Are Women Who Get Abortions Treated Unfairly?

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While researching women who get abortions I was surprised by the process in which abortion is chosen. It is not a simple process and is very emotionally draining for everyone involved. There are many factors that go into women not only getting an abortion but also considering it in the first place. In this paper I will discuss two peer reviewed articles that discuss the different factors that limit women’s rights to considering abortion and three journal articles that show ways women are punished for choosing abortion. An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion. (abortionno.org) The study done in 2006 named Statistical Abstract of the United States by James Henslin presents a table listing who has abortions. Women from the ages of 20-24 make up 434,000 of abortions done yearly. In addition it is seen that white unmarried women have more abortions than unmarried minority women. (Henslin and Fowler, 2009) Abortion is a very complex and personal decision that has to be made by women daily. Many factors must be taken into consideration before reaching the selection of getting an abortion. Religion, emotions, laws, and family sway women to not get abortions. Many religions are against aborting and religious individuals take this seriously. Many women will feel extreme guilt because of religion, this guilt can destroy a person who gets an abortion or some who doesn’t abort and is left with an unwanted baby. The American law doesn’t make it easy for women to get abortions. There are not many clinics that offer abortions. In addition to that the stigma associated with women who get abortions are so negative. It makes women feel ashamed of a decision that could be their best alternative. Emotions can also get in the way of a woman getting an abortion. Many times in such emotional situations people don’t see clearly. Without the support of family and the availability of doctors for guidance is hard for woman to separate their feelings and do what is needed. Gender differences play a large role in societies across the world. The study of gender roles is important since it aids our understanding of society's beliefs about a range of issues that affect women. A study done in South Africa examines gender differences in gender role attitudes and attitudes to abortion in a sample of young South African students taken from a historically disadvantaged university campus. Religiosity and religion were statistically controlled in the study. In general women had more egalitarian attitudes then men. Female college students were found to be more approving of abortion for reasons pertaining to the baby and mothers health while males were more approving of abortion for light reasons such as gender. Female students appeared to be more positive on issues of women's autonomy in the abortion decision-making process than the male sample. No differences were found on availability and moral acceptability of abortion. (Patel and Johns, 2004) In Wang’s study titled Social and cultural determinants of attitudes toward abortion: a test of Reiss' hypotheses it was found that individuals' attitudes toward abortion can be largely explained by education, gender-role attitudes, fundamentalist beliefs, and motivation to have children. The observed findings have several important implications. The results indicate that those who endorse the traditional division of labor and defend women's traditional roles are less likely to support abortion and that those who support equality in women's role in politics and workplace are more likely to support abortion. In addition more educated people tend to demonstrate an egalitarian attitude toward women's role in society. (Wang 2004) The results of the above study were very surprising to me. I thought that in a society like South Africa where 55% of...
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