Abortion is one of the most controversial topic today. “More than one million abortions are performed each year in the United States, and an estimated total of 54 million pregnancies have been terminated since 1973, according to Guttmacher Institute data” (Wetzstein). In U.S.A. many states are banning abortion because of the growing numbers of abortion performed but there should be exceptions in some cases. Pregnancies due to rape/incest, teen pregnancies, and complicated pregnancies should be allowed to do abortion.
Abortion is to put an end to pregnancy or termination of pregnancy. There are many procedures of abortion depending on trimesters. Abortion can be ended using medical method by taking pills or by surgical method depending on the stage of pregnancy. Risks are greater in second trimester when compared to first trimester. Many states are imposing restriction on abortion after certain weeks because of many reasons and side effects. One of the main reason is that the fetus can feel pain during abortion.
Some studies proved that fetus can feel pain as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy. “One of the first clues that fetuses might feel pain came in the early 1990s, when researchers in England stuck needles into second-trimester fetuses and observed the release of pain-related hormones and nerve-signaling molecules. Before that, doctors thought the fetal nervous system was too undeveloped to feel pain. Even newborns endured surgeries without anesthesia” (Sohn 1). Usually a full term pregnancy is about 40 weeks, but a baby born after 22 weeks can survive because of the fetal development. In 20 weeks the fetus can take the form of a baby with complete fingers, ears, toes. Organs like brain, kidney, liver, and stomach are functioning and measure about 12 inches! Sohn also mentions:
“Anand said, studies have shown that the fetal brain and body are coordinated enough to experience pain by between about 18 and 20 weeks. When a fetus of that age gets a blood transfusion, for example, changes in heart rate and blood pressure accompany shifts in circulation and spikes in stress hormones. A morphine-like drug calms all of those responses down” (2).
Another studies shows proofed fetus can feels pain at 8 week. If a needle or stick is poked to 8 week fetus the immediate reaction will be the fetus will open mouth and retract that particular part of body. This is no different than a new born baby. “By eight weeks the neuro-anatomic structures are present. What is needed is (1) a sensory nerve to feel the pain and send a message to (2) the thalamus, a part of the base of the brain, and (3) motor nerves that send a message to that area. These are present at eight weeks. The pain impulse goes to the thalamus. It sends a signal down the motor nerves to pull away from the hurt” (“AbortionFacts”).
Some religions do not allow abortion but some religions allow because of few exception like rape/incest and it should be done in certain period of time. In Christianity, the mental health of the women is important, which is not in the case of rape or incest. So abortion is allowed because of the injustice and tragic incident that would remind the mother for nine months. This mental disturbance can cause harm to both baby and mother. The value of mother’s mental health is more importance than the value of fetus in the case of rape or incest (Abortion).
Islam also gives permission to abort the baby in the case of pregnancy due to rape or incest within the first forty days that is around five – six weeks or before the soul is blown in the embryo. “Undoubtedly the rape of a Muslim woman by an evil enemy is a strong reason for the Muslim woman and for her family to have an abortion. For she will hate this fetus, the result of this iniquitous attack, and she will want to get rid of it. So this concession is to be given because of necessity, especially in the first days of the pregnancy” (Janeen).
Even the Orthodox