I read a very interesting debate in The New Times on abortion. Through this I also came to know that a debate on similar topic was going on in the parliament also.
Whether it should be legalized or not is for the policy makers to decide. Whether it is ethical or not, depends on the circumstances of the woman and why she opted for it.
But before going for abortion women should be aware of the risks involved. Hazards are more when abortions are done illegally by unskilled hands. To prevent the morbidity and mortality associated with illegal abortions, to have women get access to safe, abortion, Marie Stopes a Scottish activist promoted right to abortion and safe family planning practices in the then orthodox society of around 1920.
Today there are Marie Stopes clinics for safe abortions, world wide. But no abortion is totally hazard free. It is like any surgery. In best hands also, complications can come up.
Now when a woman goes for abortion, the first risk she is exposed to is infection. The infection caused can lead to chronic pelvic infection.
This can be the cause for chronic lower abdominal pain with or without vaginal discharge. Infection can also affect the fallopian tubes, blocking them, resulting in secondary sterility.
Now when the concerned lady wants a baby again, she finds it difficult to conceive. Blocked tubes are a potential cause for ectopic pregnancy later on, i.e. pregnancy at a site other than the uterus. This is a life threatening condition needing urgent intervention.
Abortion can cause trauma to lower part of the uterus. In subsequent pregnancies, the woman can suffer from repeated miscarriage, as this opening becomes incompetent to hold the baby, as it grows.
Even if the affected person manages to continue pregnancy, there is a high risk of premature delivery, thus putting the infant also at risk. The lower part of urinary bladder may be traumatized because of its close proximity to the uterus in women and this may lead to urinary incontinence for the rest of their life.
Technically abortion is termination of pregnancy before the fetus is viable, i.e. ready to come out naturally. The balance of hormones in the body tries to keep the pregnancy ongoing and the baby healthy.
But when the pregnancy is interrupted, this hormonal balance is also interrupted. Result is the lady can suffer from excess bleeding.
This occurs not only at that time but in subsequent pregnancy also she can suffer from bleeding in the first trimester, which is hazardous for the unborn infant.
Statistics show a much higher risk of breast cancer in women who have aborted.
Mental health of women is also adversely affected by abortion. Acute psychosis is known to be precipitated by abortion in women prone to it. Many women suffer from depression and recurrent night mares after undergoing abortion.
In women who are unable to conceive after an abortion, there is no end to the grief and guilt they experience. In case of some physical or mental problem in the child born after an aborted pregnancy, women always carry the burden of guilt for the abortion done before.
The hazards of abortion increase with duration of pregnancy. Risk, is minimum in the first 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, increasing after that.
Abortion should not become a substitute of contraceptive methods for limiting the family size. It is important that a woman should know the health hazards, before attempting abortion.
They should not consider their body to be a dust bin, which they can fill and empty any time they want. Getting abortion done should be a maturely taken and not hasty decision.
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