Critical Analysis: Abortion Should Be Legalized Globally
This is quite a personal topic for me, but I would like to tell you a story.
I have a very close relationship with a couple who once made the most challenging decision of their lives and those people were my parents. You see, my dad has a very rare condition that basically kills off your nerves from the extremities of your body and slowly works itself up causing lack of control and feeling in those body parts and intense twitches and pain. My grandpa who had sadly passed away in 2009 had this condition and passed it on to his two sons, he was a very strong stern man, but that underlying look of guilt was always so prominent. As his condition got worse and worse and he was basically to unable to move the majority of his body, he was really struggling mentally with the fact that his own children will encounter this same pain and be deprive off an active and healthy life at such a young age. When it came time for my parents to want to have children, they made the executive promise to never ever let one of their children live with this life-ruining disease. Before I was born condition less, they had a pregnancy that was tested to be positive with the condition and after a lot of professional advice, they ultimately stuck to their promise – they aborted the pregnancy and I can’t thank them enough for saving my possible sibling from a lifetime of misery.
This story is my family and I’s reality and provides me and hopefully you, with the very clear and highly important factors in why abortion needs to be legalized, everywhere. We are so lucky to live in a such a progressive country where my mum was able to be supported in her decision, but thousands of other women don’t have this luxury and have to go abroad or find illegal and life-threatening alternatives. And secondly, the underlying key message behind my parent’s decision is the moral right and freedom of choice that my mum and all women deserve to have about what happens to their body.
Firstly, the universal legalisation of abortion is crucial for the safety of women. It is argued by many pro-life supporters that abortions are dangerous and cause many fatalities and they are not wrong. It is estimated by the World Health Organisation that “68,000 women die as a result of an abortion”, and that number is devastating, but 97% of these terrible deaths are results of illegally sourced abortion options. The World Health Organisation declared that “25 million unsafe abortions occur worldwide” and “1 out of three of these unsafe abortions are conducted in the worst conditions by untrained persons using dangerous methods”.
This illustrates that women will seek access to abortions, no matter the unsafe circumstances. Unfortunately, these women are usually the ones who are working women who are struggling with money, unprivileged women from underdeveloped countries, rape victims or young adolescent women who don’t have the guidance or ability to find safe alternatives for their unwanted pregnancy. Abortions have become one of the safest procedures in contemporary medical practice. Therefore, in truth, the most effective way to minimise life-threatening abortions is to legalise them.
Secondly, it is a moral right for women to choose what happens with their bodies. According to the Centre of Reproductive Rights, 121 countries have either prohibited abortion all together or only allow it to save the women’s life. This is the biggest step back for development of fundamental human rights and is reinforcing inequality. One of the first public birth control activists, Margret Sanger wrote that “No women can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother”. This highlights the necessity for a woman’s independence to allow them the right to abortion to attain the true equality with men whose freedoms aren’t restrained by having a child. I believe that no child should be brought into this world unwanted, but anti-choice leaders commonly think that abortion is used as a shameful contraceptive for sexually irresponsible women and instead the women should be punished with forced childbearing. Why are these societies disapproval ruining not only the women’s, but also the child and families lives? The hard decision a mother should have of deciding where or not to bring a child into this world IS taking responsibility. This decision is heart-breaking and difficult but it allows the mother to evaluate their situation and come to a conclusion based off their own circumstances. Whether they are going to have a healthy child, or not, like my mum, abortion is giving the women the moral right and freedom to make their own choices.
Pro-life defenders often have the opinion that if abortions are globally legalised, those who have an abortion will still suffer emotionally and live in life-time of regret. A very important quote I gained from a discussion with my mum about this opinion was that “it is normal to feel guilty or slightly regretful in the early stages after an abortion because we are humans and it is perfectly healthy to feel that way after any serious decision”. She continued on to say “that she always knew it was the right decision and in the long-term she was so grateful”. A three year study that was completed by researchers from the Bixby Centre for Global Reproductive Health and they concluded that a “overwhelming majority” of participants, approximately “95% of women, did not regret their choice”. This extensive study provides the evidence that if women are given the ability to make their own choice, the outcomes are unregretful.
To conclude, joining everything that I have said the position of being prochoice really means that you are pro-women, pro-family and pro-child. My argued stance on this debate highlights that the best solution is that abortion should always be an accessible option to women all over the globe. This secures the safety of all women and signifies the equality and freedom women have to make their own decisions.