Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Mifepristone, Roe vs. Wade and abortion are all terms that provoke a controversy no matter where they are used. Abortion has long been an issue face by health care administrators because of its ethical impact on our society and the arguments provided by both sides (pro and con). This paper will provide information on what the two parties (Pro-Life and Pro-Choice) are really fighting for and detail what actions are being taken by administrators when dealing with free choice and the right for every women to have an abortion.
Abortion: Brief Overview There are essentially two types of abortions: medical and surgical abortions. A medical abortion is preformed on the fetus up until the 49th day of pregnancy (49th day after conception). This type uses drugs to induce the abortion in the mother shortly after they are taken orally. The most popular drugs used are Mifepristone and Misoprostol. These two drugs are used in combination to abort the unborn fetus. Statistics show that 95% of women using these drugs have a complete abortion.
The remaining 5% have complications due to constant bleeding or because the abortion was not complete. Parts of the fetus remain in the cervix of the women and require suctioning to complete the process. The second type of abortion is commonly called surgical abortion. This is used when the pregnancy has lasted from 8-20 weeks. A surgical abortion is performed by dilating the women’s cervix and inserting surgical tools to scrape the fetus off the wall of the cervix, thereby cleaning the cervix of the fetal tissue and ending the pregnancy.
Abortions can be performed but are rare after the 20th week due to complications that arise with the increased development of the growing fetus. For example, an increase of blood supply to the baby and placenta make it more difficult to do surgical abortions. Dr. Frank Beckwith, a pro-life advocate, stated that, “those who defend abortion rights do not deny this disturbing fact but often dismiss it by claiming that only one percent of all abortions are done in the last trimester. There are several problems with this statistical dismissal.
First, the fact that third-trimester abortions are permitted for nearly any reason and that unborn children are left unprotected is significant in itself regardless of whether a small percentage of total abortions has taken place during this time. Second, since there are about 1. 5 million abortions per year in the U. S. , it follows that 15,000 (or one percent) of them are done in the third trimester. This means that 1,250 of them are performed every month (about 40 a day). This is no insignificant number. ”(Dr. Frank Beckwith, Roe vs. Wade: Abortion on Demand, www. roevwade. org) The litigation involving abortions have been plentiful.
The monumental case of Roe vs. Wade back in 1973 made it possible for women to have abortions on demand. The woman involved in the case, Roe, decided that it was unconstitutional for any state to say that an abortion was not legal. She fought the state of Texas and the suit eventually reached the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found it unlawful to not allow a woman to have an abortion as defined by the 14th Amendment and the right to privacy that is covered under the amendment. The Supreme Court decision affected many states laws regarding abortion and soon abortion rates rose year by year.
The Question of Ethics The central argument for abortion has and will always be whether or not the unborn fetus is alive or not. If the fetus is alive, then it should have the rights to live like any other human being. If the fetus is not considered to be living, then the act of getting an abortion would be considered something like having corrective surgery, for example. So, how does one decide if the fetus is a person or just a growth of tissues with no human qualities? Dr. Lawrence M. Hinman listed possible criteria for personhood that could be considered: 1) Conceived by humans
2) Genetic Structure 3) Physical Resemblance 4) Presence of soul 5) Viability 6) A future like ours “The concept of personhood, in other words, is the bridge that connects the fetus with the right to life. ” (Dr. Lawrence M. Hinman, Abortion: An Overview of Ethical Issues, University of San Diego) Feminists and Pro-Choice advocates would probably agree with Dr. Hinman but would hold strong to the fact that women have control over their own bodies and that they do have the right to privacy. Often, Pro-Choice advocates speak out on behalf of rape, incest, or unwanted pregnancies.
They speak out for the women who are in danger of dying if the pregnancy continues. Goals of Health Care Professionals Health Care Administrators all strive to meet one common goal: quality health care. Whether or not administrators agree with abortion or not, they realize that it is a procedure that has taken the lives of many if not done correctly. Back when abortions were not legal, women would often find themselves in a dark room and the “so-called” physician would use dirty instruments to perform the abortion, endangering and often taking the life of the women.
Abortions are ever-present and it is a controversy that must be addressed and handled in a professional and efficacious manner all the while keeping in mind that the American Academy of Family Physicians “supports the concept that no physician or other health professional shall be required to perform any act which violates personally-held moral principles. ” Health care providers are concerned with the growing trend of unwanted pregnancies and attempt to combat this trend with preventive counseling and increased patient awareness through education.
For both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice advocates, there is a great desire to increase the quality of clinics that perform abortions. All too often, stories of deaths resulting in careless abortions are pasted on the front page of newspapers and circulated throughout the world. It may seem that those who support abortions would be feminists who don’t care how it is done, just as long as it can be done. This is hardly the case. Pro-Choice advocates would agree that quality in clinics providing abortions should be top notch and the education of women in planned parenthood should be emphasized.
With the legalization of abortion, many clinics took the approach of prevention and alternative choices to abortion. The American Academy of Family Physicians lists what the expectant mother should know before deciding on an abortion: (A) Information regarding: (1) financial and other assistance available to her; (2) financial and other assistance available to a child; and (3) the availability of licensed and/or regulated adoption agencies should she choose not to keep the infant(s); and (4) the availability of safe, legal abortion services should she choose not to continue the pregnancy;
or B) Identify resources where such information can be obtained. Abortion and Medicaid In 1977, congress passed an amendment called the Hyde Amendment which prohibited women to have their abortions paid for by Medicaid. Although the amendment was passed, it has been confronted by those who want to challenge its ideals saying that poor women have the equal right to receive an abortion just as do women who are able to pay for the service. The Hyde Amendment, at first, did not allow the use of Medicaid for an abortion even if the mother’s health was in danger.
Over time, the regulations were expanded to include such women and in 1994, allowed women who were victims of rape or incest to have Medicaid pay for their abortions. “National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League President Kate Michelman stated in 1997 that “The Hyde Amendment, in itself, discriminates against poor women and sets up a two-tiered health care system. Instead of proposing measures to reduce the need for abortion, opponents of choice would rather create barriers to make the procedure more difficult and dangerous for women to obtain…
Women who are denied coverage may use alternatives that are dangerous to their health, such as self-induced methods. Some may delay the procedure while they gather funds to obtain it, increasing the health risks involved. ” NARAL estimates that in states that restricted Medicaid coverage for abortion, an estimated 2000 low-income pregnant women turned to illegal abortion during the first year in which federal coverage for abortion was prohibited. ”” Supporters of the Hyde Amendment say that it is a step to help detour women from getting abortions and forcing them to choose alternate routes.
Others say that it is putting the potential health of the women in jeopardy and causing women who cannot afford the procedure to turn to more dangerous and potentially life threatening alternatives. Summery and Opinion Health Service Professionals are now facing the possibilities of having to perform abortions. Through the decisions made by the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade, all women have the right to end their pregnancy for whatever reason they choose. The goals of health care providers is to maintain a standard of quality in the clinics where abortions are offered and help prevent the numbers of unwanted pregnancies.
They also educate the mother of possible alternatives to her choice and provide her with the necessary information. The passing of the Hyde Amendment in 1977 prevented women using Medicaid to have their abortion procedures paid for by the government because although women had the right to an abortion, the government did not need to provide the means to do so. Although I am an aspiring Health Care Administrator, I am hesitant to deal with cases concerning abortion. I am in favor of Pro-Life and agree that women should choose alternate routes when deciding what to do with their unwanted pregnancies.
In cases where there is rape or incest involved, I still think that the child should be given up for adoption. I think of what Dr. Hinman listed as his criteria for personhood and I have to think that even though we can’t say one way or the other if the fetus is human, I would agree that the evidence for it far outweighs the evidence against it. I found a quote by Mother Theresa that basically summarizes how I feel knowing that abortions can be done for any reason. It says: “America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v.
Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts–a child–as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. ” (Mother Theresa — “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14) References 1. Medical Abortions/Surgical Abortions. (n. d. ) Retrieved November 20, 2003, from www. prochoice. com 2. Roe vs. Wade. (n. d. ) Retrieved November, 20, 2003, from www. roevwade. com 3.
Ethics. (n. d. ) Retrieved November 20, 2003, from www. ethics. acusd. edu 4. Goals. (n. d) Retrieved November, 20, 2003, from www. aafp. org. /x7053. xml 5. Hyde Amendment. (n. d. ) Retrieved November, 20, 2003, from www. naral. org/mediaresources/fad 6. Hyde Amendment. (n. d. ) Retrieved November, 20, 2003, from www. hcl. chass 7. Gardner, C. A. , (1993) Is the Fetus Alive? , from Baird, R. M. , Rosenbaum, S. E. , The Ethics of Abortion (pp. 263-265) Prometheus Books Bibliography : included in the paper