Health and Abortions?

I started on the topic of abortions. Abortions is a wide topic that involves a lot of opinion.  It was too much information and I started to feel overwhelmed by the sheer mass of it all. So, I took a different approach. I started with what within abortions I cared about. I am not interested in opinion, I am interested in facts. So, my topic went from abortion to how legal abortions impact health. Most people have the preconceived notion that abortions are bad for health because they are the ending of a possible life. But, what about the mother’s health? Abortions are going to happen. If they are illegal, women will do them in back rooms with coat hangers. The women will then die from infection or internal hemorrhage, or face lifelong consequences such as infertility.

From there, I started looking into science being done on abortions. What I found related to stem cell research. It is a misconception that aborted fetuses are used for stem cell research. Only blastocysts, three to five day old embryos, can be used in stem cell research. Most women do not know they are pregnant for the first five weeks, meaning it would be almost impossible to know to abort a blastocyst. But, then there is a similar argument from people against stem cell research. A sperm and egg need to meet to create a blastocyst, just in the way that a sperm and egg need to meet to create a baby. Technically, the start of a baby must be made in a lab in order for stem cells to be harvested.

So, what is a embryonic stem cell? It is a unspecialized cell. It has just divided during meiosis, and is not assigned to a job yet. So, why would embryonic stem cells be so useful? They can divide into any kind of cell in almost unlimited quantities. Meaning that embryonic stem cells could be used as a treatment to cure diseases. Diseases like heart failure and parkinson’s could be eventually wiped out because of stem cell research. Also, important mechanisms in cancer have been found while doing stem cell research. Stem cell research could eventually even cure cancer!

But, those cells do come from a human embryo. I know that the blastocysts only from fertility tests (samples would have been discarded but are given as research tools by the patient) and donations to scientific research, meaning that those babies would have never been made. However, many groups still consider it abortion. My next step is to research more fully into the health impacts of these ‘Abortions’. With every source I read, my topic becomes more narrow and more focused.


-Sources include CDC and University of Michigan

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