An Expository Essay on Dangers of Abortion

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For many years, abortion has been among the most complex and controversial moral issues the world has faced. It has created sides of the divide. On one side are the proponents of abortion, who consider it a legal act and right for any woman that seeks to perform it. On the other side are the critics who consider it illegal and an act of murder, which has an adverse negative impact on women’s physical and mental health. In this paper, arguments support the critics and explain why abortion is an illegal and life-threatening act. Abortion is dangerous for women, and rightly so, for many reasons. These reasons include long-term reproductive health risks and complications, mental and emotional anguish for women who undergo the process, exposure to ridicule from society, and the risk of jail terms that leads to lost time.

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Reproductive Health Risks and Complications

Reproductive health issues remain critical threats to maternal health and safety. Safely done abortions or abortions done early under the strict guidance of an experienced reproductive health professional do not bring complications such as infection development, which can cause infertility. However, unsafe abortions or those performed late into pregnancy pose severe dangers to women. Most women who engage in unsafe abortions are those from low-income communities with limited access to maternal services (Alemu et al., 2022). Complications arising from unsafe abortion or having multiple abortions can affect a woman’s fertility, making it difficult to have children in the future. Unsafe abortions could lead to incomplete abortion, which may require the woman to have a surgical abortion, infection in the female reproductive organs, heavy and uncontrolled bleeding, or permanent damage to the uterus or cervix. Other dangers include having ectopic pregnancies, hormonal disruptions, secondary infertility, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, complications of pregnancy, risk of breast cancer, mental health disorders, and premature death (Sajadi-Ernazarova & Martinez, 2022). It is recommended that women carry their pregnancies to a full term as they stand to benefit from it in the long term. Failure to which they risk putting their lives at more significant risk.

Long-Term Emotional and Mental Anguish

It is always the joy of a woman to discover she is pregnant and carry her pregnancy to term, which positively impacts them from an emotional perspective. Women experience different emotions and handle them differently. During or after an abortion, some women will be left with long-term feelings of emptiness, sadness, and guilt. According to Coleman (2022), some women who have undergone abortions have reported serious psychological effects such as flashbacks, depression, grief, attachment, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, regret, and substance abuse. For some, the emotions may appear immediately after the procedure, while others will gradually appear over time. Under a constant negative state, women risk engaging in harmful behaviors such as binge eating or developing feelings of committing suicide. Some tend to harbor feelings of rage towards themselves and, if not checked, could lead to self-harm or harm toward others. The feelings may recur or be felt stronger during another abortion, normal birth, or the anniversary of the abortion. Consequently, counseling support before and after an abortion is significant. Failure to access these critical services further puts women who have undergone an abortion at more significant risk.

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Risk of Serving Jail Term

Women who engage in abortion risk spending their lives in prison. Though abortion in some areas is legal, it is illegal and equivalent to murder in most other parts. Though proponents argue that the fetus is not a complete human being and hence not protected by the law or human rights, critics argue that life begins at conception and that abortion is tantamount to murder since the fetus is a person who is protected under moral and legal rights equal to that of a living person (New York Times, 2022). The fetus is human with human-like features and deserves to live until maturity. Women who engage in abortion risk being caught, especially if they carry out the procedures in places where it is deemed illegal. Currently, abortion is now banned in at least 13 states due to the effect following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade (New York Times, 2022). Thus, those undertaking the procedure risk shattering their dreams of being better people in society with jail terms. Besides, they risk exposing themselves to the impending dangers that lurk in the prison system.

Societal Ridicule, Stigma, and Mistreatment

Finally, another reason why abortion is dangerous for women is that it exposes them to ridicule and societal mistreatment. According to Håkansson et al. (2020), these unfold at different levels and impact women differently. First, women who undergo abortions are considered irresponsible individuals and murderers. Second, if procured illegally and secretly, women in marriage risk affecting their relationships with their partners and are considered promiscuous. All these attract hostile stigma, ridicule and mistreatment from other members of their communities. Biggs et al. (2020) assert that abortion stigma can cause psychological distress in women. Such hostility and stigma only increase the rate of illegal and unsafe abortions, which further endangers women.

Conclusion

Abortion is a heinous act that threatens the very existence of the female gender. Its dangers include long-term emotional distress, long-term reproductive health issues, risk of jail terms, and never-ending societal mistreatment and ridicule. While people might offer a variety of reasons to justify abortions, others offer equally compelling arguments to portray abortion as a morally reprehensible practice that poses significant dangers to women. The above-stated dangers are just a summary of the wide existing dangers women face and should serve as a point of reference for handling abortion-related issues. The implication for the topic is that there is a need to pass stringent laws and policies prohibiting unnecessary abortion while ensuring that safe abortion practices, including medically approved abortion, are put in place and performed. Besides, government and non-governmental organizations must work together to end the rising teen pregnancies responsible for the bulk of abortion cases globally.

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  1. Alemu, K., Birhanu, S., Fekadu, L., Endale, F., Tamene, A., & Habte, A. (2022). Safe abortion service utilization and associated factors among insecurely housed women who experienced abortion in southwest Ethiopia, 2021: A community-based cross-sectional study. PloS one17(8), e0272939. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0272939
  2. Biggs, M. A., Brown, K., & Foster, D. G. (2020). Perceived abortion stigma and psychological well-being over five years after receiving or being denied an abortion. PloS one15(1), e0226417. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226417
  3. Coleman, P. K. (2022). The turn away studies: a case of self-correction in science upended by political motivation and unvetted findings. Frontiers in Psychology, 3362. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.905221
  4. Håkansson, M., Super, S., Oguttu, M., & Makenzius, M. (2020). Social judgments on abortion and contraceptive use: A mixed methods study among secondary school teachers and student peer-counselors in western Kenya. BMC Public Health20(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08578-9
  5. New York Times. (2022). https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/21/us/abortion-anti-fetus-person.html
  6. New York Times. (2022). Tracking the States Where Abortion Is Now Banned in the U.S. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html
  7. Sajadi-Ernazarova, K. R., & Martinez, C. L. (2022). Abortion complications. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
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