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The Discussion of Abortion The Abortion Pill, Politics & who is Abortion Targeting?




The discussion around abortion is complex, and it's essential to approach it with sensitivity and understanding. Supporting women means ensuring they have the information and resources they need to make choices that are best for their individual circumstances without coercion or undue pressure.


The goal of the conversation shouldn't be to make women feel guilty or ashamed about their choices but rather to address the broader issues and provide support and information.


Medical experts generally agree that abortion is not without risks. Repeated abortions can increase the risk of complications in future pregnancies and may have psychological impacts.


Abstinence is the only method that guarantees 100% protection against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The best approach depends on individual circumstances, values, and life goals.


For some, abstinence may be the preferred choice due to personal or moral reasons. For others, contraception and safe sex practices provide a more practical and sustainable approach to sexual health.


One of the arguments surrounding abortion is rape and incest; the percentage of abortions due to rape and incest is relatively small.


According to data from the Guttmacher Institute and other studies, A small percentage of abortions, typically estimated at around 1%, are performed because the pregnancy is a result of rape. Abortions due to incest are even less common, accounting for less than 0.5% of cases.


When should we consider something as living? Living things are composed of one or more cells, the basic life units. Combining biological facts and individual or societal values influences the definition of when life begins during embryonic development.


From a biological standpoint, some argue that life begins at conception when a sperm cell fertilizes an egg cell to form a zygote. This single-cell zygote contains a complete set of DNA and begins the process of cell division.


According to the criteria used to define life, an embryo is considered a living entity. Living organisms undergo growth and development through cell division and differentiation.


Abortion and Politics


Abortion is an intensely polarizing issue, often dividing voters along ideological lines. Politicians use their stance on abortion to align with the core values of their political base. For example, conservative politicians usually oppose abortion to appeal to religious and right-leaning voters, while liberal politicians support abortion rights to attract progressive and left-leaning voters.


Substantial money is made in the pharmaceutical industry, which includes the development, marketing, and sales of pharmaceutical drugs. This industry is one of the most profitable sectors globally.


Pharmaceutical companies invest heavily in marketing to both healthcare providers and consumers. They also spend large sums on lobbying to influence healthcare policies and regulations in their favor.


What is mifepristone, and why is it in the media?





Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is a medication used primarily for inducing medical abortions. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone, essential for maintaining pregnancy. Without progesterone, the uterine lining breaks down, and the pregnancy cannot continue. Mifepristone is typically used in combination with another drug, misoprostol, which induces contractions to expel the pregnancy tissue. This regimen is effective for terminating pregnancies up to 10 weeks gestation.


Mifepristone has other medical uses as well, including the treatment of Cushing's syndrome, certain types of cancer, and sometimes as part of the management of fibroids and endometriosis. The drug can have side effects such as cramping, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. Serious complications, while rare, can include heavy bleeding, infection, or incomplete abortion.


Access to mifepristone varies globally and is often subject to legal and regulatory restrictions. It is a focal point of political and ethical debates surrounding reproductive rights, particularly in countries where abortion is a contentious issue.



History of Planned Parenthood


The founder of Planned Parenthood was Margaret Sanger, who developed "The Negro Project" in 1939 as part of a plot to limit the Black population growth with abortions and sterilization.


In the New York University research paper "Birth Control or Race Control? Sanger and the Negro Project," she is quoted saying, "We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. "We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."


"This was a tactic to stop Blacks from having large families. Margaret had a better plan than the Klu Klux Klan, which has worked perfectly today. "


Historically, there have been issues around reproductive rights and control within marginalized communities. This includes the forced sterilizations and the legacy of the eugenics movement, which disproportionately targeted black and other minority communities. This history has led to a deep-seated mistrust of reproductive health services and policies among some members of the black community.


Both pro-life and pro-choice advocates often focus on the black community to bolster their arguments. Pro-life advocates may emphasize the high abortion rates among black women as a moral and social crisis, while pro-choice advocates may highlight the need for better access to reproductive health services and autonomy over reproductive choices as a matter of justice and equity.


Society should be vigilant and critical when a repeated agenda is being pushed, regardless of the context. Understand who is pushing the agenda and what their interests might be.


For instance, in the context of pharmaceutical drugs or abortion debates, recognize the roles of pharmaceutical companies, advocacy groups, and policymakers.


Consider whether financial gains are motivating the agenda. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, promoting certain medications often involves significant profit.


Evaluate the agenda's immediate and long-term impacts. Policies or actions that seem beneficial in the short term might have negative consequences in the long run.


Certain drugs might be marketed based on profit motives rather than public health needs. Critical evaluation can prevent overreliance on medications that might not be necessary or beneficial.


In the abortion debate, understanding the historical context of reproductive rights, evaluating the quality of evidence from both sides and considering the broader social implications are essential for forming a balanced view.




References:


Guttmacher Institute: A comprehensive survey by the Guttmacher Institute reported that 1% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. reported that they were doing so because they had been raped, and less than 0.5% cited incest as the reason.

  • Source: Jones, R. K., & Jerman, J. (2017). Characteristics and Circumstances of U.S. Women Who Obtain Very Early and Second-Trimester Abortions. PLOS ONE, 12(1), e0169969. Retrieved from Guttmacher Institute

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC's annual Abortion Surveillance Report also notes the reasons women report for seeking abortions, although it does not always break down the data to the level of specifying rape and incest separately.

  • Source: CDC. (2019). Abortion Surveillance - United States, 2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 68(11), 1-41. Retrieved from CDC


Citations

1. Ethical Perspectives: Marquis, D. (1989). Why abortion is immoral. The Journal of Philosophy, 86(4), 183-202.

2. Ethical Perspectives: Thomson, J. J. (1971). A defense of abortion. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 1(1), 47-66.

3. Health Risks: Raymond, E. G., & Grimes, D. A. (2012). The comparative safety of legal induced abortion and childbirth in the United States. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 119(2), 215-219.

4. Preventive Measures: Guttmacher Institute. (2018). Contraceptive Use in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org

5. Women’s Autonomy: Center for Reproductive Rights. (2020). Abortion Worldwide: 20 Years of Reform. Retrieved from https://reproductiverights.org

6. Women’s Autonomy: World Health Organization. (2012). Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems. 2nd edition. Retrieved from https://www.who.int

7. Access and Equity: Singh, S., Remez, L., Sedgh, G., Kwok, L., & Onda, T. (2018). Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org

8. Public Health Considerations: Grimes, D. A., et al. (2006). Unsafe abortion: the preventable pandemic. The Lancet, 368(9550), 1908-1919.



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