Abortion, the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life, has been practiced since ancient times. With records dating to 1550 BC, it’s no question that abortion techniques have been used throughout the ages as an effective form of birth control. Pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the use of herbs, sharpened instruments, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques. In the 19th century, the English Parliament and the American state legislatures prohibited induced abortion to protect women from surgical procedures that were deemed unsafe. However, in 1973, abortion was legalized as a result of the U. S. Supreme Court rule in Roe v. Wade. This ruling made it possible for women to safely have an abortion, no matter the reason behind it. I wholeheartedly believe that the banning of abortions should not be considered because of the possibility that the woman’s physical health is at risk, the case of rape or incest, or the child would be born with a severe disability. In the case of a pregnancy where the woman is facing physical complications, an abortion should be available if needed. Some examples of physical complications include placenta previa (the placenta is attached close to or covering the cervix), ectopic pregnancy (the fertilized egg becomes embedded outside the womb), and pre-eclampsia (pregnancy induced hypertension). These life-threatening situations would pose a serious hazard to the mother if the child is carried full term, which means the mother’s life could be spared if an abortion is performed. According to the Guttmacher Institute, fourteen thousand abortions per year are due to rape or incest. If a woman is raped, she should have the right to terminate her pregnancy. In some cases, the baby can not be cared for due to lack of finances, the mother is not mature enough to care for it, or the baby would be born into potentially harmful situations. Oftentimes, the child is not wanted, and would be a potential victim of neglect or abuse. On the other hand, an abortion would only add to the emotional weight placed on the raped woman. Because of this, the mother must make her decision very carefully. If medical tests have proven that the child will be born with severe handicaps that would greatly reduce the quality of life or endanger the fetus, the opportunity to terminate should be available. Allowing abortion because of fetal disability may actually benefit the child in the long run, by saving it from a life full of unnecessary complications. This, however, is a very controversial reason and is not generally accepted by many people due to moral reasons. It is clear that the U. S. government absolutely should not allow the banning of all abortions, regardless of the reason behind it. A choice must be available to prevent the birth of an unwanted child as well as to protect the mother from physical harm. This should essentially be the choice of the mother carrying the child, and if it is in her best interest, her decision to abort should not be influenced by anyone else’s opinions or moral standards. If the woman has a high risk of physical complications that would most likely be a result from full term pregnancy, is a victim of rape, or believes that she will be unable to care for a severely disabled child, then the option to terminate her pregnancy should be available without question. Based on the points that I have made, I urge you to think twice about banning abortion and put yourself in the mother’s shoes. If it was you or your child’s life that was in danger, what would you do? Sit back and let a higher power decide the outcome of your life, or fight for what you believe is the best decision regarding your future?
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