The issue of abortion is one the most contentious issues experienced in the modern world. Abortion is the removal or expulsion of the fetus and embryo from the uterus resulting in the termination of pregnancy. There has been debate on the positives and negatives of abortion, whether it should be practiced and at what stage of pregnancy it should be carried out. In many parts of the world, people oppose the practice of Abortion citing different reasons. Though abortion is sometimes touted as an act of execution, it is a woman’s right to choose whether to abort or carry pregnancy to its full term (Rudy, 1997). A woman should have the option to abort her fetus following events such as rape, financial catastrophe, and genetic disorders or complications.

The controversies behind the practice of abortion are based on a number of factors. These help shape the debate on abortion. For instance, does human life start at conception or at birth? In this regard, anti abortion, campaigns are usually centered on the proposition that life begins at conception and thus the fetus must be accorded the rights of an ordinary human being. On the other hand, there is the issue of the individual rights of the woman who bears the pregnancy. Does the mother have more rights to her body than the fetus; can she remove it when she feels like? The issue of parental rights also arises in this debate. For instance, what rights does the father have over the fetus? In this respect, does she have equal rights as the mother in determining the fate of the unborn baby? This usually arises where the mother wants to have an abortion while the father is against this. The arguments for and against abortion are lengthy and varied and depend on the individual and the society’s norms and beliefs.

The issue of abortion, based on medical and health reasons, has been discussed over the years. There are instances during pregnancy in which the fetus puts the life or health of the mother at risk. Research has shown that medical conditions such as hypertension, anemia, heart and kidney diseases are enhanced by pregnancy. In the event that a pregnancy put the mother’s life at a serious risk, the only way to avert this is by conducting an abortion. In cases of a medical emergency involving the fetus, an abortion should be carried out. Abortion in such a case is justifiable as it is aimed at upholding the rights of the mother, provided by the constitution, such as the right to life and prevents the fetus from limiting and infringing this right (Rudy, 1997). In serious medical cases, abortion should be carried out to ensure that at least the mother survives since failing to perform it may lead to the death of the mother and consequently the fetus.

Another critical issue in the debate on abortion is the issue of rape. There are instances where the woman falls into pregnancy as a result of rape. It should be the woman’s choice to decide on when to have a baby or to terminate the pregnancy. This is because the pregnancy directly affects her body, personal health and future. However, rape takes this right away. Other than resulting into preganancy, rape also causes immense psychological and physical trauma to its victims. Because of a rape, a woman becomes a mother when not prepared for motherhood. It results in forced motherhood where the victim is unable to offer the required care to the child upon birth. Some victims may lack the financial ability to take care of the child during pregnancy and after birth. Rape leads to the child growing up without the knowledge of the biological father causing unfathomable psychological trauma to the child. The only and most practical way to prevent all these from happening is providing for the option of abortion in such cases.

Rape results in unwanted and neglected children who are usually prone to abuse by the mother who is bitter that she is forced to raise a child she had not planned for. For one to be a good mother, psychological, physical and financial preparation is essential. However, in instances of rape, the victim falls into pregnancy without proper preparation. Women who have been raped should be allowed to have an abortion as this helps reduce cases of child abuse and neglect in society (Rudy, 1997). Research also indicates that the legalization of abortion is instrumental in the fight against crime. This occurs by reducing the number of neglected and abused children who are vulnerable to drug abuse and eventually end up crime in a bid to sustain the habit. Society doesn’t require more children but loved children. Society should be concerned when an unwanted child is about to be born. Pregnancy due to rape takes away the woman’s choice and right on when to have a baby. Abortion helps restore the woman’s choice and right that had been taken away by rape

The victim of the rape may be underage which results to serious complications during birth. The pregnancy also affects the life of the underage person such as discontinuation of school. Therefore, if the victims aren’t ready to bear a pregnancy that resulted after a rape ordeal, the victim should be allowed to have an abortion. Abortion also helps in the healing and recovery process of the victim. This is because a child due to rape will always be a reminder to its victim of the rape ordeal she went through, which prevents proper recovery. Therefore to help rape victims recover fully, abortion should be allowed and carried out.

Another issue of major concern in the abortion debate is instances involving severely deformed fetus. There are examples of pregnancy which involve a fetus suffering from genetical disorders or severe deformities. These conditions may lead the child having a short, painful and awful life after birth. The conditions may also lead to the death of the fetus either during pregnancy or after birth (Rudy, 1997).  In such circumstances, it is necessary to carry out an abortion to prevent the child from suffering and also limit the pain of the mother.

The debate on abortion is also influenced by the issue of whether a fetus has rights. If the fetus has rights, does it have the right to a woman’s body? Every woman has total rights over her body. There is nobody who has the rights to another person’s body Therefore, a fetus cannot have cannot have the rights to woman’s body to enable it maintain its life. This means that the woman has the right to deny the fetus the right to use her body for growth at anytime during pregnancy. There is also the argument that life begins at birth and not at conception. A fetus has no emotions and consciousness. It cannot reason and lacks self-awareness. A fetus is only part of the woman’s body and it’s not a baby. Therefore; the fetus isn’t a human being and therefore has no right to life. Abortion is the only way possible to protect the rights of the woman

Financial reasons also call for the practice of abortion. A woman may be in the pregnancy due to failure of contraceptives. It’s very expensive to care of child after birth and during pregnancy. The modern world calls for proper family so as to ensure that the children born are properly taken care of and their needs are met. A woman may feel that she is not financially able to raise the child. Pregnancy also calls for frequent hospital visits for prenatal care. The mother has to take a maternity leave for a particular period yet she may be the breadwinner. Abortion helps reduce chance of a child been born when the family has no potential to take care of the child. In circumstances when the mother isn’t able to care of the child, abortion should be allowed.

There are social reasons that make abortion necessary. There is the view that men use pregnancies to dominate women. Pregnancies are tools of domination used by men to control women. Because of the heavy requirements that accompany a preganancy such as financial needs, when women get pregnant, they are forced to humble themselves before men so that they may be supported. The modern world calls for gender equity between men and women. One of the ways to enhance this gender equity is to allow for the practice of abortion (Rudy, 1997).  This will ensure that when the man isn’t willing to help take care of the child, the women has other ways of dealing with the pregnancy.

Although many societies oppose the practice of abortion, there are many instances that call for its practice. For instance, as seen above, the pregnancy may be as a result of rape. The fetus may cause some medical complications on the mother or the mother may not be financially able to take care of the child. One of the best solutions to the above cases is the practice of abortion. Therefore, abortion should be allowed and practiced.




















Rudy, K. Beyond Pro-Life and Pro-Choice: Moral Diversity in the Abortion Debate   Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1997

Tribe, L.H Abortion: the clash of absolutes Boston, MA Norton, 1992

Marianna, C.J. Abortion: a collective story Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002
















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