Do you think that abortion is the same thing as murdering your own child? People have argued this question for centuries. In 1996, there were 30 abortions for every 1,000 women aged 15-19 (“Teen” 1). I think abortion should be against the law because it’s harmful to the mother and it kills the baby. I will discuss about abortion by talking about the abortion methods, reasons and affects of abortion.

Abortions are performed using one of several methods. The safest and most appropriate method is determined by the age of the fetus, or the length of pregnancy, which is calculated from the beginning of the pregnant woman’s last menstrual period (“Abortion” 1). “Most pregnancies last an average of 39 to 40 weeks” (“Teen Pregnancies” 2). This period is divided into three stages known as trimesters. The first trimester consists of the first 13 weeks, the second trimester spans weeks 14 to 24, and the third trimester lasts from the 25th week to birth. Abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy are easier and safer to perform while abortions in the second and third trimesters require more complicated procedures and pose greater risks to a woman’s health. In the United States, a pregnant woman’s risk of death from a first-term abortion is less than 1 in 100,000. The risk increases by about 30 percent with each week of pregnancy after 12 weeks (“Abortion” 1).

A variety of drug-based abortion methods may be carried out under a physician’s supervision. In a method commonly referred to as the morning-after pill, a woman is given large doses of estrogen (a female hormone) within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse and again 12 hours later. This high dose halts fetal development at the earliest stages after conception, or the point when a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg. Typical side effects of the morning-after pill may include nausea, headache, dizziness, breast tenderness, and fluid retention. (“Abortion” 2)

Also within the first seven weeks of pregnancy, a combination of two drugs can be given in pill form to abort a fetus. A pregnant woman first takes the drug mifepristone, known as RU-486, which blocks progesterone, a hormone needed to maintain the pregnancy. About 48 hours later, she takes another drug called misoprostol. Misoprostol is a that causes contractions of the uterus, the organ in which the fetus develops. These uterine contractions expel the fetus. (“Abortion” 2)

On the other hand misoprostol can also induce abortion when taken with methotrexate, an anticancer drug that interferes with cell division. A physician first injects a pregnant woman with methotrexate. About a week later, the woman takes misoprostol to induce uterine contractions and expel the fetus. Both of these drug combinations effectively end pregnancy in 95 percent of the women who take them. Some women experience nausea, cramping, and bleeding. The most serious complications, such as arrhythmia, edema, and pneumonia, affect the heart and lungs and may cause death. (“Abortion” 3)

In two procedures known as preemptive abortion and early uterine evacuation, a narrow tube called a cannula is inserted through the cervix (the opening to the uterus) into the uterus. The cannula is attached to a suction device, such as a syringe, and the contents of the uterus, including the fetus, are extracted (“Abortion” 4).

An Estimated 50 million abortions are performed world wide each year (“Abortion” 1). Why do women get abortions? Sometimes women are raped and as a result they don’t want the baby (“Abortion(law)” 2). However, the mother or father may simply not want the baby, or she is too young to have a baby (“Teen Pregnancies” 4). For the most part they are just scared to have a baby.

“One of the greatest effects of abortion is guilt” (Teen Pregnancies” 3). Sometimes they regret having the abortion and they are contently think about their mistake. A great danger in abortion is death. Although less than one percent of pregnancy-related deaths are caused by abortion in countries where abortion is legal (“Abortion” 4).

“Teenagers who get pregnant are mostly living in poverty” (Teen” 1). The best way to reduce teen birth rates is to change adult behavior. This includes making sure that girls have opportunities, dreams, and hopes for the future (“Teen” 1). Now that you have learned a little about abortion methods, reasons and affects of abortion, I hope it makes you think about if it’s right or wrong.