A woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy is a personal choice. There are several reasons why females consider abortion:
- Financial constraints that make some women unable to care for and support the child.
- Personal decision to terminate an unplanned pregnancy.
- The failure of the contraceptive that has been used. According to Jones and Kooistra, more than half of the total number of women who have resorted to abortion were using contraceptives during the time of conception (42).
- Pregnancy that occurred due to incest, rape, or adultery.
- Prevention of the birth of a fetus with adverse medical conditions or birth deformities. Such defects are not usually detected until the second trimester when routine check-ups are conducted.
- Medical conditions that threaten the woman’s life or health if the pregnancy is not terminated (Jones and Kooistra 42).
Abortions are usually conducted within the first trimester of pregnancy. However, there are rare cases where abortion is done during the second trimester for such reasons as difficulties in finding and paying for a qualified abortion specialist (Jones and Kooistra 42).
In some cases, the government may interfere with a woman’s personal choice to have an abortion, which makes some medical groups argue that such acts are unjust. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court passed a federal law to ban abortion and permit the federal government to apply the veto right to women’s and their families’ decisions on private healthcare (Jones and Kooistra 44). As a result, the federal government banned abortion during the second trimester of pregnancy, with most doctors arguing that it is the best and safest period for abortion to preserve the woman’s health. By passing the federal law that restricts abortion during the second trimester, the Supreme Court has abandoned its decision to protect women’s health, which has been upheld for more than three decades (Jones and Kooistra 45). Therefore, the ban has affected many women who needed abortion during the second trimester.
In some states, abortion has been banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which has caused negative effects on women who require abortion during that period due to adverse medical conditions that endanger their health (Jones and Kooistra 42). According to certain medical groups, the government has no right to interfere with health practitioners’ role in informing their patients about medical care options (Jones and Kooistra 42). Furthermore, it is arguable that medical specialists should not be banned from offering protected patient care because it is a constitutional right.
Over the years, the state government has made several attempts to criminalize abortion, thus greatly interfering with women’s right to make their personal healthcare decisions. For example, the authorities have placed restrictions on access to abortion services, thus having forced some women to adopt illegal and unsafe options, endangering their health and safety (Jones and Kooistra 42). Some abortion restrictions include:
- Mandatory counseling before a woman can have an abortion, which is accompanied by waiting periods and compulsory ultrasounds.
- TRAP laws that place significant restrictions on abortion specialists.
- Restrictions on abortion insurance coverage.
- Banning abortion after a certain period during pregnancy and preventing the operation through non-surgical means.
Planned Parenthood is recommended to prevent the occurrence of unplanned pregnancies (Jones and Kooistra 47). However, the intervention has not been properly implemented, thus having forced many women to undergo illegal and unsafe abortion procedures. Solutions that can eliminate the need for abortion are the provision of access to affordable contraceptive methods and comprehensive sex education.
Jones, Rachel K., and Kathryn Kooistra. “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services in the United States, 2008.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, vol. 43 no.1, 2011, pp.41-50.