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Social Problems - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: SOCIAL PROBLEMS Name of Paper: Social Problems and Number: Date Submitted: Introduction Abortion is a social dilemma, which has continued to attract raged debate on issues concerning its legality…
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Download file to see previous pages It is estimated that more than 70000 women die each year due to post abortion complications, deaths which can be controlled through effective monitoring (Heary, 2009). Abortion occurs under two major scenarios i.e. Therapeutic abortion, which is when it is necessitated by the need to save the mother from harm, usually prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner as well as elective abortion, which is when a pregnant woman decides on her own to request for the procedure (Baumgardner, 2008). This paper is a critical evaluation of abortion as a societal dilemma. Abortion Abortion is a process, which can be dated back to more than 1000 years ago, as it is believed that the first case was documented approximately 1550 BC (Baumgardner, 2008). During this time, the practice was viewed as a normal way of birth control and even the church had not at that time deemed it as totally ungodly as it is in the present. In fact, the only restriction the church and the authorities at that time had was only if quickening could be felt then abortion was considered as unacceptable. Quickening is a term that refers to the movements of the fetus in the uterus and which can be felt by the pregnant woman. In this context, a woman was not permitted to abort a child if quickening had already taken place. In the early US history, it was considered a normal practice to advertise abortion, before quickening, services. It may be important to note that during this time, industrial revolution had not taken place and therefore, the field of medicine had not developed enough to facilitate surgical operations. As a result, abortion was achieved through primitive means such as administration of strong herbs, performing strenuous activities such as weight lifting as well as other vigorous activities, applying pressure on the abdomen for example by lying on a hot coconut shell among others (Baumgardner, 2008). It was not until late 19th century that the legality of abortion in various states began to receive opposition from medical practitioners, civil societies, and the church among other influential groups in the society. According to Baumgardner (2008), some of these groups were motivated by the assumption that the indigenous populations would be dominated by immigrants, whose rate of child bearing was becoming higher than that of the locals. To avoid this, laws were put in place to control and reduce birth control through abortion, in order to maintain and increase their numbers. Similarly, legal health professionals wanted to drive native doctors out of business so as to protect their own business interests. Consequently, they championed for a legislation to outlaw abortion with the exception of therapeutic abortion, which requires the intervention of a qualified health practitioner. Apparently, traditional doctors and midwives were not considered to be qualified and therefore had to close down or work from the underground. It is after these developments that the issue of abortion became contentious, with women rights activists demanding the withdrawal of these legislations while others demanded the opposite (Heary, 2009). Unlike abortion in the ancient times where there was a societal consensus on its legality, the modern society is divided along numerous issues for example its morality. Ancient societies may be forgiven for they may be considered to have been living in a primitive society, which had no basic structures strong ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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