NURS 6551 wk 1 discussion – Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus (Merriam-Webster, 2018). Abortion remains a highly debated subject in the U.S. and worldwide with strong opposing arguments about women’s right to choose versus fetal claim to life (McCurdy, 2016). Social, ethical, and legal factors relating to abortion vary greatly between states, countries, historical times, and social and religious groups (Marecek, Macleod, & Hoggart, 2017). NURS 6551 wk 1 discussion – Abortion Essay
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Legal and Political Factors
In 1973 the U.S. supreme court granted women the legal right to abortion after the case of Roe vs. Wade (Lopez, 2012), yet sentiment regarding abortion remains evenly split among the general population in the U.S. (McCurdy, 2016). Legal access to abortion varies greatly within the U.S. and across regions of the world. The Center for Reproductive Rights has grouped countries into 4 categories from “most restrictive”, where abortion is prohibited altogether or permitted only to save a woman’s life, to “least restrictive”, where there are no restrictions as to the reason for terminating a pregnancy (Marecek, Macleod, & Hoggart, 2017). Yet in many places the legality of abortion and the actual practice of it are not aligned, for example in Sri Lanka abortions are permitted only to preserve the life of the mother, but induced abortions are very common and it is estimated that nearly 45% of such abortions are carried out by qualified physicians; Another example is New Zealand where abortion is actually criminalized, yet women have good access to it (Marecek, Macleod, & Hoggart, 2017). NURS 6551 wk 1 discussion – Abortion Essay
The issue of abortion and the right to choose vs. the fetal right to life is a very emotionally charged subject, and different political leaders and candidates use this subject to draw political support.
Social Cultural and Religious Views
In the U.S., many pro-life or right-to-life advocates oppose women’s right to abortion; they use terms such as murder to express their deep feelings on the topic. The Catholic church and the Christian church are against abortion under any circumstance as well (Lopez, 2012). The church’s argument is that all life is sacred, and abortion terminates life; therefore, this idea must be rejected (Lopez, 2012). Other religions have less strict views on the topic; Islam is not clearly with or against abortion, and Judaism as well (ProCon.org, 2011).
Prejudice is both an attitude and a cognitive process, the outcome of which is the practice of discrimination (Guilfoyle, Kelly, & St Pierre-Hansen, 2008). The issue of abortion carries deep sentiments and if the health care provider holds a belief or a value regarding the subject, it is easy to see how he or she can practice discrimination against his clients based on his or her beliefs and prejudices whether consciously or even unconsciously. As health care providers it is very important that we set our own values aside when caring for patients with different beliefs than our own. This may be very stressful and challenging, especially if the provider entered the field of health care based on those same values and beliefs that drive and motivate them.
We frequently deal with ethical dilemma in health care, it is crucial that we are aware of our own beliefs and prejudices, as well as our clients’, and furnish care that is ethical, unbiased, of the highest quality, and within our legal scope of practice.
Lopez, R. (2012). Perspectives on Abortion: Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, and What Lies in between.
European Journal of Social Sciences. NURS 6551 wk 1 discussion – Abortion Essay
Marecek, J., Macleod, C., & Hoggart, L. (2017). Abortion in legal, social, and healthcare contexts.
Feminism & Psychology. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0959353516689521
McCurdy, S. A. (2016). Abortion and public health: Time for another look. The Linacre Quarterly.
83(1), 20-25. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5102173/
Merriam-Webster. (2018). Definition of Abortion. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-
ProCon.org. (2011). US Religious Views on Abortion. Retrieved from
https://abortion.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004208 NURS 6551 wk 1 discussion – Abortion Essay