizations or legal systems did not prohibit abortion until the 19th century when countries such as Britain passed anti-abortion laws. Other countries followed including the USA, in which by 1880s abortion was illegal. Legal abortions were allowed in some areas, but the society was sometimes against abortion while implementation of the convict was also a challenge. Abortion was criminalized because it was a dangerous procedure done because of lack of medical provisions such as few antiseptics, crude methods, and high mortality rates. The liberal angle of the society in the 20th century availed mechanism and measures to incorporate abortion into the legal system and medical framework.
The supporters of abortion highlight numerous legislations and proposes such as the Supreme Court stating abortion is part of “fundamental right.” Other argues the reproductive choice allows women to control their reproductive system, definitions of when a fetus becomes human; fetuses do not feel pain, legalizing the system reduces instances of dangerous interventions. In addition, the advancement of technology has provided effective abortion procedures, which are safe, it is difficult for these women receiving abortions to suffer mental or psychological problems, and protects women from disadvantaged communities to give birth without the ability to provide basic needs to the prospective child.
The major concern about abortion is murder. It is the killing of the innocent, and it is against the criminal system. It is premised on the argument life begins at conception; therefore, it is wrong to receive abortion since it leads to the death of an innocent human being. Killing whether a living individual or unborn child, there are levels of pain involved. Hence, the performance of abortion results in some levels of pain, and it is also against the religious doctrine. For example, the Christian religion states that killing is wrong, which is contained in the Ten Commandments and other religious writings. Abortions also cause psychological damage to the mother. The mother may continue thinking about the abortion, which may contribute to mental problems. Women should not utilize abortion as an alternative to contraception. Alternative option such as the use of condom and bills can suffice rather than getting pregnant. Performing abortion may result in additional health wise complications such as the mother unable to become pregnant in future. Moreover, the ethical and moral obligations such as the Hippocratic Oath and the assumption that human life is disposal means that abortion should not be legalized.
Culture and religion play an important role in determining the extent in which restrictions on abortion are applied in a specific jurisdiction. Northern Ireland has the stringent laws in Europe while countries such as Greece allows abortion to be carried out within a specific time limit. In Poland, abortion is allowed provided it is based on specific circumstances such as danger to the health of the woman, fetal impairment, and result of incest or rape. Other countries in Europe impose different restrictions when it comes to abortion. In the USA, the restriction on abortion are different in different States; for example in Austin, Fort Worth, and Dallas regions, a waiting period of 20 days to see a doctor makes the entire procedure expensive. In Latin America, countries such as Uruguay continue to advocate for the decriminalization of abortion. Other countries in Latin America also continues to embrace restricted abortion, the same case in most African countries were terms, and conditions are provided before receiving legalized abortion.
In conclusion, abortion was legal before the 1800s and legal directives through restriction and criminalization of the process began in Britain. Other countries embraced the views of Britain and integrated criminalization of abortion into their systems. Some of the arguments against abortion include the death of the unborn child, the religious perspective on life, psychological and mental problems, and alternative avenues of abortion such as the use of contraception. The arguments supporting abortion state that abortion is a fundamental right, women have a right to control their life, and no need to bring a child who cannot receive basic needs to the word. These views and ideologies are common across the world and countries are progressive in their respective views on abortion. For example, African and Latin America countries continue to support restrictions to negate or support abortion.