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Abortion and the Modern Woman

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Abortion and the Modern Woman

An induced abortion is the removal of an embryo or fetus before it is able to survive on its own outside of the uterus. Induced abortions can be carried out in multiple ways. A medical abortion is a non-invasive procedure where the impregnated woman takes two pills that cause the embryo to first, detach from the uterine wall then causes the uterus to expel the embryo through period like bleeding. The success rate of medical abortion is approximately in the ninetieth percentile and the side effects are miniscule. There are several methods for a surgical abortion, but the most common method is vacuum aspiration. It uses suction from a medical syringe to remove the embryo or fetus, placenta and membranes. Surgical abortion’s success rate is also in the ninetieth percentile and its side effects are similar to those of medical abortion. They include, nausea, bleeding, and cramping.

Having an unwanted pregnancy can be stressful for the woman carrying the baby and other people involved. It’s often argued that abortion is the murder of an innocent individual. However, abortions are performed within the first nine weeks of gestation. During this time, the “baby” is still an embryo and is not self-aware. More importantly, at this point in the pregnancy the embryo is unable to sense pain, or anything else for that matter. The embryo also has no feelings because emotions are taught from interactions with other humans or living things in general. Saying that an embryo is “human” is an invalid statement. A human is not just genes, chromosomes and alleles, all living things have these. In fact, humans share up to 75% of their DNA with chickens, but, not many humans call it murder when millions of chicken embryos are eaten daily. What makes someone or something human is a debate that will outlive the span of time itself, but, regardless of the definition of a human, an embryo is not it.

Having the choice to have an abortion is not only empowering, it can quite literally be the difference between life and death. 21.6 million women undergo an illegal abortion every year. Of this 21.6 million, 47 000 women die from various complications during the procedure. 18.5 million of these unsafe abortions occur in developing countries. However, the devastating effects of unsafe abortions also occur closer to home. In 1963 a woman, by the name of Gerri Santoro living in the United States, became the symbol for pro-choice after some mournful circumstances. After having an extramarital affair, Santoro became pregnant. Fearing for her life at the hands of her estranged husband, she attempted a self-induced abortion, and unfortunately, she began to hemorrhage and she eventually died. Her body was found the next morning, contorted in an uncomfortable looking position, over a blood-soaked towel. The police took a picture of her body for their investigation and it became publicized.

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