PRO/CON: Abortion in the United States

Freedom of choice allows women’s right to abortion

By Stephanie Lingenfelter
Editor in Chief

Another bill has hit the floor of the statehouse, this time about abortion. For the third year in a row, Rep. Curt Nisley proposed a bill that would cause a complete ban of abortion unless proven completely medically necessary. Anything else would be legally considered murder. This bill shouldn’t be passed because abortion is sometimes the best option and it’s each women’s choice.

Adoption is an option if someone doesn’t want to keep the baby, but they would still have to pay high medical bills to carry and deliver to the full term. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the national median cost for childbirth in a hospital in 2014 was $13,524. The abortion rate among poor women is the highest at 36.6 abortions per 1,000 women, according to Guttmacher Institute. If a woman is struggling financially, she most likely can’t afford to carry the baby full term. According to Planned Parenthood, on average nationwide, first trimester abortions range from $350 to $950, much more doable than $13,524. It’s also about possibly putting the baby into a horrible situation. If the baby isn’t adopted, they might end up in foster care and it’s common knowledge that the foster care system has many flaws. The only way to guarantee a baby will be matched with a family straight away is to go through a private adoption agency, which is costly and many low- and middle-class families would struggle to afford it. If the child does end up in foster care, they’ll be bounced from home to home, waiting to be adopted and potentially placed in compromising positions in the various homes they stay. Most foster families receive money for fostering, so it can draw some people with poor intentions. According to US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 45 percent of older foster care youth use drugs and alcohol and they’re more likely to end up homeless, unemployed, or incarcerated. The child’s life could easily start off as just abuse and neglect and they may never rise above it. In that case, it’s easy to make the argument that choosing abortion could be better.

Not everyone who becomes pregnant is fit or ready to be a mother. Yes, there are preventative measures, but sometimes accidents happen and while it may seem selfish, if they’re not ready and don’t have their life together yet, they probably shouldn’t add a kid into the picture. If someone isn’t financially ready to support a child, they could end up in poverty, not having access to the medicine and food they require, leading to sickness or hunger. A University of California at San Francisco study found that, “76 percent of the ‘turnaways’ ended up on unemployment benefits, compared with 44 percent of the women who had abortions.” Most people who get an abortion think through it, making sure they’re making the best decision for themselves and their possible future child. A child born to someone unprepared could also end up in an abusive or neglectful situation. According to National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually assaulted by the age of 18 and 34 percent of those abuses are caused by family members. A study done by the University of California at San Francisco found that women unable to obtain abortions were more likely to stay in an abusive relationship than women who had an abortion and were twice as likely to become a victim of domestic violence.

If someone gets pregnant and knows if they have the child, the child will end up in unsafe conditions, early abortion isn’t a bad alternative.

Lastly, and most importantly, everyone’s life and story is different and it’s not okay to judge people based on their decisions. There are health reasons for abortions and sexual assault victims, but there are also personal reasons and it’s their right to make their own choices. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, fetuses can’t feel pain until week 29 or 30 of gestation, so first trimester abortions are harmless. Under the law, age isn’t calculated and citizenship isn’t official until after birth.

Abortion bill encourages poor behavior for mothers

By Brayden Lennart
Staff Reporter

In the South and Midwestern United States, many states are pushing for anti-abortion legislation. According to a United Nations report in 2013, only nine countries in the world have a higher abortion rate than the United States. Here in Indiana, Republicans are advancing House Bill 1211, which will ban dismemberment abortions, except in the case where the mother could die or suffer serious bodily harm.

House Bill 1211 defines dismemberment abortion as: “an abortion in which a fetus is extracted one piece at a time from the uterus through clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or another similar instrument that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slices, crushes, or grasps a portion of the fetus’s body to cut or rip it off.” According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, abortions after 14 weeks have to be done with this method, so this bill would ban all abortions after 14 weeks. House Bill 1211 would also make it a Level five felony for anyone who performs one of these abortions, and would also come with a penalty of one to six years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. The pregnant woman who receives the abortion may not be held liable, financially or legally, as well as the people who worked under the doctor’s instructions. This law is a moral and logical step toward protecting the rights of our future American citizens.

Dismemberment abortion, which is also known as intact dilation and extraction, is a surgical procedure that involves removing an intact fetus from the uterus. This surgery usually occurs more than 16 weeks after conception. The surgery is preceded by preparation of the cervix which can take several days, and there is an injection of potassium chloride to soften the fetal bones. Then, clamps and forceps are used to remove the fetus, tearing the fetus into pieces. Then, to get the skull out, the doctor can use clamps to crush the skull if it will not fit. For recovery, antibiotics are given to avoid infection of the endometrium and fallopian tubes. This procedure is cruel and barbaric, and should only be allowed in cases where it is absolutely dire to save the mother’s life.

By the time this surgery will happen, the fetus’ heart will already be beating. The heart is beating, keeping the baby alive. According to the Endowment for Human Development, at 16 weeks, the fetus is very much alive, moving the hands and feet and legs. At this point, the fetus can respond to light touch and other various forms of stimulation such as sound. Playing music for your baby can even help calm them down. This fetus is very much on its way to becoming a human being, eventually being able to live outside the mother and one day reproduce and have children of their own. To terminate a pregnancy at this stage is to kill. To terminate a pregnancy at this stage will end a life, and we can only do what we can to protect unborn lives. Life begins when the heart starts to beat, and to make a heart stop beating is horrible in any circumstances.

Indiana House Bill 1211 would also update the definition of “abortion complications.” The new definition will mean specific physical or mental conditions that arise from a surgical abortion procedure. It would also remove the word “emotional” when describing physiological complications, remove the phrase “metabolic disorder” and would also replace “blood clot” with “pulmonary embolism.” With these changes, lawmakers hope for more accuracy and transparency with the legality.

Passing House Bill 1211 will make strides to protect the rights of all future Americans, while also protecting our current Americans. According to the CDC in 2015, there were 638,169 abortions in the United States. Making late term abortions illegal and only letting them be allowed in dire circumstances is the only moral option. People say that it’s the woman’s body and the woman’s choice, and this is true. But with the baby’s body, don’t they have a choice too? We need to protect all of the future Americans and future people.


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