The Truth about Abortion

The Bloodstained Past and the Current Controversy

Before Roe v. Wade

Roe v. Wade was the Supreme Court Case that made abortion legal in 1973. It ruled that the Bill of Rights protected citizens' privacy from the government, which encompasses matters like pregnancy. It decided that 1st trimester abortions were a matter that the government couldn't interfere with, and that after that, they could legislate to protect the pregnant woman, and only in the 3rd trimester her fetus.

Before 1973, thousands of women would die seeking illegal abortions. Studies have shown that criminalizing abortion doesn't prevent it, since developing countries with anti-abortion laws have the highest abortion rates while the lowest abortion rates are in European countries where it is largely unregulated. Women had several reasons for wanting an abortion, ranging from economic instability to life-threatening conditions. But the abortions they got very often unnecessarily painful and traumatic; hospitals would more often than not had a number of patients suffering from botched abortions.

The majority of abortionists in that time weren't medical professionals would use crude methods such as puncturing the uterus with a sharp object or poisoning the mother to induce a miscarriage, often resulting in horrifying side effects. Illegal abortions happen, and they are almost always unsafe.

A Matter of Necessity

Women have a multitude of reasons for terminating a pregnancy. Sometimes it's that they're too young and are still completing their education, or maybe that they don't have the money to complete a pregnancy. Some are in unstable or abusive relationships and others simply don't want children. A common reason is getting pregnant very soon after giving birth, which wouldn't be feasible for most women. The point is that these women's lives are very complex, and it's pointless to try to judge them unless you've walked in their shoes.

A common misconception is that women who have unplanned pregnancies are irresponsible or stupid. Most were on birth control, but a little carelessness, a small mistake, or even some bad luck can result in a pregnancy. Many methods are 97% effective or something to that extent, and people forget that those 3% exist. Of course, there are also cases where rape, incest, or mental illnesses are involved.

The Moral Dillema

In the first trimester of pregnancy, the fetus is hardly larger than a bean has very little brain activity. It's thoughts are likely at the same level as a plant. It undeniably has human DNA and would one day become a human child if it weren't aborted. But the reason killing it isn't murder is because there's no victim. The fetus would have no self-awareness, meaning it wouldn't even know it existed at all.

However, in the second and third trimester, it begins to get more tricky. It's still quite small, but at that point it starts looking more and more like a human child. At 20 weeks, the fetus reaches the size of a banana. At that point, abortions become far more expensive and dangerous. The ones who delay it to this point are usually younger and less financially able. Younger girls often don't realize they're pregnant for months, especially since they often have irregular periods, and women on the pill don't always notice either. But luckily, only about 1.5% of abortions happen after 20 weeks, with about 70% happening during the first 12.

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Current Legislation

Currently, in more conservative and republican states, abortions have become harder and harder to get. They create obstacles for women in an attempt to dissuade them from their decision, but often just delay the procedure instead. In some states, there are so few abortion clinics that some women have to drive hundreds of miles to reach one. And these women often don't have the money or time to take off from work for so long since the law mandates that they have to take two visits, sometimes 3 days apart. In Texas, earlier this year, all but five abortion clinics were shut down due to this kind of legislation. However, the federal government stepped in and since then the situation has gotten better.

Preventing Abortions

Whether you agree with abortion or not, we can all agree that abortion isn't a happy ending. That's why Planned Parenthood, a provider of reproductive health and information focuses on preventing unplanned pregnancies from the beginning. Donate at to support their cause.