Decriminalizing Abortion For Women’s Health’s Sake


The debate for and against abortion has caused controversies worldwide, with some groups ruling out the act as heinous while others support the termination of pregnancy only in desperate conditions. Although pro-abortionists base their arguments on women’s rights over their bodies and their autonomy in deciding whether or not to keep a child, there are several other reasons why pregnant women should be entitled to legal abortion procedures. Reproduction, growth, and development are complex natural phenomena that can significantly alter an individual’s life. Therefore, instead of focusing on the attributes of abortion that seek to sidestep women’s oppression, policymakers and decision-makers should address the concerns that make abortion a viable option. Hence, abortion should not be criminalized because numerous issues compel women to opt for abortion rather than raising their children.

Reasons Supporting the Legalization of Abortion

Abolishing Abortion Increases Women’s Reproductive Risks

Criminalizing the termination of pregnancies will not immediately eradicate abortion but instead pose risks to women by exposing them to unsafe medical procedures. Research conducted in states in the US and developing nations where abortion is illegal suggests that women still terminate pregnancies but rely on untrained medical personnel and underground methods (Latt et al. 4). Consequently, criminalizing abortion has led to an increase in mortality rates due to substandard practices and pregnancy-termination techniques that do not assure their safety or follow up after the procedures. However, clinical studies propose that abortion is safe as long as women seek assistance from trained personnel who use reliable clinical methods and ensure follow-up to limit adversities (Latt et al. 8). Thus, individuals should consider these implications and devise solutions to allow safer abortions.

Abortion Sometimes Improves Women’s Quality Of Life and Limits Suffering

Making abortion illegal is against women’s human rights as it can limit them from ensuring their well-being and fighting against oppression. For example, an expectant mother may be suffering from certain degenerative conditions that put her at critical risk if she decides to have a child. In this case, abortion would be a reliable resolution as it would be unreasonable to risk the lives of the mother and her infant (Zaręba et al. 3413). In addition, most women who seek abortion do so to limit potential adversities and escape from sad realities. For example, a woman can become pregnant due to atrocities such as rape, violent assaults, and incest, which might have adverse emotional and mental implications for the mother and the child if they ever found out. Additionally, some mothers may be starving and living in poverty, while others might be in abusive relationships where it is difficult to raise a child (Zaręba et al. 3413). Therefore, abortion can prevent women from suffering and living a poor quality of life due to unwanted pregnancies and incidents that lead to conception.

Criminalizing Abortion Can Encourage Other Atrocities against Women

Women have a right to autonomy and should never be limited on what they should do with their bodies as it might be difficult to draw a line on what is acceptable. International civil rights discourage coercing individuals into doing anything against their will (Fernández 92). Thus, forcing women to bear children without considering the adversity they might face might encourage other forms of oppression against women, such as restricting their rights to participate in social issues and decision-making (Fernández 116). Similarly, criminalizing abortion justifies other reproductive vices against women, including forced sterilization and the involuntary use of contraceptives. Hence, women should be allowed to do as they wish with their bodies, including making decisions on whether to terminate a pregnancy to prevent adverse outcomes and advocate for free will.

Abortion Introduces Principles that Patronise Women

The abortion debate has led to the establishment of regulations that prevent women from exercising their rights and living free of others’ control. For example, in 1967, Britain passed a law that only accepts abortion, even due to clinical emergencies after getting permission from two doctors (Fernández 86). Thus, this means that the decision is not made by the woman and instead left in the hands of clinicians, which is unfair. Moreover, illegal abortion can result in imprisonment of up to twelve years, which is patronizing to women since the issue is still under scrutiny (Di Muzio 225). Over the past century, individuals’ opinions on abortion have changed. In addition, abortion is yet to be classified as a crime by the global community. Therefore, taking strict actions against abortion and irrelevant regulations humiliate women by denying them the right to live a high-quality and comfortable life.

Rebuttal of Arguments for Abortion

Taking Strict Measures against Abortion Will Reduce its Demand

Proponents of anti-abortion laws argue that establishing strict rules, regulations, and reparations for abortion can limit the practice by reducing its demand, thus limiting the risks associated with illegal abortion practices. According to Chemlal and Giuliano, making abortion illegal without setting up appropriate frameworks to oversee adherence allows many clinicians to carry out the procedures at a fee (5). As a result, they do not adhere to standard medical solutions and might not offer high-quality assistance since they are not held accountable (Chemlal and Giuliano 8). Therefore, these limitations prevent anti-abortion laws from producing positive effects. However, getting rid of all the drugs and equipment that facilitate abortion and enhancing surveillance in medical institutions can help lawmakers reduce the incidents that occur through illegal abortion and prevent the act.

Abortion should be Illegal because It Undermines the Essence of Human Life

Individuals who support criminalizing abortion argue that it is against the principles of morality because it does not acknowledge the value of human life. In particular, deontological theorists believe that life is a gift from God, meaning that human beings should not have the power to decide whether or not others should live (Di Muzio 211). Deontologists support that human life is divine and that everyone should enjoy the gift unconditionally. Therefore, allowing a woman to carry on with abortion translates to disrupting the national order of the world and the tenets of morality. Thus, although some pregnancies may be unwanted or bear potentially hazardous outcomes, clinicians should adopt other solutions, including offering the infant for adoption or paternal support services (Di Muzio 211). Making these solutions accessible can reduce the number of women opting for abortion.

Abortion Can Interfere with Women’s Health and Wellness

Supporters of anti-abortion laws argue that it might have adverse implications on women by interfering with their mental health and physiology. Reports from clinical studies suggest that abortion is one of the leading causes of infertility and stillbirths in women (Fleming et al. 7). In addition, researchers suggest mothers have a special relationship and connection with their children regardless of whether they are born. Therefore, a child might be born as a result of unusual circumstances, but a mother’s love might overcome these concerns. On the other hand, abortion can result in emotional and mental trauma that can cause stress, depression, and anxiety (Fleming et al. 12). Moreover, abortion exposes women to lifestyle risks like alcohol and drug abuse. Therefore, these adversities are far more detrimental to women than keeping a child and seeking solutions to improve their life quality.


Although various states and nations worldwide have established laws to prevent abortion, others allow abortion during the first trimester, while others only allow abortion if it is the only solution to save a patient’s life. However, this should not be the case as it prevents society’s progressive development toward justice and civil rights. The opponents of abortion argue it robs the essence of human life. Moreover, they support that abortion is associated with destructive outcomes that might interfere with a woman’s health. In addition, they support that limiting abortion can drive down its demand as it will encourage adopting other options. However, women choose abortion for several reasons that are often complicated to address. Moreover, abortion can encourage other forms of injustice to women, including forced sterilization. Lastly, criminalizing abortion risks the lives of women as they are forced to rely on untrained personnel and poor-quality services. Therefore, giving women the right to abortion will enable them to have more control over their autonomy and ensure that they are not limited in their endeavors.

Works Cited

Chemlal, Sonia, and Giuliano Russo. “Why Do They Take The Risk? A Systematic Review of The Qualitative Literature on Informal Sector Abortions in Settings Where Abortion Is Legal.” BMC Women’s Health, vol. 19, no.1, 2019, pp. 1-11.

Di Muzio, Gianluca. “The Dawn of the Future-Like-Ours Argument Against Abortion.” International Journal of Applied Philosophy, vol. 35, no. 2, 2021, pp. 209-226.

Fernández, Juan. J. “Women’s Civil Rights and the Worldwide Liberalization of Abortion on Demand and for Socio-Economic Reasons.” The Sociological Quarterly, vol. 62, no. 1, 2021, pp. 87-120.

Fleming, Valerie, et al. “Conscientious Objection to Participation in Abortion by Midwives and Nurses: A Systematic Review Of Reasons.” BMC Medical Ethics, vol. 19, no. 1, 2018, pp. 1-13.

Latt, Su Mon, et al. Abortion Laws Reform May Reduce Maternal Mortality: An Ecological Study in 162 Countries.” BMC Women’s Health, vol. 19, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1-9.

Zaręba, Kornelia, et al. “Psychosocial Profile and Reproductive Decisions of Women Undergoing Pregnancy Termination for Medical Reasons—A Cross-Sectional Study.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no. 18, 2019, pp. 3413.