The general definition of abortion is the destruction of an embryo or a fetus. The latter terms define the initial stages of human development following conception. The termination of the pregnancy results in the expulsion of the mentioned embryo or fetus. Abortion can occur in two ways. One form occurs without intervention and is described as a miscarriage. Here, the termination of the pregnancy occurs spontaneously despite the fetus’s viability. The fetus’s viability is described as the stage in pregnancy where the fetus has developed beyond 500 grams. Abortions are considered preclinical if they occur within five weeks of pregnancy and clinical within five to twenty weeks (McNair and Altman 438). A majority of pregnancies are at risk of miscarriage due to underlying medical conditions. On the other hand, deliberate steps can be taken to terminate a pregnancy giving rise to the alternate form of abortion: induced abortion. Consequently, the term abortion is commonly applied instead of induced abortion by the general population. Here, the same will apply. This form of abortion should not be considered a form of birth control despite preventing childbirth.

According to a report by the World Health Organization, standard abortion procedures include surgical abortion conducted 12-16 weeks into pregnancy, where suction is applied to remove the contents of the uterus. The other standard procedure is a medical abortion performed within the first seven to nine weeks of pregnancy. It involves using medication to induce abortion (WHO section 2, p. 22-23).

Whether abortion should be allowed or illegalized continues to divide individuals worldwide. Other than the legal implications over whether abortion should be allowed or not, several other factors arise around the topic, not limited to medical and ethical concerns about the procedure. While the procedure is clinically safe when correctly done, the factors mentioned earlier divide individuals into two fronts; proponents of the case or ‘pro-choice,’ who argue that abortion is a matter of individual choice that should not be limited by relevant authorities while considering fetal rights and opponents of abortion or ‘pro-life,’ who claim that individual life starts at conception. Therefore, abortion is the unethical termination of human life. Furthermore, they claim that it is unfair to couples who cannot conceive but are willing to adopt. Varying arguments exist between both sides of the debate, with disparities among proponents where some argue that the procedure should only be a choice of the last. In contrast, others commend unrestricted access under any circumstance. Simultaneously, while opponents disagree with the act, they accept it within critical exceptions such as rape or when the mother’s health is at risk.

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Despite the various arguments made by both sides, abortion remains a critical subject that should be illegalized or criminalized by law. Abortion should not be allowed as a fundamental right since it provides loopholes for its abuse. While this standing may seem harsh, it should be acknowledged that critical concerns, as mentioned earlier, should be the allowed exceptions (instances of rape and health hazards). If decriminalized and left to the individual to choose, instances of irresponsibility may arise, where individuals forgo taking responsibility for sexual activities or raising a child. Simultaneously, instances of immorality are bound to increase. Abortion remains wrong when viewed from numerous perspectives. A few notable views include the religious considerations of life, the ethical/moral questions on abortion, the medical considerations, and the psychological effects of abortion on the human mind.

Medical Implications (Physical and Psychological)

Abortions have been clinically proven to cause psychological damage. A peer-reviewed study on young adult women conducted by Pedersen revealed that subjects who underwent abortion are more at risk of subsequent depression beyond the accepted threshold (426-427). Similar studies support this claim, revealing that women who proceed with abortion are 154% more likely to commit suicide than those who do not. Alternatively, as documented by Hang (124-127), subjects of abortion are more likely to suffer guilt and stigma, leading to their seclusion from the community, as in the case of Thuận. The fear of revealing to others the procedure weighs heavily on an individual and contributes to a degrading mental state in several instances. Alternatively, the thought of the death of the fetus plagues the individuals that proceed with the abortion. The combination of the effects mentioned is detrimental to parents’ health who proceed with an abortion, particularly the woman. The implications presented lead to the silent suffering of individuals that limits their adequate access to proper reproductive health.

While abortion is generally considered safe if correctly done, numerous medical implications must be addressed. In the short term, the physical symptoms may be manageable. However, not all instances of abortion have similar implications. In most countries, abortion is an illegal act criminalized by law. Consequently, most of the procedures done in such countries are often illegal. Since most are not done clinically, most individuals resort to midwives, non-medical providers, or self-conducted procedures. The result of such abortions indicates that the results are not medically conducive. According to Erfani (97), such procedures indicate a 57% chance of complications in Iran. Moreover, reviewed cases reveal that a third of women report continued bleeding, and slightly more than a tenth report menstrual disorders, infections, or other problems. These findings’ significance infers that abortions provided outside professional settings are more likely to result in the listed medical complications. Since the trend discussed is prevalent in most countries, abortion could potentially lead to instances of medical complications worldwide.

Religious Considerations

Viewing abortion from a religious standpoint, all evidence points that the act is forbidden. Taking an example of Christianity, the Bible mentions several instances where abortion is not allowed. The proclamation stated in the Bible is attributed to the protection of all life. Consequently, the claim that all life is sacred and must be protected includes that in the womb. The portrayal of the protection of life can be found in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The lord’s compassion for the unborn can be seen in the Books of Jeremiah and Isaiah, which share the same line of thought (Jeremiah. 1:4-5; Isaiah. 49:1b). The spiritual call of the Lord denotes that there is no barrier in life, whether prenatal or postnatal. Therefore, the proceeding claim is that religion considers preborn children as individuals with full personhood. The Bible is generally considered a pro-life book. Furthermore, it lays the foundations for human interaction, given that most practices, including law, borrow from the scripture. The exact inference can be drawn from other scriptures from different religions. Since all religion advocates for life, abortion is considered wrongful. Individuals cannot be practitioners of faith yet go against its teachings. One famous commandment of the Christian faith is ‘do not kill.’ Abortion is a direct violation of this simple commandment. A claim could be made that similar laws and teachings do not bind atheists. However, the majority of individuals are religious and conform to these laws. It can be argued that religion provides a guiding framework that all individuals of society enjoy regardless of whether one is a believer.

Ethical/Moral Considerations

Ethical and moral concerns within society are primarily based on religion. Therefore, it is evident that the same considerations apply when abortion is considered. Nonetheless, numerous ethical concerns exist that are not primarily dependent on the bible but generally accepted within society. It is morally acceptable that no individual should subject another to pain or discomfort. Following this argument, scientific research has proven that fetuses feel pain during an abortion. According to Griffith (116), at specific developmental stages of the fetus, it is determined that brain activity that is connected to tactile stimulation can be observed. Contemporary science reveals that this occurs in the first trimester. While it has not been directly confirmed that they feel pain, the responses observed (from ultrasounds) during abortions, such as the mouth opening, suggest that pain is involved. As Griffith further states, while the neurophysiological occurrences are not proven to be pain, it does not imply that the feelings do not occur. The significance of the stated scientific findings begs why abortion is performed. No adult human being would accept subjection to excruciating pain. The methods discussed earlier under surgical abortion include physical processes that would be devastating when comparatively performed on an adult. An instance is where incisions have to be made, and the fetus is cut away from the womb. No sane individual would agree to undergo a similar procedure involving no medical concerns. Thus fetuses must not undergo similar procedures. As argued previously, under religious concerns, a similar moral standing can be made that it is ethically inconsiderate to take another individual’s right to life. Furthermore, it is inconsiderate to the target under the assumption that fetuses are not independent or self-determining beings.

Alternatively, the ethical argument can be viewed from the clinician’s moral obligation. A qualified medical practician should conduct an abortion procedure. However, the original text of the Hippocratic Oath taken by all medical practitioners demands that any medical practice should be done following accepted ethical practices. Taking a life through abortion is forbidden as the oath includes a spiritual reference to God. Thus, performing an abortion creates a moral deviation from the expectation. Such practitioners should not practice medicine as a result.

Opposing View

Proponents of the abortion debate claim that the decision to have a child is central to a woman’s rights and economic well-being. According to the IWPR (1), the limitation of access to abortion for women is detrimental to their financial and socioeconomic status. The critical pointers revealed in the research were educational attainment, labor market participation, effects on the next generation, and fertility effects. While the attached evidence to the findings is sound considering their viewpoints, the claims made by the IWPR present themselves as selfish. The inferences drawn from the publication are that women can opt-out of pregnancies out of choice and pursue their careers. The immediate consequence is that some, if not most, women are likely to consider abortion as a birth control method. Alternatively, the case of Roe v. Wade highlights the consequences of decriminalization of abortion. Furthermore, this claim contradicts the moral obligation to preserve life. Additionally, accountability for illicit sexual relations is immediately ignored. Only instances of rape or maternal health concerns can be considered.


Abortion remains a controversial topic where arguments from both ends hold significance. However, based on the medical, religious, and ethical concerns highlighted, abortion should be illegal by law other than in the exceptional cases mentioned.

Works Cited

Erfani, Amir. “Levels, Trends and Correlates of Abortion in Tehran, Iran: 2009–2014.” International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 42.2 (2016): 93-101. PDF Document. <>.

Griffith, Stephen. “Fetal Death, Fetal Pain, and the Moral Standing of a Fetus.” Public Affairs Quarterly 9.2 (1995): 115-126.

HANG, TRAN. After the Abortion: Suffering, Silence and Spiritual Relief. ANU Press, 2018.

IWPR. “The Economic Effects of Abortion Access: A Review of the Evidence.” Evidence Review Research. 2019. PDF. <>.

McNair, Tiffany and Kristiina Altman. “Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss.” Hurt, Joseph. The Johns Hopkins Manual of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012. 438-439.

PEDERSEN, WILLY. “Abortion and Depression: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study of Young Women.” Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 36.4 (2008): 424-428.

The Holy Bible. English Standard Version. ESV. Good News Publishers.

WHO. “Clinical practice handbook for Safe abortion.” Report. 2014. PDF. <>.