Abortion has been an issue of controversy in society since time immemorial. Many arguments have been raised and discussed in various platforms, yet abortion remains a contentious issue. It is a social dilemma that society has not been the able to give a clear direction as members hang on each side of its advantages and disadvantages. Initially, abortion was meant to empower women by freeing them from house chores and equating them to men.
Tens of decades later, women have not been elevated into any position of equity, empowerment, and freedom by abortion. The issue of abortion is interesting to me because the most affected people are the youth. A few friends of mine have one point or another been in a dilemma regarding abortion.
Politicians have always aired their opinion on abortion during election campaigns when garnering votes. My quest to come up with different amicable solutions has motivated this research. This essay examines the issue of abortion from four different perspectives while analyzing their contradicting points of view and identifying their weaknesses and strengths.
The first significant perspective of abortion is that it is the problem of women. Men who are after sex without responsibilities do not want to be associated with its consequences. In cases where these men have impregnated their sex partners, they dismiss any discussions on the future of the unborn baby because it is easy not to become involved. The responsible man can easily “disappear” once a woman becomes pregnant because the rest of the process till delivery will be their own palaver.
This is a situation that is rampant in the majority of men in society. Men develop many excuses to keep them away from bearing responsibilities that come with pregnancy. These excuses include financial difficulties, absence of love, and school or work commitments. Any excuse issued by a man after impregnating a woman implies that decisions that follow become the responsibility of women, including abortion.
Women have also embraced the notion that abortion is their own problem (Reagan 217). A woman who is pregnant with an irresponsible man’s child develops a fear of living the life of a single mother for the rest of her life. Abandonment by men and the fear of a future of despair and desolation make abortion the problem of women. They will quickly decide to get rid of the baby in exchange for a better future full of fun, love, and happiness.
Another perspective is the laws on abortion that demoralize the role of men. The laws of many governments are stern regarding the decisions of a man on abortion. Apart from China, most laws state “a man, married or otherwise, has no legal right to force a woman either to have an abortion or to bear his child” (Williams 154). This law makes men feel powerless because it denies them legal obligation, especially in situations where they are willing to raise the child alone.
Men have complained about this in most situations because their traditional role in society is to protect and provide (Sheldon 191). That role the is fractured because this law is a consequence of abortion. Consequently, men who are for abortion in a relationship where the woman wants to keep the baby become demoralized because their purpose is that of a “sperm donor”. Some men do not mind the role of being a “sperm donor” though others are quite resentful.
Resentment arises the in situations where the two had initially agreed on a relationship an without children or a “no strings attached” relationship. The woman then becomes pregnant either deliberately or by chance and decides to keep the baby against the man’s consent. Such decisions affect the relationship between the two primarily because the man is put in a helpless situation of being inconsequential.
A point raised by supporters of abortion is that unwanted kids become the subject of child neglect, abandonment and often grow up to be delinquents and scandalous. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) of the United State of America states “legal abortion will decrease the number of unwanted children, battered children, child abuse cases, and possibly subsequent delinquency, drug addiction, and a host of social ills believed to be associated with neglectful parenthood” (Wolff and Mitrut 1219).
Currently, children are perceived as a “right”, a belonging and an outcome rather than a blessing or a distinctive person. Change in this definition is vital because it eliminates infanticide of children in hospital and abuse by parents. People use past experiences and observations to make decisions on vital issues such as abortion.
It is evident that most children growing under the guidance of single mothers turn out to be delinquents and criminals. Using this observation to justify abortion is another story altogether. Aborting a child with the consolation that one is preventing future problems in the society is a case of double standards. Contrary to this, future mothers have a right to define their destiny. A few hours of pain may lead to a century of happiness to a woman.
For the current generation of youths born and raised after the year 1978 (known as “Generation Y”), abortion is acknowledged as an element of the societal way of life. Many youths from “Generation Y” have been raised in environments where abortion is legal or affected them directly or indirectly (McAllister 97).
Almost everyone belonging to the “Generation Y” group has dealt with abortion or knows a close relative who has had an abortion. The disturbing impacts of abortion are experienced by youngsters from this generation by watching individuals who have aborted. These disturbing impacts include developing emotional disturbance, dodging of previous acquaintances and even becoming prone to suicides.
A major way in which the “Generation Y” youngsters have experienced the effects of abortion is the discovery that their mother has recently engaged in the act. A reality that they could have been the aborted sibling hits them in a negative way. This discovery comes with psychological effects that may determine the behavior of the teenager. They see themselves as survivors of abortion and experience a load of expectation that is difficult to achieve.
The destruction of a relationship as a consequence of abortion often creates a devastating future for all the other relationships of a woman. A rampant consequence of abortion on women is that they develop hostility towards men. This hostility may be vented out towards the woman’s son and ruin their relationship in general. Girls are also affected in relationships where their fathers left as a result of abortion. They lack a male guardian to protect them from other men in society.
A possible solution to the problem of abortion in society is the elimination of unwanted pregnancies. This solution stems from the aim of abortion- to terminate unwanted pregnancies. If the society can find an agreeable way of eliminating unwanted pregnancies, then abortion becomes extinct. The best way of eliminating unwanted pregnancies by governments is the radical circulation of birth control pills.
Most conservatives will resist this solution because it encourages sexuality and sexually transmitted infections. Another possible solution to abortion is adoption of the child. The government should provide a stipend to pregnant mothers until the baby is born as a substitute of abortion (Medoff 191). Once the baby is born, people who oppose abortion are given the baby using unique criteria. Activists opposing the process are allowed to adopt the baby.
A harsh solution to abortion is the implementation of an initiative to increase the cost of undergoing an abortion. Raising the cost of performing an abortion makes the process expensive and reduces cases of abortion. A final solution that has raised controversies in politics is making abortion unlawful. Passing an anti-abortion bill that makes the process be against the law will surely reduce many cases of abortion.
In conclusion, abortion is not combat with a winner and a loser. It is not a seasonal issue like a river. It is not an instantaneous natural disaster like an earthquake. It is just a sluggish mucky river washing away human anguish, despair, and hypocrisy composed of numerous separate private events.
It is a personal choice that does not deserve the attention it has gained over the years. No stand can be issued on decisions for and against abortion. All its pros and cons have reason and justifiable arguments that give them weight. The society has no place in condemning or supporting abortion, but to let the sluggish river continue sweeping along its undefined course.
McAllister, Dawson. Saving the Millennial Generation. New York, Thomas Nelson Inc., 1999. Print.
Medoff, Marshall. “The effect of abortion costs on adoption in the USA.” International Journal of Social Economics, 35.3 (2008): 188 – 201.
Reagan, Leslie. When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973. California, University of California, 1996. Print.
Sheldon, Sally. “Unwilling Fathers and Abortion: Terminating Men’s Child Support.” The Modern Law Review, 66.2 (2003): 175-194.
Williams, Jeremy. “Sex-Selective Abortion: A Matter of Choice.” Law and Philosophy, 31.2 (2012): 125-159.
Wolff, Charles and Andreea Mitrut. “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Child Health Outcomes and Abandonment: Evidence from Romania.” Journal of Health Economics, 30.6 (2011): 1219-1231.