Saving Children with Abortion Essay Example
Pro-Choice vs. Pro Life is an extremely controversial topic in America and much of the developed world. The root of the issue in America is over reproductive rights, similar in nature to issues such as civil, or political rights. Reproductive rights are defined as “the rights of couples and individuals to determine when and whether they have children as well as their rights to access information and services related to reproductive health” (Reproductive Rights). One could argue both sides of the argument as the issue feeds into the topics of ethics, morality, religion, as well as racial and social discrimination in some cases. All over the country, parents who are unfit and unwilling to properly raise their children are giving birth to babies, exposing them to a life, or at least a childhood, of rejection, poor health, and disappointment. In comparison to Pro-Life, Pro-Choice is the better argument in this debate due to the poor quality of life or health a child or mother could endure given the effects of an unwanted pregnancy. The unfortunate lives of children who are born into a world where they are not wanted, taken care of, or supported can be avoided if unfit mothers take advantage of their opportunity to terminate their pregnancies.
Reproductive rights has been a heated topic that involves multiple points of view and contributing factors and influences. People’s reasoning for siding with either side of the argument feed into religion, morals, socio-economic status, and education. A marketing and consulting company, Gallup Inc., conducted a poll in 2018, and found that “50 percent of US adults believe abortion should be legal only under certain conditions, 29 percent believe it should be legal in all circumstances, and 18 percent believe it should not be permitted under any circumstances” (Reproductive Rights). In order to comprehend the full scale of this discussion, it is necessary to understand and respect the opinion of the opposing viewpoint.
The most common reason, in America, that one would side with Pro-Life is the influence from the Catholic Church, which does not condone abortion under any circumstances. Catholics argue that fetuses, while unborn, have a spirit and are deemed human being from the point of conception. Other popular religions have a negative public stance on abortion, although many are more lenient given the circumstances (ie. rape, incest, or a danger to the mother or child). Pro-Life activists and supporters, as well as many social conservatives believe that “the law should treat abortion like any homicide” (Jones). In 1973, the Supreme Court issued a case commonly known as, Roe vs. Wade, which stands today as the landmark decision on the issue to, or not to criminalize the action of having an abortion. The outcome of this case sided with Pro-Choice as “the Fourteenth Amendment protects a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy” (Reproductive Rights). Although today, in 2019, the law still stands with Pro-Choice, as abortion is legal in all 50 states (each with separate laws regarding timing with trimesters), individuals have divided opinions, and continue to fight for what they believe to be right.
It’s up to interpretation how different parenting methods impact the life and wellbeing of their children. Parents have the basic responsibility to feed, clothe, and house their kids, at least for as long as they can’t do the same for themselves. After that, one could argue that parents have a responsibility to do everything in their power to make their kids mentally healthy and strong, however they decide to make that happen. Children learn from their parents how to act around, and treat other people and themselves as “children take their cues from … their mother and father” (Campbell).
According to a letter written by a mother of two boys, in a perfect world, a mother should “show [her children] what a fulfilled, courageous, confident, powerful, smart, fun-loving woman and partner really looks like” (Campbell). According to the parenting guide, Duct Tape Parenting, "The role the child develops over time within the family structure, good or bad, will ultimately determine how he [or she] views him[her]self in connection to a larger world. In other words, it will become the child's self-ideal” (Hoefle). A woman explains her reasoning after getting an abortion herself as she is quoted, “‘You've got to think what you did was the best thing for all parties involved and, more than anything, the best you could have done for the baby - not giving it a life of poverty and one-room houses’” (Ingrassia). This woman believed that the best thing she could have done, given her current unsupportive status, was to not have her kid in the first place. She believed that she could not fulfill her responsibilities as a mother. Although this is not the case, or even possible with all situations, parents should aim to support their children in this manor.
Women are influenced by a number of different factors when deciding to, or not to, have an abortion. In an official study, named the Turnaway Study, conducted between 2008 and 2010 over 954 women, shows lasting impacts of an unwanted pregnancy on a woman’s life. Data was collected that displays the most popular reasoning pro-abortion. These include the following: financial reasons, timing, partner-related reasons, and the need to focus on other children. Most of the women reported that their personal reasoning included a mix of more than one (Briggs). Even parents who want children, and believe they could support them emotionally choose to terminate their pregnancies in order to save the potential child from a lifetime of poverty and limited opportunities.
A 19 year old, single and unemployed woman, Jennifer, who decided to abort reasons that “a woman … needs more to support a child than a dream of suburban idyll" (Ingrassia). In another study conducted in 2004 over more than 1,200 patients, it was reported that the women who chose to have their pregnancies terminated included “some 60% [that] were below 200% of the federal poverty line, including 30% who were living in poverty” (Finer). Subjectively, this was the more responsible option, as the women could not have supported their potential children to the degree they felt was necessary. During an in-depth interview conducted at one of the abortion clinics during the study, a 19 year old woman who lives under the poverty line is quoted as saying, “I am on my own, and financially and mentally, I can't stand it now. That is one whole reason....It's a sin to bring the child here and not be able to provide for it” (Finer). Multiple other women who took part in these same studies voiced their opinions; The majority of women’s reasoning was, for the most part, the same.
Substance abuse is another angle that can be taken regarding the reasons for abortion. Whether the mother is addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, or crystal methamphetamines, “Substance abuse during pregnancy is a major public health concern that affects both the mother and the growing infant” (Konijnenberg). Drug and alcohol use during the pregnancy term can cause extremely dangerous and disabling effects on the fetus. This is a situation when abortion may be the best option. When a fetus is exposed to large amounts of alcohol while in utero, they may be impacted by “fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, FASD, which is the leading, nonhereditary cause of intellectual disability in the Western world.” Use of tobacco by the mother (cigarettes etc.) during the pregnancy term “has been suggested to produce significant long-term developmental and behavioral teratogenic effects.” On a more extreme note, the majority of infants exposed to opioids and cocaine are subject “to neonatal abstinence syndrome, NAS,” and negative cognitive developmental effects, respectively (Konijnenberg). The Meth epidemic in America is a leading cause of child neglect and mistreatment. Children who grow up exposed to meth addicts as parents are led to a higher risk of “substance abuse [themselves], child welfare, domestic violence, [and poor] mental health” (‘Meth and Child Welfare’ Report Released). Exposure to drugs will harm a child before and after they are born. Drug addiction while pregnant is a reason why a mother would be unfit and should potentially terminate her child.
While many mothers chose to have an abortion for the sake and wellbeing of their potential children, many others chose to have one for their personal health and social reasons. Whether mothers are too young, or suffer from separate conditions that could be harmful given the effects of childbirth, pregnancy is not always a safe or welcomed condition for all women. In America, “there is a widespread belief that teen pregnancy is a significant social problem” (McKay).
Sexual activity is common among teens and young adults, although access to proper sex education and birth control resources for young people are not, putting many at risk of unwanted pregnancy. Another factor that could contribute to unplanned pregnancy among young girls (and adults) is sexual assault. An incident occurred in Paraguay in 2017 where a 14 year old rape victim passed away during childbirth after she was denied the right to an abortion (Jones). Many girls who become pregnant in their teen years do not have the support for themselves, let alone their new babies. Teen mothers are often rejected by their parents, peers, schools, and places of work. This can be incredibly debilitating for girls, still growing up themselves.
This lack of resources and support can lead to further struggles down the line, as “about half of all teen mothers go on welfare within five years of having their first child, and eight in ten teen mothers will rely on welfare at some point” (McKay). The inability to be financially independent can be extremely challenging for a person trying to assimilate into adulthood. Along with the risk of parents who are too young, medical conditions pre-existing or developed during the pregnancy can be very dangerous to women. In America, data was collected in 2012 that concluded “the overall mortality rate for pregnant women in North America is 6 per 100,000 deliveries, with the incidence being 3 to 4 times higher in minority women” (Bennington). Diseases including many sexually transmitted infections, and pre-existing eating disorders and various other conditions can be harmful and risk inducing to both the mother and the child.
Reasons for abortion
There are a few reasons that a mother would chose to terminate her baby for the sake of her own safety and wellbeing.
A popular alternative to abortion in America is adoption. This is often seen as a solution for teen and unfit mothers that do not accept abortion as the right option for them. 1.1 million teenage girls get pregnant each year, while only half go through with an abortion. The rest of the babies get put into the foster care system, or live with their parents who, for the most part, are struggling to even support themselves.
The foster system, although most parents are there for the right reason: trying to find a child to adopt, can be dangerous and corrupt. The foster care system is a untrustworthy and deceitful corporation attempting to make “profits … from broken, dysfunctional children” (Newman). One of the reasons why the foster system is so harsh is because “professional "poachers" make huge profits from the plight of babies, teens, and young ones of every age in between” (Newman). Foster parents receive state money to “support” the children that they are fostering. With the wrong person, this is often seen as an easy way to make money without working. Foster parents, the bad ones anyway, may take on multiple children as an “accumulation of children accumulates wealth” (Newman). Children can be forced to live through this madness and corruption for years and years, as they have no other option once put into the system.
Mothers and their potential partners should have the option to have their children, or not. The issue of reproductive rights has been a hot topic in discussion for years and years, and most likely will be for quite some time. Many parents, whether it be for health, financial, age, or any other reason deemed important, should have the option to avoid having a child that would cause or be harmed. In comparison to Pro-Life, Pro-Choice is the better argument in this debate due to the poor quality of life or health a child or mother could endure given the effects of an unwanted pregnancy. A life of neglect, poor health, and danger can be avoided if mothers are able to terminate their babies when they feel it is necessary.