Essay on Implications of Abortion in the U.S and Globally
Number of words: 2486
Abortion is one of the most sensitive topics among people across the world. In simple terms, abortion is a procedure of terminating a pregnancy using medication or surgery, either in the first trimester or further along in the pregnancy (Beckman, 2017, p. 101). Some people advocate for the practice, while others condemn the practice based on legal, ethical, social, spiritual, and healthcare implications. This paper addresses abortion as it is perceived and handled by individuals, healthcare professionals, rights activists, and the legal entities in the United States (U.S) and Globally. The selected topic is important as it touches on crucial human interest issues, which are decisions and consequences of keeping or terminating a pregnancy. This paper seeks to address the problem of high abortion rates among women and why they make that life-threatening decision. From observation, women who are not married usually opt for abortion under the claim that the pregnancy was unplanned, and thus, they are not ready to be mothers. The issue of abortion presents a dilemma in nursing as the professionals are torn between breaching the healthcare code of conduct and granting individuals their wish. Therefore, the paper narrows down to the argument that abortion has adverse legal, ethical, social, spiritual, and healthcare implications.
Background of the Topic
Existing data shows that abortion laws are not only prevalent in the U.S but across the world. In one study, the researchers established that over 30% of the world’s population is governed by strict laws that criminalize abortion (Chesney-Lind & Hadi, 2017, p. 76). The prohibition of abortion in the affected countries triggers a large scale of unsafe abortions worldwide. Such phenomena put pregnant women at severe risk, including damage to their reproductive systems or even death. The facilities that carry out such unsafe abortions also face the risk of closure and revoking operating licenses. Legal actions against such entities also put the staff members’ careers on the line. Fortunately, some countries permit the procedure in critical cases where a pregnant woman’s life is at risk. Therefore, this scholarly paper reviews the topic of abortion from a broader global perspective than focusing on the U.S alone.
Different Perspectives on the Topic of Abortion from Underlying Literature
Legislative actions affect healthcare practices significantly. For instance, in the U.S, there is Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that discourage healthcare providers from facilitating abortion (Austin & Harper, 2018, p. 128). TRAP laws limit the execution of abortion services by imposing costly terms for healthcare facilities. Consequently, these limitations result in a significant decrease in abortion rates at the state level. However, such laws face criticism from different parties, ranging from human rights activists and healthcare providers. The parties argue that a pregnant woman’s life is at stake in some cases, thus prompting the controversial decision to keep or terminate the pregnancy. For example, some men have been in a situation where obstetricians attending to their pregnant women tell them that either the mother or the child will succumb to delivery-related complications. The man is put in a difficult place as he has to decide whose life he would like the doctors to save. As painful as it may be, the man may choose the woman over the unborn child with the consolation that there may be another chance to sire another baby. In such a scenario, TRAP laws may be viewed as a barrier to critical care.
Abortion politics in the U.S present a two-way set of ideologies. Some people argue that women should have the liberty to decide whether to keep a pregnancy or go through abortion (Beckman, 2017, p. 103). Such proponents of abortion claim that legalizing abortion meets the social equality rights for all women. On the other hand, opponents of abortion defend their position by citing several concerns. First, there is the possibility for an increase in mortality rates among pregnant women who embrace abortion. Second, the critics of abortion associate the practice with immorality in society. Lastly, the critics view abortion as a threat to social cohesion. In Beckman’s scholarly article, the author expounds on the relationship between abortion and social cohesion. In essence, the lack of a common voice in society regarding abortion implies that people experience social disintegration at the expense of social cohesion. Therefore, the U.S population is hereby challenged to unite and join the anti-abortion campaign across the different States.
Despite the prevalent politics against abortion, renowned medical organizations classify abortion as “essential healthcare,” especially during the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic (Donley et al., 2020, p. 1). The scholars add that, in Europe, the law views abortion as a constitutional right that ought to be respected due to its time-sensitive nature. In the context of the pandemic, some young girls have ended up pregnant following sexual relations during the lockdown period. Others are victims of rape as some cunning men took advantage of the period when the young girls were not going to school. In such cases, some girls might decide to seek abortion services from unsafe facilities or personnel due to the fear of judgment by their parents and peers at school. Unsafe abortion endangers the girls’ lives hence the need for urgent care in the hands of professional healthcare personnel lest they succumb to abortion-related complications.
Over the years, different countries worldwide have been easing the restrictions against abortion on specific grounds. As mentioned earlier, there are special considerations, such as when a woman’s life is at risk if the pregnancy is not terminated. In the current review, the scholars echo the women’s rights activists who support abortion practices. Primarily, the scholars note that abortion ought to be included in social movements to empower women to be bold enough to make that decision independently (Marecek et al., 2017, p. 7). However, critics might argue that advocating for abortion as a women’s right is pure disregard to human life from a spiritual perspective. In Christianity, religious personnel might refer to the case of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
In summary, she conceived a child and never considered getting rid of it despite her husband, Joseph’s concern, that Mary had been unfaithful. From a broader perspective, baby Jesus, just like any other child, was a blessing to the parents and the world at large. Proponents of abortion might be challenged to reconsider their advocacy because the unborn child is a blessing to the parents.
Other proponents of abortion justify the practice under the phrase “legal pregnancy terminations” (McReynolds-Pérez, 2017, p. 96). The scholar observes that there are health professionals who, in the recent past, have been discouraging young girls and older ladies from abortion and offering the necessary counseling. However, the same medical personnel has now shifted to the argument that women’s abortions are legally acceptable. The argument has been endorsed by some women’s rights activists who recommend the intake of a drug known as misoprostol that induces abortion. Alternatively, the activists propose the execution of aspiration abortions at health facilities.
From a cultural perspective, the practice and endorsement of abortion are viewed by some people as taboo. For example, in many African cultures, women and men who support abortion are viewed as perpetrators of murder. Primarily, the individuals participate directly or indirectly in killing an unborn child. However, from the reviewed scholarly works, it is clear that there is a controversy between a fraction of the population that supports abortion and the portion that opposes the practice in the American culture. The same controversy has been reported in some African countries. For example, in Kenya, there was a time when parliamentarians were divided on the issue of legalizing abortion. All in all, at the end of the day, an individual’s conscience rises above cultural or legal perspectives when it comes to the decision of keeping or terminating a pregnancy.
Past legal cases have also upheld the claim that abortion should be supported as a women’s right issue. In one particular case involving Roe v. Wade, the judicial system termed abortion as a “medical-humanitarian” issue, as well as a right for every woman (Mucciaroni et al., 2018, p. 173). The scholars refer to a different case featuring Gonzalez v. Carhart, where the U.S Supreme Court “upheld a federal ban on “partial birth” abortion.” Fundamentally, the U.S Supreme Court judges framed abortion as illegal except in cases where a woman is exposed to harm if the pregnancy is not terminated. The legislative decisions in the above cases imply that the U.S judicial system has a two-way view of the issue of abortion. Primarily, the legislature supports abortion partly and bans the practice partially at the same time.
Critics of abortion challenge politicians and journalists who defend the practice saying that killing unborn children is unjustifiable. The critics argue that there is no difference between persons who go for late-term abortions and their counterparts who terminate early pregnancies (Studnicki, 2019, p. 1). The critics dismiss the excuse that abortion proponents give that the practice is meant to save a woman’s life. The other excuse that the critics disregard is that abortion comes in handy after observing severe fetal anomalies. In essence, the critics argue that most of these women are healthy, and so are the fetuses. From observation, school-going girls, especially on campus, look for all sorts of justifications to terminate unplanned pregnancies. Such individuals need counseling to encourage them to carry through with the pregnancy despite the situation. Many young girls become mothers at a very tender age, yet they survive the motherhood journey despite the inevitable financial and emotional challenges.
There has been a shift in attitudes regarding the morality of abortion across the different states in the U.S. In one 2018 publication, the scholars observed that 50% of Americans considered abortion immoral, while 39% supported the practice (Woodruff et al., 2018, p. 455). The scholars filed a similar report in which poll results showed that 47% of Americans termed abortion as morally wrong, while 43% argued that abortion is morally acceptable. The statistics imply that a majority of Americans are against abortion. However, the remaining percentage, especially women, is bound to seek abortion services when they get pregnant against their will. Luckily, underlying research evidence shows that the U.S has implemented restrictive state laws that deny women access to abortion.
Obstetrics and gynecology teaching hospitals have been associated with strict anti-abortion policies. However, some regulatory authorities, such as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), advocate for providing abortion training in the hospitals, as mentioned earlier, to resident medical students (Zeldovich et al., 2020, p. 1304). The scholars note that most resident students graduate with “insufficient abortion procedural skills,” thus seeking additional training afterward. This research study implies that the U.S ACGME encourages American nursing schools to equip the resident graduates with the necessary skills to facilitate abortion when the need arises, especially in life-threatening cases for pregnant women.
The prevalence of abortion in the U.S and across the world impacts nursing as a whole. To begin with, abortion impacts nursing practice in two ways. First, the legalization of abortion means that healthcare providers can perform the operation on women regardless of whether the individuals are in danger or not. Second, the criminalization of abortion denies women access to the service even when the individuals deserve the service due to pregnancy-related complications. Abortion also impacts nursing research by challenging current scholars to investigate people’s attitudes towards the practice across the world. Further, abortion impacts nursing administration by challenging policymakers in healthcare institutions to make firm decisions on whether to permit or deny access to the service. Lastly, abortion impacts nursing education as it raises the dilemma of whether to train medical students on how to implement the practice or not.
In summary, it is evident that abortion has adverse legal, ethical, social, spiritual, and healthcare implications. The reviewed scholarly works have proven that there exist laws in the U.S, as well as in other countries, that frame abortion as illegal. However, legislative policies permit abortion in exceptional cases, especially where a pregnant woman’s life is at risk. In the ethical context, a majority of abortion critics argue that the practice is immoral. Similarly, in the spiritual realm, abortion is highly condemned as the procedure is viewed as a violation of an innocent child’s life. In the healthcare context, there is a rift between proponents and opponents of abortion. Nevertheless, this paper concludes by asserting that individuals have the ultimate choice to support abortion or not based on their conscience.
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