Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is able to survive without depending on the mother. The loss of this is usually referred to as premature birth. Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures performed in many countries today. In some countries abortion is legalized while in others this is a criminal offence that can lead to prosecution. Globally, each year, 20 to 30 million legal abortions are performed while 10 to 20million illegal abortions do take place (Gnad, 2008). Abortions in most parts of the world are unsafe and, account for many deaths of women due to, many complication involved. In spite of modern, effective and readily available birth control methods, more than half of the pregnancies that happen in the world today are mostly unplanned. Many of these pregnancies end up in abortion. This has made abortion, a pertinent issue that this paper tries to discuss about.
Firstly, abortion in the world today comes in many types. Abortion performed before the end of seven weeks from the time of conception is usually done surgically or by use of drugs. From nine weeks to fourteen weeks, abortion is usually performed by a procedure known as dilatation and suction curettage. After fourteen weeks, abortion is performed using a procedure referred to as dilatation and evacuation procedure (Michael, 2000). After expiry of 20 weeks after conception, abortion can only be performed by labor induction, saline infusion or hysterectomy. Medical abortion refers to abortion induced by medication taken by the mother. It can be taken as a single pill or as a series of pills. Medical abortion is preferred by many women compared to the surgical abortion in that there are no damages to woman cervix.
There are reason that are given by different people to justify abortion for example, in case of rape, incest, health problems, possible health problems, unready, immaturity or young to have child, problems with relationship, avoiding single parenthood ,husband wants her to have abortion, can't afford baby now, unmarried person, student or planning to study, financial hardship, can't afford basic life needs, unemployed, can't leave job to care for baby, would have to find new place to live, not enough support from husband, would interfere with career plans, would interfere with care of children or dependents, doesn't want others to know she had relations or is pregnant .
Consequently, there are many complications and problems associated with having an abortion. Some of the effects are psychological effects (Torr, 2006). Emotions that follow after abortion usually do affect a woman psychological. Some of these emotions include guilty feelings, anxiety, depression, anger, and even suicide feelings. Apart from emotional effects, there are many complication associated with abortion. Bladder Injury that can occur if uterus is perforated and the bladder touched (Gnad, 2008). Bowel Injury that happens when uterus is pierced, intestines can be damaged. This can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever, blood in stool, peritonitis and even death if not treated fast. Women who have aborted are known to a have higher rates of breast cancer in future. Abortion has effects on Future Pregnancies; a woman is likely to bleed in the first three months of future pregnancies.
Hemorrhage is another effect of abortion. Blood transfusion may be required due to bleeding from an abortion. About 1 out of 20 women suffer Laceration of the Cervix during an abortion (Michael, 2000). This causes high chance of miscarriage in the next pregnancy. A problem would occur in case the doctor leaves pieces of the baby, placenta, umbilical cord, or amniotic sac in the body, mother may develop pain and bleeding.
In conclusion, abortion has remained a complex legal and ethical debate today. People continue to argue if and when abortion should be regulated. It continues to raise contentious issues that are: is it immoral? Is it right? Is it justifiable? Is it a safe process? Is it morally wrong? Is it Godly? Abortion is a tragedy, and not if it is undertaken to safeguard life it should be avoided as much as possible. Thirty or so years from now a majority of babies saved from abortion will be glad to be alive.