THE CIRCULAR

Is abortion right or wrong?

Photo by Viktoria Slowikowska on pexels

Abortion is a frequent decision made by millions of people each year, with one-quarter of pregnancies ending in abortion. Regardless of whether abortion is legal or not, individuals still require and use abortion services on a regular basis. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health non-profit based in the United States, the abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 people in countries that prohibit abortion entirely or allow it only in life-saving situations, and 34 per 1,000 people in countries that broadly allow abortion, a difference that is not statistically significant

Every year, about one in every four pregnancies in the world ends in an abortion. While the necessity for abortion is prevalent, persons who require abortion services may not always have access to safe and legal abortion services. In reality, abortion access is one of the most controversial issues in the world, with misinformation about the true consequences of restricting access to this vital healthcare service clouding the debate. In 24 nations, abortion is completely prohibited. Preventing women and girls from having abortions does not mean they no longer need them. That is why banning or restricting abortions has no effect on the number of abortions; instead, it forces people to seek out unsafe abortions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortions as “a procedure for terminating an unplanned pregnancy carried out either by personnel lacking the essential skills or in an environment that does not meet minimum medical standards or both.”

It is estimated that 25 million illegal abortions occur each year, with the vast majority occurring in underdeveloped nations. Abortion-related deaths and injuries can be avoided. Yet, in countries where access to safe abortion is restricted or forbidden outright, such deaths are prevalent, as the majority of women and girls who require an abortion due to an undesired pregnancy are unable to do so legally.

Abortion is legal in more than 100 countries, states, and territories in certain circumstances, such as “to save a woman’s life.”Abortion is legal in Belize, the United Kingdom, Fiji, India, Japan, and Rwanda for a variety of societal and economic reasons. The abortion debate centers on whether terminating a pregnancy before natural childbirth is morally acceptable. Some people believe abortion is always unethical. Some believe abortion is justified when the mother’s life is in danger. Others believe that abortion is morally appropriate in a variety of circumstances.

More than 50 nations have amended their laws to allow for greater access to abortion in the last 25 years. On May 25, 2018, Ireland’s people overwhelmingly chose to repeal the near-total constitutional ban on abortion in a long-awaited referendum. Despite the trend toward modifying laws to prevent deaths and injuries, certain nations, such as Nicaragua and El Salvador, continue to have harsh and discriminatory abortion laws that prohibit abortion in almost all instances. According to the WHO, 40% of women of reproductive age live in countries with extremely restrictive abortion legislation, or in countries where abortion is legal but not available.

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