My Body, My Choice: Defining Women's Reproductive Rights

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Abortion is your own choice, no matter what anyone says or thinks. People who stand with the pro life group do not agree with terminating a fetus under any circumstances. They stand by keeping the fetus or putting the child up for adoption. Pro choice is the definition of a woman having the right to do what she chooses to do with her body. There are different procedures that take place when you seek an abortion, counsoling purposes if you do need it, and support from your family members as well. The paper states that there can be serious complications that the mother can experience or the fetus can experience if the offspring is not terminated before birth. Herd, P., Higgins, J., Sicinski, K., & Merkurieva, I., state that the mothers mental health can deteriorate if the unwanted child is born into this world that she is unable to care for it. The choice of abortion is being more recongized and is becoming something more people look at differently.

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My Body, My Choice

An abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus before it can survive outside the uterus. As a woman you have the right to do whatever you choose to do with your body. You have the basic right and freedom to do what you want, no matter who someone is, or what they say, or what they think you should do. Most women are looked down upon when having an abortion. In certain religions or family beliefs they are not allowed to have an abortion preformed on them, some say the fetus is blessing the family from their god. I stand by the pro choice movement. Pro choice does not mean you are for abortions necessarily, it means you want women to be able to make their own choices with their body’s. It is what you feel is best for your own body and what you feel what is best for you and only you, no one can take that away from you. Abortions happen everyday no matter if you like it or not, because again, it is not your body.

Having a safe abortion will reduce the risks of infections, diseases, and or death. Abortions are a hard, long, dragging process that makes it hard for a woman to go through, especially if other things arise such as a disease or an infection if it is not properly done. The procedure is already hard on your body, so anything to help keep the infection, disease, or death rate will make it a much smoother process. The Public Health Impact of Legal Abortion: 30 Years Later states that women induce abortions by using coat hangers, knitting needles, or radiator flush, or by going to unsafe “back alley” ( Willard, 2003). There are two types of abortions that women may recieve if they do wish to have the fetus terminated. First, a medicated abortion, mifepristone, which is a pill you can get prescribed from your doctor that is administrated with in up to the first 10 weeks of the pregnancy. You will then receive a second pill, misoprostol, that you must take within the first 24 to 48 hours after the first pill that was given to you. The second type of abortion, the most common one many know is the suction abortion. This procedure is normally done within the 14 to 24 week time period of your pregnancy. The suction will gently be placed in the vaginal area and into the uterus and lightly suction the pregnancy tissue out. According to The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s health this operation is 99.9% effective and is the most common. Neither of these abortion techiniques are pleasant, but it is safer than risking an infection, causing harm to your body, or even death. (Willey, 2017).

Abortions will reduce the number of rape vitctims left with an unwanted child. Some women get raped by their own family members, friends, and strangers. Not having consent to have sex because you are too young, not financially stable yourself, or just simply not wanting another human in this world that is yours can lead to someone not wanting to give the child its full love, attention, or basic needs that it needs to survive in this world. Also, the case Roe vs. Wade states that women have the right to their body because of the reasons that they were raped. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment stated that the mother of the fetus is more likely to harm the child rather than care for it. “…increased risk of child abuse, lower educational attainment, delayed entry into prenatal care, a high risk of physical violence during pregnancy, and reduced rates of breastfeeding” (Family planning, 2019). There are some women out there that simply do not want a child at that specific time in their life because their current situation is not stable. Some women might just be starting their life and getting on track with school, others just can not support another human at that time in their life. Guttmacher Institute stated that women could not care for a child because of education, work, or just not even able to care for the baby. “The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%)” (Guttmacher Institute, 2016). Most, if not all parents want what is best for their child and to be able to give them a great life and if they can not follow through it is what they think is best to do.

Less babies will come into the world with abnormalities. There are cases where the fetus will come out with serious abnormalities and sometimes can be fatal. When a woman does not want a child, she will disregard the fact that she is pregnant and possibly engage in activities that may harm the fetus. These activities, such as drinking, smoking, and destructive behavior can result in birth defects and even death to the fetus. Reinhard states that abnormalities can contain anencephaly, in which the brain is missing, and limb-body wall complex, in which organs develop outside the body cavity. (Reinhard, 2019). It is not ethical to make someone do something that they do not feel okay doing just because there is a fetus. Some people can not afford to maintain and support the offspring that she will be having with the circumstances the fetus may have, or what they may be going through. There are even other abnormalities that could not be fatal but could still be very challenging for both the mother and the father of the fetus. Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral palsy, and brain injuries are all part of the abnormalities that can make it a lot harder for the parents to care for on their own. There is a good majority of people who are working jobs from morning to night, sometimes both of the parents are working and can not afford someone to babysit or take the child to a special daycare. There are parents struggling to make money to support themselves and the baby, let alone the expenses coming with the child that has disabilities. Some people do not have insurance, or only have a small portion to only cover doctors visits. Medication can be very pricey for ones that do not have insurance to help pay for it. It does not make either the mother or father a “bad” parent, it is just very tough to care for another human being that can not do anything for itself. Caring for another human that has severe problems is hard to keep up with. It is very challenging to understand where the parents are coming from and what they are feeling. In some cases it is better for both the parents to not welcome the fetus into the world knowing they would be unable to care for it.

Being allowed to have an abortion will allow less of mental health issues with the mother who is carrying the child. Most women who do follow through and continue with the termination process do not feel regret. It is almost a sense of relief when the process is over, not because the mother aborted the fetus, only because she knew it was what was best for her mental health and well being. Most of the women who terminate, think it is what was best not only for themselves and their circumstances, but also for the child. According to Guttmatter Institute, “… around 95% of the women who received an abortion felt like it was the right decision” (Rocca, C. H., Kimport, K., Gould, H., Foster, D. G., & University of California, 2016). Mental health is a serious problem that is not taken as serious as other issues in this world. Women who are denied for an abortion are more than likely to already have some form of mental illness. The American Journal of Public Health states that “Experiencing unwanted pregnancies appears to be strongly associated with poor mental health effects for women later in life” (Herd, P., Higgins, J., Sicinski, K., & Merkurieva, I. 2016). Mental health issues can be inherited from the mother or father. Some parents do think it would be best to not bring another life into the world if they can not physically or mentally support a child when they are going through something traumatic in their own life. 

Many people tend to go into dark places when they feel like they can not help others and what they are going through. Mental health issues can run in the family and can affect someone’s ability to care for another human being. Some women cannot physically carry a child to term. Women with certain health conditions can die as a result of pregnancy. Women of certain cultures can also be exiled for being pregnant. Certain religions will cast out a woman is she becomes pregnant before she is married, which then makes her go into a depression of some sort. This will have serious effects on the woman’s physical and mental well being. The woman who is carrying the child may not have any way to support herself and has been raised on ideals considering adoption and abortion unethical. Some religions and countries do not allow a family to have more than one child. If a woman does have a second child, that child and possibly the mother will be killed after it is born. The reality is, abortion is a real option for women who need it and should always be considered if that woman knows she cannot care for herself and a child. Abortion should never be looked at as a bad thing and should not be taught to children as something that is not allowed. If abortions are looked down upon, women may turn to less safe alternatives. Some women who feel as though they will be looked at as less than they are if they recieve an abortion, will turn to drinking alcohol, using other extraction devices, and black market abortions so that no one will know that they were ever pregnant and ever had an abortion. These methods are unsafe and cause injury and death. Abortions will happen no matter what. If they are determined illegal, women will use an unsafe alternative. If abortions remain legal for qualified doctors to perform, women will most likely make the safer choice.

There are people out there that do have their own beliefs on why abortion should illegal and is not ethical. Some women have fertility problems, along with men. To resolve the problem of them not being able to have kids, they seek adoption. Adoption is a child who is not biological, that does not have a home and is seeking for care of someone who will love, cherish, protect, and nurture them. Some of these people do not think abortion should be legal because there are people out there that would love to be able to give the kid they do not want everything they could possibly give and more. In the Pro Con article, it states that women who chose not to care for their baby should be obligated to put the child up for adoption for someone who can and will properly provide for the baby. “The percentage of infants given up for adoption in the United States declined from 9% of those born before 1973 to 0.5% of those born in 2014” (NCHS Data Brief, 2009). Adoption rates are dropping due to the lack of enforcement on abortion, which leads to mature adults not being able to have a child that they could care for becaue the mothers who are carrying the child are not thinking about the life someone else may be able to give to the fetus. 

Another reason pro-life people want to stop abortion is because they say Planned Parenthood is getting funded way too much. Instead of funding a place where they give options to a life they should completely cut it out and support places that will help the fetus grow and live a healthy life. Funding a place that wants children to grow up and be healthy is a main reason pro lifers think the Planned Parenthood needs to be put to a stop. The America Magazine states, “Imagine a future in which every proposal to defund Planned Parenthood is linked to increased funding for maternal health and protections for pregnant women in the workplace” (America Magazine 2019). Instead of funding a place that takes away lives, the government should fund a place that helps lives grow. They say that abortions need to be stopped and others need to start caring for the kids that are coming in the future. However, adoptions come with time in court, therapy visits, and money for an attorney. Adoption also forces the mother to carry the child to term and give birth to it, which comes with its own set of risks and challenges that some women cannot face. Hospital visits, time, and doctors appointments cost money that the mother may not have to spare. Keeping up with medications and nutrition while carrying the child can also be expensive. Adoption is not a possibility for some pregnant women.

On the other hand, pro life people say that the fetus can feel pain at any time, which in this case is not true. If you receive treatment before the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy, the fetus will not feel any pain. The neurons and brain are not fully developed before the first 20 weeks, so there is no way that a fetus can feel pain if nothing is fully connected yet. According to the Clinical review article, “…fetuses of less than 30 weeks’ gestational age or specifically addressed fetal pain perception or nociception” (Lee, S. J. 2005). Most, if not all doctors who preform abortions do not accept abortions after the fetus reaches its third trimester or is almost fully developed. Most state laws also require doctors to not preform abortions so late because it will harm the mother and even the baby. Even then, most doctors do not preform abortions if the fetus is too long into the term if they feel it is unethical to the baby. The fetus does not feel pain during the procedure. Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham (UK), ‘Fetuses cannot be held to experience pain. “Not only has the biological development not yet occurred to support pain experience, but the environment after birth, so necessary to the development of pain experience, is also yet to occur” (Derbyshire, S. W. G., 2006). The government and doctors understands and knows the importance of life and what precautions to take when dealing with a life. Pro Lifers feel as if the unborn child is experiencing an uncomfortable feeling when the abortion process is happening, but the research and doctors stand by what they know and what they have studied. Fetuses can not and will not feel any sort of pain under any circumstances.

Abortions are safe and legal for the reasoning of it is your body and your choice. No one has the ability or right to tell you what you can and can not do with your body. No matter what you choose to do with any part of your body is completely up to you. Your body is your canvas and a piece of artwork that you can choose to do with and what to put in it and take out of it.“Whoever you are, wherever you live, you have the right to make these choices without fear, violence or discrimination” (Derbyshire, 2006). It does not matter your race, ethnicity, culture, or how you perceive yourself, all that matters is you should know and feel comfortable making any decisions with and for your body. As stated above, anything you decide for your body is only up to you, it is your body and your choice.         

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