28 June 2012, 21:32

Abortion: pros and cons

Abortion: pros and cons

Recently, the authorities of the Mississippi state in the US made the decision to close the only clinic in the state which performs abortions.

The state’s human rights activists are going to appeal against this decision in court.

The initiators of closing the clinic claim that abortions allegedly present a threat to the society. However, human rights activists believe that there are actually political motives behind this step.

In many countries – say, in Canada – there are absolutely no legal restrictions for abortions. However, in the US, heated debates are still under way on whether abortions should be considered legal.

In 1821, Connecticut was the first US state to ban abortions. By 1900, abortions were already banned in all the states of the USA. It was only in 1973 when the US Supreme Court legalized abortion. However, the court allowed every state to adopt its own laws, regulating abortions.

There are still many people in the US who would prefer abortions to be banned again. Attempting to win the support of these people at the coming presidential elections, Republican lawmakers try to adopt decisions which would put as many restrictions on abortions as possible.

This was the real reason why the authorities of the Mississippi State closed the clinic, human rights activists from the Center for Reproductive Rights believe.

However, the official explanation is that the clinic is closed in connection with the new law, which comes into power starting from Sunday. According to this law, every doctor who performs abortions must also have regular receptions of patients in the clinic where he or she performs abortions.

Doctors from the clinic in question, which is called Jackson Woman’s Health Organization, find this new law discriminative. One of the clinic’s leading doctors, Willie Parker, lives outside the Mississippi state. Every month, Dr. Parker flies to Mississippi to perform abortions in this clinic. But it would be rather inconvenient for him to receive patients on a regular basis in this clinic.

The real aim of the new law is to make any abortions on the territory of Mississippi impossible, the doctors and human rights activists are convinced.

The opponents of the new law insist that it runs counter to the US constitution and to other US laws. But, rather unexpectedly, the Health Department of the Mississippi state has chosen the side of those against abortions.

Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the US. Disputes about whether the right for abortion should be legally recognized have been going on in Mississippi for a long time.

In 2011, the authorities of Mississippi attempted to adopt a law which would ban abortions on the territory of the state. The fact that this law would have run counter to the decree, which the US Supreme Court adopted in 1973, didn’t seem to stop the Mississippian lawmakers. However, a referendum was held in the state, and the majority voted against the ban on abortions. But, as it turns out, this didn’t stop the state’s authorities from carrying out new attempts of introducing such a ban.

In fact, the evens in the Mississippi State reflect the situation with disputes around abortions in the entire US. The main argument of opponents of abortions (who are, mainly, conservatively-minded politicians and their supporters) is that an embryo in the mother’s womb should be considered a human being no different from a person who has already been born. Abortion is murder, they say, adding that an embryo should not be killed even at the wish of both parents.

Supporters of the right for abortion say in return that if abortion is banned, women would go for illegal abortions, using the services of people whose medical skills are sometimes very dubious, or, which is probably even worse, try to get rid of the embryos by themselves.

Opinions on whether abortions should be legalized may be different. Disputes concerning this issue will, most likely, still continue for a long time. But nothing good will come from these disputes if their participants are guided not by considerations of people’s health or ethics, but by considerations of their own political PR.

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