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Whether abortion should be legalized in Pennsylvanian


and other states with restrictive abortion policies
Yunzhi Ni
Writing 120
Shuwen Li
12/04/16

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Whether abortion should be legalized in Pennsylvanian
and other states with restrictive abortion policies
The issue of abortion has brought a lot of controversy and debate for many years in the United
States. Various arguments have been put forward by scholars, politicians, religious institutions
and the general public on the legality and morality of abortion, with one side supporting the right
to abortion and the other side vehemently opposing it. The supporters of abortion, the so-called
pro-choice often argue that the right to procure an abortion belongs to the women and they
should be allowed to choose whether or not they want to procure an abortion without being
restricted by anybody. On the other hand, the pro-life group who oppose abortion usually do so
on moral grounds, arguing that it is morally wrong and the same as murder. However, as time
goes by, more people realize the dangers of prohibitive laws, which often lead to deaths of
women and damage to their reproductive health. A growing number of states have expanded
their legal grounds for abortion, but abortion policies remain restrictive in many states. This
paper is going to examine the issue of abortion, including the various dangers that restrictive
laws result to and the benefits of legalizing abortion. It will include some of the arguments
against its legalization in order to understand both sides of the argument even as it advocates for
its legalization. The main aim of this will be to ensure the end of the unnecessary loss of lives
caused by unsafe abortions and to prevent the continuation of anti-abortion sentiments, which are
usually not backed by statistics or data. In the research, the state of Pennsylvania which has
restrictive abortion laws will be studied and used as case studies to further the arguments. By
publishing this research on local newspaper, the resident who live in Pennsylvanian and other
states with restrictive abortion policies is the target audience.

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First of all, abortion should be legalized because restricting abortion denies women the
chance to have freedom based on choice and control over their bodies. By legalizing abortion,
this will ensure that women have the right to control their bodies without interference from
anyone. As per the context, this means that women should be allowed to make their choices on
whether to terminate a pregnancy or not. Choices should be made without being repressed by
prohibitive laws or policies. In her argument based on supporting the nationwide legalization of
abortion, Sharon Smith gives an example of states such as Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanias abortion
laws require that a woman has to not only notify their husbands in advance before procuring an
abortion but also receive mandatory counseling alternatives and still have to wait for 24 hours
before they could be allowed to procure the abortion procedure. As one can see from this
example, such laws significantly disadvantage women. They undermine their freedom of choice
and make it look like they do not have the ability or capacity to choose what is right for
themselves without help. Such laws seem bent on curtailing the progress made by the American
Society following a long struggle to ensure gender equality in the country. Smith strongly
advocates for the legalization of abortion in order to also guarantee equality in the society. She
further argues that the denial of womens right to abortion has led to inequality which has made
abortion to be a class issue. This is because as she points out, the prohibition of the free right to
abortion has disadvantaged the lower class women as they are ultimately denied the chance to
abortion while the wealthy women often secretly procure abortions with the aid of private
doctors. For the purpose of preventing such instances of inequality and lack of freedom, abortion
should be legalized to ensure equality and to make women be able to make their decisions on
matters affecting their bodies and health. This will go a long step in ensuring gender equality as

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women will be able to make choices affecting them such as whether to procure abortions or not
without having to get permission from their husbands or any other people.
Second, abortion legalization and practices will permit women to obtain abortions in
proper medical surroundings (Singh 5). This will eventually lead to fewer deaths and lower rate
of medical complications. Barriers to abortion care pose health risks to women. These barriers
include mandatory delays before the abortion process, biased-counseling requirements,
restrictions on young womens access, expensive and unnecessary regulations and limitations,
and limited public funding which possess a cumulative impact, making it difficult for women to
obtain safe abortion care. Because of the illegalization of abortion, the number of abortion
providers has continued to decline based on the tension caused by the anti-choice forces. The
atmospheric tension intimidates and restricts physicians from entering the field. Furthermore, it
has forced others to stop providing abortion services. Restriction to obtaining abortion care
endanger health by forcing them to delay procedures, forcing them to carry unwanted
pregnancies to term, and eventually them to seek unsafe and illegal abortion services. In
addition, abortion restriction that succeeds in forcing women to carry unintended pregnancies
expose women to greater health risk of childbirth against their will. This health hazard can be
justified based on the mortality rate associated with childbirth which is ten times higher than the
mortality rate based on legal abortion care (Prochoice 6). Also, it can be justified based on the
fact that adolescents pregnancy and childbirth may entail significant medical problems.
Teenagers younger than the age of 15 years are more prone to experience pregnancy
complications, including prolonged labor, anemia, and toxemia. Restrictions on public funding
and parental involvement laws may also have deadly consequences. An example may be based
on the death of Rosie Jimenez in 1997. She is known as the first woman to have died as a result

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of the federal Hyde amendment, which restricts funding for abortions services except in the case
of life endangerment, rape, or incest. Her death was because of her lack of ability to afford safe,
legal abortion care (Prochoice 7).
The third reason is based on the assumption that parenthood begins when a fetus is
valuable. A fetus is considered viable based on its ability to live outside the womans uterus on
its own. Abortion rights advocates do not deny that human beings have a fundamental right to
live. He just believes that this right to life is not extended to the invaluable fetus since they are
not entirely human and their existence demands that another [the pregnant woman] is asked to
make significant nonobligatory sacrifices (Lotz 6). One is capable of deciding on a course of
action for himself or herself and has a right to pursue it even if it is right or wrong and eventually
face the consequences.
The fourth reason for legalizing abortion is based on the assumption that abortion
supports life to life. As most arguments highlight that abortion as a terminator of human life, they
tend to be focusing on the life of the unborn. They do not put into consideration about the life of
the mother. Women sometimes do experience complication during their pregnancy period. These
complications can be severe and may result in the death of the mother. To deny a woman the
option to abortion when her life is at risk can be compared to compelling her to death. No
individual as per the law should be denied the right to fight for his or her life (Lotz 9). The data
below shows that abortion rates are low in the state of Pennsylvania which means that a
significant number of women in this state are vulnerable to deaths due to abortions.

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Source: http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/usac/ab-usac2-PA.html
In addition, abortion gives women the option to minimize their childs suffering. Some
pregnancies do have complications. Also, some fetuses have several disorders that can cause the
child to live a difficult and painful life. These disorders can be so severe to the point that death
will still be guaranteed after a brief and painful life. These disorders include Anencephaly which
is a disorder where the brain misses, another example is the limb-body wall complex, a disorder
where organs develop outside the body of the fetus. A mother has a right to decide to not put her

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child through the kind of suffering and the society, religious leaders or even state leaders should
not inflict any weight on her decision (Alcorn 223). Also, it should be noted that pregnancy
consequences do not just end in childbirth. A mother has to undergo through physical pain, and
when the child is born, she is emotional, socially and financially tied to the child for a lifetime. If
the child has a health risk, both the mother and the child have to suffer through the pain. These
sufferings can be eliminated through abortion legalization (Lotz 5).

Abortion should also be legalized based on issues of mental health. Medics define mental
health is not only limited to psychiatric illness, but they also take into account the effects
imposed to a womans social and economic circumstances on her well-being. Based on the legal
perspective, legal authorities have directly addressed mental health effects on women who
continue to barrier unwanted pregnancy as a result of lack of accessibility to abortion. They do
acknowledge the negative mental health impacts and illustrate the psychological effect on
women as a violation of their human right which entails freedom to cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment. The negative health effects include distress by all parties concerned, which
is associated with the unwanted pregnancy, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a
family that is already incapable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it. Also delivering a
first unwanted pregnancy has been associated with low levels of education, income and larger
families which are both risk factors for depression. In addition, studies have shown that risk for
depressive symptoms are at high levels among women with young children and increases as the
number of children increases. Where safe and legal abortion is available, studies indicate that
mental health impact of womens choice to terminate is largely positive. Studies also show that

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womens ability to make decisions on their childbearing is necessary for their health and the
health of their family (Alcorn 192).
Another argument is based on the point of view that every child should be a wanted child.
It's argued by most people that legal abortion helps in the elimination of unwanted children. The
argument is based on the assumption that unwanted children are indirectly subjected to a great
number of family difficulties such as child abuse. Unwanted children are conceived against the
mothers will. Legalization of abortion can help reduce incidences of child abuse in states (Alcorn
139).
In addition, abortion can be used as a substitute for contraceptives. Some individuals do
argue that methods of contraception amount to abortion during the earliest stage of pregnancy.
This initial stage entails the first week of pregnancy. Some society used and continue to use
abortion as a substitute for the adequate provision of contraception. For example, in the year
1965, a united nation conference on World Population termed abortion as the prime method of
birth control in the world at that time. Also some doctors do argue that abortion should be part of
a countrys contraceptive policy. Their argument is based on the perception that women should
be allowed to end unwanted pregnancies in order to deal with failures of birth control.

However, some arguments are against abortion legalization in the state of Pennsylvania.
A number of facts mostly emphasizes this case. Federal governments, religious leaders as well as
humanitarian organization primarily support arguments against abortion legalization. First, as per
the U.S. constitution, it is illegal to deny the fetus the right to life. The constitution amendments
stipulate that no man should be deprived his or her right to life without recourse to the due
process of the law. At conception a new life comes into being, having a unique genetic code and

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unlimited potential for greatness possessed by each and every individual. However, abortion of a
fetus deprives it of life and its ability to enjoy its future liberty without any recourse to due
process (Turner 4). To reduce the rate of abortion increasing restrictions on access to abortion
have been implemented in Pennsylvania.
The second argument based on its illegalization emphasize that abortion is an act of
murder. Unborn babies are protected from murder and violence by federal law Unborn Victims of
Violence. It is eminent that life begins at conception hence abortion results in the termination of
the fetus life. It is awfully wrong for a woman to have the rights to choose who to murder. Susan
B. Anthonys The Revolution refers abortion as child murder and infanticide. In the year 1869,
Anthony said that the motive, love of ease, or the desire to save an unborn innocent from
suffering, the mother who committees the deed is guilty. He goes further saying that the act will
burden her conscience in life and it will burden her soul to death.
Based on religious ethics abortion is illegal because it allows man to act against the will
of God. Also abortion is illegalized based on the fact that it can result in medical complications
and psychological trauma for women. As per the religious education, it is clearly illustrated that
abortion is a sin. Also, it is not ethical to enforce abortion based on the fact of elimination of
unwanted children. This is because an unwanted child never turns to be a resented baby which
can be justified statistically based on the fact that there is no substantial evidence that children
being unwanted during pregnancy are prone to child abuse. Based on Professor Krasons he states
that child abuse does not result from unwanted pregnancies but as a result of parents, lack of
social support, and hostility to them by the society. The unwantedness of a child clearly
illustrates on the moral and psychological make-up of an individual but little about the value of
the child involved. It is only a self-centered, hedonistic people who do not consider the unborn

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child, how should come to an understanding that they have an obligation to care for the most
vulnerable and defenseless members of the human race (Lotz 7). Hence abortion should not be
justified depending on whether the unborn are fully human and also based on their wantedness.
The fourth reason for illegalizing abortion is based on mental health. Women who are
involved in the abortion experiences poor mental health outcomes (NFFAW 6). Poor mental
outcome may result from stigmatization and shame that the society imposes on women who have
abortions and providers who perform them. The negative impact is inflicted on the fact that a
healthy fetus was denied the opportunity of life and birth. They have to live with this knowledge
which may come back to haunt them in the future resulting in depression. Women are not the
only party that experiences mental illness following an abortion but also, it can negatively affect
their partner as well (Abortion 13). Abortion can also cause physical and psychological trauma as
well as an increased likelihood of miscarriage and placenta previa in any subsequent
pregnancies. In addition, mental abortion can result in the damage of the reproductive organ
especially if gets infections after the abortion (Abortion 11).
The other reason of abortion illegalization is based on the argument that abortion is not a
contraceptive. Abortion can be defined as the actual termination of an existing pregnancy
whereas contraceptives are used to prevent a woman from getting pregnant. During the abortion
process, an actual fetus development is terminated, but on the other hand, contraceptives prevent
fertilization and implantation of the fetus in the uterus. Abortion can be attained through surgical
methods or the early method abortion (Abortion 8). The abortion process to be used depends on
how long one has been pregnant (NFFAW 5). Based on the definition differences as well as the
procedure differences abortion cannot be shortlisted as a contraceptive.

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Based on the legalization of abortion it is worth noting that women request for an
abortion almost never express a frivolous, uncaring or unqualified desire rather it accounts for
measures that take account of both the woman and the possible future child. Finally, the debate
over the standard permissibility of abortion will only do justice to the concern of women when it
acknowledges that a true moral solution will not help in the reduction of abortion even late in
pregnancy. An example of an instance where true moral solutions are no practical is carrying a
child who is affected by severe abnormalities. A true moral solution will include efforts aimed at
reducing the rate of unwanted and unintended pregnancies. True moral solutions will involve the
provision of adequate family planning support and sex education as well as safe, efficient and
accessible contraceptives.

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Work cited
"Abortion - What You Need to Know." (n.d.): n. pag. Family Planning. 2014.
Alcorn, Randy. "Pro Life Answers to Pro Choice Arguments." Part One: Arguments Concerning
Life, Humanity, and Personhood (n.d.): n. pag.Eternal Perspective Ministries.
Lotz, Mianna, Dr. "Ethical Arguments Concerning the Moral Permissibility of Abortion." Ethical
Arguments Concerning the Moral Permissibility of Abortion (n.d.): n. pag. National
Foundation For Australian Women.
"Medical Abortion." Journal for Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Canada, Apr. 2016.
"Nursing Information for You: Abortion Care." (n.d.): n. pag. Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists. Feb. 2012.
Ruse, Cathy Cleaver, and Rob Schwarzwalder. "The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular
Audiences." The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences (n.d.): n. pag.
Singh, Susheela, Deirdre Wulf, Rubina Hussain, Akinrinola Bankole, and Gilda Sedgh.
"Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress." (n.d.): n. pag.

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Turner, Olivia Gans, and Mary Spaulding Balch. "Defending the Pro-Life Position & Framing
the Issue by the Language We Use." (n.d.): n. pag.National Right to Life Committee.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Abortion
Policies and Reproductive Health around the World (United Nations publication, Sales
No. E.14.XIII.11). 2014.