Skip to comments.Abortion Proposal: A Need for Education
Posted on 04/19/2007 7:59:12 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007
Abortion is a significant societal issue that needs to be dealt with.
Since Roe v. Wade overturned most of the state and federal laws restricting abortion in the United States, the number of tallied abortions, according to the United States Census Bureaus 2002 statistics, numbered over one million each and every year. If one considers a human life to begin from conception, this equates to over a million cases of legal manslaughter each year. As a result, a Pro-Life movement has arisen, seeking to end legal abortion in the United States. To counter the Pro-Life side, the self-described Pro-Choice movement seeks to keep abortion as a legal option for expectant mothers. Due to abortions controversial nature, it has led to a high-strung, vitriolic and, on occasion, violent debate. Passions run high, and many arguments are built upon emotion.
To truly change peoples minds, emotion alone is unacceptable. Passion is a good way to show that you are devoted to a cause, but your cause cannot be validated without factual evidence to support it. Abortion affects more than just the unborn fetus; it has an effect on the mother as well. Although curtailing abortion through legislative means would seem to be a suitable path, it does not change peoples minds on a fundamental level.
To accomplish this, information about abortions effects and their consequences is vital. In order to adequately achieve the purposes of such an undertaking, information about birth control and the possible side effects would have to be widely distributed as well. Distribution of factual evidence regarding abortion will allow women to make informed decisions about the course they choose to take. Thus, an educational movement should be launched in order to more adequately inform women about the consequences of abortion on maternal health.
Abortion has profound effects on the health of the expectant mother, particularly for those who have repeated abortions. As Ian Gentles, coauthor of "Womens Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence" points out, women who have abortions tend to have a higher rate of breast cancer. This is supported by the National Cancer Institutes study that showed a thirty-six percent increase of breast cancer in women who have had an abortion. For women who had abortions before the age of twenty, the increase was a startling fifty percent. Gentles goes on to cite a Scandinavian study regarding a comparison between mothers who had abortions and mothers who gave birth. Within one year after the end of their pregnancy, women who had induced abortions suffered a mortality rate that was almost four times greater than that for women who delivered their babies. And their rate of suicide was six times greater.
Clearly, there is some link to be considered between abortion and health disorders for women. Pursuit of an abortion needs to be deliberated upon carefully, because the mother is in danger of jeopardizing her own life. If abortion clinics are concerned about the health of the mother, then it should be mandatory for them to provide this information to those seeking an abortion. Otherwise, a patient could unwittingly make a decision that would endanger her health.
So an answer to preventing pregnancy would have to be with birth control. However, current contraceptive methods have drawbacks, particularly with regards to sexual illness. Safe sex the utilization of condoms, contraceptive pills, and birth control patches has seen increasingly greater promotion within recent years, yet the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) continues to rise.
In Britain, the rate of occurrence for chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea all three being STDs has more than doubled since 1995. Likewise, in the Netherlands which prides itself on its liberal and comprehensive sex education programs the total number of STD cases has risen from 5,500 to 9,500. This has happened despite the fact that the Netherlands has been advocating safe sex in multiple campaigns over a period of 10 years.
Increased condom usage can also lead to a false sense of security, as they are not foolproof. Condoms tend to slip and rupture; a poll of 10,954 high school students showed that a third of all condom users experienced slippage, and that a full fourth experienced condom rupture. Even if condoms dont break or slip, they still arent completely effective in preventing the spread of STDs. Dr. Stephen Genuis, who works at the University of Albertas Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, states, Although condoms can reduce the transmission of discharge-related infections such as HIV, they provide only limited protection against infections transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, such as syphilis, chancroid and human papillomavirus.
Other methods of birth control, such as birth control pills, also have drawbacks. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised that newly developed contraceptive pills fail to prevent pregnancy twice as often as pills developed years ago. Also, birth control patches should be looked at carefully; the FDA has warned women that the Ortho Evra patch by Johnson & Johnson carries with it a higher risk of blood clot development in the lungs and legs.
These aforementioned methods of contraception carry various risks with their use: increased possibility of STDs and other medical disorders.
The only method that would have no possibility of failure that is, failure to prevent pregnancy and to prevent transmission of a sexual illness through intercourse would be abstinence. Abstinence is a practical alternative for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there is absolutely no chance of getting pregnant; after all, one cant become pregnant if one doesnt have sex (disregarding in-vitro fertilization for the sake of the argument, as seeking out in-vitro fertilization is a choice on part of the mother to become pregnant without intercourse). Second of all, abstinence until marriage is a financially viable choice because of the costs involved with raising a child.
The cost of raising a single male child in a household with two parents with the initial average family income (in 1982 dollars) of thirty thousand dollars would equate to over seven thousand dollars in the first year alone. Over a span of twenty-two years, the total real cost of raising the child would be two hundred and fourteen thousand, nine hundred and fifty-six dollars. This figure was the result of a two-year study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Consider also that many college students graduate with a large amount of accumulated debt on their shoulders due to student loans. Repaying that debt which, in the case of Jacquelyn Smith at the University of Pittsburgh, amounts to over twenty thousand dollars (Grant) would only become more unfeasible if the burden of raising a child were added. A married husband and wife, even if only one had a career, would be far more able to adequately provide for themselves and the child than a teenaged couple, or even an adolescent couple in college.
The proposal for distributing this information to teenagers, young adults, and women would be simple. As per normal sex education curriculum in school, information about the various methods of birth control and their drawbacks would have to be clearly and effectively pointed out. To fully get the point across about why birth control should be pursued with caution (should one choose to partake in premarital sex), the consequences of abortion to women should also be made clear. Although educating people on the developmental process of the fetus would be of some help, it would be more prudent to instead elaborate on the detrimental effects abortion would have for women. Abortion is not a quick and easy solution to a pregnancy; it has consequences, and women have a right to know about those consequences. To help manufacture proper texts, graphs, images, and materials for this educational program, private educational companies may be hired by the Department of Education or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help reduce costs in return for using unbiased, impartial government statistics.
The grounds for such a proposal might not seem justified at first. Sex education is already part of the curriculum in schools, and over eighty percent of sexually active high school students know about AIDS and HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite this, a large number of adolescents are still lacking an in-depth education on matters such as STDs.
A recent national survey of Canadian youths resulted in the discovery that a great many adolescents were unwittingly or willfully ignorant about the risk of contracting STDs. Sixty-eight percent of the people surveyed had partaken in oral sex, yet didnt know that it was possible to contract gonorrhea or syphilis that way. A full fifty percent didnt know they could get cervical cancer from the human papilloma virus. The final tally showed that five percent of those surveyed had a sexually transmitted illness (STI), and were seeing a trend of rising STIs.
This problem is not exclusive to Canada; schools in Cleveland, due to high rates of STDs and teen pregnancies, are completely revising their sexual education curriculum to stress contraceptives, abstinence, and increased knowledge of other STDs alongside HIV/AIDS. Also, teenagers are becoming more interested in the advantages of abstinence; according to a poll by the Adolescent and Family Health Journal, seventy-three percent of youths between thirteen and sixteen years of age have refused to partake in any sexual activity. The push for a more comprehensive education regarding the risk of STDs and premarital sex has already begun; a more comprehensive revision of the current sex education curriculum is now needed.
This proposal may seem like an indirect method for reducing abortion, but only if one doesnt see the big picture. The dangers of abortion to a mothers health both physical and mental in the short-term and long-term will result in more women either carrying to term or opting for contraception during sex. However, distributing in-depth information about the problems with contraception will provide an incentive to practice abstinence until marriage, solely for health and financial concerns. As a result, the number of teen and premarital pregnancies will decrease; ergo, the number of abortions will decrease.
This proposal not only aims to highlight the dangers of abortion to the health of the mother, but it also aims to decrease the number of abortions while simultaneously decreasing the rates of STDs and teen pregnancies. Due to the varied moral, constitutional, and health-related perceptions of people on both sides of this great societal issue, progress in the abortion debate cannot be made with emotionally charged rhetoric. An in-depth, objective education is the only tool that can be used to accomplish this without alienating both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice advocates alike.
History repeats itself, I guess; last paper I wrote for English 101 was on abortion (Should the Unborn be considered Human?, as some may recall). Managed to get an A on it. Maybe I'll be just as lucky. Maybe.
Interesting paper, this one...first time I've approached the topic from a purely secular standpoint.
Just proves that Pro-Life is not about religion. It's about human life and how we value it; something everyone can relate to.
Pro-Life/Moral absolutes ping!
If the other side is “pro-choice” how come it upsets them so when the choice is other than abortion?
They won’t admit it, in fact they’ll deny it vehemently, but they’re a buch of eugenicists at heart. The Terri Schiavo case proves that beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Remember, Planned Parenthood makes BUG BUCKS doing abortions. And their founder, whom they refuse to repudiate, was an open eugenicist.
Ping. Live and let live.
Because I happen to be good at Math.
And English 101/102 are CORE Requirements.
Personally, I prefer courses where the key to getting good grades is to solve empirically-correct problems instead of writing essays that may be graded subjectively depending on who your professor is. English 102 is more stressing than Calculus II, believe it or not.
Like so many political battles that never seem to get resolved, Right to Life versus Reproductive Rights to Abortion is a pair of dishonest answers to the wrong question.
A Right to Life is an impossibility, if only because immortality is not a condition that can be guaranteed by the State. Indeed, quite the contrary: police shoot to kill and armies fights wars wherein the loss of even innocent life is sanctioned as collateral damage. Such takings of human life are obviously not murders. Conser¬vatives claiming a right to life, as a euphemism to banning abortion, in fact desire Constitutional protec¬tion of fetuses from legally sanctioned death. So perhaps we would be more honest to call it that.
Yet even if we did, how would the State prosecute a murder case in an instance where mere fasting, physical rigor, or failure to follow a doctor's orders could cause a spontaneous abortion? Considering all the technical means now or soon available, one would almost have to put a pregnant mother in restraints to prevent her from killing her unwanted baby. Even if we could outlaw RU-486, the drug war has been so spectacularly unsuccessful that a ban is unlikely to prevent its use. Between simple miscarriage and abortions more grizzly forms there is too much graduation of circumstance for a Constitutional Amendment to be both comprehensive and enforceable. Forget it.
On the other hand, a "Reproductive Right to Abortion" starts out as an oxymoron and graduates to signal hypocrisy. Liberals invent all sorts of sterile terms in order to dance around the insane notion that killing a growing human fetus with its own unique DNA isnt taking a distinct human life. Nobody but an idiot would argue that it isnt.
Which brings us to the Roe v. Wade. Besides the obvious concern over the Federal government interfering with State regulation of medical practice, for Justice Blackmun to distinguish the legal treatment of a fetus by its gestational age was plainly silly. Aldous Huxley certainly understood that an artificial womb would soon be possible early as the 1930s and clearly spelled out the disastrous consequences of government control over human life and death. Roe should be overturned on all those bases, if only as an example of the need for better Supreme Court Justices.
That our rights are God-given is what holds them superior to the limited powers the people granted to the United States. It is that Constitutional guarantee to protect the rights of every citizen that includes those unable to exercise their own, whether the insane, the aged, or the injured. However, the Constitution does not acknowledge the rights of citizenship in the unborn (indeed quite the contrary).
To Amend the Constitution to include the unborn as natural persons, would give government the power to act as their adversary whenever their interests compete with other citizens, namely their parents. If government can take that control, doesn't that render the unborn child a ward of the state? Do you want the government to decide what is in the interest of an unborn baby? What if that included certain improvements? Isnt that a serious risk when such protections don't accomplish much of anything to prevent abortion?
There is just no way to design an enforceable Right not to be Aborted Amendment that would not also put the existing rights of citizens in jeopardy. From a standpoint of enforceable law, is an insoluble problem. Neither would such a Constitutional Amendment ever pass the Congress or be ratified by the states without vocal support by a large majority of the people. Such does not exist.
Still, Roe v Wade must be overturned if for legal reasons alone. Then what?
The beauty of the federal system is that we would then have 50 sets of working trials with which to improve regulation of medical practice concerning all issues related to the unborn. It improves our chances of getting it right just as it did in the case of welfare reform. It also demonstrates that the conservative preference for federalism (versus socialist command and control) motivates better solutions in a competitive marketplace of legal and administrative ideas.
Some will argue that State laws governing medical practice offer little protection for fetuses because people simply could go to another State to obtain an abortion (just as they could cross national boundaries were abortion totally banned). Federal laws can outlaw crossing state lines to obtain an abortion with heavy penalties for fraud. If you don't think the Congress would pass such legislation, what makes you think they would ever pass a Constitutional Amendment?
Outlawing all abortion would also bring this country back to the wicked and unjust proceedings that so often made criminals out of young teens who are innocent victims of rape or incest, forcing them to risk their lives bearing a child. Many of those who oppose abortion make exceptions for such cases, thus one can hardly call a right to life a universal principle. Which brings us to that larger question in the title of this article.
The issues surrounding abortion are almost identical to a host of other medical issues where technology has provided us with a set of complex, time sensitive choices, where no matter what path is selected, the competing interests of human beings are at risk:
As technology progresses, there will be ever more cases presenting difficult choices about who lives and who dies. If our society has made such a mess of a simple procedure as abortion, think of the ethical dilemmas new medical research is producing at a rate that is wildly outstripping our legal and political institutions.
It will soon be possible to extend all life indefinitely. It won't be cheap. To make that choice means that somebody, somewhere in the world, could have had food, basic medicines, protection, or shelter. It's a fact that begs the moral question: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
We don't have any choice but to make decisions about death. It sucks, but it's a fact of life.
The commonality among these medical issues broadens the decades-long legal battle over abortion into a discussion of how to develop the legal, moral, and administrative systems by which to make the tough decisions that come with our rapidly expanding technical ability to manipulate the entire human life cycle.
By now it should be obvious that the existing court system is the last place to be making such decisions. The issues are too variable, technical, and urgent for that system to render just decisions. They involve the patient, the physician, and disinterested sources of legal, technical, and ethical expertise, as well as the representative of the insurance pool that pays for the procedure. There also needs to be a way that the society that lives with the outcome can place constraints on possible options, perhaps by the usual medical licensing procedures. Because of their time-sensitive nature, the appeals process must necessarily be very limited. Such courts might be convened within hospitals or electronically.
Combining these life and death issues not only puts the issue of abortion in the context in which it belongs, it broadens the number of interest groups who suddenly realize that they too have a stake in issues of life and death beyond mere sexual convenience.
So when conservative candidates for public office are confronted with questions on abortion, it works to their advantage to point out the need to transform the decision-making processes by which to manage artificial manipulation of life and death. Such a response highlights the compassion, discipline, and clarity characteristic of conservatives as critical to bringing productive solutions to vexing moral dilemmas.
Why the drop after 1960? (in deaths of women from illegal abortions)
The reasons were new and better antibiotics, better surgery and the establishment of intensive care units in hospitals. This was in the face of a rising population. Between 1967 and 1970 sixteen states legalized abortion. In most it was limited, only for rape, incest and severe fetal handicap (life of mother was legal in all states). There were two big exceptions California in 1967, and New York in 1970 allowed abortion on demand. Now look at the chart carefully.
Abortion Statistics - Decision to Have an Abortion (U.S.)
· 25.5% of women deciding to have an abortion want to postpone childbearing
· 21.3% of women cannot afford a baby
· 14.1% of women have a relationship issue or their partner does not want a child
· 12.2% of women are too young (their parents or others object to the pregnancy)
· 10.8% of women feel a child will disrupt their education or career
· 7.9% of women want no (more) children
· 3.3% of women have an abortion due to a risk to fetal health
2.8% of women have an abortion due to a risk to maternal health
So how many womens lives have been saved by abortion?
Only about 3% of abortions since 1972 were reported to be due to a risk to maternal health. A reasonable person would recognize that not all of those cases represent a lethal risk. But lets say they did. That means that nearly 45 million fetuses were butchered to save the lives of about 1.3 million women. Or put another way; 35 babies are killed to save each woman.
Abortion was legal in all 50 states prior to Roe v. Wade in cases of danger to the life of the woman.
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I think you’ll get an “A.”
I think that your implied premise is a bit faulty: that people, particularly young people, approach sexual behaviour logically and carefully weigh the consequences of their actions. I don’t think so. While you can teach people to behave morally and can teach them about the repercussions of their actions, in the long term it’s darn difficult to keep people away from behavior that is quite pleasurable.
I think we need to remember that the problem isn’t sex, it’s sex outside the context of marriage without acceptance of the risks and consequences arising from it.
Several FReepers have been making a point that I at first found peculiar, but have since found more logical: young adults need to marry earlier and have children earlier. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect young, hormonally charged people to abstain until they’re in their late 20s when the average age where children lose their virginity in the U.S. is (arguably) somewhere around 15.
CP, thanks for the PING!! Keep it up!!