Setting the Record Straight on Abortions
Abortion remains one of the most contentious and highly divisive issues in the United States. The American people are deeply divided with some Americans finding that abortion amounts to a serious violation of the sanctity of human life. On the other hand are other Americans who are convinced that abortion is an inalienable right that is crucial to the reproductive health of women. These divisions are reflected in the nation’s politics. Sadly, before forming their opinions, Americans are not provided with the information that they need to ensure that their views are based on solid and accurate insights. It is therefore crucial to inform the American people by dispelling myths and presenting the facts regarding abortion.
A natural place to begin the discussion on abortion is statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, the US reported over 600,000 abortions that were carried out safely and in full compliance with the law (CDC, 2019). It is important to note that the figure for 2016 represents a slight decline from the numbers reported in previous years. Another issue that should be understood is that the CDC figures only account for legal abortions. In nations where abortions are outlawed, women endure unimaginable suffering (Khazan, 2018). For example, girls and women are forced to procure abortions from unlicensed and often unqualified practitioners who do not guarantee safety and often violate the dignity of the girls and women.
To further understand the complexity of abortion, it is essential to consider some of the harms that often result from unsafe abortions. It is understood that illegal and unsafe abortions could cause severe bleeding and blood poisoning (“Unsafe Abortion”, 2012). These abortions have also been linked to such complications as damage to the woman’s genitals and cervical tearing (“Unsafe Abortion”, 2012). Perhaps the most important adverse outcome of unsafe abortions is the damage that it causes to women’s dignity. When a woman is forced to resort to unsafe abortion, they are essentially stripped of their dignity and robbed of their reproductive rights.
The Sociology of Abortion
Abortion is an important social issue in the US. What makes it a social matter is the fact that abortion represents the clashing of values. The right of women to make decisions about their bodies and reproductive health is among the main values that abortion highlights (Kaczor, 2010). Basically, those who endorse abortion believe that this procedure offers women a platform to exercise their rights and proclaim their independence. This opinion is reflected in the positions adopted by American leaders. For instance, among the fundamental values of the Democratic Party is championing for women’s rights and supporting abortion. On the other hand, abortion captures the belief that many Americans hold regarding the sanctity of human life and the need to protect unborn children. For example, recently the March for Life was held in Washington, DC. In attendance was President Donald Trump who reiterated the duty of the US to safeguard the interests of unborn children and spare no expense in reversing the law that made abortion legal across the country (Kelly, 2020). Basically, abortion highlights the lack of consensus among Americans. More importantly, abortion symbolizes the intense political divisions and the US to hold sober discussions regarding the need to resolve the abortion debate.
In conclusion, the heated debate surrounding abortion in the US underscores the importance of this issue. Despite the US having legalized abortion, there are millions of Americans who feel that the nation should prioritize the protection of human life. The views of these Americans are in conflict with those of half the nation which is convinced that abortion is integral to the fight for women’s rights and equality. Data shows that in the recent past, fewer abortions have been carried out in the US. While the decline in the number of abortions probably means that fewer women are option for this procedure, it could also mean that there are women who resort to perform abortions illegal and in unsafe conditions. If the US is to display is dedication to guaranteeing the rights of women, it should hold national discussions on the future of abortion.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019). Abortion surveillance-findings and reports. CDC. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/abortion.htm
Kaczor, C. (2010). The ethics of abortion: women’s rights, human life, and the question of justice. London: Routledge.
Kelly, C. (2010). Trump vows support for anti-abortion movement at March for Life rally. CNN. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/24/politics/trump-march-for-life/index.html
Khazan, O. (2018). When abortion is illegal, women rarely die. But they still suffer. The Atlantic. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/how-many-women-die-illegal-abortions/572638/
Unsafe abortion: the dangers & the answers. (2012). IPPF. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from https://www.ippf.org/blogs/unsafe-abortion-dangers-answers