Abortion rights are human rights

By Victoria Giordano
April 22, 2022

Women protesting their abortion rights. Photo taken from The New York Times.
Women protesting their abortion rights. Photo taken from The New York Times.

For many years, women all over the world have turned to the process of abortion to manage their unplanned pregnancies. In today’s day and age, it has grown to be one of the most global controversial issues. As a young adult woman, I strongly believe that all women of the world should be able to decide whether or not they want an abortion.

According to WHO (the World Health Organization), six out of 10 unintended pregnancies and three out of 10 pregnancies are ended with an abortion. 

The Center for Reproductive Rights state at least 50 countries in six continents have their own laws on limited and non-limited access to abortion.

Australia, China, Russia, South Africa, the U.S. and most Asian and European countries allow women a 12-week gestational limit for abortion. Although, Brazil and Mexico permit abortion when the women’s life is at risk. India and the U.K. permit abortion under a broad range of circumstances. Egypt, Madagascar and the Philippines are some of the few nations that do not permit abortion under any circumstances.

A map of the world and the nation’s laws. Photo taken from DW.

In the U.S., each state also has their own laws on abortion rights.

Some women in states like California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are lucky enough to have access to abortions. In Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada and Rhode Island, women don’t have access to an abortion but their rights are protected. In the rest of the states, abortion rights are either hostile or not protected. The state of Oklahoma just passed a bill on a woman who performs an abortion facing up to at least 10 years in prison, along with a $100,000 fine.

From what I have learned and observed from people’s experiences, there are a variety of reasons a woman decides to abort an unborn baby.

Here is a few of them: 

For starters, many couples do not want children. If the woman gets impregnated, the couple can decide to abort their unborn baby.

Another case scenario is if a woman is trapped in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. The woman most likely would not want her child to grow up having an abusive father.

Mental health is another major reason. The woman, her lover or the couple altogether could be struggling with underlying issues and may have to reconsider whether they want their child to inherit their every day struggles. 

Age can play a huge factor in parenting. If a girl between the ages of 12 and 17 unexpectedly gets pregnant, the girl is too young to become a parent and must take the chance in aborting the baby. If the girl is 18 and older, she too, has the option of aborting the baby or, since she is of age, care for the child. 

Women protesting their abortion rights. Photo taken from The New York Times.

The other reason is the worst of them all, sexual assault. If a woman is sexually assaulted, the pregnancy is a result of a great bodily injury, according to the Supreme Court of CaliforniaLet’s consider that for minors especially. One celebrity who was impregnated by her rapist was pop star Lady Gaga. She openly shared with the Los Angeles Times on how she suffered from a “psychotic break” after being raped at 19 and was “dropped off the corner pregnant.” She didn’t share if she got an abortion or not.

Besides the troubling circumstances, there are a couple of other options a woman can choose from other than abortion such as giving the baby up for adoption or taking the initiative to be its parent.

Throughout the years regarding the problem of nations’ laws on abortion, women worldwide have been fighting for their rights. It is a fight that shall not stop until all abortion rights are legalized and limited for women worldwide. 

A woman has the right to do whatever she desires with her body. If she is not respected with that choice, it is considered a human right violation. Abortion rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. 

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Victoria Giordano

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