Abortion, to a few orthodox mentalities is a murder and a sin, to the more liberal, it is a practical approach if they are not in a position to take responsibility of another life. Call it murder or practicality, abortion is not just about one life, or terminating pregnancy. It includes many physiological and psychological risks pertaining to the mental health of the mother who chooses to it. This termination could be because of, although not restricted to, matters related to financial conditions, employment, health of the child bearer, irresponsibility, or just not feeling apt for parenthood, etc. In such cases, if the state puts restrictions on the termination of pregnancy, many women will find themselves helpless and may resort to unethical practices to terminate the pregnancy themselves. Some may go to the extent of self harm or smuggling abortion pills from websites.
There are a myriad of situations and risks involved. In the span of a mere 9 months, there would be a fully formed child crying in the arms of the mother. This mother could also be a high school teenager who through a lack of sex education found herself in this situation which may hold her back academically or in her line of career. She may be unable to fulfil her desires as and will find herself bound with the responsibility of another life, when she herself, is in need of financial and emotional support. The father in such cases, similarly, might not plan on staying and taking care of the child. If the state doesn’t allow this situation to be rectified, three lives could fall apart. In such cases, the state needs to legalise termination of pregnancy.
Many countries and states have different abortion laws and many NGOs worldwide provide abortion aid to the financially unstable. The new anti-abortion bill passed by the U.S. senate and signed and approved by President Trump in the first week of his office, has instigated a mass feminist movement in the country and around the world. The effects of the legislation were felt hard. This new act, banned the U.S. aided NGOs from terminating pregnancies of financially stricken women, who have, for years, relied on the United State’s efforts to help them.
This act led to angry protests by women fighting for the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. This act, as gruesome to some, was lauded by the orthodox catholics who believe in ethical values and God’s gift of life to the parents. There are two sides to this coin of debate, one being Trump’s long term plan of preventing teenage pregnancies as well as a downfall in the number of sexually transmitted diseases. This will also reduce the expenditure of taxes being on others’ personal health issues, and the other firing movements which call for the liberty of pregnant women. Although Trump as made a few exceptions as in the case of incest and/or rape; feminists feel otherwise.
In other parts of the world, such as Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, terminations in both jurisdictions are only permissible on the grounds of a threat to the life of the mother.
Poland, again, permitting abortions on the grounds of dire situations such as incest, in cases of foetal impairment or to avert a danger to the health or life of the pregnant woman. Making Poland, the only European country, to have the lowest abortion rate at just 2 in 1,000 live births.
In my opinion, countries should permit abortion up till 20 weeks of gestation, without asking for any reason, and definitely in cases where the mother’s and/or the foetus’s health is in danger. The physician in charge should take into account all the concerns of the patient as well as his/her mental welfare. To promote a healthy lifestyle to her future child, both the mother’s wellbeing as well as her stability are required. If in any case, something seems to be odd and the physician feels that the woman is unfit to be a mother, then adoption after birth and/or abortion within 20 weeks of gestation can be suggested, and not imposed.
And as I always say, the state should play a minimal role in controlling such personal decisions of people. It is a very delicate matter, however, if the state feels like there is absolute harm to the mother or child concerned, they should definitely feel the need for taking action.