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Abortion is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Since 1969, abortion has been legal in Canada. However, it was only allowed under special circumstances which included, high-risk pregnancies and pregnancy as a result of rape. Abortion without federal restrictions has been legal since 1988 in Canada. With the advanced technology of today, abortion can be done both surgically and non-surgically. Furthermore, many today may believe that abortion should be illegal as it is considered to be “inhumane”. Nevertheless, because of the time the abortion takes place, the situations that make abortion the only option and avoiding birth defects, one can come to the conclusion that abortion is not immoral. This fact can be proven throughout the research done by medical professionals and people who have had to get an abortion done.
The universal definition of abortion states that abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by either a surgical or non-surgical method before the fetus is able to sustain independent life (up to 24 weeks). Abortion ranges in two different forms, surgical and non-surgical. There are 2 types of surgical procedures which are Vacuum Suction Curettage (VSC) and Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA). Throughout the first twenty weeks of pregnancy, the fetus has now developed the entire skeletal figure, all major organs are functioning, and this would include the heart, stomach, liver, kidney, and brain. By twenty weeks, the fetus can now kick, grasp with his or her hands, hair is visible and vocal cords are working. Stated by Dr. Paul Ranali, a neurologist studying at the University of Toronto, there is evidence of the fetus feeling pain during the abortion procedure (Pollitt, 2011). Although it is unusual that one would have an abortion this late in the pregnancy, abortion can take place anytime during the first trimester of pregnancy which is up to 24 weeks, the fetal brain is completely developed at the age of 20 weeks. The brain has the full complement of brain cells as an adult would have therefore made the fetus ready to receive pain signals from the body (Johnson, 2011). Overall, many still allow the abortion to take place after knowing this information. Because the abortion process takes place at such an early stage in the pregnancy, many do not seem to consider the fetus as a human, therefore, disregarding the slurs (murdering the fetus) that are typically said.
The main cause for abortions would be the fact that they are unplanned pregnancies. As stated in the Annual Abortion Survey in the United States (AAS),
“on average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner” (Annual Abortion Survey- USA, 2013).
Because of these reasons, it is unfair to bring an innocent child into the world where they would not receive the care that is needed. Also stated in the AAS, twenty-one percent of women included a physical problem with their health among reasons for having an abortion and eleven percent admitted that they went along to get an abortion due to the fact that they were victims of rape. Those who do not wish to have a child because of financial situations can be understood by those who believe abortion is immoral because raising a child in today’s time is known to be expensive to those who make an average salary of $34,000. While considering having a child, one must be able to provide basic necessities such as diapers and formula. The costs of diapers can range from $10.00 – $50.00. The costs of baby formula can range from $15.00 – $50.00 (Evers, 2013). If one cannot provide their child with the essential needs, they should not bring them into the world. If one cannot provide for their child, it can also cause a strain on the mother and father’s relationship due to overwhelming stress and pressure. Also, studies in the United States have shown, those who are not financially stable and continue with their pregnancy, are more likely to become unemployed, to be on public welfare, to be below the poverty line, and to later on in life, become victims of domestic violence (Evers, 2013). Because many do not want to be placed in a situation where they are in danger or not capable of raising a child, they choose to abort the potential child.
A birth defect is defined as a health problem or physical change which is present in a baby at the time he or she is born. Birth defects can occur either from genetic factors or even environmental factors. The genetic causes could be inheritance, single gene defects, multifactorial inheritance, teratogens or a chromosome abnormality. Luckily, only three out of every one-hundred babies are born with a birth defect (Williams, 2007). Many birth defects can be diagnosed before birth with specialized prenatal diagnosis test. Birth defects that are considered as chromosomal abnormalities such as Downs Syndrome can be diagnosed before birth by examining the amniotic fluid from the placenta. A commonly used test that screen for birth defects and mainly Downs Syndrome would be Alpha-fetoprotein. Alpha-fetoprotein measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein in the blood. This screening may be included as one part of a two, three, or four-part screening, often called a multiple marker screen. The other parts may include the following: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and Estriol (Williams, 2007). Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone that is extracted from the placenta cells. High levels may indicate a fetus with Down Syndrome. Estriol is a hormone produced by the placenta and by the fetal liver and adrenal glands. Low levels may indicate a fetus with Down Syndrome. Other birth defects that are a leading cause of infant mortality would be heart defects and missing organs and limbs. These birth defects are noticed through ultrasounds just before the pregnancy goes to twenty weeks. It was founded that roughly two percent of all pregnancies are complicated by a major birth defect. Of that two percent, ninety-three percent of the women decided to terminate the pregnancy before the child is born into a life of suffering (Williams, 2007). Thus concluding that women mainly resort in abortion in order to protect a child from being born with a disability that could lead them in a life where it would be difficult for them to survive.
In conclusion, one can say that abortion is not an immoral act due to the fact that at the time abortion takes place the fetus has not yet become a human, the situations that make abortion the only option which shields the unborn child from being born into a world where they cannot be taken care of and avoiding birth defects. This fact has been proven throughout this essay by the research done by medical professionals and people who have gone through this experience.
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