Abortion has amassed great controversy and opposing views not only in this country but also in other parts of the world. This procedure refers to the termination of a pregnancy. Some types of abortion happen naturally. These are called miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. But pregnant women can also opt to end their pregnancy through medications or surgery.
Legalization in the United States
After its legalization in the United States in 1973, abortion has become one of the most common medical procedures. It is estimated that about 40 percent of women will undergo abortion at one point in their lives. Young, unmarried, poor women over the age of 40 are more likely to seek terminations than other types of women.
Some 20 to 30 million legal abortions are performed annually while 10 to 20 million are done illegally worldwide. Illegal abortions account for the 13 percent of deaths from serious complications. Death from abortion is not that common in the United States and in other countries that have legalized this procedure.
The question about its safety has become a major concern for many people, especially women. Some experts say that just because it's legal doesn't automatically mean it is safe. Dr. Beverly McMillan, an ob/gyn who opened the first abortion clinic in Mississippi said that she stopped doing abortions after she realized that what she was doing was doing more harm than good.
For one, physical complications of abortion abound.
- excessive bleeding
- extreme pain
- high fever
- incomplete baby or placenta removal
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- punctured or torn uterus
Apart from these, it can also lead to:
- scarring of the uterus
- weakened cervix
- blockage in the fallopian tubes
- damage to the reproductive organs
Damage to any reproductive organ can render a women infertile or make it difficult for her to conceive or carry a child in the future.
Some women who have undergone abortions may also experience:
- premature births
- ectopic or tubal pregnancies
The rate is higher for them than for women who have never had abortions.
On top of that, this procedure also increases the risk of breast, cervical, and uterine cancer.
Legalization of this procedure now allows women who suffer the physical complications of abortion to get emergency medical treatment without having the fear of being a subject of criminal investigation. But on the other hand, the negative impact is that it has become more inviting for women to engage in abortion. The total number of women undergoing abortions has increased significantly after its legalization in the 1970s.