Legal abortions are essential in a free society that values women and their rights. Abortion is never an easy decision, but women have been making that decision for thousands of years. Whenever a society attempts to outlaw abortions, it ignores the same urgent reasons for safe, legal abortions that have always existed.
Choice is good for families. There are many programs such as family planning, sex education, and contraception which diminish the number of unwanted pregnancies before they occur. Even when precautions are taken, accidents can and do happen. For some families, this could be devestating. An unwanted pregnancy can increase tension, disrupt stability, and push people, particularily women and children, below the line of economic survival. A high percentage of teenage girls will become pregnant before their twentieth birthday. The penalty for lack of knowledge or a moment's carelessness should not be enforced pregnancy and childbearing. It should not hurt to be a child.
If women are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, the result is unwanted and often neglected children. These children are among society's most tragic cases, often inloved, brutalized, and abandoned. When they grow up, these children are often seriously disadvantaged, and sometimes inclined toward brutal behaviour to others. This is not good for children, for families, or for society. Children need love and families who will care for them. Family planning is the answer and all options must be open.
Outlawing abortions is discriminatory. Anti-abortion laws discriminate against low-income women, who are driven to dangerous self induced or back-alley abortions. That is all they can afford, but the rich can travel wherever necessary to obtain a safe abortion. Being a mother is just one option for women. Many hard battles have been fought to achieve political and economic equality for women. These gains will...