History and Debate of AbortionAbortion involves terminating a pregnancy by the removing or expelling of a fetus or embryo from the uterus. This is sometimes due to the death of the fetus; however, it can also result in the death of it. Abortion is a very controversial topic because its frequency of occurrence, legal, cultural and religious status varies extensively in different regions of the world. There are many high-profile groups that champion either pro-choice or pro-life, and such organizations bring up a host of issues to further their often political agenda. In the United States, pro-life groups favor greater legal restrictions on abortion, or even the complete prohibition of it. They argue that a human fetus is a human being with a right to live, so abortion is similar to murder. In contrast, pro-choice groups argue that a woman has certain reproductive rights, especially the choice on whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.
One of the most common reasons why some women want to have an abortion is because they have the desire to delay childbearing because they themselves are young. Other reasons include not wanting to stop work or schooling and/or because of financial or relationship instability. These reasons are consistent across numerous countries, including America. Most abortions that occur in the United States are obtained by women of a minority race because they are having higher incidences of unintended pregnancies. In developing countries, women have the additional concern of health risks and complications that occur as a result of unsafe practices in medical settings.
Some abortions happen because of societal pressures. This occurs to when there is little social support, when a specific gender of a child is preferred or when governments enforce population control, such as China's one child policy. It is suggested that sex-selective abortion could account for disparities between the birth rates of male and female children in some countries. Many countries in Asia like China, South Korea and India have cultures that prefer male children.
When abortion occurs because of societal pressures, women sometimes have to resort to unsafe practices because the legalized healthcare route is not an option. As a result, countries that have restrictive abortive laws have more women that seek unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortions occur when they are performed by individuals without adequate medical skills or in an unhygienic environment. Such situations occur globally, and result in about 70,000 maternal deaths and 5 million maternal disabilities per year.
Currently, laws regarding abortion are diverse and differ by states in the U.S. Some states have a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be carried out and require that information regarding fetal development is given out. The abortion debate also focuses on whether laws should be passed mandating that the pregnant woman has the consent of others, especially if the woman is a minor.