OPINION: Abortion bans ignore those who need them


Roe v. Wade was overturned through the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 4.

Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling granting a constitutional right to abortion, was overturned on June 4. According to Forbes Newsletter, a majority of Americans disapprove of this decision. In the months since, many states have passed laws to restrict or ban abortions, and these legislative efforts continue. There have been 17 state abortion bans or restrictions since Roe v. Wade was overturned, according to Axios.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a global organizaton, reports that almost 90% of countries worldwide allow abortion when the women’s life is at risk, or in cases of rape or incest. Most U.S. state bans only provide exceptions for danger to the pregnant woman’s life. The Guttmacher Institute and others believe that any post-Roe exceptions will be hard to obtain.

The damage to the mother’s psychological or physical health and the health of the children once they are born are not being considered in these state abortion bans. I believe it’s not right to bring children into the world who won’t survive long, may suffer from health issues or face stigma and possible abuse.

For example, fetuses may develop conditions in utero such as heart failure, spina bifida and anencephaly. About 75% of babies with congenital heart disease are only expected to survive up to a year. According to Children’s Health Orange County, children with spina bifida have lower intelligence, psychological problems, bone problems, heart problems and vision problems. Families suffering is one of the most heartbreaking things when the joy of expectant parents is quickly overshadowed by the grief over their child who will live up to a year at best.

A child of incest can have severe birth defects. According to the CPTSD Foundation, some of these birth defects include lower IQ scores, premature birth, neonatal mortality and cystic fibrosis. Some defects from incest are not lethal, but they can cause eventual health problems that could’ve been avoided. An expectant mother was likely assaulted by a family member whom she trusted, so not only does an innocent child’s health suffer, but the mother is also traumatized as a result.

Children born of rape present another difficulty. According to the Trauma and Mental Health Report published by York University in Toronto, “maternal stress severely affects embryological development.” Children tend to have poor relationships with their mothers because of the trauma the rape caused. These circumstances can also lead to abuse and neglect.

Children sometimes feel responsible for their father’s actions and are embarrassed. They are also more likely to suffer from psychological problems. Children shouldn’t have to suffer because of something their father did and be put in a position where they are likely to be abused. Women also shouldn’t have to go through with the birth and be further traumatized.

Blanket abortion bans are not an answer. Exceptions must be available. Not having exceptions may lead to children dying early, facing severe health issues, social stigma and abuse. It may also result in rape victims undergoing a trauamtic pregnancy that will permanent damage their psychological makeup.

Quality of life has meaning. Circumstances vary, but every aborton is different. Abortion bans ignore that and will cause more harm than good.

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