Abortion. Abortion is when a pregnancy is terminated. This could happen naturally or on purpose. Natural abortions are caused for a variety of reasons, some in which the fetus does not develop normally, or if the mother has an injury or disorder that would prevent the birth of the child. Most people refer to the naturally occurring abortions as miscarriages. Other abortions are purposely committed to prevent the birth of a child.
These abortions are done because the pregnancy is not wanted, or the pregnancy will endanger the woman’s health. Abortions are now easier, less dangerous, and simpler than they once were. Abortion is one of the key topics in United States courtrooms; the United States Congress is constantly working on making laws regarding abortion every day. There are many ethical and social issues regarding abortion. There are several different techniques to perform abortions. One, which is the Menstrual Extraction, Vacuum Aspiration, Dilatation and Evacuation, and many more. Some methods contain a higher risk of cancer, or one method is has a longer impact on the woman.
There are different techniques; some are instrumental, surgical, or medical. The most common technique is the Vacuum Aspiration; this is a less complicated procedure. Different methods are for different reasons. A woman might have to go with one method because she is 20 weeks into her pregnancy, versus a woman who is 3 weeks into her pregnancy.
The earlier you perform the abortion, the options you have when it comes to the procedure. The vacuum aspiration technique is by far the most popular technique used today. Almost 97% of women seeking abortions use this technique.
The abortion can be performed up to 14 weeks LMP. The vacuum aspiration was first used in Communist China around 1958. However, the United States did not adopt the method until 1967. This technique replaced the older Dilatation and Sharp Curettage, which was more dangerous.
There are several advantages to Dilatation and Curettage, although the vacuum aspiration is technically better, this method requires less time than the others. There is also more complete removal of the tissue; there is also less blood loss. There are fewer major complications, and the method is adaptable to the local anesthesia. There is another technique called the Menstrual Extraction The Menstrual Extraction is “the extraction of uterine contents before confirmation of pregnancy” (Costa, 163). This method is defined as “any procedure used to terminate a suspected pregnancy no later than 14 days after the expected onset of a menstrual period” (Costa, 163).
Most physicians say that the Menstrual Extraction is a “do it yourself” (Costa, 164) technique. All that is needed to perform this abortion is a flexible cannula and a suction device (i.e.
syringe); there is also no need for dilatation. The Menstrual Extraction is a very dangerous practice. Women who use this method turn out not to be pregnant. This is because the uterus was not cleaned out completely. They were facing risks they did not need to face. There are more dangers and risks if the abortion is not performed after seven weeks LMP.
There are more risks if the abortion is performed earlier than seven weeks LMP. Clearly, the menstrual extraction is not the best way to go.There are several laws and policies regarding abortion. These laws are primarily for the sake of the country’s well being. Several countries offer abortions on demand, and some countries absolutely prohibit abortions.
Most countries agree that a woman has the right to an abortion if it will endanger her health. Approximately 23 countries offer abortion on request upon the pregnant women. Fourteen countries allow abortions for social, and social-medical reasons. Forty-two countries offer abortions if it will endanger the women’s general health. The United States has its set of laws pertaining to abortion, and the controversial issues surrounding it.
There were no true laws to abortion prior to the Roe vs. Wade court hearing. After the Roe vs.
Wade case the laws of abortion soon changed for the better. The state has no interest unless the abortion is done within the first trimester of the pregnancy (first 12 weeks, or three months), and is done by a licensed physician. The state only has a say whether they regulate the abortion if it is past 24 weeks, this is so they can protect the women’s mental well being. After the fetus has developed the court must have a separate case, due to the fact that there may be several variables involved inside the case. There are several laws pertaining to abortion regarding minors who wish to seek an abortion.
In several states, all that is needed is a parental consent; these policies pertain to 24 of the 50 states. Minors can also stand up in front of the judge and request their abortions. In Maryland, West Virginia, and Tennessee a doctor can give the minor consent to be able to have the abortion. Unbelievable, in Maine and Connecticut no requirement is necessary, minors have every right to have an abortion, therefore their parent or legal guardian doesn’t even need to know their daughter is seeking an abortion. It is not so easy to seek an abortion; there are several lectures and lessons you must take. In 31 states the women usually has to listen to a lecture and review materials prepared by the state.
Fifteen of the fifty states require a 24 – 72 waiting period, in normal circumstances it is 24 hours. In forty-three of the fifty states, an abortion must be given by a licensed doctor or physician. Five states do not allow abortions to be performed in public buildings. Mandatory notification of husbands, parental consent and requirements for physicians cause unjustifiable troubles on women seeking abortions.Abortion and the big debate would not be nearly as controversial as it is today without the people who started funds and support groups. Some examples of activists are Mary Cunningham Agee, or Jane Hodgson.
Presently today, there are hundreds of support groups for women across the United States who are facing hard decisions and need support. Besides support groups, abortion is being recognized nation-wide, some of these activists have taken their protests to congress.Mary Cunningham Agee was the founder of the Nurturing Network. The nurturing network supports women who did not wish to have their child because having the child would prevent them from finishing college, or it would ruin their career. Thus, the Nurturing Network transfers women to schools and careers that can adapt to their special circumstances. Agee is an alumni of Wellesly College and then Harvard Law School. When Agee was only in her early twenties she worked at Bendix Corporation.
The Bendix Corporation was only part of what is now the Nurturing Network. Agee started the Nurturing Network in 1986, and then Agee realized that most of the abortion support groups were focused to teenage mothers. Agee completed an analysis of other abortion clinics and found that more women in their early twenties were seeking abortions because having a child would interfere with their college or career. Agee is not involved in any of the political protests and debates involving abortion. Without Agee, there would not be nearly as many women attending colleges when they have a child.Judie Brown is one of the more famous leaders in the pro-life movement.
Connie Paige, author of Brown’s book The Right-To-Lifers, says, “If any single person is responsible for the growth of the Right-To-Life movement, that person is Judie Brown.” (Costa, 74) Paul Weyrich and Richard Viguierie contributed to the political issues of abortion with Brown. When Brown first shown interest to abortion was in Seattle, in 1969, from there she passed out information on the street corners, in result, the campaign failed. Weyrich’s job involved the couple to move quite frequently, they moved to Atlanta, then to North Carolina, then to Ohio.
Brown’s career really started in 1976 when she marched in the Ohio March For Life. Brown’s husband had to move once again, to Washington D.C., there Brown got serious with her work and joined the National Right To Life Committee. That same year she was offered a paying job in the position of Public Relations.
Brown’s years at working in the NRLC (National Right For Life Committee), increased the committee’s membership rate, and influenced numerous people around the country. After leaving the NRLC she founded her own organization called the American Life League. Just after two years of having the company their newsletter subscription rates were at 68,000, and had over 250,000 members within the league. The ALL (American Life League) widened their horizons and made their points in schools as well, classroom sex education, and health education. Brown is still in the media and appears in magazines, newspapers and the news.
Judie Brown has had a substantial impact on the debate over abortion. Wanda Franz is the president of the NRLC (National Right For Life Committee); her group is the largest abortion support group there is. Franz is a professor in the field of Child Development of Family Resources at West Virginia University. Franz is also a psychologist as well.
Franz has been involved in the field of Abortion since 1971 when she was talking to student groups. Before becoming president of the NRLC she was President of West Virginians for Life, for fifteen years. Franz has been a member of the NRLC Executive Committee ever since 1983. A year before becoming president of the committee she was Vice President in 1984, then in 7 more years she was elected president in June of 1991. Franz was also a trustee of the Right of Life Educational Trust Fund. Franz has appeared in several periodicals and books including Washington Post, US News and World Report, and several television talk shows, The Morning Show, on CBS. Franz also is a host for the NRLC Radio Show, which is aired on approximately 200 radios worldwide.
Jane Hodgson was a doctor; she was the first doctor being convicted of performing an abortion in a hospital. She disobeyed Minnesota’s restriction and challenged it in the courtroom. Hodgson is one of the main contributors to the abortion rights movement. She was very interested in the law; she wanted to find a test case. Hodgson found her test case in 1970 for a Nancy Widmyer, Hodgson’s client had three children and has rubella.
Rubella is a contagious and can be reproduced to the infant if the mother has the virus in the first three months of the pregnancy. She presented the case to the federal court. After she had the case denied, Hodgson performed the abortion herself, resulting in her criminal arrest. Prior to the arrest Hodgson said, “I really wanted to come to court – I thought that was the only way to educate the legislature. I expected the legislature would promptly pass a new law! But it did not work out that way.
” (Costa, 81) Hodgson had to fight a huge battle to get her license back; her case was appealed, although during this time she still referred people to the CCS. She went to Washington D.C. and had a job at the newly opened Preterm Clinic. Hodgson soon after returned to Minnesota where she continued her private practice and teachings. Hodgson has written several articles in various magazines and newspapers worldwide. She was a role model for many physicians around the country.
If you had to pick one of the historical landmark court cases, Roe vs. Wade would be it. A pregnant single woman (Roe) brought a class action challenging the constitutionality of the Texas criminal abortion laws, which exclude securing or attempting an abortion except on medical advice for the purpose of saving the mother’s life. A licensed physician (Hallford), who had two state abortion prosecutions pending against him, was permitted to happen. A childless married couple (the Does), the wife not being pregnant, separately attacked the laws, basing alleged injury on the future possibilities of contraceptive failure, pregnancy, for parenthood, and impairment of the wife’s health. A three-judge district court, which consolidated the actions, held that Roe and Hallford, and members of their classes, had standing to sue and presented justifiable controversies. Ruling that declaratory, though not injunctive, relief was warranted, the court declared the abortion statutes void as vague and over broadly infringing those plaintiffs’ Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The court ruled the Does’ complaint not justifiable. Appellants directly appealed to this Court on the injunctive rulings, and appellee cross- appealed from the District Court’s grant of declaratory relief to Roe and Hallford. The case of Roe vs.
Wade was argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court, once on December 13, 1971 and again on October 11, 1972, due to a lack of consensus among the justices and the appointment of two new members to the court.
The 7-2 decision, which legalized abortion in the U.S., was handed down on January 22, 1973. Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the majority opinion while justices William H. Rehnquist and Byron White wrote dissenting opinions. Abortion has been around for many eras, and has changed dramatically during that time.
In classical Greece abortion was legal at the time, and there were abortion providers. Although abortion was legal, an abortion provider would break the law if they did not inform the father of the women. Plato, author of “The Republic” persuaded women after the age of 40 to have an abortion. Aristotle believed that each state should have a set number of children one married couple could have, if the couple exceeded that number for one reason or another it would be mandatory for them to have an abortion. Hippocrates for one did not believe in abortion, he says that it was against his medical oath.
Abortion was quite common during the Roman Empire; it was not discouraged nor promoted extensively. The higher and upper class couples could have three children, and the poorer classes could have as many (up to three) as they could afford. The Roman law states that “the child in the belly of its mother is not a person” (Costa, 2), and this states that it is not a murder to have an abortion because the child in not a child.
At this time Roman law was protecting the rights of fathers, not fetuses. At the time it was against the law for a mother to have an abortion without her husband. Abortion was also mentioned in several roman writings, including Ovid, Juvenal, Seneca, and Pliny. Abortion was simply not encouraged in the early Christian era. The church considered having an abortion to be a crime. Church documents stated that having an abortion was a sin, the Didache states “You shall not kill the fetus by abortion or destroy the infant already born”.
(Costa, 3) Interpreting the quote, the church is considering even when having an abortion, you are technically murdering a young infant. St. Augustine says abortion is not to be considered to be a homicide, even though the fetus is being killed. The Christians were wholesome and good-hearted people, thus they did not accept the idea of a fetus being killed, one that would someday grow into a child. During the Middle Christian Era (Eighth – Sixteenth Century), abortion was still considered to be a serious sin, of a sexual temperament.
Having an abortion was not considered to be a homicide. If women were to have an abortion early in her pregnancy at that time, it would not be considered a crime. However, if women were to have an abortion during the last trimester of her pregnancy, when her fetus is fully developed would be considered a crime.
In 1588 Pope Sixtus V issued a bull, declaring abortion at any state of a pregnancy is a homicide. In 1591 Pope Gregory XIV said that the church penalties for an unanimated fetus should be no stricter than the civil punishments. During this era abortion was looked at in different perspectives, some think it is illegal, and some think that in a justifiable manor that abortion is legal.During colonial America, abortion was not thought of as legal, or moral.
There was no written law regarding abortion. The issue was not loudly discussed at the time, but was acknowledged. If the fetus is dead, or inanimate the abortion is 100% legal, because the fetus is lifeless. During the next century abortion will change dramatically, causing new laws, and a new way to look at abortion.During the 1800’s there was a major change in abortion, it was becoming more and more visible to the public.
The fertility rate of white American women (not to be racist, those are the only statistics available) dropped 7.04 to 3.56 children. This was due to the use of abortion increasing rapidly. Before 1840 abortions were very visible to the open public, and after 1850 there were advertisements in the newspaper, magazines, health manuals, and religious periodicals. There were books as well, explaining precautions and safety tips if someone were to have an abortion.
Before 1840 there were more single women getting abortions than married women. This all reversed after 1850, the statistics changed, it was the opposite, more upper and middle class married women were seeking abortions. This was so the women could plan their family and have enough money to support all of their children. In 1803 English had a new law, known as Lord Ellenborough’s law, this law makes it illegal to have an abortion even before quickening begins.
If one were to get caught having an abortion an immediate capital punishment would occur. In the United States however, the distinction between quickening was nearly none, the punishment remained the same on either view. In 1812 the Massachusetts Supreme Court dismisses charges given to an Isaiah Bangs, a physician who gave out an abortifacient potion-like substance. By the end of the eighteenth century, abortion was a crime in some countries, one of which includes Japan and part of Canada. There were several books being published now in the United States that have references to abortion, and things that you can do to have a safe and secure abortion during the first trimester.During the twentieth century, numerous changes were made all across the world regarding abortion. It was one of the key topics, and still is to this time today.
In the early 1900’s abortion was considered moral if the fetus was quickened. As time went on there were more abortion laws, they created an abortion committee for immediate emergency abortions. There were several new techniques used to perform abortions, including new surgical and medical techniques. Abortions somehow were common to say the most, they were not rare, yet not happening as much as they used to in the late 1800’s. During the late 1900’s close to present day, more and more protesters were protesting, the issue became more diverse and people had strong feelings on the subject. As you can see, looking back in time, the history of abortion has changed immensely.Abortions are not as simple and smooth as you may think.
Even with the smoothest abortion, there are always going to be some complications and risks women will face. Surgical abortions are by far more dangerous than medical abortions. There are a variety of effects that could happen to the future babies: birth defects, bleeding, and sometimes sadly, death. This is why there is such a controversial issues regarding abortion.
Surgical abortions have more complications than the medical abortions. However surgical abortions are more accurate. Incomplete abortions are when the uterus is not completely emptied during the surgical procedure. In result there is usually bleeding or infection. Infections occur when the bacteria from the women’s vagina enters the uterus. After the abortion women usually experience mild bleeding from two – three weeks after the abortion.
Very serious complication is when the uterus is damaged during surgery. In result, there is severe damage to the women’s uterine wall and various organs inside the uterus. This rarely happens, 1 out of 1,000 abortions, making in almost obsolete for this risk. If the physician uses local anesthesia there is no major risk, however if general anesthesia is used then there is a much high risk. There is another complication as much more difficult handle, death. Death rarely occurs in an abortion, if death was to occur it would be 1 out of every 100,000 abortions performed. Besides the major risks, every woman will experience mild to moderate cramping after the abortion.
Most women do experience soreness 2 – 3 days after the surgical procedure. Medical abortions do not have nearly as many risks as surgical abortions. One advantage towards medical abortions is that no anesthesia is necessary.
There is also no risk for cervical or uterine perforation injuries. This method also decreases the chance of having less tissue remaining in the uterus. Although this method does not require anesthesia, a drug must be taken, and the women must be supervised thoroughly by a licensed physician. There are very minor complications women may experience after the abortion. Various women have been known to have light bleeding, nausea, headaches, weakness, and fatigue. These side effects are similar to pregnancy, “morning sickness” (Francke, 39).
About close to 80% of women experience cramps and abdominal pain, like a very heavy menstrual period. One third of women will experience severe vomiting or diarrhea, close enough that they may need immediate medical attention. Some women experience vaginal bleeding and spotting. In some cases, vacuum aspiration may be needed to stop the bleeding. It is unbelievable, four out of one hundred cases the abortion is unsuccessful. If the abortion is unsuccessful the women must have vacuum aspiration.
You may ask yourself, is abortion moral or immoral, is it politically correct, is it legal? The answer to that is in the process of being solved. Day by day politicians and the United States congress are debating that same question. Do you really want to kill thousands of fetuses each year? Those fetuses would soon turn into little babies, whom would turn into kids, and those kids will soon turn into the future of the United States, those adults will then be the leaders of America. Abortion remains and will always be one of the topics discussed in the U.S. courtrooms.