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In Defense Of Abortion Essay

1639 words - 7 pages

For hundreds of years women helped each other to abort their pregnancies. Without legal prohibitions, women in Europe and the United States provided abortions and trained each other to perform the procedures. In the past century different states had begun to outlaw any procedure that would terminate or avoid pregnancy. In 1973(?) the United States Supreme Court asserted a woman's constitutional right to abortion in determining Roe v. Wade. After several decades of quiet disagreement, abortion has once again become a political hotbed. Under the direction of religious fundamentalists and fanatical anti-abortionists, this privacy right is in jeopardy. While both sides present strong arguments, these same positions have already been exhaustively debated and ruled upon by the Supreme Court. To turn back the clock on this issue would discriminate not only against women, but even more so against those in lower socio-economic groups. Therefore, the United States should protect a woman's Constitutional Right to choose.
Outlawing abortions will not make them go away. It will only increase the dangers and discrimination that have been associated with illegal abortions in the past. Should abortions be banned, then qualified medical care for abortions will either cease to exist or will be extremely hard to find. Today there are many books and organizations that offer free advice and counseling regarding pregnancy options. Without such services women will rely on potentially uninformed or misinformed sources. In the 1950's and 60's secret underground organizations like the Jane Collective existed but were very hard to locate. "In the 1950's approximately 1 out of every 3000 illegal abortions performed resulted in the death of the pregnant woman" (Fried 293). Many woman experienced "widespread abdominal infections often resulting in sterility or chronic and painful illnesses" (Fried 410). As this history indicates, making abortion illegal will result in more deaths or serious injuries to many women. Wealthy women were able to travel to countries and receive professional abortive procedures which the minority and lower class females could not afford. Margaret Sanger saw first hand the plight of poor women who were either victims of illegal abortions or locked out of a chance to thrive due to continuous pregnancies. She wrote, "On Saturday nights I have seen groups of from fifty to one hundred with shawls over their heads outside the office for a five dollar abortion" (Rowland 39). As a result of an illegal abortion, Secretary of State Shelley's mother "lay in a pool of blood for days and nearly died from a perforated uterus" (Marinucci A1). For women who were able to obtain abortions after they were legalized, the threat of severe infections, hemorrhaging and fever from illegal abortions became virtually extinct. Women were able to find trained professionals and the cost was considerably less than illegal abortions. Women should not be...

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