Abortion Then & Now

Abortion is an important, controversial issue in the United States today. It's a choice many women must make. From past to present, this article discusses the issues & considerations associated with abortion.

Abortion Then & Now

Abortion is one of the most controversial issues in the United States. Almost every third baby conceived in America is killed by abortion.

An abortion is a procedure that terminates a pregnancy by removing the fetus from the mother's uterus, or womb. An induced abortion is the termination of a pregnancy that is caused deliberately while a therapeutic abortion is performed when the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother.

Although it was restricted or forbidden by most world religions, the practice of abortion was widespread as a form of birth control in ancient civilizations. However, to protect women from endangering their lives, the English Parliament prohibited induced abortions in 1803. Eventually, though, state legislatures stipulated that a therapeutic abortion was the only exception to the prohibition of abortion.

Abortions at the woman's request were first allowed in 1920 by the Soviet Union. Liberalized abortion regulations became widespread in the late 1960's.

There were sixteen states that legalized abortion between 1967 amp; 1970. Specific conditions applied to these abortions, though. Those conditions included rape, incest, and severe fetal handicap. California and New York were two exceptions because these two states were allowing abortion on demand.

Presently, there are 54 countries allowing abortion. This is 61 % of our world's population.

In 1973, 20% of abortions were repeats. Their rate rose to an astonishing 44% by 1987. In 1995, 45% of all abortions in the United States were repeats.

There are a number of reasons a woman might have for considering an abortion. Sometimes, the reason is that she just simply wishes not to be pregnant. Another reason that may be considered is an abnormality in the developing fetus, such as a birth defect or a genetic abnormality. There is also the possibility of the pregnancy endangering the life of the mother, which may sway her to decide to terminate the pregnancy. And although it is a rare result of rape, an abortion is often considered when a baby is conceived in such a situation. But no matter the case, it is not recommended that abortion be taken lightly. It is advised by most health care providers that careful counseling be involved with making such a difficult decision.

The majority of women who go to an appropriate medical facility for a surgical abortion recover without physical complications. Only a couple of days are required for the physical recovery. A small amount, if any, of vaginal bleeding and some minor cramping is about the worst to expect. The emotional aspects of recovering from an abortion is usually more intense than any physical pain that may arise. On occasion, therapy may be necessary in the psychological recovery.

Another aspect, in which many women find surprising, is their own lack of knowledge of how far the baby has progressed in such short time. They may inquire such things as when the baby's heart began to beat or when the brain began to function. And sometimes, just realizing that the baby's heart is already beating at 3 weeks or the brain is functioning at 40 days makes a whole difference in the decision.

Currently, it is accepted that a baby has a fair chance of surviving outside the womb after twenty weeks of gestation. Therefore, an abortion should only be performed when the fetus weighs less than 16 oz or before a woman is twenty weeks into her pregnancy.

In conclusion, the decision of giving birth to or terminating the life of a fetus should not be a sudden one. The consequences of such a matter should be weighed out and deeply considered. It is advisable to seek counseling before proceeding to a final decision. Additional information can also be found on the internet, for those who choose to remain anonymous, or at a local library.

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