The United Nations is recognized as a global standard in formulating different types of laws that should be strictly followed by its subordinates. It is where the human rights of every person is recognized and treated equally. As we tackle the issue about abortion and it’s relation to human rights, first we must define what it is. According to Shiel (2018), abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception from the uterus where it is a process where the mother chooses to end her pregnancy. This brings up the issue of the matter, at what time period does a fetus have to be to be designated as a “Human”, at what time frame do we recognize it as a human that has rights that cannot be trampled, or as a part of the mother of which all responsibility still falls under the shoulders of the mother. This paper will tackle whether abortion violates the human rights of the mother or not.
Abortion has been present even during the pre-historic time. There are several historic and modern methods of how it is done. During the process of abortion, not only the fetus is affected but the mother as well since it is operated on her body. According to a global report regarding abortion last 2018, 8 to 11 percent of the reason behind maternal deaths is due to abortion (Human Rights Watch, 2019). In addition to this, it is written under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically under Article 5 that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The very fact that the life of the mother is at risk while undergoing the process of abortion, is an enough reason why it violates the human rights of the mother. There are several disadvantages and danger that comes along with having the procedure done which is supported by several studies. Abortion affects both the physical and the psychological well-being of the mother.
One of the consequences that come with it is that the mother might have a chance to experience psychological problems after the procedure. According to Thorp (2003), there are a lot of psychological consequences that might affect the mother because of abortion. These are drug abuse, eating disorder, depression, attempted suicide, guilt, regret, and decreased self-esteem. Mental health issue can affect the capacity of a mother to do a certain work. Without proper function of the psychological aspect, it is difficult for the mother to do even simple tasks. Another issue when it comes to abortion is that physical damage associated with it. According to Cates (1980), dilating the cervix increases the cervical incompetence of the mother.
During the process of abortion, abortionist use different medical instruments. In order for the medical instruments to pass through, the cervix should be stretched and because of this procedure, those instruments might be the reason to damage the cervix that might cause infection and bleeding. A study published by the peer-reviewed International Journal of Epidemiology (2003) estimated that about 15% of first-trimester miscarriages are attributed to a prior history of induced abortion, and stated that ‘Induced abortion by vacuum aspiration is associated with an increased risk of first-trimester miscarriage in the subsequent pregnancy.’ Therefore, if a mother decides later on to keep a child while she has a history of abortion, it is possible that it could only lead to miscarriage and she might have a hard time keeping the baby. Abortion can be considered as a violation of the human rights of the mother since it threatens the life and health of the mother, hence, could lead to death.
On the other hand, according to Johnson (2015), complications from pregnancy of childbirth can lead a woman to death. A woman has the right to choose abortion because it is her body and she has the freedom to control over it. It is not a violation of human rights if the mother herself is the one who wanted to abort it. It could be that there are complications to her pregnancy that compelled her to do so. Therefore abortion is something to do with survival which helps a woman to live her life and enhance her well being. Many women cannot afford having a child which causes too many expenses and because of these financial difficulties, this can be a factor leading a woman to live her life in poverty. If poverty has become a part of a woman’s life it will be hard for them to live.
For example, if a woman can’t afford education for herself then financial difficulties may prevent them from having a right to education and to secure their life in the future. Abortion is not only to solve a pressing personal problem but also to improve a person’s long term well being (Johnson, 2015). According to Luhrmann (1979), abortion provides the possibility of improving the quality of life and motherhood is a remarkably special bond between mother and child, perhaps the most important relationship we ever have. A mother has the right to limit her children; with the process of abortion it is not only her life that might benefit with it, but also the life of her spouse and children as well. The life of the mother really matters because a child needs strong emotional affection when raising them. Mothers play a very important role when it comes to family, she took care of their child, providing them with their needs and also responsible in shaping their behavior. Another benefit of abortion is that it can help minimize the overpopulation happening in our world today. According to Johnson (2015), abortion has the power to save the lives of people other than mothers and their children.
Avoiding overpopulation in our society is also avoiding the causes followed by it. For example, if our society is overpopulated poverty might occur and with this circumstance, chances are high that hunger and malnutrition might follow. In the connection with the human rights, having a very large family and having a lot of children is a burden to the responsibility of the mother. If the mother has low-paying job, therefore it is difficult for her to feed her children, provide their needs, and their security. The mother has the right to freedom to choose what she wants to do with her body. If abortion is the right thing to do to overcome these problems, then she has the right to do it because the mother may not improve the quality of her life if she will face these circumstances with her whole life. The issue about abortion is a very controversial one that falls in the area of good and bad. Life really matters such as to save the life of the mother; if it is necessary to do the procedure then abortion may be the main choice to save the life.
Abortion is a topic that is both controversial, but falls in a gray area of good and bad. Our verdict is that, it is a woman’s right to decide for herself and that the state should not prohibit a woman no matter what her reason may be.