Abortion has been a controversial issue for many decades. In the 1800’s, abortion was deemed illegal in many states, as legislation was put into place that banned the practice. This led the way for abortions being performed during this time that were dangerous and illegal. Back alley abortions became a common practice that ended up with some women dying, due to infection and improper practices. These abortions were commonplace until the 1970’s. In 1973, abortion became legal, the infamous case of Roe V. Wade giving women the right to have abortions . However, that has not stopped the endless battles about the practice and the threat that the law would someday be overturned.
One ethical practice involving abortion is when teenage girls are coerced into getting an abortion by a boyfriend or family member when she does not want to do it. Consider the case of Cassie. She was 17 years old when she became pregnant. Despite her boyfriend, Jim, saying that he or she wanted a baby throughout their relationship, when Cassie became pregnant, he decided that he did not want to be a father. Not only did he not want to be a father, Jim also decided that he did not want to be in the relationship anymore. Cassie was devastated. She was living her boyfriend at the time, but asked her father if she could move back in with him. He agreed and within a week, she told her father that she was pregnant. Cassie was also honest with her father about some things that had happened when she lived with Jim. Jim had punched and kicked her a few times. Her father said that her boyfriend should not have treated her that way, but said that Cassie was not emotionally or financially prepared to have a baby. They talked for a couple of hours, and Cassie said that she did want to have this baby. However, her father gave he an ultimatum. If she gets the abortion, she could live in the house rent free. Her father would also pay for her expenses. If Cassie wanted to keep the baby, her father would give her a month to find a place and start living on her own.
Cassie was dead set against getting an abortion, but she was also a young woman, who only had a part-time job that barely covered her bills. She wanted the baby, but she also wanted her father’s support. Her father asked her a few times what her decision is and kept reminding her of the hard work that raising a baby takes. Finally, after much pressure from her father, Cassie did get an abortion. Yet, the aftermath of it was devastating. She ended up depressed and cried all the time. Cassie lost her job and felt that God hated her and that she has offended him. Two months after the abortion, Cassie entered counseling to deal with the feelings of guilt, depression, and sadness that she was feeling.
The case of Cassie is more common than people think. According to the article, “Everyone’s Pushing Me to Have an Abortion,” parents have a legal obligation to take care of kids under the age of 18 years old. Parents cannot force a child to move out and live on one’s own, the way that Cassie’s father threatened to do. The real issue is that Cassie’s father felt embarrassment over the pregnancy and did not want to handle it. Physicians can also not be forced to perform an abortion without the consent and signature of the pregnant woman .
One of the things that people should consider when pushing a woman to have an abortion are the emotional and psychological consequences that both women and men experience. Several studies have been published, which support these facts. In 2002, a peer-reviewed study in the Southern Medical Journal used about 173,000 American female participants. The results of the study stated that the females who decide to get abortions were about 154% more inclined to take their own life than women who decided to keep their babies. Another 1996 study from the British Medical Journal evaluated the suicide rates of women who had aborted. The mean yearly suicide rate for women who chose an abortion was about 34.7 per 100,000 women, versus the mean rate of 11.3 per 100,000 in the rest of the female population. Men also appeared to show some negative reactions when their partners or wives decide to get an abortion . The Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology published an interesting study that stated that “men whose partners had abortions found that 51.6% of the men reported regret, 45.2% felt sadness, and 25.8% experienced depression” . With both genders showing some adverse reactions to abortion, the decision should be a careful, well-thought out process for both potential parents.
As you can see, the topic of abortion is a very controversial issue that has created some debate for years. It became legal in America in 1973. One of the ethical issues that has come up is when a young woman is forced to have an abortion. A woman who is coerced into getting an abortion may end up worse off than before the abortion. The emotional and psychological consequences can be devastating and lifelong. People should rethink pushing someone into an abortion when she wants to keep her baby or maybe put the infant up for adoption. All emotional and psychological ramifications should be considered before someone opts for an abortion.
- History of abortion. (2015). Retrieved from National Abortion Federation : https://prochoice.org/education-and-advocacy/about-abortion/history-of-abortion/
- Pushing to abort . (2017). Retrieved from Rosetta Foundation: http://www.teenbreaks.com/abortion/pushingtoabort.cfm
- Should abortion be legal? (2017). Retrieved from ProCon.org: http://abortion.procon.org/