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Making the Right Choices About Abortion

In the United States alone 4,400 abortions are made daily; 1,606,000 annually; 45 million babies have been killed by legalized abortions since 1973; 99% of all US abortions are done simply because of convenience (Dominguez, 2001). Lots of numbers? Look deeper into the content because it is more than just numbers, it is a lot of lives. Sexual exploration is common among many adolescents, and at the same time in this era adolescents are adapting to the fact that it is “okay to have sex,” until they become pregnant. Pregnancy is the moment where they face the challenge of “growing up”. Adolescents are taking on a life changing decision: to have or not to have an abortion. Many females feel that their only way out of the pregnancy is through abortion; yet they do not recognize how important their choice is when deciding on having an abortion and they do not take in to thought what the possible outcomes of this particular method can have. Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973, a trial that took place about the legalization of abortion, abortion has become one of the most controversial subjects around. To pro-life activists, abortion is morally wrong and is considered murder; abortions put the health of women at risk and abortions cause negative psychological and emotional damage.

Sure, not all people have the same thoughts on abortion issues; however, to pro-life activists abortion is considered murder and is morally wrong. Murder by definition is the illegal killing with malice aforethought. When generating an abortion one often puts consideration in to the actions they are about to take. Hence, they are thinking about the decision they want to make. On the same note, an electrocardiogram (EKG) can be taken from the baby’s heart 18 days after conception; an electroencephalogram (EEG) from a baby’s brain can be taken six weeks after conception and after three months a baby has recognizable fingerprints (Dominguez, 2001). These three facts alone describe that in early pregnancy there are “human being” characteristics that evolve the embryo. Many morals come from a religion or beliefs in which the people themselves believe in. Similarly, God put many good things on this earth and gave many people the right to pro-create. No one should take that gift for granted. “For You created my in most being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139 verse 13:16). This quote explains that life begins before one is born; the “unborn baby” has a soul the moment that it is conceived. And a soul makes up a human being according to the Bible. Thus, abortion is considered murder because forethought is put into making the final decision and the fact that an embryo has characteristics of a human being, moreover, morals dealing with abortion in mind says that God gives a soul to this being inside the womb so that it will grow. Morals play a large role in many people’s lives and society. God’s way motivates people to make right decisions; after all it was He who created the gift of life.

Admittedly, abortion is legal; on the contrary, many legal abortions put women at risk. As reported in the New York Times by Gina Kolata, a Florida woman died four days after her abortion. “During the vacuum-aspiration abortion, gynecologic “anomalies” (or mishaps) were discovered,” Windle said. “The procedure was completed and recovery was uneventful.” Had this woman not had an abortion she would still be alive. Another incident of death from an abortion happened to an 18 year old California girl. On September 23, 2003 she went into her physicians office and obtained the pill Mifepristone (RU-486). “This pill contains progesterone antagonist that is an effective abortifacient” (Neinstein, 823). Bleeding and cramping are common with the method and the complications include incomplete abortion and heavy bleeding, that can result in fatality. Although this pill is FDA approved, over 64 people encountered problems while the makers experimented and tested with this pill (Windle). The pill is one of the most popular ways now to have an abortion because it is completely confidential and can be done given through a primary doctor. Also, abortion has the risks of infection and intrauterine blood clots. “For women younger than 17 years of age have an increased rise of cervical injury” (Neinstein, 823). All in all, the life of a pregnant woman should not be disturbed because having an abortion would create serious havoc on the entire body and cause some life threatening changes.

Abortions put a heavy negative psychological and emotional effect on a person after they complete an abortion. In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor (Ashton, 87:1115-1122). A study found that “A minimum of 19% of post-abortion women suffer from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately half had many, but not all, symptoms of PTSD, and 20 to 40 percent showed moderate to high levels of stress and avoidance behavior relative to their abortion experiences” (Bernard, 1990). Also, a stunning study established that thirty to fifty percent of women that have had abortions reported they were experiencing sexual dysfunction, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately, after their abortions. “These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style”(Speckhard, 1987). “Approximately 60 percent of women who experienced post-abortion reported suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times. Suicide attempts appear to be especially prevalent among post-abortion teenagers” (Speckhard, Psycho-social Stress Following Abortion, 813-823). Therefore, with abortion come a lot of psychological and emotional problems that people cannot handle, and make poor decisions on how they should deal with the loss of their fetus.

What if an adolescent mother decides to have a child? There are many consequences of adolescent pregnancy. Although there is no data that shows the affects of psychosocial growth and development, many adolescents under the age of 15 do not fully grasp the long-term implications of childbirth, especially in the early stages of the pregnancy. “A pregnant teenager is more likely than someone in her twenties to have physical complications during pregnancy. These include: toxemia (high blood pressure), hemorrhage (sudden loss of blood), miscarriage, and even death” (Crooks, Robert and Karla Baur). Nearly 80 percent of teen mothers eventually go on welfare. According to one study, more than 75 percent of all unmarried teen mothers began receiving welfare within five years of giving birth (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1998). During an adolescents pregnancy term she is not going to get the full prenatal care that she should and this leads to a baby with low birth rate and the baby’s are probably going to be in the hospital for a longer time than opposed to a more mature woman giving birth (AGI, 1998). Also, there is a harmful effect on the father’s of baby. One study done on the fathers showed that they participated in more alcohol and drug abuse. “Only two or three of every 100 teen pregnancies lead to live births for which the mother makes an adoption plan” (National Committee for Adoption, 1989).

In retrospect, abortion is not the option to take when it comes down to a final decision in what to do when an unwanted pregnancy occurs. Abortion is against God’s word, it is life threatening and is extremely detrimental physiologically and emotionally to the person who is receiving it, not only that but it results in the lose of an innocent life. Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and unsafe abortion are major causes of death for women ages 15-19. Maternal mortality rates for women ages 15-19 are twice as high for older women in their twenties (Rufina). There are various other options that can be done or taken rather than having an abortion, such as adoption, information seminars or birth control methods. Abortion is a permanent solution for a temporary predicament. Abortion is taking the life of a child. Think about that for a while and ask is it really worth it? Mother Teresa, who worked in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy said, “The greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children.”… And she adds: “If you don’t want the little child, that unborn child, give him to me.”