Abortion has been a controversial issue since its existence. When does life begin, is it a baby or a fetus, and who decides if the baby or fetus has any rights; these are questions and concerns that will remain controversial issues for years to come. Abortion has been around for a long time and it affects more than just women. However, in society today women are the only ones who decide if the baby or fetus will live or die. Does giving the expectant mother all of the rights in determining if her unborn child will live or die create a division within the family structure? Does it mean that she has more rights to the baby or fetus than the father? Abortion can have traumatic effects on the paternal (father) parent as well as the maternal (mother) parent; both may develop emotional distress and disorders, including Posttraumatic Stress, Post Abortion Stress, relationship, and sexual dysfunctions. Pre-abortion counseling can reduce apprehension and embrace a more positive experience regarding the abortion decision. In this paper I will attempt to address these concerns and look at the history of abortion, the abortion process, the effects of abortion, legalization of abortion in America, how abortion affects the father, and if pre-abortion counseling affects the abortion decision.
OVERVIEW: The medical association has acknowledged that abortion can have traumatic effects on women (e.g. Post Abortion Syndrome); however men also can be affected by abortion. Women are given special considerations because they are the carrier of the unborn. Fathers are disregarded and overlooked as the seed or bloodline of life. Today, men have no legal rights, and are not given any consideration regarding the life or death for their unborn baby. The disregard and lack of concern about the traumatic effects abortion can have on the father is evident by the limited to nonexistent research available on this topic. Nonetheless, abortion has increased in America since its legalization in 1973 to an average of 3,700 a day, over 1.3 million abortions a year (Giratikanon, 2010). It appears that abortion has become an accepted form of birth control for many unwanted pregnancies. Females 25 years and younger have 50% of all abortions performed in the United States. Statistics show that they are not only young but also typically unmarried. Pregnant females are often in a crises situation and believe they have no other choice but to abort. Crises pregnancy centers can be instrumental in these situations; counselors are trained to provide the expectant mothers, vital information about her unborn child, and to present her with options. If a mother decides that she does not want to have her baby, she is shown feasible alternatives so she can make a knowledgeable and informed decision about the life inside of her.
BACKGROUND: The shortened definition of abortion (n.d.), according to Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, an abortion is the eradication or death of a human embryo or fetus, the deliberate ending of a pregnancy. The History of Abortion
Abortions or expulsions have been performed for thousands of years, usually as a luxury reserved for the wealthy. It is said that the first recorded abortion was by the Chinese between 500 - 515BC. Mercury was injected into pregnant women to induce early labor symptoms, then they were given nearly fatal poisonous potions, after which a variety of instruments would be inserted into the uterus to cause the ejection of the fetus. An abortion (n.d.), according to Online Etymology Dictionary, attempts to distinguish abortion from unintended miscarriages in the 19th century were; intentional or induced termination of the unborn infant between six weeks and up to six calendar months became known as an intentional miscarriage or abortion. The same six weeks through six calendar months, of premature labor became known as a miscarriage. The Abortion Process
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