Abortion rights have long been a taboo in major regions of the world. In the past couple of decades, numerous governments around the globe have banned abortion unless there is a medical threat to the mother’s life, and a few countries do not allow abortion even in life-threatening cases. Today, some of the most progressive countries are ushering strict laws against abortion.
But why are women being denied the right over their own bodies? What is behind the world’s anti-abortion sentiments?
Why is The World Against Abortion Rights?
Before answering this steaming question, one should clear up that abortion is not anti-life and definitely not murder. Abortion is the termination of pregnancy in which the embryo, fetus, or placenta is removed from the body through medicines or surgeries. It could be immensely painful for the mother both physically and emotionally, going through abortion could cause a post-abortion syndrome leading to numerous mental health adversities because of which women take every precaution beforehand.; but unwanted pregnancy is realities of life, the same as failed birth control and rapes.
Unforeseeable economic conditions like joblessness, mental instability due to the death of the partner, a threat to health, etc could make the mother emotionally, mentally, and physically unprepared to carry and raise a child.
Today 26 countries completely ban abortion even in the case of rape or when bearing the child is a life-threatening risk to the mother’s health. 90 million women living in these 26 countries that make up 5% of the women population of reproductive age globally are prohibited the right over their own body. Whereas 39 countries, allow abortion only when the women’s health is at grave risk, 360 million women living in these 39 countries, making up 22% of reproductive age women are affected by the ban.
The reason behind a large section of the world being anti-abortion is the belief that the fetus feels pain while the process of abortion. But the fact is that the fetus can start feeling pain or any other living sensation only after 26 weeks of fertilization. Given the fact, the upper limit for abortion according to medical experts in 24-weeks.
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, “the fetal perception of pain cannot occur before 24 weeks of gestation.”
Heartbeat Bill, Texas
The recent bill passed in Texas knowns as the Heartbeat Bill completely bans abortion after 6-weeks of pregnancy. The fact is that most of the women don’t even realize that they are pregnant, but doctors performing abortions post-6-weeks can face criminal charges.
In 1953, the US supreme could affirm that access to legal and safe abortion is a constitutional right. But many American states, namely Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi Louisiana, Kentucky, Georgia, and Missouri states are asking the court to re-examine abortion rights, and the court has agreed to hear the arguments.
In many countries where abortion is not prohibited, the governments have made sure to mold the laws to make the process of abortion as expensive and exhausting as possible by imposing medically unnecessary requirements on abortion and women’s health care centers. More popularly known as TRAP (Targeted Restriction on Abortion Provider) laws, these regulations aim to put numerous challenging hurdles in the way of abortion providers to make the facility difficult to access for women.
Pro-abortion ban lawmakers justify the prohibition as a safety measure for women’s health during surgical processes. But, according to the Abortion Surveillance United States, 2012, about 91.4% of all abortions are carried out in the first trimester of pregnancy where the process can be successfully completed just by medications, neither of which requires large medical facilities. Furthermore, the surveillance found that legal abortions have a mortality rate of 0.00073%.
The myths like abortions could severely impact women’s health by increasing the risk of excessive bleeding, damage of inner organs, and breast cancer; all of which have no medical research evidence as proof; further promotes the anti-abortion sentiments.
Why is abortion right not a human right?
One sad but real truth is that banning abortion will not completely eradicate abortion, it would just force the women to illegal centers and practitioners performing abortions undercover with almost no proper equipment, endangering the lives of women along with inviting numerous health problems. Closing all the doors for women is not the way to solve the problem of unwanted pregnancies, promoting proper sex education, and medical facilities are the way that could lead to a more healthy society.
Abortion in the case of health risks and rapes should be allowed even without considering illegalizing the abortion practice in this case. But the right to choose whether a woman is ready to bear a child should not be anybody else’s but of hers. The right over ones’ body should not be snatched away from any person, it’s a clear violation of basic human rights.