Editorial: Keeping Abortion Legal
(Editor’s Note: This Editorial reflects the view of a majority of the Editorial staff, four in favor with two dissenting.)
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a fundamental right underneath United States Constitution. Since Roe V Wade, there has been still much debate and controversy on the matter, but in the eyes of the law, women have the choice.
This is critical, because no woman should have to be forced with something that would ultimately change her life forever if she does not want it. For better or worse.
Keeping abortion legal is also keeping abortion safe. If the procedure were outlawed in every state, women would still seek out means to take out the fetus, be it through an unsanitary back door clinic or by themselves, running the risk of infection and their own death.
If women are forced to carry out the pregnancy full term, they could fall prey to an abusive relationship, staying with a man that could use their child as a means of control, or worse still, be forced to have a relationship with her rapist. If the woman does not have the means to provide for the child, they both could live life in poverty.
Even though the United States has declared the procedure as a legal right, all of these things still happen, because state and local governments will make proper facilities almost impossible to stand to their restrictions, that usually have nothing to do with the actual medical process, but the building requirements.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 68,000 women die each year due to unsafe abortions; and up to seven million women survive unsafe abortions but suffer from long-term damage or disease.
Abortions are not only done in favor of the woman, be it personal or health reasons, but if abortions were outlawed, children with constant life threatening medical problems, such as omphalocele where the infant’s organs are formed on the outside of their body. There are cases in which abortions are performed, knowing that if born the infant’s’ life would be ultimately short, painful and unfulfilling due to medical problems.
There are other options aside from abortion. A potential mother could look into adoption, however in the US alone, there are over 120,000 orphaned children, another 400,000 in unstable foster care. The option is available, but realistically, studies show that white babies are more likely to be adopted over African American babies by both straight and gay couples.
Statistically, countries that have the option readily and easily accessible have a lower rate of abortions. In 2010, 20 out of 1,000, or two percent of women in the US had an abortion.
In Amsterdam, where abortion is legal and subjected to only a five-day waiting period, less than one percent of women in the same year had the procedure done. In countries that hold the procedure illegal except under extreme circumstances, like Brazil, where an estimated 20 percent of women perform the abortion, even with the threat of imprisonment.
An abortion is possibly one of the hardest decisions a woman will ever have to make. Enforcing strict laws that ban the procedure doesn’t necessarily save lives, it only makes the process that much more difficult to obtain.