Women’s rights have always been a huge debate in history. Women have had to protest for their right to own property, education, vote, and to be treated as equals to men. Even now women still need to protest for the right to do as they please for their own body. Abortion is a controversial topic and it raises the question of should we ban it or should we allow it to continue in the country.
One of the main arguments against abortion is that the women who choose to abort are killing a human life. This argument has been disproven. It has been stated that a fetus cannot survive by itself and is therefore not considered a human life yet. Laws are made to prevent abortion at 24 weeks when the fetus only has a 35% chance of surviving outside of the womb. A study done by medical professionals showed what happens to babies born between 22 and 27 weeks. “The study, involving nearly 5,000 babies born between 22 and 27 weeks gestation, found that 22-week-old babies did not survive without medical intervention. In the 78 cases where active treatment was given, 18 survived, and by the time they were young toddlers, seven of those did not have moderate or severe impairments. Six had serious problems such as blindness, deafness or severe cerebral palsy. Of the 755 born at 23 weeks, treatment was given to 542. About a third of those survived, and about half of the survivors had no significant problems.” The fetus cannot yet survive on its own and making the mother carry to term when she doesn’t want to is inhumane.
Legal abortions are important because they help prevent the woman from being in a dangerous situation. Almost 42 million women worldwide get abortions every year. Out of those 42 million about 20 million are unsafe and 5 million of those will have some type of long term health complication. “Worldwide, some 5 million women are hospitalized each year for treatment of abortion-related complications such as hemorrhage and sepsis, and abortion-related deaths leave 220,000 children motherless.” Unsafe abortions are considered to be one of the easiest preventable causes of maternal mortality. There are many things necessary in order to keep the woman safe and healthy during the abortion procedure. “Every woman admitted for emergency postabortion care may require blood products, antibiotics, oxytocics, anesthesia, operating rooms, and surgical specialists.” Banning abortion isn’t going to stop abortion but rather force women to go for more dangerous alternatives. Illegal methods of abortion could harm the woman and could even lead to death. It is better to provide a safe way to abort than make women risk their lives by taking matters into their own hands. “Methods of unsafe abortion include drinking toxic fluids such as turpentine, bleach, or drinkable concoctions mixed with livestock manure.” There also also other ways by inserting foreign objects like twigs and coat hangers into the woman. These methods put the woman at a huge risk with their health just for an abortion.
Pregnancy is a huge matter in a woman’s life and it should be up to her whether she wants to continue it or terminate it for whatever reason. Women have been considered as second class citizens and have had to fight for their rights and to be treated with equal respect to men. Abortion should be a part of one of their rights as it is their body that they are devoting to childbirth. Why are we deciding that the life of the unborn is more important than those of who are giving birth to them. The United Nations has stated, “Fourteen years after the Millennium Development Goals went into effect, 222 million women who want to avoid or delay pregnancy still cannot obtain modern contraception in developing nations. In 66 countries, abortion is either prohibited in all circumstances or allowed only to save a woman’s life. Women in these circumstances have virtually no control over the size of their families — a serious problem that carries over to other important decisions they must make about their lives, like their education or employment.” While strides have been made for gender equality, women still struggle for their right to their own body in the United States.
If equality is to exist in this world women should get more than just the right to vote. Women need the right to choose what to do with their bodies. Banning abortions would be a devastating blow to women everywhere. All the rights women have fought for would mean nothing if they cannot have a choice in their future.