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There are 1.3 million women who have abortions each year. 23% favor abortion under all circumstances and 55% favors in some situations. Three in five Americans believe abortion should be legal. Abortions give women a right to abort a pregnancy to better enhance their lives; with a child they may face more burdens then necessary. Discussing the trial that started it all, misconceptions, why women obtain abortions and efforts to reduce abortion, the reader shall be able to see why abortions are legal and important.

Roe v. Wade sparked a national debate over whether or when abortion should be legal. It reshaped national politics, dividing the nation in to Ѓgpro-choiceЃh and Ѓgpro-lifeЃh. Before Roe v. Wade, women were ashamed to admit that they had an abortion mainly because of associations with illegality and sexual promiscuity. After Roe v. Wade, however, many women had abortions and viewed it simply as a right won and exercised. Roe v. Wade also have managed to persuade many people that the early fetus is a life worthy of great concern. As a result, when women admit that they have had abortions, they are often without friends. Antiabortion activists belittle them as selfish and predict that they will regret their decision. Those who are pro-choice tend to look away, embarrassed by the fact that many abortions are not occasioned by serious threats to the life or health of the woman. The widespread moral embarrassment over having had an abortion is a fairly recent development. The media, which plays a large part, is not helping. In newspaper articles with coverage on abortions between 1992 and 2002, inaccuracy in 45% of the 1,077 sampled articles were found.

As abortions are becoming more controversial less information and resources are being made available. For example, medical students in the U.S. who wish to receive abortion education may have a hard time finding it. Of 62% of accredited U.S. medical schools, represented in a 2003 survey, 4 in 10 schools do not offer formal education on abortion during the preclinical years. Some schools may mention abortion but only briefly. ЃgAll medical students, whether for or against abortion, should be adequately trained to ensure the understanding of the procedure and possible complications that may occur.Ѓh Furthermore, on April 27, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to prevent abortion right supporters from helping teenage girls obtain abortions. In a 270 to 157 vote, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act was passed (this bill still needs the approval of the senate). It may soon become a federal crime to transport a girl under the age of 18 across state lines to get an abortion, unless she has the consent of her parents. Also, doctors who break this law by operating on them may face up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

In contrast to the perception that women who choose to have abortions for reasons other than rape, incest, and life endangerment do so for convenience, women base their decisions on their ability to maintain economic stability and to care for children that they may already have. The three main reasons women undergo abortion, given in surveys taken between 1987 and 2004, were economic hardship, partner difficulties, and un-readiness for parenting (surveys were taken each year by different people from previous surveys and the same results were obtained each time). Younger women, who have not yet bore their first child, are usually unprepared for the transition into motherhood and a baby could interfere with their school, work, and other responsibilities. Also, younger women are more likely to be financially unstable and could not support a child even if they wanted to. Older women, already mothers, have the responsibility of their other children and must take this into account. Women must also consider their own health and the effects it will have on others. If the bearing of another child will deteriorate the health of the women, then she has to consider if she will be able to provide for those dependent on her. Although some may see abortion as a sin, others see the indiscriminate bearing of children as a sin and their abortion as the right and responsible choice.

Abortions are not something that is desired. No woman wants to go through the process of an abortion. That is why the increase for contraceptive access and services are needed. A better access to emergency contraception would lead to a reduction of unintended pregnancy, a decrease in the national abortion rate, and the decrease in the number of women confronted with a difficult decision. Poor women are less likely to use contraceptives due to their lack of knowledge and access.



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