The Pros and Cons of Abortion

Whether the subject of abortion is personal to you or you want to consider the political and legal arguments of the issue, there are plenty of pros and cons of abortion that can be considered. Although one type of abortion can be specifically defined as miscarriage, in which the pregnancy ended as the result of natural or accidental termination, the most common meaning behind the term abortion is the willful and intentional termination of a pregnancy. In the United States, abortion is a legal procedure according to Federal law but may be restricted by the laws enforced by individual states. One such restriction enforced by many states is the prohibition of late-term abortions unless it is deemed medically necessary, such as when the mother’s life is endangered due to the pregnancy. Keep reading to learn about some of the main pros and cons of abortion.

Benefits of Abortion


It is a common belief that abortion is primarily used by women who simply don’t want a baby. While this reasoning can be true and, indeed this reason accounts for a significant percentage of abortions, there are other situations in which an abortion could actually be beneficial and even life-saving. When considering the pros and cons of abortion, remember to include the following benefits that can come from willfully terminating a pregnancy.


Rape Victims


Being a victim of a rape attack can have many long-term negative effects. As one would suspect, there can be a severe impact on one’s mental health as the result of enduring a rape attack, often resulting in social awkwardness and anxiety. Many rape victims also struggle with feelings of self blame, anger, distrust of men, depression, and even thoughts of committing suicide. In addition to these side effects of rape, there is also the chance that the victim will become pregnant. For someone who has just gone through a very emotionally, psychologically, and physically traumatic experience, the thought of being responsible for carrying, giving birth to, and raising a child that resulted from the rape can be much too overwhelming.


In one respect, it would be all too easy to end up resenting and neglecting a child that the mother not only didn’t want in the first place, but also one that stands as a constant reminder of the rape that she experienced. In situations like this, it can often seem that the best and even the healthiest plan of action would be to abort the fetus. Not only does this solution address the issues that the rape victim would struggle with in raising a child that she had no say in conceiving, but it also prevents the child from growing up in a potentially neglectful, hurtful, and loveless environment. One might argue that the rape victim could always give the child up for adoption; however the rape victim might also suffer mental trauma and excess physical strain due to having to carry a child that resulted from a rape incident.

Prevent Mental and Physical Trauma


There are numerous situations in which an unplanned pregnancy can cause excessive amounts of stress and physical strain on a woman that she may choose to avoid by having an abortion. Although there is a saying that implies one can never be 100% ready for having a child, there are some situations that can prove to be more than just learning experiences—situations in which a pregnancy could have a detrimental impact. A few situations include becoming pregnant at a very young age, becoming pregnant while going to school, being without a partner, and being financially incapable of supporting a child.


In circumstances like the ones we just mentioned, having a baby will not only cause the typically life-changes that are expected, but it could actually have a long term negative impact on the mother’s life. For instance becoming pregnant at a young age could result in failing to finish school which might also mean being unable to obtain employment in a place where advancement is a realistic goal.


Physical trauma is another possible situation in which an abortion may be beneficial. Some women have existing medical conditions or may develop conditions during the pregnancy that put them in serious risk of their health. Some conditions even cause severe physical or mental deformation in the fetus that is so extreme that some women may wish to prevent these tragic effects with an abortion.


Disadvantages of Abortion


Although there are a number of benefits of having an abortion, there are also a few disadvantages that can accompany this procedure. The side effects associated with abortion can be physical and/or psychological in nature. It is very common for women who have had an abortion to later struggle with feelings of regret, shame, and depression about the decision they made. This is especially common in women who were of a younger age when the abortion took place, as they realize in the years to follow, with a more mature outlook, that they had ended a life. Abortion is a permanent procedure that cannot be undone, and this can be a hard realization for women who are young.


When it comes to the physical side effects, there have been cases in the past in which women have been left infertile. Studies have also shown that women who have had an abortion are much more likely to experience miscarriage, premature birth, and pregnancy/birthing complications later in life. Cervical complications and abnormal placenta development are also possible long-term side effects of an abortion.


As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons of abortion and there simply isn’t one right choice that applies to every woman in every situation. The question of whether to get an abortion should be seriously mulled over and both sides of the argument considered before a decision is made. Again, once the abortion is done it cannot be undone.