- Lerner, Susana., and Agnès Guillaume. “Las Adversas Consecuencias De La Legislación Restrictiva Sobre El Aborto: Argumentos y Evidencias Empíricas En La Literatura Latinoamericana.”Alapop, 2008.
Background: The main purpose of the article is to discuss some of the consequences of restrictive abortion laws in Latin America. It is argued how the legal status of abortion determines the quality of health services available for women who access these type of procedures. The authors argue that restrictive abortion laws are more theoretical than real and present documented data that demonstrate that some of the requirements to access abortion make it difficult for many women to have real access to these medical procedures.
In this article, it is claimed that restrictive abortion laws fail to reduce abortion rates. The authors have collected quantitative data that compare abortion rates in countries with restrictive abortion laws with that in countries with liberal abortion laws. The data provided show that abortion rates are higher in countries that adopt abortion laws. These laws lead women to access clandestine procedures, which force them to risk their lives. Restrictive abortion laws are discriminatory because only women who belong to high socio-economic classes are able to finance safe, illegal procedures. The authors provide data that show that women who belong to poor communities are more likely to access unsafe procedures or to practice self-abortion.
How I used it: I used this article to establish that restrictive abortion laws are useless when it comes to decreasing abortion rates. This articles was useful to focus on Latin American countries, which is my region of interest. Restrictive abortion laws create situations of exclusion in which women with economic disadvantages are more likely to lose their lives during clandestine procedures.
- World Health Organization. “World Health Day: Safe Motherhood, Unsafe Abortion.” Geneva: World Health Organization, 1998.
Background: The statute discusses the connection of maternal mortality to unsafe abortion and unwanted pregnancies. Statistical data shows an approximate of unsafe abortions performed annually and provides an average of women who die during clandestine procedures per year. Clandestine procedures are “easily preventable and treatable” when it comes to decreasing maternal mortality rates related to abortion. To reduce ” the heavy toll of abortion-related maternal death and morbidity,” it is necessary for governments to work in policies that ensure the well-being of women and families. The legalization of abortion does not increase abortion rates. Data collected suggest that most of the countries that have non-restrictive abortion laws “allow for greater access to legal abortion without increasing abortion rates.” Unsafe abortion is a global problem that put women’s lives at risk all around the world. Apart from putting in danger women’s lives, clandestine procedures also affect the public health system. It is estimated that complications resulting from unsafe abortions cost half of hospital budgets in developing countries.
How I used it: I used this paper to argue that restrictive legislation of abortion is related to higher rates of clandestine procedures and maternal mortality. Countries with liberal abortion laws have lower abortion rates than that in countries with restrictive laws. In order to reduce maternal mortality rates related to unsafe abortions, it is necessary to adopt policies that protects women who risk their lives during clandestine procedures.
- Haddad, Lissa B., and Nawal M. Nour. “Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality.” Rev. Ostet. Gynecol, 2009, 2(2): 122-126.
Background: Unsafe abortion is a “pressing issue” that causes thousands of women to die annually. The authors claim that legalizing abortion and promoting the use of contraceptives help to prevent unsafe abortion. However, they also state that politics and religion might become obstacles when accessing abortion. Even though it is challenging to collect data for abortion, the data available suggest that unsafe abortion rates are on the rise, especially in developing countries. The risks of abortion-related maternal death and morbidity depend on the method used to perform abortion, the quality of the facility, and the qualifications of the provider. The article numerical and visual data that shows the scope of the problem in different regions. Evidence show that abortion-related deaths are more frequent in regions in which abortion is illegal. The lowest abortion rates are in Europe, where abortion is legal and contraceptive use is high.
How I used it: The data provided in the article helped me identify patterns of maternal mortality and restrictive abortion laws by regions. It seems that countries with liberal abortion laws have the lowest abortion rates, which suggest that legal abortion does not necessarily increase abortion rates. The purpose of legalizing abortion is to decrease abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity.
- Grimes, David A. et al. “Unsafe Abortion: the preventable pandemic.” Lancet,2006; 368: 1908-19.
Background: The article contains statistical data and factual claims that suggest that “Making abortion legal, safe, and accessible does not increase demand. Instead, the principal effect is shifting previously clandestine, unsafe procedures to legal and safe ones.” In the article, it is argued that unsafe abortion is a “preventable pandemic” that endangers women in developing countries with restrictive abortion laws and those who live in nations where safe abortion is legal but difficult to access. The data provided in the article allow the readers to study the effects of unsafe abortion by regions. The rate of abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity is hundreds of times higher in developing countries where abortion is restricted by law than that for safe, legal abortion in developed nations.
How I used it: I used this article to establish that women belonging to developing countries where abortion is highly restricted by laws are the most likely to risk their lives during clandestine abortions. Legal access to abortion does not increase abortion rates; instead, it enhances sexual reproductive health. Restrictive abortion laws lead women to access clandestine procedures or self-induced abortion that cause them to suffer permanent health issues or even death.
- Okonofua, F. “Abortion and Maternal Mortality in the Developing World“.J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 2006;28(11):974–979
Background: The author claims that maternal mortality resulting from unsafe abortion is more common in third world countries with restrictive abortion laws than that in developed nations with more liberal abortion regulations. It is outrageous that despite thousands of women are dying because of accessing unsafe abortion, “nothing substantial is being done locally or internationally to address the related issues.” One of the causes of abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity is the lack of political will to adopt policies that protect the live of women who want to terminate their pregnancies. What the author proposes to solve this issue is to make sure that women have legal access to abortion. Poor access to abortion is a “social injustice” in which low-income women are the most affected. The author claims that many women of low socio-economic status are not able to afford safe abortions in developing countries where abortion is strictly penalized.
How I used it: I used this article to establish the socio-economic effect of restrictive abortion laws on society. Adopting restrictive abortion laws is an abstract form of socio-economic discrimination. Many low-income women are unable to afford safe abortion in countries with restrictive abortion laws.
- Don Marquis . “Why abortion is immoral,”The Journal of Philosophy, 1989, pp. 183-202.
Background: The main purpose of the paper is to develop an ethical argument that imposes the idea that the vast majority of abortions performed worldwide are seriously immoral. The author presents anti-abortion and pro-choice arguments and defines them as insufficient to be regarded as adequate. He claims that the moral generalizations made by both sides are “accidental generalizations that do not touch on the essence of the matter.” Abortion is immoral because it deprives unborn children of the value of their futures. What makes abortion immoral is the discontinuation of the experience of living for the victim, referred as “discontinuation account,” and its interference with the fulfillment of desires that the victim might have, defined as “desire account.” The author claims that the combined accounts build an anti-abortion ethic. It is wrong to kill the unconscious.
How I used it: This article gave me an insight into the arguments made by those who don’t support the legalization of abortion. It was helpful to take into account others’ ideas in order to make an strong argument. If “the loss of one’s life is one of the greatest misfortunes,” the lives of women must be taken into account. Restrictive abortion laws lead women to access clandestine procedures, which often result in death. These laws fail to stop abortion rates and increase maternal mortality rates. In the attempt to protect human life, restrictive abortion laws cause the death go thousands of women annually.
- Shah, I., and Elisabeth Ahman. “Unsafe Abortion: Global and Regional Incidence, Trends, Consequences, and Challenges.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2009.
Background: Induced abortion is a phenomenon that is generally stigmatized and life- threatening for women. The authors claim that legal access to abortion is a step to eliminate clandestine abortion resulting in improvements in the quality of the medical services available. Restrictive abortion laws cause women to access abortion outside the prevailing legal framework. Quantitative data show that unsafe abortion rates are higher in developing countries where abortion is penalized than that in developed countries with liberal abortion laws. In the article, it is briefly discussed that young women who access unsafe abortion are more likely to have long-term health issues than adult women. The impact of unsafe abortion has been recognized by multiple international entities throughout years. For instance, the Reproductive Health Strategy of the WHO recognized unsafe abortion as part of the “Millennium Development Goal on improving maternal health in 2004.” The authors claim that increases in abortion-related maternal mortality rates decrease as long as abortion services are available to the full extent of the law.
How I used it: This article did not provide me with much new information. However, the authors included a section that provides information about the international discourse and resolutions signed by countries throughout history. This data is valuable because it demonstrates that some international entities and governments are aware of the health issues and deaths caused by restrictive laws that make it difficult for women to access safe abortion. This article helped me comprehend that it is important for governments to take into account the negative effects of restrictive abortion laws on women’s health, so that new possible policies will protect many women from dying during unsafe medical procedures.
- Singh, S. “The Incidence of Unsafe Abortion: A Global Review.“Guttmacher Institute, 2006.
Background: Abortion has been used as resort to terminate unwanted pregnancies throughout history. The author states that women seek abortion even in countries where this practice is restricted by law. This chapter provides data that compare abortion rates in developed countries with those in developing countries. In this article, it is also provided statistical and visual evidence of the relationship between unsafe abortion and maternal mortality and morbidity by regions. The purpose of providing this data is to try to convince policy- makers that abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity are issues that need to be addressed. Governments need to make sure that women have access to safe abortion to avoid health issues and deaths.
How I used it: I used this article to examine the variations in abortion rates by regions. Women who live in developing countries are more likely to access unsafe abortion than women in developed countries. This pattern is repetitive in different studies, which make the data more convincing. The legal status of abortion determines the safety of abortion and the morbidity levels by regions.
- Guillaume A., Lerner S., “Relationships between contraception and abortion: the problematic issue of prevention in Latin America,” Working Paper du CEPED, number 11, UMR 196 CEPED, Université Paris Descartes, INED, IRD, Paris, December 2010.
Background: Abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity is not discussed in this article. Instead, the authors claim that unwanted pregnancies cause women to access abortion. Even though the use of contraceptives is more likely to reduce unwanted pregnancies, some “barriers to prevention” must be taken into account.
The use of contraceptives is considered to be a preventive cause of unwanted pregnancies. However, high portions of abortions result from the misuse or the ineffectiveness of the contraceptive method used. The authors examined the possible causes that lead to high unwanted pregnancies in Latin America even when the use of contraceptives is high. It is suggested that women need to be aware of their exposure to pregnancy and to make sure that they’re are capable of adopting methods for prevention. The authors discuss that institutional dogmas and male influence on their partners’ prevention of pregnancy are some of the “access barriers to prevention.”
Use: This article didn’t provide me with relevant information to my thesis. However, it gave me an insight into some of the causes of abortion in Latin American nations. This article is useful when it comes to providing a preventive cause of abortion to the audience.
- Sala, Ilaria Maria. “Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged.”The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Nov. 2017
Background: In this article from The New York Times, it is argued that even though abortion is legal in Italy, many women find it difficult to access abortion as if they were in countries where abortion is restricted by law. Because “the law that legalized abortion in Italy exempts medical personnel from providing the procedure if they have a conscientious objection, declared in advance,” more than half of the gynecologists in Italy won’t terminate a pregnancy. The article provides data that show that the rate of medical personnel who won’t terminate a pregnancy increased to about 70% in 2013. This phenomenon have cause the legislative system to take legal decisions that are referred to as “revolution.” It is discussed that the efficiency of liberal abortion laws is affected by the fact that Catholicism remain a major political force in Italy.
How I used it: I used this article to establish that many women do not access safe abortion in countries where abortion is not penalized because they’re pressured by religion or society. This pressure make it difficult for women to legally access the proper medical procedures. In other words, women are indirectly forced to risk their lives during clandestine abortion.
11. Warriner IK and Shah IH, eds., Preventing Unsafe Abortion and its Consequences: Priorities for Research and Action, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006.
Background: In this article unsafe abortion is referred to as a preventable cause of abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity in developing countries. The author of this article uses data from the World Health Organization to evaluate unsafe abortion from different approaches including its causes an consequences on society. Unwanted pregnancy is the primary cause of abortion. People need access to sexual education so that rates of unwanted pregnancies can be reduced. In this article, it is examined the variation of unsafe abortions depending on socioeconomic status, age , and regions. Young women, low-income women, and women in developing countries where abortion is restricted by law are more likely to access unsafe abortions.
How I used it: This article approaches unsafe abortion as a public health concern. I paraphrased an argument made by the author of this article to argue that women of low socio-economic status are more likely to access unsafe abortions than those of high socio-economic status. From this argument, I was able to argue that restrictive abortion laws are abstract forms of socio-economic exclusion in which low-income women are more exposed to death than those of high socio-economic status.