Essay, Research Paper: Abortion Victims


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is a very controversial subject that has been continually argued over
for the past few years and probably many years to come. The main controversy is
should abortion be legalized? First, before we get into the many sides of
abortion we must first define abortion. Abortion is the destruction of the fetus
or unborn child while the child is still in the mother’s womb. This can be
done by almost anyone from the mother herself to back alley abortions and even
to abortions by clinics set up especially for this purpose. There are two sides
to this abortion topic, the PRO-LIFE, which is those who are against abortion
altogether and, the PRO-CHOICE, or those who believe it is the woman’s right
to choose if she wants to have an abortion. These two groups offer different
solutions to the problem. The pro-life solution is to have the child and
basically live with it. They believe abortion is not an answer. The pro-choice
solution is abortion because of reasons they feel are appropriate. Although
abortion is morally and ethically wrong should it be legal for victims of rape
or incest who have no other alternative? There is no real answer to this
controversy, there are two sides which have been arguing for many years over the
subject. The first is the pro-life group. This group does not believe in the
abortion factor. To understand where the pro-life stands we must first
understand its beliefs and reasons for its beliefs. Then we can discuss what
their solution to the abortion topic is. Pro-life believes that rape and incest
are very emotional topics. They often elicit throughout the population feelings
of revulsion; people draw back from the issue of rape and incest. People don't
know how to handle a person who is in that much pain. There is no quick fix.
That is why it is difficult for even pro-life people to come to grips with the
argument over abortion in cases of rape and incest. Some of those who are
pro-life will allow abortion in these cases because they don't know what else
they can do for the victim and accept it as a rare case. But it is known that
allowing abortion in these cases usually does not help the victim, instead it
only worsens the problem because the victims needs are not being met. But what
the facts suggest is that only a minority of rape and incest victims actually
choose abortion. This is where pro-life has its biggest problem. Pro-life states
that abortion is not usually chosen as the immediate solution for rape and
incest victims but that is the prevailing belief of the general population. A
woman has been raped and made pregnant: "Oh, she's got to have an
abortion." No one has studied the rape and incest victims needs; abortion
is presumed to fill her needs. Various studies and research indicate that rape
and incest victims fall into a high-risk category of abortion. But what happens
after a victim has an abortion? Jackie Baker, a victim states: "I soon
discovered that the aftermath of my abortion continued a long time after the
memory of my rape had faded. I felt empty and horrible. Nobody told me about the
emptiness and pain I would feel deep within causing nightmares and deep
depressions. They all told me that after the abortion I could continue with my
life as if nothing ever happened." This is the story we hear from a lot of
aborted women. Today in our society it is believed by most people that it is the
woman’s fault just as much as the man’s fault, if not more. Many people
think women are responsible for contributing to the rape itself. Then the rape
victims feel self-blame and guilt. And even then a rape or incest victims family
members or close friends may reinforce these negative feelings. Or they drop the
problem because they don't know how to talk about it. We even see the same thing
in the abortion experience. When a person becomes pregnant because of rape or
incest there is a permanent symbol of the rape, at least until it is aborted.
Women who have had abortions fear being rejected by G-d and loved ones. It is a
very traumatic experience which takes time. The fact is that you are really
telling your loved ones of a death in the family. Opinion polls have shown for
years that women are more against abortion than men are. Women led the
opposition of abortion. "In 1983, a Los Angeles Times poll, found that only
47% of women (compared with 51% of men) favored the general availability of
abortion." So what is this telling us? The facts are very clear men prefer
abortion over women by a large percent. And most women do not agree with
abortion. So why does it still exist today? What pro-life feels is really
happening is that in our society today abortion is becoming the solution to
carelessness. Abortion does nothing to help the victims rape, and that is the
problem they are trying to address in the first place. Instead abortion
encourages the victim to vent their anger out on others. Pro-life also believes
that childbirth can be a victory. For those victims who choose childbirth over
abortion it can be a triumph. It can state that the victim is not going to let
rape destroy her life. When the needs of pregnant victims are closely examined
it can be shown that abortion is not the answer and is in fact only worsening
the problem. But the worst strain abortion has on the victim is mental strain.
Many victims become confused and overwhelmed by feelings they thought they would
never have, and don't know what to do. After having an abortion victims thought
they had solved the problem, but in fact they had really just started a whole
new one. Many victims began thinking there was something wrong with them and
began to doubt themselves in situations that they would normally be sure of
themselves. Others plunge into deep depressions which they don't come out of for
weeks at end. This is one of the worst side effects of having an abortion and
most women don't realize it will happen to them because they are too busy trying
to correct the immediate problem. Pro-life persons don't have any reason to be
ashamed to defend pro-life view in the case of rape and incest. They feel the
ones who should be ashamed are the pro abortionists who have been exploiting the
problems of the victims. Pro-choice has a different view to this whole abortion
controversy. Pro-choice believes that it is the persons right to have an
abortion if they want to and that no one should interfere with that right.
Pro-choice has many reasons for feeling this way. First lets talk about who has
abortions and why they have abortions. There are 1.6 million abortions in the
United States every year, there is no real special class of people who have
abortions. Why does pro-choice feel that abortion is all right? Well pro-choice
believes that the answer is what the woman believes. The most common reason for
abortions is when contraception fails. What is a person suppose to do when the
birth control method fails? The fact is that contraceptive failure led to 1.6 to
2 million of the 3.3 million unwanted pregnancies in the United States in 1987.
These pregnancies account for about half of the 1.5 million abortions performed
every year. Besides these reasons for abortion, women also give researchers
other reasons for getting an abortion. In 1987 a survey of 1,900 women at 30
abortion facilities were asked, why do women have abortions? The women could
give as many reasons as they wanted, and most of the women responded with one or
more of these top six reasons: 1. Concerned about how having a baby could change
her life, 92 percent. 2. Not mature enough or too young to have a child, 81
percent. 3. Can't afford baby now, 73 percent. 4. Doesn't want others to know
she had sex or is pregnant, 42 percent. 5. Has relationship problems and doesn't
want to be a single parent, 37 percent. 6. Unready for responsibility, 33
percent. There have been many studies done on smaller groups that expressed the
exact same reasons for having an abortion. Older women were more likely to say
that their families were complete while younger women said that a baby would
interfere with education, career, and personal freedom. At any age women say
they have too many responsibilities and not enough money to take care of a baby.
The reasons for which the public is approving of abortions is not always the
reason of the person who wants to have an abortion. Women do not have abortions
because of rape, incest, deformed fetuses, or because their physical life is in
danger. But these are the best reasons accepted by the public. Being poor, too
young, unmarried, and not wanting a baby are the most unpopular reasons for
having an abortion and are looked down upon by the public. Pro-choice feels the
main reason for abortions is because contraception failed and they didn't want
to have a baby at the time. What are some of the benefits to having an abortion.
Well the most obvious one is the abortion itself. First of all pro-choice wants
to make it clear where they stand. They believe in first time abortions. This is
usually because of contraceptive reasons or maturity, but where they draw the
line is at third or fourth time abortions. This is because although they think
abortion should be legal they believe that is a little extreme and may be a
solution to a bad habit. But the big benefit of having an abortion can be seen
right away. The feeling most women have after having an abortion is relief. A
44-year-old psychologist with three children had an illegal abortion at 18 and a
legal abortion at 28. Both times she primarily felt relieved for herself and all
the family members for whom she was responsible. Another example is a newly
married 27-year-old elementary school teacher who had two abortions at age 18,
and 21. She felt the same relief as the psychologist. There have been many
studies that researched what the primary reaction to having an abortion was. One
study done by Kaiser Permanent in northern California asked women subscribers
how they felt about their abortions. The most common answer was relief. This
emotion is understandable, especially in light of the fact that the majority of
aborting women report feeling under intense pressure to "get it over
with." Abortion also leads to safer contraception. After a person has to go
through an abortion because of a failure in contraception it is found that from
then on the couple is much more cautious about safe-sex. It is found that almost
all of the 742 low-income women who received abortions in 1970-1971 at the State
University Hospital in Syracuse, New York, intended to use contraception in the
future, an attitude that was even stronger after their abortions. Perhaps the
abortion is actually a lesson in life. Another positive impact is maturity. How
might a person mature because of their abortion experience. Well the most
obvious example of maturity is after an abortion the aborted person usually
changes their bad habits. This could be anything from safe-sex to everyday
things like listening to others. This may not have been the case before the
abortion. When people were asked how they felt about themselves after the
abortion many of them responded by saying they felt more mature. It caused them
to reevaluate their behavior, their lives and their future. Others felt they
were freer and stronger. Two benefactors to having an abortion is increased
self-image, self-esteem, and increased psychological health. It is said that an
abortion usually changes a woman’s uncertain self-image into a good
self-image. The average woman gets back the self she had before she got pregnant
and sometimes a little more. It is also said that it can increase your
psychological health. Can this really be? Pro-choice states that a woman is
damaged by abortion, but pro- choice women state that is not so and it actually
benefited them. Pro-Choice also believes that it is the moral right for a person
to be able to control their own body whether it is having a baby or destroying
it. They feel it is the woman’s right to be able to do what she wants with
herself and what she has created. Pro-Choice also argues that at the stage where
abortion is done the fetus is not really a human being therefore it is like you
are not destroying anything. It is merely biological and really does not exist
until further stages. These are the reasons why pro-choice is arguing for the
legalization of abortion. They feel that the increase in more mature women after
abortion, safer-sex, increased mental health, and increased self-esteem and
self-image are good enough reasons for legalizing abortion. After researching
about abortion the solution that I find best fit to the abortion controversy is
that although abortion is morally and ethically wrong there is no real
alternatives for those who are victims of rape or incest. That is why the best
solution to this controversy is to legalize abortion for those who are victims
of these awful crimes. Although pro-life and victims of rape and incest state
that abortion adds to the pain of these crimes there is no other real solution.
Most victims would agree that it would be better to suffer through the pain of
abortion than to have to live with a deformed child or even worse a child that
is not really your own as a product of rape or incest. Victims of these crimes
also report feeling dirty, guilty, sexually violated, etc... But is that as bad
as having to be constantly reminded of the traumatic experience you went through
everyday you see your child? Your child is a victim too! But the most obvious
reason is the fact that a victim of rape or incest was violated against her
will. She did not ask for it, and does not deserve it. She should not then have
to deal with the child if she does not want to because it may lead to further
complications for the victim and child. By further complications I mean
mentally, physically, and emotionally. Many victims often go through long
periods of depression when they are forced to keep the child because it often
stirs unwanted memories. This is why abortion should be allowed or legal for
those unfortunate few who have no other choice but to have an abortion or live
with this great burden. Abortion on the other hand should not be legal for all.
When a person chooses to have sex she is taking a chance. This she does of her
own free will, and she has control over what she is doing. This is the total
opposite of the rape victim. If a person decides to have sex whether it is safe
or not, what happens after that is her responsibility as well as his. And if you
are going to chose to participate in this risky and unsafe practice then you
must be ready to pay the consequences. I also believe that a fetus is still a
child contradictory to the beliefs of the Pro-Choice. I think that when two
people create something like a child, even if it is as small as a fetus it
should still be considered a child because it is a living breathing organism
made by the two people and G-d. I think that even a fetus has rights to a good
life, love and happiness no matter how small it is and no one should be able to
take that away from him. Anything given by G-d deserves a chance. Parents do not
own their children, they are helping them grow into G-d’s child. Therefore
they do not have the right to destroy. Therefore my solution to the abortion
problem is it should be legal for only those who are victims of rape or incest
if they so chose to have an abortion. But should be illegal for those who are
not victims because they chose to do what they did and they must deal with what
they have created.
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