Rebuttal Rewrite- Chemia

Criminalization of Abortion Murder Women

Abortion is often referred to as a demonic practice that consists in taking away the lives of innocent children. For example, in the article “Why is abortion immoral,” Don Marquis, a professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas, states that what makes abortion wrong is that it deprives unborn children from enjoying future experiences of life. According to this view, legalizing abortion  is  one of the greatest misfortunes because it exterminates the unborn child’s opportunity to value the experience of living and to desire the continuity of this experience. Human beings have the inherent right to life regardless of their stage of development, Marquis claims. By that he means that the life and future of a fetus are identical to those of any human being. It is argued that every legislative system should adopt restrictive abortion laws to protect the lives of unborn children.

Marquis and others claim that abortion violates the right to life and that such practice should be strictly prohibited in order to protect the life of the unborn child. The problem with this categorical position is that the legalization of abortion does not increase abortion rates. Instead, it prevents women from accessing  clandestine procedures that expose them to death. Even when restrictive abortion laws exist, innumerable unsafe abortions are performed regardless of their legal and hygienic settings. Such laws fail to protect human life and tragically cause a tacit form of discrimination in which women who live in poor communities are more likely to die as a result of unsafe abortion.

It is undeniable that the ideal situation would be that abortion was part of fantasy. However, these situations occur in real life even if restrictive abortion laws exist. The problem is whether the solution proposed, the establishment of restrictive abortion laws, successfully prevents abortions from happening or not. According to Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume, approximately 19 million unsafe abortions were carried out outside the legal system in the 2000’s. Among these clandestine procedures, it is estimated that about 4 million induced abortions were performed in Latin American countries, regions that present the highest abortion rates and where restrictive abortion laws are more severe. Restrictive abortions laws do not ensure the disappearance of abortion practices in society. Lerner and Guillaume affirms that abortion rates in Chile, Argentina, and Peru, countries where abortion is severely penalized, indicate that about 50 abortions are carried out for every one thousand pregnant women. At the same time, the abortion rates corresponding to countries with more liberal abortion laws, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland, show that for every one thousand women in pregnancy, about 10, or less, abortions are performed. Restrictive abortion laws are ineffective as preventive laws and it is necessary to get rid of the misconception that liberalizing abortion laws instantly increases abortion rates.

If the main objective of establishing restrictive abortion laws is to protect human life, it is necessary to take into account not only the life of the unborn child, but also the life of the mother. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), restrictive abortion laws lead women to access clandestine abortion. Unfortunately, around 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, resulting in approximately 80,000 maternal deaths. Maternal mortality resulting from unsafe abortion is somehow an implicit consequence of restrictive abortion laws; in other words, these laws cause the discontinuation of the experience of living for thousands of women worldwide. It is indisputable that human beings have the right to live regardless of their stage of biological  development. A woman’s life is as valuable as the life of an unborn child. Therefore, human life should be protected equally by law. Even though restrictive abortion laws are supposed to advocate for the fetuses’ rights, making abortion illegal  is a violation to women’s rights. These laws are a failure that unnecessarily threatens women’s lives  in their attempt to protect the life of unborn children. If the criminalization of abortion fails to decrease abortion rates and causes abortion-related maternal mortality to increase, restrictive abortion laws are not  worth. It is unacceptable for governments to adopt restrictive laws that violate an universal right. Abortion-related maternal mortality must stop being invisible to society and must be taken into account when adopting restrictive abortion laws.  It is a matter of comprehending that establishing restrictive abortion laws increases the exposure of women to death during clandestine procedures.

Criminalization of abortion generates outrageous situations where women risk their lives accessing clandestine procedures and even performing self-induced abortion. Making abortion illegal creates an implicit situation of social injustice where women who belong to the highest social classes are more likely to access safe abortions because they can afford these procedures regardless of their legal status. Lerner and  Guillaume claimed that a study conducted in the poorest rural areas of  Latin America nations indicates that about 73% of women who are part of the most marginalized communities practice self-induced abortions or obtain abortions from non-professional medical personnel. In their state of desperation to end unwanted pregnancies, many women belonging to poor communities are even willing to poison themselves. Lisa Haddad and Nawal Nour state, “Unsafe abortion methods include drinking toxic fluids such as turpentine, bleach, or drinkable beverages mixed with livestock manure.” Being this the case, in its attempt to protect and highlight the value of human life, restrictive abortion laws in fact are putting life itself at risk and creating a space of economic exclusion in which the lives of low-income women seem to be less valuable than the lives of those who belong to high socio-economic classes.

The purpose of adopting restrictive abortion laws is to reduce abortion rates, and they fail to do so. The problem with these laws is that women are forced to access clandestine, unsafe abortions that expose them to death. These laws must be abolished until an effective method of preventing abortions is designed. It is unnecessary to adopt restrictive laws that in their attempt to protect the lives of unborn children lead thousand of women to die during unsafe abortions without reducing abortion rates.

 

References

Don Marquis (1989).”Why abortion is immoral,” The Journal of Philosophy. pp. 183-202. Retrieved from http://faculty.polytechnic.org/gfeldmeth/45.marquis.pdf

Haddad LB, Nour NM. Unsafe abortion: unnecessary maternal mortality. Rev Obstetric Gynecol. 2009;2(2):122

Lerner, S., & Guillaume, A. (n.d.). Las adversas consecuencias de la legislación restrictiva sobre el aborto: Argumentos y evidencias empíricas en la literatura latinoamericana.

World Health Organization (WHO), (1998), Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality, Ginebra, WHO.

Warriner IK and Shah IH, eds., Preventing Unsafe Abortion and its Consequences: Priorities for Research and Action, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006. pp. 1-14.

Causal Rewrite- Chemia

If the purpose of restrictive abortion laws is to protect life, something might not be working as it was expected. For centuries, many women who have the will to terminate their pregnancy, regardless of their motives, have desperately looked for, and consequently found a variety of resources that allow them to access procedures that satisfy their needs. The degree of difficulty for women who access this type of procedures depends on different variables such as the legislative system that surrounds them, the religious and social influence on them, and especially the socio-economic class in which they belong to. Unfortunately, socio-economic status ends up being a great determinant to access safe abortion. Restrictive abortion laws are abstract forms of social injustice themselves that degrades the integrity of women by putting their lives in the market, one in which people belonging to high social classes are more likely to have access to it.

It is understandable that some countries around the world, especially Latin American countries, adopt restrictive abortion laws in an attempt to reduce abortion rates. However, it seems that it is still necessary to take into account some of the negative effects triggered by these laws that  end up being excluded from the whole picture. Restrictive abortion laws act as doses that control the symptoms of an epidemic without exterminating it and also cause the development of a lethal plague, abortion-related deaths. By that it is meant that restrictive abortion laws do not necessarily reduce abortion rates, on the contrary, they increase the rates of clandestine abortions in countries with restrictive abortion laws. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the lowest abortion rates -5.5 abortions per 1,000 women per year- belong to The Netherlands, a country that does not adopt restrictive abortion laws and allows women to access free abortion resources. The legislation of abortion does not automatically ensure that more women will access to these procedures, at least it makes sure that women access safe and dignified abortion.

Restrictive legislation of abortion is related to higher rates of clandestine abortion, which as a collateral consequence causes increments in abortion-related deaths. High priority of the legislative and political system should be given to the access to a decent and affordable health system instead of implicitly compelling women to decide between life and death. Instead of criminalizing legal abortion, among the most important objectives is to ensure that women have access to a health system that protects them from accessing medical procedures that threaten their lives and their integrity in society. If restrictive abortion laws are completely abolished from the legislative system of the countries that adopt them, women would no longer be forced to seek a way to access unsafe abortions that can result in monstrous situations for them and their families. To be more specific, clandestine abortions could lead women to death.

Increasing legal access to abortion prevents women from risking their lives during clandestine procedures. According to Iqbal Shah, a Research Scientist in the Department of Global Health and Population in Harvard,and Elisabeth Ahman, a specialized researcher in human reproduction, around 192 women die every day due to medical difficulties that arise from clandestine abortion in developing countries. Because restrictive abortion laws make it difficult for women to access safe abortion, an approximate of four women die every half an hour in an attempt to terminate their pregnancy through unsafe abortion.  This is exactly where restrictive abortion laws are failing to protect the value of human life. In an ideal society, women would not consider abortion regardless of their motives. However, we live in a defective society, one where there is social inequality, injustice, and war. Our society is not perfect from every angle, thousands of women have sought and will continue to seek access to clandestine abortions regardless of their legal status.

Restrictive abortion laws cause women to access unsafe abortions and involve an enormous, but tacit discriminatory dilemma that affects more women who belong to lower social classes than those belonging to higher socio-economic classes. Think about it in this way, making abortion illegal means that appropriate trained personnel are not allowed to perform this type of procedures because otherwise they would put at risk their professional career.  Because illegally performing these procedures implies serious consequences for professional medical personnel, these providers are likely to ask for great amounts of money that motivate them enough to make an agreement with women who need access to illegal, but safe abortions. In other words, women who are part of a society with restrictive abortion laws only have access to safe procedures as long as they have something to offer in return.

It is not a secret that money has become one of the most effective strategies to corrupt human beings. Being this the case, money is needed when it comes to convincing reliable personnel to perform illegal, but safe abortions. Women who belong to high socio-economic classes are more likely to access safe abortions due to their financial status, a privilege that only a specific portion of the world population enjoys.  According to Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume, around 71% of the Peruvian women who experience fatal medical complications derived from clandestine abortions live in poor rural and urban areas while the remaining percentage, 29%, leads to women who belong to high socio-economic classes. Women belonging to  low social classes are  more exposed to serious health consequences related to clandestine abortions than those of high socio-economic status. Apparently, the amount of money you have defines how valuable your life is for society. Social inequality makes life to look like an object that is offered in an auction, one in which the person who has more money to offer is the one who has the privilege to own it. Restrictive abortion laws are some of the most abstract representations of social exclusion that silently affects women, especially those living in poor conditions.

References

Lerner, S., & Guillaume, A. (n.d.). Las adversas consecuencias de la legislación restrictiva sobre el aborto: Argumentos y evidencias empíricas en la literatura latinoamericana.

Shah, I., and Elisabeth Ahman. “Unsafe Abortion: Global and Regional Incidence, Trends, Consequences, and Challenges.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2009.

World Health Organization (WHO), (1998), Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality, Ginebra, WHO.

 

Reflective- Chemia

Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

 

College Composition II taught me that the practice of writing is a tool to connect creativity, socialization, and logic. At the beginning of the semester, I was afraid of sharing my papers with others. Now, I know that every comment made regarding to my papers enriched my writing techniques vastly.  A perfect example is the transformation of my hypothesis to my final research paper. As the professor Hodges said, one does not have an idea until one engages the process of writing. To develop a strong argument for my research paper, I had to share my ideas during conference, explore academic sources, and review my drafts multiple times. Writing is a complex process that could make you feel frustrated until you have the will to share your ideas with others. In my case, it was helpful to share my thoughts with the professor during the first conference because I gained understanding of how I could manipulate my thesis to create a worthy discussion. This course helped me comprehend that the practice of writing is an art that allows us to share our thoughts with others and turn our points of view into treasures for our evolution as rational beings.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

Critical reading allows us to participate in conversations with others and translate our perspective into texts. It is extremely important to pay attention to all the details in papers because writers use specific techniques that they believe are most useful to give both explicit and implicit messages in their writing. The rebuttal argument was a task that allowed me to express my ideas through writing after analyzing the writer’s discussion critically.  In this task, I had to learn how to see through my opponent’s eyes in order to give a response to his arguments without misinterpreting his reasoning.  The philosophical essence of the article “Why is abortion immoral” made it difficult for me to understand it but after reading it critically multiple times, I was able to accurately interpret the article. In my personal opinion, the rebuttal argument was the task that taught me the most about critical thinking because it required me to critique, analyze, and interpret my opponent’s position in order to respond to his argument in my writing and make my argument more valuable.

 Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

As writers, we have to be aware of the purpose, audience, and context of our writing to choose effective writing techniques to accomplish our main objective. When writing the research position essay, my purpose was to convince the audience that restrictive abortion laws should be abolished because they fail to stop abortion rates and lead women to access unsafe abortion, especially low-income women.  Because this is a controversial topic that causes emotions on many people, I knew that I had to be careful with my selection of words to avoid making claims that would offend those who disagree with my position. Every time that I composed a paper, I tried to use rhetorical techniques to persuade the audience using logic (logos), emotions (pathos), and ethics and credibility (ethos).  In my definition essay, I used logos and pathos when I described restrictive abortion laws as a “social injustice” that is more likely to affect women of low socio-economic status than those who belong to higher socio-economic classes. Also, I used ethos when I provided data to support my thesis.

The visual rhetoric task represents my ability to identify and analyze the purpose, audience, and context of a visual argument. I analyzed multiple scenes of the video to find out the message that the director was trying to convey to the audience. I consider that this task was the most effective because it made me pay attention to every detail of the video and judge its essence.

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

It is important for writers to incorporate evidence in their writing to make their arguments more credible and persuasive. The causal argument embodies this core value because it was required to examine multiple academic sources to support the argument made in the paper. For this task, I accessed articles from databases of the Campbell library and data provided by international organizations to make sure that the information was legitimate to provide valuable sources to the audience. It is better to provide real data to the audience rather than using fake information to impress the audience. At the beginning of the course, we were told that research was the process to find the truth. At this point of the semester I completely agree with that statement. Research helped me to enrich my knowledge and provided me with strong information to support my thesis.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

The practice of writing involves ethical responsibility when it comes to citing sources and accurately representing others’ ideas in our writing. I read multiple academic sources to develop my thesis in my research position essay. My annotated bibliography includes all the academic sources that I read throughout the semester regarding my thesis even if I didn’t include them in the final research position essay. All of the papers written for this course include a reference page and in-text citations. Before incorporating information into my papers, I made sure that I understood the actual essence of the information so that I wouldn’t misinterpret it. When paraphrasing, I gave credit to the authors and shared their positions without altering the meaning of the information.

Research – Chemia

Restrictive Abortion Laws, Suppressor of Human Life

Restrictive abortion laws, as venomous scorpions, sting the ones who are barefoot. For centuries, women who have the will to terminate their pregnancy have found access to abortion even if it means accessing to clandestine procedures and exposing themselves to death. Punitive abortion laws are among the most abstract, pure representations of economic exclusion that selfishly feeds on the vulnerability of women who belong to low socio-economic status.  Women who cannot afford to protect themselves are destined to die stabbed by the lethal and poisonous weapons of the arachnid predators, restrictive abortion laws.

In an attempt to protect the lives of unborn children, multiple political and legislative systems have adopted restrictive abortion laws. These laws are more common in developing countries than in industrialized nations. Most developed nations have liberal abortion laws that allow women to access legal and safe abortions under certain conditions that vary from nation to nation. On the other hand, many countries – mostly developing countries-  have stablished restrictive abortion laws in an attempt to reduce abortion rates and protect the lives of unborn children. Even though restrictive abortion laws seem to be a rational solution to protect the right to life, these laws tend to lead women to access unsafe abortions. The legislative systems that adopt restrictive abortion laws need to assess whether these laws are useful at the moment of dealing with social and ethical issues or not. Restrictive abortion laws are an abstract form of social injustice that affect society silently, degrade the integrity of women, and devaluates human life itself. If these laws fail to fulfill their fundamental goal of protecting human life and have negative effects on society, restrictive abortion laws might not be worth.

Abortion practices are often religiously and socially stigmatized. These procedures are often referred to as cruel practices that consist in taking away the lives of innocent unborn children. In the article “Why is abortion immoral,” Don Marquis, a professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas, states that what makes abortion wrong is that it deprives unborn children from enjoying future experiences of life. Legalizing abortion is often considered to be tremendously immoral because it allows people to legally kill their own specie. Human beings have the inherent right to life regardless of their stage of development. For that, it is argued that no one should be allowed to decide whether other deserves to live or not, especially when it comes to taking away the lives of unborn children that are unable to make decisions of their own. Human life should be respected by the law because there is nothing more valuable than experiencing life itself. However, when it comes to restrictive abortion laws, one should take into account human life in general instead of focusing only on the lives of the unborn children. Although abortion deprive unborn children from living, restrictive abortion laws suppress both the lives of unborn children and those of women.

Different from common belief, restrictive abortion laws are unable to reduce abortion rates. According to Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume, data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that around 19 million interrupted pregnancies were performed outside the legal system in the 2000s. Restrictive abortions laws do not ensure the disappearance of abortion practices in society. It is estimated that among the illegal abortions performed in the 2000s, around 4 million induced abortions were performed in Latin American countries, regions that present one of the higher abortion rates in the world and where restrictive abortion laws are more severe. Many women who want to terminate their pregnancies find access to these procedures regardless of its legal status in order to satisfy their needs. Abortions rates in nations with less restrictive abortion laws suggest that liberalizing abortion does not increase its demand. In an article published by the WHO, it is argued that the Netherlands, where abortion is free and legally permitted, has one of the lowest abortion rates worldwide – around 5 abortions per 1000 women. We need to get rid of the misconception that abortion rates are more likely to be higher in nations with liberal abortion laws than in those with restrictive laws. In the article “Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality,” it is argued that in European nations where abortion is legal, abortions rates are lower than those in developing countries where abortion is legally restricted. Belgium and Germany, where abortion is legally available, have two of the lowest abortion rates in the world – less than 10 per 10000 women access legal abortion. On the other hand, in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, regions where abortion is severely penalized, around 39 per 1000 women access illegal abortion. If abortion rates are higher in countries where abortion is penalized than in those with more liberal laws, restrictive abortion laws seem to be unable to reduce abortion rates, which means that these laws are useless when it comes to protecting the lives of unborn children.

Restrictive abortion laws lead women to access unsafe abortion. In the Article “Unsafe Abortion: The Preventable Pandemic,” it is stated that countries with the most restrictive abortion legislations have the highest unsafe abortion rates – around 23 clandestine procedures per 1000 women- while countries where abortion is legally allowed have a median unsafe abortion rate as low as two per 1000 women. The fact that restrictive abortion laws cause more unsafe abortions must be taken into account by legislative and political systems. Legal abortion involves public health policies.Liberalizing abortion is an important step to decrease unsafe abortion rates and provide dignified and hygienic medical procedures to women who seek to terminate their pregnancy. The governments in countries where abortion is restricted by law must understand that these laws put millions of women at risk during clandestine procedures. Unsafe abortion has to be treated with the seriousness it deserves by the different systems that assume commitments to legislative representation and public health. When thousands of women are forced into accessing clandestine abortions, the legal system is the one that fail. Women are the ones who pay the bill with their lives, their physical integrity, and their freedom.

Many women from nations with liberal abortion laws are unable to access legal, safe abortions because of the pressure that religion and society puts on them. In the article “Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged,” it is stated 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. The political proxy of Catholicism in this country has a great influence on the fact that most Italian gynecologists refuse to perform abortions even when it is allowed by the law. Women who are unable to access legal, safe abortion seek access to unsafe procedures in order to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Ilaria Maria Sala states that while an approximate of 100,000 abortions are performed inside the legal system, around 20,000 clandestine, unsafe abortions are performed annually in Italy. Unsafe abortionslead many women to risk their lives because these practices are usually performed by unskilled providers and under unsanitary settings. Even if it is allowed for gynecologists to decide whether to perform abortions or not, it is intolerable that women are exposed to death when it is completely unnecessary. In this case, the Church is the one that forces women to seek access to unsafe abortion. Otherwise, Liberal abortion laws would provide women with skilled providers and hygienic settings that would decrease the risks they take of losing their lives during clandestine abortions.

In this paper, we must forget about the myth that makes society believe that the legalization of abortion would cause more women to abort only because it is legal. The purpose of abolishing restrictive abortion laws is not to adopt the idea that abortion is ethical because it is legal, but to transform unsafe procedures into safe ones. The author of “The incidence of Unsafe Abortion: a global review” states that “unsafe abortion rates in developing regions with restrictive abortion laws are about twice as high as that in Western Europe, the region with one of the lowest rates of abortion in the world.” In developing nations where abortion laws are highly restrictive, women tend to look for clandestine providers despite the fact that unsafe abortion could lead them to suffer life-lasting health issues and death.Abortion is more likely to be safe when performed under medically recommended guidelines. However, when legal and safe procedures are not accessible, especially in developing countries where abortion is illegal, women are more likely to access clandestine procedures that expose them to undignified deaths. Women continue to die worldwide due to clandestine abortions fomented by these restrictive, harmful regulations, and by parliaments incapable of prioritizing women’s lives over the belief that restrictive abortion laws are useful when it comes to reducing abortion rates and protecting human life.

The fundamental question is not whether abortion should exist or not. Women have accessed illegal abortion and unfortunately will continue to do so regardless of its legality. The question is whether governments and legislative systems should impose laws that cause abortion-related maternal mortality rates to increase in an attempt to protect and highlight the value of human life. Maternal mortality and morbidity resulting from clandestine abortion is a public health concern that continues to cause havoc in nations with restrictive abortion laws. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), restrictive abortion laws lead women to access clandestine abortion. Unfortunately, around 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually – most of them in developing countries. Clandestine procedures result inapproximately 80,000 maternal deaths per year. It is outrageous that the governments in developing countries where abortion is penalized adopt punitive laws that are ineffective in exterminating abortion and cause the death of millions of women. Abortion-related maternal mortality is unnecessary and could be prevented by more liberal abortion laws. According to Iqbal Shah, a Research Scientist in the Department of Global Health and Population in Harvard, and Elisabeth Ahman, a specialized researcher in human reproduction, the contemporary medical advances and the availability of manual vacuum aspiration make induced abortion one of the safest medical procedures available. They also argue that abortion-related complications can be reduced if women have legal access to safe abortion. We have the resources available to reduce abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity, the question is why legislative systems legally forbid women to use these resources and let them die during unsafe abortions. If restrictive abortion laws fail to protect the lives of unborn children, governments still have the choice to adopt policies that protect the lives of women who access these procedures.

The legislative systems of developing and industrialized countries where abortion is legally penalized treat women exclusively. In many cases, the socio-economic status of women who are willing to interrupt their pregnancy is one of the greatest determinants when accessing safe abortions outside the legal framework. Restrictive abortion laws cause an enormous, tacit discriminatory dilemma that tends to affect more women who belong to lower socio-economic classes than those belonging to higher socio-economic classes. According to Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume, a study conducted in the poorest rural areas of Latin America nations indicates that about 73% of women who are part of the most marginalized communities practice self-induced abortions or obtain abortions from non-professional medical personnel. Low-income women are more likely to risk their lives during unsafe abortions because abortion services performed outside the legal system are usually unaffordable for them. The social inequality suffered by low-income women who want to terminate their pregnancy is what creates the need to claim social justice. Punitive abortion laws implicitly deny the right to life to millions of women who lose their lives during barbarous clandestine abortions. The social injustice created by restrictive abortions laws represses society, destroys trust, and irremediably ruins the lives of women. We need to fight against social injustice through consistent political action in order to eliminate restrictive abortion laws that murder millions of women and devaluate human life itself. Women who belong to low socio-economic classes and women of high socio-economic status should have equal access to safe abortion.

Restrictive abortion laws, a form of economic discrimination in which low-income women have disadvantages when seeking access to illegal, safe abortion services. According to Ina Warriner,the possibility to access safe abortion services in countries with restrictive abortion laws highly depends on the capability of women to finance the access to safe, clandestine abortion. However, the author clarifies that many women of high socio-economic stills access unsafe abortions. The exclusion of low-income women from getting access to safe abortion results in a tremendous social injustice, one that puts their lives at risk in a demeaning manner. Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume state that studies in Peru, where abortion is legally allowed only under certain conditions, show that around 71% of the Peruvian women who experience fatal medical complications derived from clandestine abortions live in poor rural and urban areas while the remaining percentage, 29%, leads to women who belong to high socio-economic classes. Criminalizing abortion is putting life in the market so that those the more affluent population is the one that is able to finance safe abortions. The percent of Peruvian women who have health complications during unsafe abortions is surprisingly higher for women of low socio-economic status than for those of high socio-economic status. The lives of low-income women have to stop being devalued simply because of their socio-economic position.Restrictive abortion laws as an arbitrary power suppress the lives of women and their dignity. The value of human life is independent from the socio-economic hierarchy imposed in society. It is unacceptable for us to allow legislative and political systems to adopt punitive laws that implicitly put a price on human life.

Restrictive abortion laws illustrate social inequality in its maximum expression because they inevitably aggravate the social condition of women belonging to the most vulnerable communities by depriving them of their fundamental rights. Women should be equally protected by the legislative system regardless of their socio-economic status. In the article “Abortion and Maternal Mortality in the Developing World,” the author, Friday Okonofua, states that many women of low socio-economic status are unable to afford abortions services by skilled providers in countries where abortion is severely restricted by law. Criminalizing abortion makes access to safe abortion almost impossible for low-income women because the costs of abortions are more likely to increase when driven outside the legal system. The reason why the costs of abortion increase in regions where it is restricted by law is that skilled providers could face legal issues that put at risk their professional career when agreeing to perform abortion practices illegally. Because of that, these providers are likely to ask for a relatively great amount of money to make an agreement with women who need access to illegal, but safe abortions. In other words, women who are part of nations with restrictive abortion laws have access to safe procedures as long as they are able to afford these procedures.

Abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity are implicit consequences of restrictive abortion laws that has to stop being invisible for governments that criminalize abortion. The legality of abortion should be handled politically because of its implications, from putting the lives of women at risk to social inequality. According to Iqbal Shah and Elisabeth Ahman, around 192 women die every day due to medical difficulties that arise from clandestine abortion in developing countries. Because restrictive abortion laws make it unnecessarily difficult for women to access safe abortion, an approximate of eight women die every hour in an attempt to terminate their pregnancy. High priority of the legislative and political system should be given to the access to a decent and affordable health system instead of implicitly compelling women to decide between life and death. Even though legal access to abortion might be unable to completely exterminate unsafe abortion, it is a step to reduce unsafe abortion rates, which would result in improvements in the quality of the medical services available. The negative effects of unsafe abortion on the public health system has progressively been recognized internationally. Iqbal Shah and Elisabeth Ahman state that the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) defined unsafe abortion as “a major public health concern” that requires all governments and organizations to “strengthen their commitment to women’s health.” It is important to take into consideration abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity so that governments and international organizations can establish new possible policies that protect the lives of women who risk their lives during clandestine abortion.

To be in favor of the legalization of abortion is different from accepting abortion an ethical choice. The problem with restrictive abortion laws is that they lead women to access unsafe abortion instead of reducing abortion rates. Restrictive abortion laws are unnecessary causes of abortion-related maternal mortality and morbidity. Women in developed countries where abortion is legally allowed access these procedures without increasing their demand. If the fundamental problem is that women access abortion, restrictive abortion laws are unable to prevent the access to these procedures regardless of its legality. Criminalizing abortion is an abstract form of economic exclusion in which women of low socio-economic status are more likely to access unsafe abortions because most of them are unable to finance illegal, safe abortions. It is unnecessary for governments to adopt punitive abortion laws that fail to protect the lives of unborn children while putting at risk the lives of women. Those ineffective punitive laws urge to be replaced by policies that actually work as preventive causes of abortion. Until such policies are available, legal systems should abolish restrictive abortion laws in order to protect the lives of women who risk their lives during clandestine, unsafe abortions.

References

  1. 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.
  2. World Health Organization.  “World Health Day: Safe Motherhood, Unsafe Abortion.” Geneva: World Health Organization, 1998.
  3. Haddad, Lissa B., and Nawal M. Nour. “Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality.”  Ostet. Gynecol, 2009, 2(2): 122-126.
  4. Grimes, David A. et al. “Unsafe Abortion: the preventable pandemic.” Lancet,2006; 368: 1908-19.
  5. Okonofua, F. “Abortion and Maternal Mortality in the Developing World“.J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 2006;28(11):974–979
  6. Don Marquis . “Why abortion is immoral,”The Journal of Philosophy, 1989, pp. 183-202.
  7. Shah, I., and Elisabeth Ahman. “Unsafe Abortion: Global and Regional Incidence, Trends, Consequences, and Challenges.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 
  8. Singh, S. “The Incidence of Unsafe Abortion: A Global Review.Guttmacher Institute, 2006.
  9. Sala, Ilaria Maria. “Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged.”The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Nov. 201710
  10. Warriner IK and Shah IH, eds., Preventing Unsafe Abortion and its Consequences: Priorities for Research and Action, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006. pp. 1-14.

 

Annotated Bibliography- Chemia

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Visual Rewrite – Chemia

Give Someone A Home | Adoption from Foster Care | Ad Council

0:00 – 0:01

It is a high quality cartoon. The morning in the city inspires melancholy. The city is cloudy and colorless. The dark grey sky illustrates feelings of loneliness and desolation. There is a young girl, sitting in a bench placed in a public place of the city. Unlike the depressive tones of the city, the girl and her suitcase are colorful. The suitcase has labels on it that indicate that she has traveled to different places. The purpose of this setting might be for the audience to focus specifically on the girl. She is wearing a green scarf, a long sleeve shirt, pink leggings, and brown boots. Her clothes suggest that the morning is cold. She is lying on the brown suitcase and some of her straight hair lays on her face. It looks like she is around thirteen years old. The girl is all by herself, there is no one around her but the desolate city. I wonder where her parents are. For a moment, she looks up to the sky like if she was begging for help.  Her head is titled down, her back is not properly resting on the chair’s back, her eyebrows are slightly angled upwards, and  her lip corners are turned down. Her body language indicates that she is going through an unfortunate situation, one that causes her sadness and distress.

0:02

Even though the overall setting lacks from changes, the phrase “Brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services” appears at the bottom of the screen. Based on the message displayed, it seems that the video is somehow related to some type of situation in which someone is in need of receiving help from this entity or perhaps from regular people like us. Because the girl is the only character present in the scene, she might be the one having issues. She seems to be physically healthy, nothing visually indicates that she is physically suffering. Her body language might be a sign of emotional and psychological issues. This could be a situation in which the girl is broken on the inside. She has to be tired enough to keep the laces of her boots untied. Turning her body towards the suitcase, the girl holds it like if she is going somewhere.

0:03 – 0:06

The fact that the girl wrinkles her forehead and closes her eyes demonstrates that she makes a great effort to lift her suitcase. At first, I thought that the suitcase was heavy for her to lift it. Then, I realized that my notion misled me. She is not leaving! Her angriness took her to throw the suitcase away to the filthy street. It seems that the suitcase is all she has, there is no place for her to go. That is why the atmosphere looks dull, because it acts as a mirror of the situation she’s going through. The purpose of the setting might be to illustrate that her life is like a city without inhibitors. It has always been about her without anyone to rely on.  She is still sitting on the bench but this time she puts her arms around her right leg and inclines her head toward her right foot. She is clearly in desperate need of help.

0:07 – 0:09

Suddenly, the shinny sun rises as a dark skin female and a white male come up from the suitcase.  The girl’s facial expressions illustrate how surprised she is by the presence of the adults.  Her eyes and her mouth are wide open in an expression of stunned surprise. It is impossible for her to hide her happiness, it seems that she is about to start a new stage in her life. Now, neither she nor the city represent sadness and depression. Everything is colorful now, you can see how the green plants and the blue sky completely vanishes the melancholic environment from the previous scenes. The appearance of all this colors might represent a transition in the girl’s life. The three of them hugged, which might be a symbolic way to communicate the audience that the adults came into the girl’s life to make it better.

0:10 – 0:13

A huge heart appears on the entire screen for a few seconds. Then, it was transformed into an egg. This radical transformation might be a representation of home, where each family member loves and protects each other. The people in the scene are spending time together in a beautiful and clean kitchen. It is assumed that the adults that randomly appeared from the suitcase are the ones who own the house. In the background, the girl and the male have huge smiles on their faces. On the other hand, it is concluded that the woman is cooking breakfast because part of her arm can be seen on the screen. They look like a family spending time together and creating enjoyable memories.

0:16

It seems that the video is focused on the idea of family because it avoids excluding any of them from the main picture. The girl is accompanied by the adults instead of being surrounded by a desolate city. There is fire and steam coming from the pan in which the eggs were cooking. Their facial expressions and reactions shows that they are scare of what is happening. The immediate reaction of the man was to protect the girl by pushing her away from the fire. Before, she had no one to look after her and suddenly she has people who care about her and have the will to protect her from anything that put her in danger.

0:19 – 0:20

The  camera angle changes to show the same three people in a trip surrounded by multiple trees and mountains. They are under multiple stars that embellish the dark sky. There is an enormous tent and, unexpectedly, a huge bear behind them. They look extremely afraid of the bear and their reaction is to hug each other. Is this a way to convey the message that union is important when facing obstacles? The purpose of showing two problematic scenes in a row might be to let the audience know that family stays together even when facing bad experiences. The girl’s suitcase seems to be her life companion because she takes it with her everywhere she goes.

0:23

The camera moves to a completely different setting in which the girl is wearing pajamas and half of her body is covered by a blanket. The adults appear to be checking on her before she goes to bed. This gives the impression that they adopted her. It seems that the girl that was alone in the streets at the beginning of the video has her own bedroom now.  She has more than a suitcase now, she has people who seem to love her and care about her.

0:26

The girl is sleeping while the woman relies her right hand on her husband’s chest, this might indicate that they feel relieved for having the girl under their roof. The couple hugged and smile as an expression of happiness. All of the demonstrations of love between them indicate that their lives also changed. The three of them complement each other to create a lovely family. There is a cat sleeping in the girl’s suitcase. Literally, there is not a second in which the suitcase disappears from the video. As it was said before, the suitcase might be the girl’s life companion. It was everything she had until one day those amazing people came into her life to make her part of their family.

0:29

A message appears on the screen: “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” Now, everything makes sense. The whole purpose of displaying scenes in which they were facing obstacles is to convince the audience that family is not about perfection, it is about affection. The entire video is designed to persuade people to adopt children who don’t have a home or anyone to rely on.

Rebuttal—Chemia

Criminalization of Abortion Kills Women

Abortion is often referred to as a demonic practice that consists in taking away the lives of innocent children. For example, in the article “Why is abortion immoral,” Don Marquis, a professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas, states that what makes abortion wrong is that it deprives unborn children from enjoying future experiences of life. According to this view, legalizing abortion  is  one of the greatest misfortunes because it exterminates the unborn child’s opportunity to value the experience of living and to desire the continuity of this experience. Human beings have the inherent right to life regardless of their stage of development, Marquis claims. By that he means that the life and future of a fetus are identical to those of any human being. It is argued that every legislative system should adopt restrictive abortion laws to protect the lives of unborn children.

Marquis and others claim that abortion violates the right to life and that such practice should be strictly prohibited in order to protect the life of the unborn child. The problem with this categorical position is that the legalization of abortion does not increase abortion rates. Instead, it prevents women from accessing  clandestine procedures that expose them to death. Even when restrictive abortion laws exist, innumerable unsafe abortions are performed regardless of their legal and hygienic settings. Such laws fail to protect human life and tragically cause a tacit form of discrimination in which women who live in poor communities are more likely to die as a result of unsafe abortion.

It is undeniable that the ideal situation would be that abortion was part of fantasy. However, these situations occur in real life even if restrictive abortion laws exist. The problem is whether the solution proposed, the establishment of restrictive abortion laws, successfully prevents abortions from happening or not. According to Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume, approximately 19 million unsafe abortions were carried out outside the legal system in the 2000’s. Among these clandestine procedures, it is estimated that about 4 million induced abortions were performed in Latin American countries, regions that present the highest abortion rates and where restrictive abortion laws are more severe. Restrictive abortions laws do not ensure the disappearance of abortion practices in society. Abortion rates in Chile, Argentina, and Peru, countries where abortion is severely penalized, indicate that about 50 abortions are carried out for every one thousand pregnant women. At the same time, the abortion rates corresponding to countries with more liberal abortion laws, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland, show that for every one thousand women in pregnancy, about 10, or less, abortions are performed. Restrictive abortion laws are ineffective as preventive laws and it is necessary to get rid of the misconception that liberalizing abortion laws instantly increases abortion rates.

If the main objective of establishing restrictive abortion laws is to protect human life, it is necessary to take into account not only the life of the unborn child, but also the life of the mother. Restrictive abortion laws  fail to protect human life because they expose many women to death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), restrictive abortion laws lead women to access clandestine abortion. Unfortunately, around 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, resulting in approximately 80,000 maternal deaths. Maternal mortality resulting from unsafe abortion is somehow an implicit consequence of restrictive abortion laws; in other words, these laws implicitly cause the discontinuation of the experience of living for many women. This phenomenon must stop being invisible to society and must be taken into account when adopting restrictive abortion laws.  It is a matter of comprehending that establishing restrictive abortion laws increases the exposure of women to death during clandestine procedures. If the criminalization of abortion is  useless as a preventive mechanism and it is also the cause of additional deaths, restrictive abortion laws might not be worth.

Criminalization of abortion generates outrageous situations where women risk their lives accessing clandestine procedures and even performing self-induced abortion. Making abortion illegal creates an implicit situation of social injustice where women who belong to the highest social classes are more likely to access safe abortions because they can afford these procedures regardless of their legal status. According to Susana Lerner and Agnès Guillaume, a study conducted in the poorest rural areas of  Latin America nations indicates that about 73% of women who are part of the most marginalized communities practice self-induced abortions or obtain abortions from non-professional medical personnel. In their state of desperation to end unwanted pregnancies, many women belonging to poor communities are even willing to poison themselves. Lisa Haddad and Nawal Nour state, “Unsafe abortion methods include drinking toxic fluids such as turpentine, bleach, or drinkable beverages mixed with livestock manure.” Being this the case, in its attempt to protect and highlight the value of human life, restrictive abortion laws in fact are putting life itself at risk and creating a space of economic exclusion in which the lives of low-income women seem to be less valuable than the lives of those who belong to high socio-economic classes.

References

Don Marquis (1989).”Why abortion is immoral,” The Journal of Philosophy. pp. 183-202. Retrieved from http://faculty.polytechnic.org/gfeldmeth/45.marquis.pdf

Haddad LB, Nour NM. Unsafe abortion: unnecessary maternal mortality. Rev Obstetric Gynecol. 2009;2(2):122

Lerner, S., & Guillaume, A. (n.d.). Las adversas consecuencias de la legislación restrictiva sobre el aborto: Argumentos y evidencias empíricas en la literatura latinoamericana.

World Health Organization (WHO), (1998), Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality, Ginebra, WHO.

Warriner IK and Shah IH, eds., Preventing Unsafe Abortion and its Consequences: Priorities for Research and Action, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006. pp. 1-14.