Reasons Why Abortion Should Be LEGAL In EVERY Country

Our world is advancing every day where abortion is concerned. Ireland voted this year to repeal one of the strictest bans on abortion, consequently, making abortion legal, resulting in a victory for women who shared their stories, marched, protested, put themselves at risk by speaking out, but also for those who were unable to speak out. Votes like these are in memory of those who have died at the hands of illegal, unsafe abortions as it means, in their countries, future generations will not have to suffer like they did.
However, it can often feel like, after taking a step forward, we take two steps backwards. Recently, Argentina's Senate rejected a bill which would've legalised abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, meaning abortion is currently only allowed in cases of rape or if the mother's health is in danger. 500,000 unsafe abortions take place in the country every year.

In many countries, just like in Argentina, abortions are only legal under certain circumstances, however, 26 countries across the world still ban abortion altogether. A further 37 countries ban abortion unless it is necessary to save the life of the woman, including major economies such as Brasil, Mexico, Nigeria and Indonesia. A further 36 countries restrict access unless an abortion is necessary to protect the woman’s physical health.

An estimated 78% of abortions take place outside of health clinics and at least 23,000 women die every year from an unsafe abortion.

Some places can even punish women for having terminations, for example, in El Salvador, where abortion is illegal, authorities can prosecute women whose pregnancies end before 40 weeks, even if they end by miscarriage or stillbirth, if they are suspected of harming their foetus. Women can be imprisoned from two to eight weeks.

Abortion referendums, like in Ireland, also show there is a clear generational divide, with younger people voting to change the law whilst voters from older generations opt to keep abortion illegal.

So, I think it's clear that we still have a long way to go until abortion is legal everywhere.
I've compiled a list of reasons why I think abortion ought to be legal in every country as I believe in safe abortions, a woman's right to a choice and ownership of her own body.

1) Legalising abortion means less unsafe abortions
Allowing women access to professional-performed, safe abortions means less unsafe and illegal abortions. In countries where abortion is illegal, women are going to extreme lengths to have 'backstreet abortions' and are ordering dangerous pills online to terminate their pregnancies. Allowing them access to a proper abortion means women will be able to safely terminate their pregnancies without putting their own lives at risk.

2) Legalising abortion means women have the right to choose what they do with their bodies
"My body, my choice." It is a woman's 'fundamental right' to choose whether she does or does not have an abortion. Allowing her the option of having or not having one allows her ownership over her own body and the freedom to choose her path. Offering women a choice isn't about saying abortions are the best things in the world, it's simply about letting them know that abortions are there if they become necessary. Allowing women a choice means they can choose not to have an abortion too. Every woman has the right to decide what happen with her body and should not be forced into a pregnancy against her will. It is illegal to take organs from dead people if they did not give permission beforehand, so why should pregnant women, who are very much alive, not have the same ownership of their bodies?

3) Thanks to medical advances, abortions are now less of a risk
The chances of a woman dying during an abortion are not less than one in 100,000, due to medical advances and the fact that professionals know exactly how to carry out abortions safely. Having abortion legalised is not as risky as it once was.

4) It's impossible to enforce anti-abortion laws
The truth is, unwanted pregnancies will always exist and, whether abortions are legal or not, women who want or need one will always find a way to have one, whether that's by spending money to travel to a country where they can legally have an abortion or by doing it themselves unsafely. It seems to make much more sense to me to have legalise abortions so that women can have them safely and without shame because, if they're always going to happen, they may as well be done properly.

5) Abortion is humane 
Foetuses do not feel pain when an abortion is carried out. A foetus is said to be like a brain dead person and, therefore, has no feeling, self awareness or consciousness. It does not know the termination is happening and, in most cases, isn't even fully developed.

6) Abortions can prevent future suffering for a child
If a child were to be born with a severe illness or life-threatening disease, a woman or couple can choose not to inflict a lifetime of suffering and pain upon them by having an abortion.

7) Denying a woman of an abortion can cause future unhappiness for everyone, including the child
If a woman does not have an abortion when she wants one, it can result in her bringing a child into the world unwanted. A child is for life and having one is a big thing. Having a child requires devoting all of your time to them, immense planning and preparation then your whole world being transformed once they arrive. Anti-abortion laws results in women having to carry a pregnancy full term and give birth to a child they are not going to love, which is only going to impact negatively on both the mother and child, who will not be given full care or stability.

7) Abortion is not 'murder'
Abortion cannot be classed as 'murder' since a foetus is not legally or scientifically classed as a person. Since life begins at birth, not conception, abortion cannot be classed as 'taking a life.'

8) The anti-abortion argument is usually based on religious beliefs
Many arguments against the legalisation of abortion come from a religious position and, since the state and the church are supposed to be separate, it is not right to allow religious beliefs to interfere with politics and law.

9) Access to abortion is necessary as not all women can access contraception
Methods of contraception are not always readily available to all women, therefore, legal abortions should be accessible. Many times, women need a doctor's permission to access various methods of contraception, such as the pill, the patch and the shot.

10) Women and couples may not be able to financially support a child or raise a family
Many women or couples do not have the money to bring a child into the world, as raising one can be incredibly expensive. So, many do not want a child to be brought into the world to live a life of financial instability from day one.

11) Abortion reduces crime
Women such as teenage girls, unmarried women and poor women are more likely to have unintended pregnancies and, since they are less likely to be able to financially support a child, it can result in them turning to crime, like stealing, to provide for them and their child as they raise them in poverty.

12) Even when precautions are taken, pregnancies can still occur
It's all very well telling people to "be careful," however, even when people do take precautions, accidents can, and do often, happen. For some women and couples, an accidental pregnancy can be catastrophic. It can lead to the break up of families, tensions, mental health problems and pushing people to live below the poverty line. Therefore, legal abortions should be there as an option.


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