“The abortion pill should be banned due to the negative consequences it causes to women” ________ Abstract The New Era’s freedom of sexuality and contraception’s campaigns had reached all the world, leading as a consequence the fact that in every country there are more and more unwanted pregnancies. Conception has been debated for so long, and there’s not a scientific posture accepted officially by any nation, so due to desperation, medical experts had created what appeared to be -for some- the solution to unplanned pregnancies, the abortion pill.
The components of this pill are lethal if the it doesn’t work as it meant to be, psychological and physical effects can remain forever in women’s life, without even a possible cure, depending on the cases. The purpose of this essay is to proof that its better to think before making any decision that will bring serious impacts in people’s life, including family and of course, society; abortion with the pill its not easier or less painful than the other ways. INTRODUCTION
Abortion had been part of our history from many years ago, but do we really know how it appeared and how it influences negatively our society?. I shall began the development of this controversial subject by exposing the genesis of abortion; the first evidence of induced abortion is from the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus near the 1550 BC, but it was in China were this matter became a concurrent practice between women, so according to Chinese folklore, the Emperor Shennong prescribed mercury to induce abortions.
In primitive cultures, they used physical activities as a way to interrupt pregnancy, such as climbing, weightlifting or diving, while others tend to use plants and its poisons or pouring hot water into the abdomen. Some archaeological discoveries indicate that surgical attempts to extract the fetus existed in these cultures. In Greece and Rome, abortion was practiced as well. Hippocrates, a Greek physician forbid the use of pessaries or vaginal suppositories to induce the interruption; apparently because they caused vaginal ulcers, in an oath for doctors.
In the other hand, Scribonius Largus, a Roman famous doctor said that “Hippocrates, who founded our profession, laid the foundation for our discipline by an oath in which it was proscribed not to give a pregnant woman a kind of medicine that expels the embryo or fetus”; the interpretation of this oath was only applied for women who were not prostitutes, because otherwise they would have to use methods such as jumping and touching their buttocks with their heels on each leap.
There were found likewise certain objects described as instruments that apparently dilated cervix and curette inside of the uterus. Moving on to the second and third century, Tertullian, a Christian theologian, described surgical implements that were part of a procedure very close to what now we call dilation and evacuation, it consisted on a tool like an annular blade to curette and a blunted or covered hook to extract the fetus, they would use as well a copper needle or spike.
Tertullian said that this procedures could take place only when the fetus was in an abnormal position in the womb and it would endanger the life of the mother, or when it had expired in the uterus. Hyppolytus of Rome, wrote about women that binded tightly themselves around the middle in order to expel what was being conceived. Later on from 5th century to 18th, appeared new methods of abortions. The most popular one was to sit over a pot of steamed onions or to massage pressuring the abdomen to expulsion the baby.
The physical means remained represented this time by battery or tightening the girdle, these were special bands worn while being pregnant to support the belly. In New Zealand, before colonization, drugs, religious ceremonies and the restriction belt were used. In Asia, the peasant Japanese women were hit till they abort, a proof of this are the statues erected in memory of abortion in the Temple of Yokohama. In Cambodia’s temples in their walls are some decorating paintings that shows a demon performing an abortion upon a oman who has been sent to the underworld for committing such a crime. In the 19th century, there were notorious advances in surgery, anesthesia and sanitation, and abortion was banned in the United States of America. Even though, research has shown that the most common and illegal method by that time was the flush inside the uterus. In France, family planning writers convinced the society that abortion was a logical solution to unwanted pregnancies. Women got desperate and started using objects such as spoons, sticks, candles and knives to abort.
Statistics show that abortion remained dangerous and that 150,000 abortions that occurred annually in the U. S during the 20th century, one in six resulted in death. The natural abortifacients were the inspiration for the creation of the abortion pill, this included botanical preparations with Italian catnip, cyperus, pennyroyal (which is lethal), savin, opium, lavender and thyme, even animals were used like crushed ants, saliva of camels and hairs of deers and even bear’s fat.
The abortion pill began in New York during the 1830’s by Madame Restell who illicitly provided surgical abortion and the pill. She offered confidence and a good job, she called them “Female Monthly Regulation Pills”, the labels she used as advertising told about birth control and a possible miscarriage. Her purpose was to help women at first, but hen it became a millionaire business and she took advantage of it, extending her services not only to unmarried women who were pregnant, but also to those who were married and didn’t want a baby yet, leading to the pioneer of family limitation of the time.
She remained forty years in the market and was always the main target of criticism, she got arrested in 1841 and committed suicide in 1878. The abortion pill’s main component is called Mifepristone, which is a synthetic steroid used as a pharmaceutical. Its both used as a contraceptive and an abortifacient during the first two months of pregnancy. It was discovered by Georges Teutsch, developed in Roussel-Uclaf Co. in 1980 but bettered by Emile Baulieu, who made tests of its use in eleven women in Switzerland at the University of Geneva’s Cantonal Hospital, the results ere successful and in 1988 France announced its approval, despite antiabortion movements that took place. French government decided to distribute it free of charge and near 34,000 women used this pill for a short period of time, until Roussel-Uclaf settled a price. Mifepristone was introduced to Great Britain and Sweden in 1991, this is when the Roman Catholic Church protested and blocked all types of distribution of the abortion pill. After all boycotts, Exegyl in 1999 got the approval of Mifegyne (Mifepristone) in eleven additional countries and in 28 countries over the following decades.
This medicine is approved for: Medical termination of pregnancies (up to 49 days of gestation), dilation of the cervix prior to mechanical cervical dilatation and labor induction in fetal death inside the uterus. This is sold in the U. S, and a 600 mg dose is administered combined with the proper counseling session; then 400 mg of misoprostol is given to the patient in order to provoke contractions, the accuracy of this method is calculated in the 92% of the cases, and if its not, then surgical procedure takes place.
Its obvious that the purpose of this pill is to end up with life and bring to the whole world a new era of irresponsibility and freedom of sexual relations without contraceptive methods and promiscuity. Abortion’s consequences can be referred as physical and psychological, though it varies from woman to woman, it depends on the organism and how it works, as well as moral and ethic values. Regarding physical aspect, it is proven by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that this method has a risk of 0. 23% of failure and could lead to negative consequences for the mother.
The list of complications can begin with abdominal pain, uterine cramping and vaginal bleeding from 9 up to 16 days, even though the last research show that almost 8% of women experienced bleeding for at least 30 days and between 4. 5 and 7. 9% of women require a surgical intervention, as we know this can lead to a more dangerous procedure. Nausea, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea with fever are some other side effects. As we can see, its not only getting rid of a life, but jeopardizing your own body’s health. The worst physical effect could be the Pelvic Inflammatory Disease also alled PID, which affects not only the uterus, but also the fallopian tubes and the ovaries by scarring inside the reproductive organs. Infections might take place due to viral, fungal, parasitic and bacterial infections. Over 100,00 women become infertile in the US each year because of PID, it can also cause appendicitis, ruptured ovarian cysts and even tumors. This disease may be curable but in the worst of cases it can be permanent if the infection is in the fallopian tubes or ovaries, to avoid all this complications is through prevention.
Infertility maybe a result of the use of the pill, this is the proof that using it is like playing to the roulette, you don’t know what you are going to get afterwards. Neonatal exposure to a single large dose of Mifepristone causes both functional and structural reproductive abnormalities. In fact, 71 cases registered between 1987 and 1998 as continued pregnancy after the failure of using the pill, it is estimated that about 405,000 medical terminations of pregnancy using Mifepristone in the United Kingdom, France and Sweden.
In 21 of the cases, Mifepristone was used alone, and in the others it was combined with misoprostol, sulprotone, gamesprost and an unspecified prostagladin. The research concluded that eight cases from the 71 embryos were malformed. There’s another example occurred in Brazil, a study showed that 42 infants ex[posed to the abortion pill (200-1600mg dose), had defects after their mothers fail in interrupting pregnancy during the first three months of gestation, proving that this problem is not only in Europe and North America, its also an issue of Latin America countries.
Consequences are not just about physical, psychological might be even worse. Researches has been interested in post-abortion reactions, concluding in a period of psychiatric emotional paralysis, also called numbness; this mean women are unable to express any feeling or emotion, in order to finally get over it. Between 40 and 60% of women questioned reported negative reactions, 55% expressed guilt even after weeks of having committed abortion, 44% had nervous disorders, 36% had sleep lack, 31% experimented regrets and 11% has prescription of psychotropic medicine.
These results are really alarming considering that these studies were made 8 weeks after abortion. Another research was based in interviewing 500 women, the 10% of them agreed that they had serious psychiatric complications and the 50% experienced negative feelings and hate for themselves. Statistics reveal that sex life of aborting women is affected dramatically represented by the 30-50% of sexual dysfunctions, losing pleasure for intercourse, pain and aversion to sex even males; or by the contrary promiscuous life style.
As a result, most of them end up pregnant again to make up for what they did before. Teenagers that tend to abort, have higher risks of living with psychological perturbations forever, even more if they are under 17 years old; symptoms include self-reproach, depression, social regression, withdrawal, obsession to become pregnant again and hasty marriages. Data indicates that there’s a five tot en year period of denial of a woman who is traumatized by abortion in which she may repress all her feelings, avoid people, situations or events that could remind her of that episode.
But it’s not over at all, other women might feel pleased at first, but decades later they will burst into an emotional crisis, mainly during menopause, abortion is like a ghost chasing women’s memories. Family is also affected by abortion, this is because all these psychological reactions increase the self-destructive behavior, the 80% percent of the questioned women expressed to feel self-hatred. The 49% reported drug abuse and the 39% began abusing from alcohol.
Near the 14% accepted becoming alcoholic or addicted after the abortion period, the most worrying fact is that more than the half of them with the 60% have thought about suicide only the 28% succeeded in the attempt more than two or three times. Considering all these numbers and information based on multiple studies done for years, it’s time to educate our society in first place to avoid all this terrible and unnecessary nightmare women have to live everyday, because abortion unfortunately is an everyday issue.
Women should analyze all the risks they are running only for some minutes of pleasure, responsibility is the most assertive way to handle sex life, the use of contraception had been promoted worldwide constantly since long time ago, so there’s basically no excuse for acting selfish regarding a pregnancy. Is understood as well that there’s non consensual intercourse, but never the less there other solutions for an unwanted child such as giving him/her up for adoption, since there are so many families wanting so much to have children without the opportunity to.
The government is the one that should encourage teenagers and in general all the population to think about this issue and impose policies that supports correct sexual education so abortion rate could decrease. Life is a gift from God that should be appreciated despite any fact, we have no right to decide if someone must live or die. Medicine and technology had helped society grow this last years, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have to set up limits to it, we can’t let them control our lives and our destiny.
The abortion pill should be banned not only because of scientific facts shown before but for ourselves, to make a better place we can live in. This not only about one life and by being selfish, but about our community and the example we are leaving behind for our future generations. Methods like this jeopardize the integrity of family, the moral values that makes it the nucleus of the society, setting the standards of promiscuity and false sexual freedom. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Scribonius, Compositiones Praef. 5. 0–23 (Translated and cited in Riddle’s history of contraception and abortion) 2. Celsus (1935). “Prooemium”. In W. G. Spencer. De medicinal.
London: Heinemann. p. 457. OCLC 186696262. http://penelope. uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Celsus/7*. html. 3. Streitmatter, Rodger (2001). Voices of Revolution. Columbia University Press. p. 169 4. Richardson, Cynthia Watkins (2002). “In the Eye of Power: The Notorious Madam Restell” (PDF). Khronikos (University of Maine) 5. The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion : Evidence-based clinical uideline number 7. London 6. STD Facts – Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)”. http://www. cdc. gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID. htm. 7. UK multicentre study group. The efficacy and tolerance of Mifepristone and prostaglandin in termination of pregnancy of less than 63 days gestation; UK multicentre study—final results. Contraception 1997; 55: 1-5 8. Wallerstein,et. al. , “Psychosocial Sequelae of Therapeutic Abortion in Young Unmarried Women”, Archives of General Psychiatry (1972) vol. 27 9.
Reardon,”Criteria for the Identification of High Risk Abortion Patients: Analysis of An In-Depth Survey of 100 Aborted Women”, Presented at the 1987 Paper Session of the Association for Interdisciplinary Research, Denver. 10. Wilke, Handbook on Abortion, (Cincinnati, Hayes Publishing Co. , 1979 11. Zimmerman, Passage Through Abortion (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1977 ———————– Scribonius, Compositiones Praef. 5. 20–23 (Translated and cited in Riddle’s history of contraception and abortion) Celsus (1935). “Prooemium”. In W. G. Spencer. De medicina.
London: Heinemann. p. 457. OCLC 186696262. http://penelope. uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Celsus/7*. html. 1. Streitmatter, Rodger (2001). Voices of Revolution. Columbia University Press. p. 169 1. Richardson, Cynthia Watkins (2002). “In the Eye of Power: The Notorious Madam Restell” (PDF). Khronikos (University of Maine). The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion : Evidence-based clinical guideline number 7. London ”STD Facts – Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)”. http://www. cdc. gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID. htm. UK multicentre study group.
The efficacy and tolerance of Mifepristone and prostaglandin in termination of pregnancy of less than 63 days gestation; UK multicentre study—final results. Contraception 1997; 55: 1-5 Wallerstein,et. al. , “Psychosocial Sequelae of Therapeutic Abortion in Young Unmarried Women”, Archives of General Psychiatry (1972) vol. 27 Reardon,”Criteria for the Identification of High Risk Abortion Patients: Analysis of An In-Depth Survey of 100 Aborted Women”, Presented at the 1987 Paper Session of the Association for Interdisciplinary Research, Denver