Good Argumentative Essay About Abortion
Abortion is the termination of pregnancy by removal of fetus or embryo from the womb before it can survive outside of the womb on its own. Naturally occurring abortion is generally referred to as miscarriage or spontaneous abortion and is the unintentional expulsion of the embryo from the womb within 24 weeks of pregnancy. After about 24 weeks, the embryo is able to live outside of the womb albeit with some assistance. About eighty percent of the spontaneous abortions happen during the first trimester of pregnancy. Further, most of the miscarriages which happen during first trimester go unnoticed by the women. Medically assisted abortions are called induced abortions and account for almost a fifth of the total number of pregnancies around the world. Induced abortion is legal in almost all countries in western hemisphere, as well as in most of the world with some restrictions. In United States induced abortion became legal in 1973 in the famous Roe vs Wade case where the decision by Supreme Court established that even after the embryo is viable - defined as the point where it can survive outside of the womb – the state cannot favor the life of the fetus over that of the pregnant woman. Recently, abortion has become part of political debate and the issues surrounding it have been dissected to a great extant. However it is noteworthy that the total number of abortions have gone down in the United States in recent years due to increase in awareness of women’s health, increased and ready availability of contraceptive options, education about proper employment of contraceptive measures and better access to healthcare than before.
Abortion history is as old as the recorded history. Women have known the abortive effects of certain herbs well before modern medicine devised ways to assist in abortion. Further, there is evidence suggesting that abortion by inducing sharp implements into the womb and by administration of abdominal pressure was practiced throughout history. Such highly dangerous abortion techniques risked the health and lives of women excessively. But due to stigma of abortion, mostly heavily perpetuated by major religions, safer techniques in abortion did not appear till late seventeenth century. And it wasn’t until mid-twentieth century that abortion became less risky than childbirth.
The topic of this paper is to discuss and argue an opinion piece in an editorial article of USA Today from October 8, 2014. The editorial article discusses recent legislation in the state of Texas regarding new regulatory laws about abortion clinics and what implications it has for women living in Texas who want to seek out assistance of these clinics. The bill of legislation which proposes to regulate and dictate the quality and safeguard measures is dubbed House Bill 2. The editorial paper implicates that due to overly zealous regulatory laws passed in Texas, more than one million women have now no access to abortion clinics. Before the legislation was passed, Texas had over forty clinics. In light of the regulations, more than 75% of these clinics have been shut down. The editorial further comments on the motive behind this legislation, saying that instead of helping women have access to cleaner and safer clinics, it is driving abortion clinics out of business and thus putting these women’s health at risk.
The latest legislation which is not unique to the state of Texas requires the abortion clinics to be in standing with nearby hospitals for admitting privileges. Also it requires that the clinics maintain the same standards of hospitals which are true of medical centers where surgeries are performed. Supporters of this legislation claim that it will help women have access to safer options by mandating the width of hallways, relocation of the on premise janitorial facilities and even the minimum number of parking spaces available at the said clinics.
Abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization are prohibited, except in cases of a severe fetal abnormality. The 20-week ban also does not apply in cases where the post-20-week abortion is necessary to “avert the woman’s death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition,” in which case the abortion shall be performed “in the manner that, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.” Abortion-inducing drugs must be used according to FDA regulations (with the exception that dosages can be given according to American Congress of OBGYN Practice Bulletin). FDA regulations require that women visit the doctor in person for each of the two doses of the abortion pill, resulting in two separate doctor’s visits. (Fundtexaschoice.org)
The editorial argues that this legislation about abortion does not achieve any of the goals for women’s health safety and instead put them at greater danger. The effect of this legislation is such that some women in the state of Texas have to travel over five hundred miles to get to the nearest abortion clinics. Further, no less than one million women have no abortion clinic within one hundred and fifty miles of their residence. This puts women who seek medical assistance or advice for abortion in extremely inconvenient position. Not only these women are now being deprived of their legal right, they are being forced to choose unsupervised and highly dangerous abortion measures.
Although on the surface these new restrictions sound reasonable, a more thorough look reveals that the motive of this legislation is to make it so difficult to run abortion clinics financially and administratively such that the clinics are forced to shut down. However, The American Medical Association and The American Medical College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have said that the regulations are not only unnecessary, they do not stem from established and well-founded scientific research available on this matter. That the abortion clinics are required to maintain a level of standard reserved for surgical centers is reflective of the gross incomprehension of state of Texas’s legislators. Medically speaking, abortions are not overwhelmingly invasive. Abortions are not similar to surgical procedures in their risk. In fact abortions have a risk of 0.67 per one hundred thousand whereas colonoscopy has a risk associated with it of 36 per one hundred thousand. And doctors can perform colonoscopy at their clinics without having a standing with a nearby hospital and without specific width of hallways. (Berer)
This is not to say that all abortion clinics are maintaining a clean and capable environment. Last year, A Philadelphia practitioner Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of three charges of first degree murder and was revealed to have been practicing abhorrent and indescribable procedures. But a few rotten cases do not mean that abortion clinics as an industry have no standards or that they are manic, unsupervised and in need of overly oppressive industry standards. An example of such a correction in regulation occurred in the state of Maryland in 2010 where a substandard abortion procedure nearly killed a woman. Regulators and legislators brought people in from the industry for discussion and discourse. The industry regulations were revised and new standards were put up. Also, four clinics which were found to be sub-regulatory standards were shot down. The new regulations put up were what the industry agreed on and what would ensure that such an event did not occur again.
Just over three years ago, about seventy thousand women got abortions in forty clinics and medical facilities. But with the passing of House Bill 2, the number of women getting recognized medical assistance with abortion is expected to drop greatly. However this does not mean that more women will opt not to get abortions, it will just mean that more women will seek assistance elsewhere or will put their lives at risk for something they have a constitutional right to. How long before this constitutional right is burdened with so many hurdles that it effectively becomes useless is difficult to say.
In trying to unnecessarily regulate abortions, the state of Texas is driving its citizens to seek non-professional and hazardous help. Women who cannot afford to travel such huge distances and may not be able to take paid medical leave from work will be forced to seek alternative options. And then there are young women who will have a difficult time figuring out their options in case of an unwanted pregnancy. Their inexperience and young age will make clinically assisted abortions virtually impossible for them. This will negatively impact their standard of living and will force them to assume far greater responsibility in life at such an early time. Also, the remaining abortion clinics are overcrowded and under-resourced which means more abortions will occur at later stages when it is a fact medically acknowledged that a woman in need of an abortion should have one as early as possible. In the very early stage of first trimester, getting an abortion carries no virtual risk for the women. However in later stages as the fetus develops, the risks surrounding abortion increase. Therefore as these remaining clinics get over-crowded, this will put more women’s health at risk and thus the effect of this legislation will be completely in the opposite direction of what the legislators intend.
It is a medically established and researched fact that most abortions are perfectly safe. Abortions do not carry a significant risk for women to have post-abortive syndrome mainly because such a syndrome is not clinically identified syndrome and is largely a political tool for lobbyists and politicians. Also, modern procedures of abortions are not invasive and mostly do not require surgical cuts. Also, in most cases abortion procedures are also not damaging to a woman’s capability to bear children in future. Complications in abortion procedures do exist but the risk associated with them is smaller than many other widely practiced clinical procedures.
In conclusion, House Bill 2 which was introduced as a regulatory bill for abortion and abortion procedures hinders women from having access to better abortion facilities and clinics and also puts unnecessary burden on those facilities. Hence, it is important for the women to have better facilities and access to abortion is one of their rights.
Berer, Marge. 'Provision Of Abortion By Mid-Level Providers: International Policy, Practice And Perspectives'. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 87.1 (2009): 58-63. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.
This article gives an overview of different providers of abortion. It provides information of the policies and overall experiences of each provider separately. Furthermore, it also provides comparative studies on different types of abortions.
The article is credible because it uses the information from PubMed and Popline databases and integrates peer-reviewed journal articles in the essay for the information.
This article is helpful in my essay in covering the access to abortion part of my essay where I will talk about the availability and ease of abortion in various parts of America.
Conry, Jeanne A., and Lisa M. Hollier. 'Open Letter To Texas Legislators: Get Out Of Our Exam Rooms - ACOG'. Acog.org. N.p., 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.
In this press release of American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Jeanne A. Conry and Lisa M. Hollier talk about House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 3 of the state of Texas. According to ACOG, HB2 and SB1 will not only make access to abortion from a medicine practitioner difficult but it is also not based on scientific and medical research. As such, it should not be a matter of legislators to decide whether women have access to abortion clinics or not.
The source is important because American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a representative body of US gynecologists and obstetricians, with a membership count of over fifty eight thousand. As such they are the leading authority on medicine and science concerning women's health.
Information from this source will help assess the scientific foundation of House Bill 2 which is the subject of editorial that I am reviewing in this essay.
Fundtexaschoice.org,. 'What Is HB2? | Fund Texas Choice'. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.
The source has the full text of HB2. The latest legislation which is not unique to the state of Texas requires the abortion clinics to be in standing with nearby hospitals for admitting privileges. Also it requires that the clinics maintain the same standards of hospitals which are true of medical centers where surgeries are performed. Supporters of this legislation claim that it will help women have access to safer options by mandating the width of hallways, relocation of the on premise janitorial facilities and even the minimum number of parking spaces available at the said clinics.
The source is credible because it has the content of HB2 and it cites the chronological implementation of the bill.
Most of my essay is about the bill HB2 so the source is really important for my essay.
Keller, and Yarrow. 'America’s Abortion Clinics'. The Daily Beast. N.p., 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.
Steele, E. Boyd. Abortion Laws. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Labor Standards Administration, Women's Bureau, 1970. Print.
This source deals with an overview of the laws related to abortion and their implications on the social structure. It is a rather outdated source, but covers successfully the implications of the laws of that time.
This article helped in understanding numerous laws of United States. In particular, the article helped in understanding of the laws that were used in the judgment and proceedings of Roe vs Wade.
The Editorial Board,. 'Abortion Safety As A Pretext: Our View'. USA TODAY. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.