Free Custom «The Politics of Abortion» Essay Sample
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Rape is a violent and evil crime that in most cases is committed against vulnerable people. The law punishes the perpetrators. Rape victims deserve to be treated with compassion, attention, and enormous support. Even though cases of pregnancy due to rape are rare, pregnancy still occurs. In cases of rapes reported, at least 1% of rape victims become pregnant. In most instances, rape goes unreported and the percentage could be even higher. Some studies estimate it at 5% (Meehan, 2013). Besides, in a survey of 2,190 victims, it was reported that 0.6 percent became pregnant. Notably, only a small fraction of abortion occurs due to rape. Approximately 1% of women who have an abortion give rape as a reason for it (Meehan, 2013). Most women having abortion give incest as a reason towards their abortion. Women, who undergo rape, experience injustice and suffer from a terrible trauma. However, abortion is not always the solution to such cases. This paper discusses the physical effects of rape and abortion, the post-rape abortion syndrome, and some laws that govern abortion and rape.
Rape and Abortion
Obviously, rape occurs when sexual intercourse is not agreed upon. In other terms, it is an act whereby one partner is forced into having sex against their will (Meehan, 2013). Sometimes, rape occurs when the victim is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Rape can happen through violating the mouth, vagina, or anus of the victim. According to law, rape is a felony offense. This means it is one of the most serious crimes an individual can commit. Men, children, and women can be victims of rape. In most instances, a person who commits rape tends to use violence and forces the other person to undergo the act. A person attacking another individual can use fear to coerce the victim. Evidently, rape causes emotional, mental, and physical trauma to the victims. Statistics reveals that most college rape victims are assaulted by someone they know. Additionally, approximately 42% of the college women raped opt to remain silent about the incidences. Further, only 5% of sexual assaults in college campuses are reported. For this reason, sexual assault becomes one of the crimes that go unreported the most (Meehan, 2013).
Several studies show that big numbers of women who get pregnant through rape opt for abortion. Thus, most these women claim that abortion helps them put the attack behind. Additionally, the victims argue that after abortion, they heal from the incident more quickly. Some argue that with abortion resulting from rape, they can avoid additional trauma which can be caused by bearing a rapist’s child (Meehan, 2013). People should note that the kid together with the mother can be assisted through preserving their lives, but not perpetuating violence. It is unfortunate that the authentication of raped women is rarely put out in public debates. Most individuals, with the exception of rape victims, who never became pregnant, could be forming opinion depending on their prejudice and fears of the real experiences. It especially concerns those who have to reality with reality of this challenging situation.
For instance, it is presumed that most women who are impregnated by rapists opt for abortions. However, 75 to 85% of these women do not end up having abortions (Meehan, 2013). People give various reasons as to why they do not go through with abortions. Most rape victims who are impregnated through rape accept that abortion is a not a solution. They believe that abortion will mean violence committed against their children and bodies. Others claim that their kid's life might have some fundamental meaning which the parents could not understand. These kids born out of rape are a result of an aggressive and horrible act. However, perhaps fate or God will use their children for a greater reason. It is possible for a good to come from evil. Those who go through pregnancy show that they have conquered rape. By bearing a child, a woman can regain the self-esteem she lost. A conception that was not expected is a form of a selfless and generous act, honor, strength, and a display of courage.
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A big number of individuals believe that abortion helps victims of sexual assault forget about the trauma and carry on. Unfortunately, having an abortion cannot change the fact that the woman was raped. Notably, this is a form of real life occurrence which can be traumatic and stressful. Once people understood that abortion is a type of an event that comes with deep implications in a woman’s life, perhaps they will start looking carefully at the particular circumstances of the women assaulted. Evidence shows that abortion does not help but merely causes more injuries. In a survey conducted, women who unluckily became pregnant due to incest or assault underwent abortions due to societal pressure (Callahan & Callahan, 1984). Most of them were directed by healthcare workers to go through with the abortions. It is a fact that the pregnancy is unwanted. In most instances, resources, for example, counselors and healthcare workers, help the rape victims by pushing them for abortion. With much support, it is a fact that family pressure and counseling from different resources are the reason why most women are pushed for abortion, even when they are not sure about that idea.
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In most cases that involves incest; if the perpetrator is a girl’s parent, they could make the arrangements and decisions about the abortion themselves. Reportedly, none of the victims have claimed to have input in the decisions. What was expected of them is to act along with the arrangement by proceeding with the abortion. In fewer cases, the victim appears not to have knowledge of her pregnancy or whether an abortion was carried out.
Many people believe that abortion helps a woman overcome the trauma that resulted from the abuse more quickly. There are those who consider that abortion is a way of not reminding the victim of the occurrence throughout the pregnancy. However, a survey conducted amongst those who were reported to have had an abortion shows that abortion increased more trauma towards the assault (Callahan & Callahan, 1984). This indicates it is possible for an abortion to add more traumas to the act of rape. Abortion encompasses a painful intrusion into female reproductive system organs by an individual who invades the victim’s body. Once the victim is lying on the operation table, she cannot have control in what is being done to her body. In case she protests and requests for the abortion to stop, at this point the victim will be ignored since the process of abortion will have already started.
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For many women who have been raped, the experimental association between the assault and abortion is adamant. Research depicts that often the women who have been raped and those who abort have a similar feeling of guilt, depression, and lowered self-esteem. Abortion and sexual assault victims go through horrible nightmares (Cooley, 2008). Individuals who push or encourage abortion do so since most of them are uncomfortable, especially when dealing with rape victims. Abortion hides rape. It is an easy way of avoiding dealing with a woman’s emotional, financial, and social needs.
The Effects of Physical and Mental Problems of Rape
The physical effects of rape arise from forced sexual assault. In most instances, some of the visible effects of rape are soreness, difficulties in walking, vaginal or anal bleeding, dislocated or broken bones, and bruising. Some of the prolonged physical effects of sexual assault include sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Due to perpetrators who did not use any form of protection during the assault, the victim can be at risk of STIs (Reardon, 2013). In such instances, medical aftercare is necessary to ensure that any diseases and infections are treated. It is important to note that the physical signs of rape are not always evident. A person could experience internal damage. Thus, this could not be easily identifiable unless the victim sees a doctor.
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One of the common mental effects of rape is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental condition which is triggered by an extremely violent or terrifying event. The common symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Most of the individuals who go through a traumatic event experience difficulties adjusting and coping for a while. However, with time and support, such traumatic reactions usually fade away. The second mental effect is depression. In other words, depression is a common feeling of sadness which comes temporarily. The symptoms can include feelings of hopelessness, prolonged depression, changes in appetite, weight gain or loss, and reduced interests in activities. In extreme cases of depression, people even experience suicidal attempts or thoughts (Reardon, 2013). The other mental effect is dissociation. In cases of dissociation, individuals find themselves daydreaming. However, in a situation where dissociation is more complex or chronic, it can impair a person’s ability to function in the real world. For instance, individuals might not be able to focus on work related duties or not be able to concentrate on schoolwork.
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The Effects of Physical and Mental Problems of Abortion
Numerous effects show an abortion causes physical harm to women. Approximately 10% of women suffer immediate complications where one-fifth of these can be life-threatening (Miller, 2007). Most of the aftereffects of abortion develop over time and may not become evident in some days, months or even years. One physical effect is reproductive damage. In some cases, abortion causes damage to a woman’s reproductive organs. In other cases, it can cause permanent problems that can pose dangers to any pregnancies that could occur in future. Women who have aborted are prone to premature births, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, hysterectomies, and infertility. The other physical effects include breast and other cancers. Women who abort are at increased risks of cervical cancer especially. Studies also show increased risks of lung cancer, especially amongst smoking partners after an abortion. Multiple studies have, however, shown an essential association between breast cancer and abortions (Miller, 2007).
The third effect is immediate complications. This can include cervical injury, convulsions, abdominal pain, second-degree burns, anesthesia, perforated uterus, and hemorrhage. These immediate complications can also result in long-term damage, especially to the reproductive system. The reproductive risks are higher for women who carry out abortions during their first pregnancies. Studies show nearly half of women who aborted had abortion-related complications in later pregnancies. Evidently, these women had approximately 2.3 miscarriages for each live birth (Miller, 2007). Teens who aborted experienced premature births or miscarriages in their first pregnancies.
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Several mental health effects have been associated with the aftermath of abortion. One of them is psychological numbing. This is common among women who experience painful losses. Most of the women who abort avoid different emotions to forget the pain caused in the process of terminating a pregnancy. Evidently, close relationships may become impaired as a result (Miller, 2007). Depression and suicidal thoughts are another mental health effect associated with abortion. Most women who abort develop symptoms of depression such as sad moods, low self-esteem, loss of appetite and sleep, reduced motivation, disruption in interpersonal relationships, and sexual disturbances. Another effect is avoidance of stimuli, which occurs after numerous abortions, pregnancies, and children. Compromised parenting is also another issue. A woman might encounter difficulties bonding with the baby for fear of loss. Besides, cases of being overprotective have been reported to be on the rise too. The last effect is guilt, which results from violation of one’s sense of what is morally right. Some women believe that carrying out an abortion is equal to murder and, thus, the quilt of living while knowing that one has murdered can be unbearable (Miller, 2007).
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Post Rape Abortion Syndrome
In psychiatry and psychology, the post-abortion syndrome encompasses all the mental problems that occur as a result of abortion to individuals such as children, women, counselors, doctors, and nurses who have been involved in the process of abortion. Rape and abortion have been associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Robinson et al., 2009). According to researchers, a PTSD trauma is caused by a contact between an individual and the darkest and most severe violent forces of human nature. War, abortion, and rape often confront people with uncontrollable violence and death. The mentioned events overwhelm an individual’s normal psychological defense mechanisms. Those traumatized try suppressing the experience. Post-abortion syndrome (PAS) is a form of PTSD. It is important to note that abortion is a confrontation with death. The three top symptoms observed in women who have had abortion include hyper-excitability, overwhelming, and narrowing (Robinson et al., 2009).
With hyper-excitability, the traumatized individual behaves in a manner that suggests that great danger always threatens them. Aggressive behavior, anxiety attacks, insomnia, and difficulties in concentration are just some of the typical syndrome. Overwhelming is the unintended and unexpected re-experiencing of the traumatic events in flashbacks, break in dreams patterns, and a flash of memory. During narrowing, the traumatized individual develops patterns in behavior so as to avoid situations that could be associated with abortion (Robinson et al., 2009). For instance, after an abortion, women hardly remember what happened. They try at all costs to avoid children and even pregnant women. Additionally, they lose their capacity for love, abuse drugs, and alcohol and develop self-destructive tendencies which can eventually lead to suicide. A PTSD physical treatment needs urgency.
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For raped individuals, the symptoms of the syndrome are associated with intense fear, horror, and helplessness. Further, they experience isolation and depression. Most of them experience repeated and distressing recollections of the event which include perceptions, thoughts, and images. They hardly differentiate between the past and the present (Robinson et al., 2009). They also live in denial. This means they pretend that rape did not take place, and they never seem to recall anything about the attack. A big number of victims avoid being touched and are always shying away from the loved ones. As a result, sudden movement changes are bound to be startling. The society has distinct ways of dealing with trauma, and it can be both offending and belittling. When survivors are told that whatever happened to them was not a bad experience, it continues to cause secondary trauma to them.
Rape and Abortion Laws
In the U.S, rape is a serious form of sexual assault. Thus, this crime is highly punishable by law. Different states define rape differently. In all U.S states, if a man forcibly subjects a woman, who is not his wife, to sexual acts without the woman’s agreement, then the man has committed the crime of rape (Cohen, 2015). Numerous states have passed rape laws that define rape. Any sexual intercourse with children is considered rape. Sexual intercourse involving a girl between 14 and 18 years of age is considered a statutory rape. The child lacks the knowledge on what she is supposed to consent to. Rape laws protect victims from the emotional trauma. Evidently, the fear of being humiliated has discouraged many victims from reporting and pursuing charges (Cohen, 2015). Another state requires the rape complaint to be made over a period. Regarding penalties, sexual offenders are required to go through treatment either in prison or jail or even as a condition of probation.
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In the U.S, abortion is amongst the most controversial topics. Abortion was considered illegal in thirty states. The U.S federal law has banned all abortion procedures and has given politicians the way forward to interfere in the private health care of families and women. The federal law ban criminalizes the act of aborting in the second trimester of pregnancy. However, doctors say that this is the safest and the best way of protecting women’s health. This ban has affected not only the women in their second trimester who wish to abort. Approximately half of pregnancies amongst American women occur unintended. Evidently, about four in ten unintended pregnancies are terminated by abortion (Cohen, 2015).
In conclusion, cases of rape and abortion are not new concepts. However, studies show that the number of individuals who abort after a case or rape is minimal. Additionally, most college students prefer to remain in silence in case of rape attacks. Most rape victims think that abortion is a way of helping them forget about the occurrence. However, this is untrue. Resources, such as healthcare workers and counselors, advise rape victims to carry out an abortion since the pregnancy is not intended. Rape and abortion victims go through trauma. Some of the physical effects of abortion are reproductive damage, infertility, breast cancer, difficulties in walking, bruising, and bleeding. On the other hand, the mental effects of rape and abortion are depression, dissociation, traumatic experience, avoidance, and depression just to mention a few. Post rape-abortion syndrome is characterized by depression, horror, and fear alongside others. According to law, rape and abortion are crimes punishable by law.
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