Abortion in This Day and Age It Term Paper

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In this day and age it is almost impossible to find a more highly charged issue than that of abortion. Every man and woman appears to have an opinion if not personal experience or knows a family member who has had to make the decision about an unplanned pregnancy. But whether your feelings are based on religious beliefs or personal or family experience, there are some interesting statistics which may make one think twice before having an abortion rather than giving up a child for adoption.

From 1990 (the year in which the number of abortions was highest) to 1995, the annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States declined by 15%. From 1995 to 1996, the number increased slightly and then decreased again in 1997. This change in the number of abortions reported to the Centers for Disease Control may indicate that the number of legal abortions in the United States is leveling off.

Since 1990, factors contributing to the continued decrease in the proportion of pregnancies that ended in abortion might include a decrease in the number of unintended pregnancies, changes in contraceptive practices (including an increased use of condoms among young women), reduced access to abortion services, and possible changes in attitudes concerning abortion.

It is difficult to separate fact from fiction in the study of after effects of abortion. The ideas stated appear to change based on the point-of-view of the speaker. Pro-life advocates speak of a post-abortion syndrome characterized by depression, anxiety and life long remorse related to the act of abortion. Both pro-life and pro-abortion sides are able to provide equally persuasive studies and statistics.
Planned Parenthood reports that women who have had one abortion do not suffer adverse psychological effects. One report states that as a group, women who have chosen abortion over adoption in the case of unplanned pregnancy have higher self-esteem, greater feelings of worth and capableness, and fewer feelings of failure than do women who have had no abortions or who have had repeat abortions (Zabin et al., 1989; Russo & Zierk, 1992). Another Planned Parenthood citation shows a recent two-year study of the psychological effects of abortion reporting. that most women do not experience psychological problems or regrets two years after their abortion. (Major et al., 2000). An article published in a Pro-life publication states that psychological problems following induced abortion undoubtedly occur. They cite meta-analysis of 24 studies with different assessment methods and follow-up periods found about a 10% incidence of negative psychological outcome. A meta-analysis of ten articles from 1998 showed that the levels of depression and anxiety decreased once abortion had taken place, but that 'induced abortion may yield both negative and positive effects (Martucci, J, 1998). Women who experience decision-making difficulties and may lack social support may experience negative emotional consequences to induced abortion.

Although it is true that anyone can cite any statistic they want in support of their feelings, it only takes a bit of common sense to feel that any woman will most likely do better if an unwanted pregnancy is given up for adoption rather than aborted. It is almost universal that woman feel maternal instinct and even in the case of unplanned pregnancy there will likely be.....

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