Abortion is a Choice ONLY the Mother Should Be Able to Make

Photo Credit: scenes from “Shrill,” “Claws,” “Scandal” and “Veep”

Photo Credit: scenes from “Shrill,” “Claws,” “Scandal” and “Veep”

By: Araceli De La Torre Marin, OwlFeed News Managing Editor

Abortion is a woman’s right. It is up to the mother to choose whether she wants one or not. 

Throughout time, women have tried preventing pregnancy.

Abortion is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by the removal of an embryo or fetus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or “spontaneous abortion” and occurs in approximately 30% to 50% of pregnancies. 

Although abortion is often presented as a new scientific product of the modern era, it is, in fact, as old as recorded history. The earliest known case of abortion came from the ancient Egyptian medical text, which was known as Ebers papyrus, was around 1550 B.C.E. 

There is a long history of women across many civilizations trying to avoid pregnancy in the first place.

The earliest known contraception methods were used long before abortions were invented, in 1850 B.C.E. There were various forms of birth control in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. 

Women would use honey, acacia leaves, and lint as a form of a cervical cap to prevent pregnancy after intercourse. According to Kahun Gynecological Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical textbook, women would use acacia gum, as well as extend breastfeeding to 3 years. One of the most famous ancient forms of birth control was the silphium plant, which is native to North Africa. It was popular in ancient Greece and Rome.

Back then, many birth control methods were toxic and dangerous, not to mention ineffective.

Photo Credit: scenes from “Shrill,” “Claws,” “Scandal” and “Veep”

Pregnancy and childbirth alone killed millions of women in ancient Greece. They would be advised to drink copper salt dissolved in water to prevent pregnancy for up to a year, but copper salt is poisonous. In ancient China, it was advised to eat up to 16 tadpoles fried in mercury after intercourse to prevent pregnancy.

Although the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages deemed birth control immoral and any woman who named anyone who used it a witch, women would experiment with inserting different herbs and plants into the vagina to block sperm. They would also take certain herbal concoctions to induce a miscarriage. People have been trying to control fertility since ancient times.

I asked Talia Varela, 16, a junior from Agua Fria student, who is pro-choice, about what she thinks about abortion. “It’s something I can’t see myself ever doing, for sure,” she said. She wishes abortions were never necessary or that a pregnancy would never endanger the mother’s life, “but the world works differently.”

Photo Credit: scenes from “Shrill,” “Claws,” “Scandal” and “Veep”

She believes that people who have abortions or miscarriages should not be punished or be detained after having a miscarriage, waiting for a forensic vagina inspector to perform an exam to see if they had an illegal abortion, like in El Salvador. She doesn’t believe women should be executed or jailed whether it was a miscarriage or an abortion and that “women have suffered enough.”

When deciding whether or not to have an abortion, Varela said the mother should have the final say, since “the female’s hardship that is ahead of her with abrupt hormone changes and possible emotional anguish.” But she also thinks the father should have a say as long as the child was conceived with consent.

Having and deciding on having an abortion is always a difficult choice for the mother. Whatever the reason may have been, whether it was conceived by sexual assault, to save the life or health of the mother, for the partner-related reasons (abuse, separation, abandonment, the father wants mother to get an abortion, etc.), or because the mother did not want to have children, it will still be difficult for them. 

According to HealthLine, 99% of women feel relief, that they had no regrets 5 years after having an abortion.   

“Abortion is a choice that is unfortunately looked down upon no matter what the circumstances behind the decision were,” said Varela.

Look upon the decisions and actions you make, not those of others.