In the United States, change must come. In 43 states, abortion is prohibited unless the health of the mother is or will be compromised. The separate, more emotional issues that have been overlooked are many, but the citizens of America constantly insert their opinion into the lives of other American citizens. The reality, though, is that the decision must be made by the woman who's life will be forever changed by the child living within them.
The first unrecognized issue: teenagers. According to Choices Pregnancy Care Center, 78% of all teen pregnancies are unintentional. This being said, 35% of all teen pregnancies end in abortion. These young adults realized that they did not have the finances, the support, the physical/emotional readiness, and/or the knowledge to be able to care for a child. It seems fairly clear that the right decision, then, was to abort the child. Being a young woman, the thought of giving up a child after enduring the hours of suffering in labor is inconceivable. This does not account for the fact that the life of a teen mother is altered due to giving birth to a child. In fact, only 40% of teen mothers finish high school. With this in mind, it may become even more difficult throughout a mother's life to support her child due to a lack of education and, therefore, a lack of income.Yes, adoption is an alternative. The only problem with adoption is that the physical and emotional trauma that a teen mother may face by carrying the child to term is tremendous.
Though a common misconception, teenagers are not the only people that face the physical, emotional, financial, and intellectual stresses that accompany carrying a child. It is widely assumed that people that are having sex must be aware of the results of pregnancy. Regardless, sex is not a weapon. If a person cannot handle the responsibility of having a child, like a teenager, it is completely unreasonable to expect them to learn how to be financially, emotionally, and intellectually stable all at once. If a woman is the be forced to carry a child, stability is a prerequisite. Without stability the quality of life of the child and the parent(s) are at risk of total downfall.
People tend to turn a blind eye to the abortion patients that are victims of rape/incest. Many pro-life advocates use the statistic that only 1% of all abortion patients are victims of rape or incest. The credibility of this argument, though, is very limited. According to the Washington Post, only 35% of all rape cases are reported. In all actuality, only 1% of abortions are reported victims of rape. This does not include those who used an unrelated excuse for abortion in order to keep their assault a secret. The same can be true for incest, but it is even more difficult to determine if a person is a victim of incest. This is a largely degrading form of victimization, so most women prefer to keep that attack to themselves.
Women have the right under the Constitution to privacy - especially regarding abortion. In 1973, the Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that a woman has the constitutional right to privacy when abortion is the topic. No one needs to know. It is an issue within a woman that must be decided. It is not a decision for society, as the privacy of society is not the one being disturbed.
Abortion is often permitted in the case of health concerns for the mother and/or the child with certain restraints. These restrictions are still too limited. Haylie Grammar recently shared her story on Facebook of the loss of her daughter. It discusses the growth of a tumor on her unborn child that ultimately resulted in the termination of her pregnancy. She was required by Texas law to sign a document stating that she was, in fact, terminating her pregnancy and ending the life of her child. The emotional stress that was put on this woman was unimaginable; she did what was best for her and her child. The added harassment was unnecessary. To this day, she is still being called a murderer for ending the physical and emotional suffering of carrying her child.
Many pro-life advocates have a common solution: adoption. This is not always the best option. After carrying a child for 9 months, a mother grows a special bond with the life inside of her. Even if the child is put up for adoption, only 62% of children under one year old end up being adopted according to americanadoptions.com. The other 38% stay in the system until they come of age to make their own decisions. This doesn't even account for the older children that are even less likely to be adopted. Mental, emotional, and social development are, therefore, forever impaired due to the child care system.
Another "solution" that anti-abortionists have is that of contraceptives. Contraceptives are not always effective. According to womenscenter.com, only 8% of abortion patients had never used a contraceptive. Also, 54% of patients were on contraceptives the month of conception. Sometimes, a couple can be as safe as possible, and even the most effective methods don't work.
Action must be taken. Women around the country need reform. The right to privacy involved in abortion is given under the Constitution of the United States. It is a written agreement between the people and their government. Women are calling upon you to fight on their side; to fight on the side of the Constitution. Change must come and, ultimately, abortion is the choice of the woman.