Abortion is a practice that has existed for many centuries. Until today, it is still one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. According to studies, one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches the age of 45. The Guttmacher Institute (2008) says that 57% of women having abortions are in their 20s.
Texas is one of the States which has one of the highest rates of abortion. In 2005, out of 1.2 million American women who obtained abortions, 85,760 obtained their abortion in Texas. The present trend in Texas however shows that abortion rates have started to decline since 2000. Based on studies, abortion rates substantially declined for women between the ages of 15 to 18. Specifically, abortion rates dropped among 18-year old women from 27.7% to 25.8%. (Linda A. Johnson 2) The trend was present among 17 year-old women from 18.7% to 14.5% and from 12.1% to 9.0% among 16-year old women.
News reports say that the decline in abortion rates in Texas can be attributed to the parental notification laws and parental consent laws. (“Impact of parental notice law seen in drop in teen abortions”) While the trend towards abortion decline has existed even before 2000, news reports say that parental notification laws and parental consent laws have hastened this decline.
The statements from these news reports are far from the truth. Parental notification and consent laws are laws that require pregnant minors to notify their parents or secure their written consent before obtaining an abortion. These news reports make it appear that the reason why fewer pregnant women today seek abortion is because they are prevented by their parents from undergoing it. The reality is that laws cannot prevent women from having an abortion. Majority of women who undergo abortion are desperate. If they are interested in undergoing abortion they will do it even in states which do not have these laws. Moreover, if these pregnant really want an abortion they can easily comply with the Texas law by notifying their parents or securing their consent before they have an abortion. The point is that laws do not reduce abortion.
The reason why abortion has substantially declined is because of the efforts of pro-life groups and activists who have helped in disseminating information about abortion. They have made the public realize about the moral issues involved in abortion. They have been successful in educating the public that abortion is immoral because it kills a human person. Since conception marks the beginning of human life, the unborn has a life of its own which deserves protection.
What stops people from undergoing abortion is the realization that no person has the right to decide who gets to live and who gets to die. Abortion is immoral because no mother has the right to decide whether she will continue with the pregnancy or not. The determination of who is worthy to live and who is not is up to God alone.
Moreover, it would appear that after centuries, the public has finally come to realize that abortion is not the solution to the problem of contemporary women. It does not empower women or give them more control of their life. On the contrary, there are studies that associate depression and loneliness with abortion.
In sum, the present trend towards a more pro-life attitude against abortion is not the result of enactment of laws but a change in attitude among pregnant women that abortion is immoral and that it is not a solution to their problems.
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