The Wrangler

An Issue of Safety, Not of Stubborness

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Photo Courtesy of The Grio

Photo Courtesy of The Grio

Photo Courtesy of The Grio

Carson Dike, Photojournalist

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As of this past January, a psychological survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center, in which surveyors sought to highlight the variance in viewpoints surrounding the controversial topic of abortion. From this study, it is perceivable that the overall support of physician-assisted abortion has slightly risen in the past five years, elevating from 54% approval in 2013 to 57% approval as of current day. But while the ratio of approval and disapproval wane towards support of the legalization of abortion by nearly 10%, abortion is still considered a topic of interest and moral dispute throughout the United States.

 

With views spanning from religious to personal, abortion is placed upon a contemptuous spectrum of support for the subject, conclusively appearing devoid of trend. But while opinions on this issue do seem to fluctuate “randomly” from person to person, it can be said that religious background, cultural affinity, and political party identification seem to play a pivotal role in one’s stance. Typically, the subgroups of “white evangelical Protestants” and “conservative Republicans” appear to house an overbearing discomfort and refutation towards the legality of abortion. And according to the Pew Research study, both of these popular factions contain disapproval rates of the subject at or above 30% higher than those agreeing with the practice that identify with the same party.

 

However, before we can house an opinion of any sort, we must be able to objectively understand the basis of what abortion actually is. Fundamentally, abortion is defined as the conscious expiry of a human pregnancy that is most commonly performed within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. As for the method of this evacuation, there are two types: an in-clinic abortion and medicated abortion. These two styles differ in the sense that an in-clinic abortion is one in which a medical professional carefully extracts the unborn fetus using medical instruments, and a medicated abortion is when one takes pharmaceuticals that ultimately cease the process mid-term and prepare the uterus to expel the pregnancy.  

 

Despite that these two classifications differ in their medical methodology, it has proven to be 98-99% effective, and they are regarded to be safe given that serious health problems are very uncommon post-procedure (Planned Parenthood). But like all medical operations, abortion does house risks such as an allergic reaction or heavy bleeding; however, these side effects are usually circumstantial and are elapsed over a temporal time period.

 

But why is it that abortion remains such an apprehensive subject even in the presence of conclusive evidence and advancements in modern medicine? As of now, humans house a definitive grasp on the prospects and processes of this medical procedure, but yet we are prone to such indifference that we neglect the possibility of understanding?

 

As of March 23, 2018, the Mississippi court system has cast a statewide deterrence on the practices of abortion, whether it be in-clinic or medicated, in response to the conservatism and principles based within the state itself. The case is called the Gestational Age Act, and it states that women will be effectively restricted from receiving an abortion after fifteen weeks of pregnancy. And although Mississippi has a very limited amount of abortion clinics, given that there are only two institutions throughout the entire state that are authorized to perform abortions, the issue still remains highly controversial towards the legality of this act passing.

 

Reproductive rights activists claim that this ban is in direct violation of the freedoms surrounding the principal right to an abortion granted by the Supreme Court Case, Roe vs Wade, in 1973. And not only is this a question of ethics, but primarily of safety, in the sense that women might be motivated to self-abort in a state of desperation and isolation by the legal system.

 

What makes this an even further complicated issue is that it also graces the scale of racial prejudice, given that Mississippi houses the highest percentage of black residents throughout the United States. Black women, in particular, are consistently targeted and demeaned by the prospect of racial bias, and they are more likely to be denied from receiving an abortion in the first place. But in the presence of this new limitation, many are questioning the furthered suppression of a Black woman’s ability to receive the necessary medical attention that she needs, and how it is effectively regressing the progression of the past.

 

Abortion isn’t a nuanced concept. In fact, nearly three out of every ten women in the United States will have had an abortion by the age of 45 (Planned Parenthood). And according to Brenda Perez (11), “those who house a state of hesitancy towards abortion, stem primarily from the lack of education surrounding the subject. If we were as a community to abandon our personal bias, we could strive for physical understanding and not be confined to our moral incomprehension.” Even though the idea of abortion has been around for centuries, the medical community finally has the proper tools and procedures to safely perform abortions, thus protecting the general health and welfare of women who choose this outlet.

 

It would be wise to abandon the strict adherence to a rigid social perception, whether that being through political party identification or personal belief, because the health and safety of another human should be the priority of society. The commonwealth shouldn’t actively deny the natural pregoratives of women, but support them in their decisions, whatever they choose to do. Abortion is an extremely sensitive topic and society shouldn’t demonize and demoralize what is misunderstood within culture. Ultimately, it comes down to the precipice of bodily consent, and that is a value in the United States that should not be threatened by the exultation of one’s ignorance.

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