“Birth Control, Abortion and Reproductive Rights
Thesis Statement: Birth control, reproductive rights and abortion fall under social issues that many people fail to connect with economic security.
Women undergo a myriad of challenges in a bid to access and manage their use of birth control and family planning services. For instance, poor knowledge often leads to unwanted pregnancies and backstreet abortions, which pose serious health effects. Although several countries do not condone abortion, the vice is still prevalent especially among young women in learning institutions. The consequences of sexual relationships between men and women in many cases leave the latter exploring options such as terminating unwanted pregnancies. Research indicates that most women that conceive out of wedlock take full responsibility for their children.
In retrospect, the debate on birth control accrues a variety of responses from different groups of people. For instance, elite women feel that birth control is necessary as it enables women to regulate the number of children they bear. It also enables them to keep off from unwanted pregnancies until a time when it is appropriate for them to bear children. However, religious entities such as the Roman Catholic Church and some Muslims refute the practice and argue that it is sinful. They criticize birth control and refer to biblical teachings that men should reproduce and fill the earth. They further argue that contraceptives encourage sexual immorality (fornication) among the youth. The case is quite different in the United States because the clergy, church institutions and other conservative groups try to destabilize women’s reproductive rights especially those in Western and Southern states. The restriction particularly affects many colored and poor women.
Birth control refers to the ways which people use to prevent pregnancy. Provision, proper planning and application of birth control strategies amount to family planning. Some birth control methods not only regulate the number of children that a couple bears but also prevent some sexually transmitted diseases. For instance, the use of both male and female condoms is an effective way to stay safe from sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, and genital warts among others.
Birth control is a practice that has been in existence since the ancient times. Traditional methods of birth control included the calendar, the withdrawal methods and abstinence from sex during a woman’s fertile days. However, these methods had a high chance of failure and resulted in pregnancies, in many cases. This is because they have a minimal little degree of accuracy and some factors may interfere with their effectiveness. Under these circumstances, a woman’s fertile days may remain irregular due to stress, change of environment alongside irregular menstrual cycles.
In some cases, conservationist groups of people such as religious radicals and cultures do not support birth control measures. Research indicates that the most common cultures that discourage birth control are in the third world countries. They limit the use of birth control measures because they feel that it is morally wrong. Other communities reject it for purposes of politics. This is common in areas that practice ethnic politics and where the tyranny of numbers is the rule. On the contrary, United States records a substantial liberalization of reproductive services such as birth control alongside safe abortions.
The latest methods of birth control include the use of male and female condoms, oral contraceptives such as the emergency and everyday pill, and intrauterine devices. Others that are quite common among the modern day couples include sterilization through male vasectomy and female tubal ligation, injections and diaphragms. Sterilization is a permanent method of birth control that medical doctors cannot reverse. It involves the cutting and tying the reproductive tubes to ensure that the reproductive cells (sperm and ovum) do not meet. However, it does not restrict couples from staying sexually active unless other factors such as medical conditions affect their libido. It is possible to reverse all other methods at a couple’s convenience and choice, especially through discontinuing their use.
Emergency contraceptives control conception in case other methods such as condoms fail. A woman may take them before seventy two hours after unsafe sex. Research indicates that they do not function if a woman takes them later than the recommended timing because they cannot affect an already implanted fetus. The least effective birth control methods include spermicidal jellies or foams and withdrawal methods alongside poor quality condoms.
Reproductive rights refer to an individual’s freedom to reproduce. Couples may make free decisions regarding the number, timing and child spacing. They may also design their sexual life to ensure that they attain their desired standards and reproductive health. Therefore, they may make decisions without coercion, violence or discrimination.
These rights entail the freedom to practice sexual and reproductive health as part of general health in one’s life cycle for both women and men. They also entail voluntary choices to a marital union, decision making on the number of children, and the freedom to obtain reproductive information. In addition, they allow a couple to acquire reproductive and sexual security such as liberty from sexual violence, coercion and freedom to privacy. These services are readily available in the United States owing to the social acceptance and convenience.
Reproductive rights also encompass provisions such as the right to safe abortion, birth control, and quality reproductive health care. More importantly, education about sexually transmitted education is one of an individual’s rights that the federal government alongside the ministry of health should grant citizens. They should also shield them from archaic practices such as female genital mutilation.
In all honesty, the journey of reproductive rights has not been easy. It began in the early 1968’s and it allows parents to remain vigilant and responsible to determine the spacing and number of their children. Reproductive rights issues spur a heated debate in relation to culture, religion and socio-economic status. Ehrenreich states “the reproductive rights proponents argue that reproductive freedom means the freedom to have as well as not to have children” (22).
Abortion as one of the Reproductive Rights
The issue of abortion as one of the reproductive rights raises a lot of controversy in the discussion about reproductive rights. Some people argue that abortion is necessary in that it preserves their wellbeing if they perform it under safe conditions. Others feel that women may procure an abortion if they wish to because they have the capacity to make decisions. The controversy is quite sensitive owed to the large number of women who lose their lives while trying to procure abortions. What is more, women and young girls lose their lives while undergoing both legal and illegal abortions.
Abortion refers to the act of terminating a pregnancy through removing the fetus from the uterus before it achieves maximum growth. It may occur spontaneously especially during a miscarriage or one may induce it with a purpose of expelling the fetus from the uterus. When one induces it, this amounts to abortion. In contrast, losing a child owed to biological or psychological factors amounts to a miscarriage. Illicit abortions are quite a risky undertaking because they cause deaths and other long-term effects to the mother. Doctors may at times perform an abortion for medical purposes especially when the health of the mother is in danger. The increase in the liberalization of medical services, in the modern world, allows women to access abortion services with a lot of ease…”
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