2018 Theses Master's

Abortion as a Human Right in the United States: Exploring the Role of CEDAW Cities in Challenging the Hyde Amendment

Pierson, Jessica

Women’s sexual and reproductive rights are foundational to gender equality. Having access to abortion care is fundamental to the full realization of a woman’s human rights. Anti-choice advocates consistently and successfully separate abortion from other basic health care that women need. At the same time, activists for gender equality often shy away from advocating for abortion care as part of their women’s rights agenda because of the political stigma that is associated with abortion. Although abortion is legal in the United States, anti-choice groups and conservative lawmakers have been successful in restricting the right to an abortion, particularly through legislation like the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds from covering abortion care for low-income women insured by the Medicaid program. U.S. constitutional law has upheld restrictions on abortion care, leaving a large portion of reproductive age women without the ability to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion. In contrast, international human rights mechanisms have had an impact on liberalizing national abortion laws by requiring that governments take affirmative action to ensure that women can access safe abortion care as a fundamental human right. While the international community is advancing abortion as a human right, several cities have aligned themselves with an international human rights framework by adopting the principles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international women’s rights treaty that the U.S. has refused to ratify at the federal level. This research aimed to discover how these cities could utilize this human rights framework to advance abortion as a human right in their communities, particularly in states that follow the federal Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion. The research was conducted through qualitative semi-structured interviews with local activists working to pass and implement CEDAW resolutions and ordinances, people working on the Cities for CEDAW (C4C) campaign, reproductive rights professionals, and a local abortion fund. This thesis found that framing reproductive health as a human right is a paradigm shift toward destigmatizing abortion. This thesis concludes that the local CEDAW resolutions and ordinances have the power to influence state policies involving abortion. Furthermore, local CEDAW activists can instigate a political shift by embracing and utilizing the jurisprudence, General Comments, and Concluding Observations identified by the United Nations CEDAW Committee regarding abortion as a human right. The negative human rights impact of the Hyde Amendment, although law of the land, can be challenged by activists through advocacy around passing and implementing local CEDAW ordinances and resolutions.

Geographic Areas

  • United States
  • Human rights
  • Abortion--Law and legislation
  • Women's health services
  • Constitutional law
  • United Nations. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979 December 18)

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Thiessen, Eric Paul. "Abortion, potentiality, and the right to life." Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1987. http://hdl.handle.net/2429/26931.

Marniari, Kadek. "Is a right to abortion protective of women's reproductive health? : exploring a human rights dynamic of abortion law reform in Indonesia /." Oslo : Faculty of Law, Universitetet i Oslo, 2008. http://www.duo.uio.no/publ/jus/2008/80151/Thesis_DUO.pdf.

Scharp, Brilly Niki. "The Right to Abortion : A qualitative analysis of NGOs viewpoint on what hinders women’s access to abortion in Tunisia." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, 2021. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-443623.

Zimmer, Martina. "Abortion and the right to life: A case study of South Africa and Germany." University of the Western Cape, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/11394/6293.

Frank, Cornelia. "Access to Safe and Legal Abortion- a Human Right? : A study of the protection for access to Safe and Legal abortion within Public International Law." Thesis, Stockholms universitet, Juridiska institutionen, 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-182564.

Brown, Hayley Marina. "'A Woman's Right to Choose': Second Wave Feminist Advocacy of Abortion Law Reform in New Zealand and New South Wales from the 1970s." Thesis, University of Canterbury. History, 2004. http://hdl.handle.net/10092/948.

Vander, Broek Allison. "Rallying the Right-to-Lifers: Grassroots Religion and Politics in the Building of a Broad-based Right-to-Life Movement, 1960-1984." Thesis, Boston College, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107943.

Manninen, Bertha Alvarez. "When does a human being gain a moral right to life? an ethical and metaphysical study of abortion and embryonic stem cell research /." online access from Digital Dissertation Consortium, 2006. http://libweb.cityu.edu.hk/cgi-bin/er/db/ddcdiss.pl?3251580.

Mavundla, Simangele D. "Access to legal abortion by rape victims as a reproductive health right : case study Swaziland and Ethiopia." Diss., University of Pretoria, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2263/12434.

Regmi, Sonali. "Unsafe abortion, violation of women's right to reproductive and sexual health : a study with reference to Nepal." Thesis, National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, 2001. http://www.collectionscanada.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk3/ftp04/MQ63091.pdf.

Henry, Daniella. "Reimagining Potential Life: A Socialized Right to Reproductive Freedom." Scholarship @ Claremont, 2019. https://scholarship.claremont.edu/scripps_theses/1370.

Jex, Erin. "Canadian Foreign Aid and the Christian Right: Stephen Harper, Abortion, and the Global Culture Wars in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2006-2015." Thesis, Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/10393/36969.

Tello, Garcia Selma Geovanna. "Female Sexual and Reproductive Health Beyond Foetal Right to Life : A Comparative Analysis of Gender Equality in Mexican Criminal Law with Relation to Abortion." Thesis, Malmö universitet, Malmö högskola, Institutionen för globala politiska studier (GPS), 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-36668.

Teodoro, Frediano José. "Aborto eugênico: delito qualificado pelo preconceito ou discriminação." Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, 2005. https://tede2.pucsp.br/handle/handle/7907.

Giles, Stephen Paul. "Imperatives of the Gospel and imperatives of the South African Constitution regarding the right to life : a Christian ethical perspective / S.P. Giles." Thesis, North-West University, 2008. http://hdl.handle.net/10394/2094.

Rodberg, Josie. "Planning the American Family: The Politics of Government Family Planning Programs from the Great Society to the New Right." Thesis, Harvard University, 2013. http://dissertations.umi.com/gsas.harvard:10999.

Batista, Carla Gisele. "Movimento e instituição: ação feminista em defesa da legalização do aborto." Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, 2012. http://repositorio.ufba.br/ri/handle/ri/23711.

Morrissette, Evelyne. "La relation contemporaine entre le religieux et le politique : une étude de cas du Christian Coalition." Thesis, Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa, 2012. http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22643.

Ekarv, Sofia Fotini. "Survival through loss : A field study of the Nicaraguan women's movement's perceptions of loss, its remobilisation and the motivators in the struggle for the right to abortion." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, 2016. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-298043.

Krušinskaitė, Agnė. "Ar vyras turi teisę uždrausti nuo jo pastojusiai moteriai pasidaryti abortą?" Master's thesis, Lithuanian Academic Libraries Network (LABT), 2009. http://vddb.library.lt/obj/LT-eLABa-0001:E.02~2009~D_20090730_112809-43251.

Medina, Castellano Carmen Delia. "Objeción de conciencia sanitaria en España: naturaleza y ejercicio." Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2012. http://repositorio.pucp.edu.pe/index/handle/123456789/116657.

Clemente, Aleksandro. "A legalização do aborto no Brasil: uma questão de Saúde Pública?" Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, 2013. https://tede2.pucsp.br/handle/handle/6136.

Samuel, June. "Adapting to norms at the United Nations the abortion-rights and anti-abortion networks /." College Park, Md.: University of Maryland, 2007. http://hdl.handle.net/1903/7634.

Weidner, Morgan. "Mobilizing for Abortion Rights in Hostile Political Climates." Scholarship @ Claremont, 2017. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/scripps_theses/982.

Okumura, Daniela Bucci. "Dimensões jurídicas da proteção da vida e o aborto do feto anencéfalo." Universidade de São Paulo, 2012. http://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/2/2140/tde-02042013-101506/.

Lattimer, Maxine Angela. "Abortion discourses : an exploration of the social, cultural and organisational context of abortion decision-making in contemporary Britain." Thesis, University of Sussex, 2001. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.341534.

Kato, Masae. "Women's rights ? : social movements, abortion and eugenics in Modern Japan /." Leiden : [Universiteit Leiden], 2005. http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb401131078.

Welch, Melanie K. Crocker Ruth. "Politics and poverty women's reproductive rights in Arkansas, 1942-1980 /." Auburn, Ala, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/10415/1716.

Sloan, Tyler E. "The Abortion Burden: Examining Abortion Access, Undue Burden and Supreme Court Rulings in the United States." Oberlin College Honors Theses / OhioLINK, 2017. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=oberlin1494418153379172.

Sánchez, García Arturo. "The happy judicialization of sexual rights : abortion and same sex marriage in Mexico." Thesis, University of Kent, 2014. https://kar.kent.ac.uk/48613/.

Martinez, Orozco Camilo Eduardo. "Ruling Allowing Induced Abortion in Colombia: a Case Study." Thesis, Linköping University, Centre for Applied Ethics, 2007. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-9054.

The aim of this work is to present and examine the ruling on which the Colombian Constitutional Court declared the blanket criminalization of induced abortion to be unconstitutional: ruling C-355/061; all of this based in the understanding I have achieved of the Courts’ reasoning.

In the first section I will present the norms that constituted the blanket prohibition of abortion, as well as the likely situation of its practice, both by the time the Constitutional Court took up the analysis of the former. This will provide a good understanding of the importance of the ruling and its starting point. In the second section I will put forth the general nature of the Court and its rulings, inscribed in the Colombian social, political and legal transformation brought by the 1991 constitutional change. I will also bring in the specific decisions the Court made regarding the conditioned constitutionality of induced abortion and the unconstitutionality of the legal expression that equated an abortion performed on a woman less than fourteen years of age to an abortion without consent, thus punishing it harder than a consented one. Such verdict is the starting point of an effort to trace, present and examine the ethical arguments the Court has woven to reach it, all of which will be undertaken in the third section.

In the fourth section I shall elaborate on two of the common ethical elements that work as corner stones for the Court’s arguments: human dignity and the belief that fundamental rights and constitutional protected goods are not absolute; I will particularly point out how they play a role in the Court’s argumentation. As a conclusion I will offer a final general appraisal of the Court’s work.

Holgersson, Karolina. "Is There Anybody Out There? : Illegal Abortion, Social Work, Advocacy and Interventions in the Philippines." Thesis, Ersta Sköndal högskola, Institutionen för socialvetenskap, 2012. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-1819.

Ivanescu, Yvonne. "Bridging the Gap: Feminist Movements and their Efforts to Advance Abortion Rights in Chile." Thèse, Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/10393/26270.

EMMERICK, RULIAN. "BODY AND POWER: A LOOK AT ABORTION UNDER A HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY PERSPECTIVE." PONTIFÍCIA UNIVERSIDADE CATÓLICA DO RIO DE JANEIRO, 2007. http://www.maxwell.vrac.puc-rio.br/Busca_etds.php?strSecao=resultado&nrSeq=10063@1.

Skogh, Maja. "Women’s narratives on (in)security in Abkhazia : Theorizing abortion rights as a security issue." Thesis, Försvarshögskolan, 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9449.

Malmsköld, Elin. "The status of abortion in public international law and its effect on domestic legislation." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Juridiska institutionen, 2018. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355922.

Cramer, Aaron Richard. "The significance of the similarities and distinctions between the anti-abortion movement and the civil rights movement." Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN), 1997. http://www.tren.com.

Huber, Jamie Lee. "UNEQUAL RIGHTS AND CONSTRAINED CHOICE: NARRATING WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES WITH IDENTITY, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES, AND ABORTION." OpenSIUC, 2011. https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/dissertations/382.

Dalén, Annika. "Communicating abortion. How sexual and reproductive rights organizations in Colombia communicate to the public opinion." Thesis, Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS), 2014. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-23374.

De, Roubaix J. A. M. (John Addey Malcolm). "Value, utility and autonomy : a moral-critical analysis of utilitarian positions on the value of prenatal life." Thesis, Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2005. http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50542.

Mix, Monica Clare. "Victims and Villains: A History of Women-Protective Claims in the Anti-Abortion Movement." Yale University, 2010. http://ymtdl.med.yale.edu/theses/available/etd-05042010-114435/.

Nabaneh, Satang. "Power dynamics in the provision of legal abortion : a feminist perspective on nurses and conscientious objection in South Africa." Thesis, University of Pretoria, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/2263/75043.

Thomsen, Carly Ann. "The Rhetorics of U.S. Abortion Narratives: Thematic Continuities, Shifting Applications and Political Strategies, 1969-Present." Thesis, The University of Arizona, 2008. http://hdl.handle.net/10150/193463.

Brodrej, Selma. "Voices against the prohibition of abortion : A qualitative text analysis of four women’s rights movements in Nicaragua." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, 2018. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-358466.

Macleod, Catriona, and Jateen Hansjee. "Men and talk about legal abortion in South Africa : equality, support and rights discourses undermining reproductive ‘choice’." Taylor & Francis Online, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/10962/d1006282.

Macleod, Catriona, Lebogang Seutlwadi, and Gary Steele. "Cracks in reproductive health rights: knowledge of abortion legislation stipulations amongst learners in Buffalo City, South Africa." Aosis Open Journals, 2014. http://hdl.handle.net/10962/d1014772.

Hoogen, Siri Rebecca. "Contexts of choice: Personal constructs of motherhood in women's abortion decisions." Miami University / OhioLINK, 2010. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=miami1292364393.

Moser, Naomi R. "Talk Over Me." Scholarship @ Claremont, 2013. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/scripps_theses/170.

Sandvik, Fanny. "Feminists and Catholics : Perspectives on the Abortion Debate in Bolivia." Thesis, Stockholms universitet, Latinamerikainstitutet, 2017. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144213.

Monthey, Tanya Trangia. ""The Most Difficult Vote": Post-Roe Abortion Politics in Oregon, 1973-2001." PDXScholar, 2019. https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/open_access_etds/4822.

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  • Rom J Morphol Embryol
  • v.61(1); Jan-Mar 2020

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A research on abortion: ethics, legislation and socio-medical outcomes. Case study: Romania

Andreea mihaela niţă.

1 Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Craiova, Romania

Cristina Ilie Goga

This article presents a research study on abortion from a theoretical and empirical point of view. The theoretical part is based on the method of social documents analysis, and presents a complex perspective on abortion, highlighting items of medical, ethical, moral, religious, social, economic and legal elements. The empirical part presents the results of a sociological survey, based on the opinion survey method through the application of the enquiry technique, conducted in Romania, on a sample of 1260 women. The purpose of the survey is to identify Romanians perception on the decision to voluntary interrupt pregnancy, and to determine the core reasons in carrying out an abortion.

The analysis of abortion by means of medical and social documents

Abortion means a pregnancy interruption “before the fetus is viable” [ 1 ] or “before the fetus is able to live independently in the extrauterine environment, usually before the 20 th week of pregnancy” [ 2 ]. “Clinical miscarriage is both a common and distressing complication of early pregnancy with many etiological factors like genetic factors, immune factors, infection factors but also psychological factors” [ 3 ]. Induced abortion is a practice found in all countries, but the decision to interrupt the pregnancy involves a multitude of aspects of medical, ethical, moral, religious, social, economic, and legal order.

In a more simplistic manner, Winston Nagan has classified opinions which have as central element “abortion”, in two major categories: the opinion that the priority element is represented by fetus and his entitlement to life and the second opinion, which focuses around women’s rights [ 4 ].

From the medical point of view, since ancient times there have been four moments, generally accepted, which determine the embryo’s life: ( i ) conception; ( ii ) period of formation; ( iii ) detection moment of fetal movement; ( iv ) time of birth [ 5 ]. Contemporary medicine found the following moments in the evolution of intrauterine fetal: “ 1 . At 18 days of pregnancy, the fetal heartbeat can be perceived and it starts running the circulatory system; 2 . At 5 weeks, they become more clear: the nose, cheeks and fingers of the fetus; 3 . At 6 weeks, they start to function: the nervous system, stomach, kidneys and liver of the fetus, and its skeleton is clearly distinguished; 4 . At 7 weeks (50 days), brain waves are felt. The fetus has all the internal and external organs definitively outlined. 5 . At 10 weeks (70 days), the unborn child has all the features clearly defined as a child after birth (9 months); 6 . At 12 weeks (92 days, 3 months), the fetus has all organs definitely shaped, managing to move, lacking only the breath” [ 6 ]. Even if most of the laws that allow abortion consider the period up to 12 weeks acceptable for such an intervention, according to the above-mentioned steps, there can be defined different moments, which can represent the beginning of life. Nowadays, “abortion is one of the most common gynecological experiences and perhaps the majority of women will undergo an abortion in their lifetimes” [ 7 ]. “Safe abortions carry few health risks, but « every year, close to 20 million women risk their lives and health by undergoing unsafe abortions » and 25% will face a complication with permanent consequences” [ 8 , 9 ].

From the ethical point of view, most of the times, the interruption of pregnancy is on the border between woman’s right over her own body and the child’s (fetus) entitlement to life. Judith Jarvis Thomson supported the supremacy of woman’s right over her own body as a premise of freedom, arguing that we cannot force a person to bear in her womb and give birth to an unwanted child, if for different circumstances, she does not want to do this [ 10 ]. To support his position, the author uses an imaginary experiment, that of a violinist to which we are connected for nine months, in order to save his life. However, Thomson debates the problem of the differentiation between the fetus and the human being, by carrying out a debate on the timing which makes this difference (period of conception, 10 weeks of pregnancy, etc.) and highlighting that for people who support abortion, the fetus is not an alive human being [ 10 ].

Carol Gilligan noted that women undergo a true “moral dilemma”, a “moral conflict” with regards to voluntary interruption of pregnancy, such a decision often takes into account the human relationships, the possibility of not hurting the others, the responsibility towards others [ 11 ]. Gilligan applied qualitative interviews to a number of 29 women from different social classes, which were put in a position to decide whether or not to commit abortion. The interview focused on the woman’s choice, on alternative options, on individuals and existing conflicts. The conclusion was that the central moral issue was the conflict between the self (the pregnant woman) and others who may be hurt as a result of the potential pregnancy [ 12 ].

From the religious point of view, abortion is unacceptable for all religions and a small number of abortions can be seen in deeply religious societies and families. Christianity considers the beginning of human life from conception, and abortion is considered to be a form of homicide [ 13 ]. For Christians, “at the same time, abortion is giving up their faith”, riot and murder, which means that by an abortion we attack Jesus Christ himself and God [ 14 ]. Islam does not approve abortion, relying on the sacral life belief as specified in Chapter 6, Verse 151 of the Koran: “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred (inviolable)” [ 15 ]. Buddhism considers abortion as a negative act, but nevertheless supports for medical reasons [ 16 ]. Judaism disapproves abortion, Tanah considering it to be a mortal sin. Hinduism considers abortion as a crime and also the greatest sin [ 17 ].

From the socio-economic point of view, the decision to carry out an abortion is many times determined by the relations within the social, family or financial frame. Moreover, studies have been conducted, which have linked the legalization of abortions and the decrease of the crime rate: “legalized abortion may lead to reduced crime either through reductions in cohort sizes or through lower per capita offending rates for affected cohorts” [ 18 ].

Legal regulation on abortion establishes conditions of the abortion in every state. In Europe and America, only in the XVIIth century abortion was incriminated and was considered an insignificant misdemeanor or a felony, depending on when was happening. Due to the large number of illegal abortions and deaths, two centuries later, many states have changed legislation within the meaning of legalizing voluntary interruption of pregnancy [ 6 ]. In contemporary society, international organizations like the United Nations or the European Union consider sexual and reproductive rights as fundamental rights [ 19 , 20 ], and promotes the acceptance of abortion as part of those rights. However, not all states have developed permissive legislation in the field of voluntary interruption of pregnancy.

Currently, at national level were established four categories of legislation on pregnancy interruption area:

( i )  Prohibitive legislations , ones that do not allow abortion, most often outlining exceptions in abortion in cases where the pregnant woman’s life is endangered. In some countries, there is a prohibition of abortion in all circumstances, however, resorting to an abortion in the case of an imminent threat to the mother’s life. Same regulation is also found in some countries where abortion is allowed in cases like rape, incest, fetal problems, etc. In this category are 66 states, with 25.5% of world population [ 21 ].

( ii )  Restrictive legislation that allow abortion in cases of health preservation . Loosely, the term “health” should be interpreted according to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition as: “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” [ 22 ]. This type of legislation is adopted in 59 states populated by 13.8% of the world population [ 21 ].

( iii )  Legislation allowing abortion on a socio-economic motivation . This category includes items such as the woman’s age or ability to care for a child, fetal problems, cases of rape or incest, etc. In this category are 13 countries, where we have 21.3% of the world population [ 21 ].

( iv )  Legislation which do not impose restrictions on abortion . In the case of this legislation, abortion is permitted for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions (Romania – 14 weeks, Slovenia – 10 weeks, Sweden – 18 weeks), the interruption of pregnancy after this period has some restrictions. This type of legislation is adopted in 61 countries with 39.5% of the world population [21].

The Centre for Reproductive Rights has carried out from 1998 a map of the world’s states, based on the legislation typology of each country (Figure ​ (Figure1 1 ).

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Object name is RJME-61-1-283-fig1.jpg

The analysis of states according to the legislation regarding abortion. Source: Centre for Reproductive Rights. The World’s Abortion Laws, 2018 [ 23 ]

An unplanned pregnancy, socio-economic context or various medical problems [ 24 ], lead many times to the decision of interrupting pregnancy, regardless the legislative restrictions. In the study “Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2008” issued in 2011 by the WHO , it was determined that within the states with restrictive legislation on abortion, we may also encounter a large number of illegal abortions. The illegal abortions may also be resulting in an increased risk of woman’s health and life considering that most of the times inappropriate techniques are being used, the hygienic conditions are precarious and the medical treatments are incorrectly administered [ 25 ]. Although abortions done according to medical guidelines carry very low risk of complications, 1–3 unsafe abortions contribute substantially to maternal morbidity and death worldwide [ 26 ].

WHO has estimated for the year 2008, the fact that worldwide women between the ages of 15 and 44 years carried out 21.6 million “unsafe” abortions, which involved a high degree of risk and were distributed as follows: 0.4 million in the developed regions and a number of 21.2 million in the states in course of development [ 25 ].

Case study: Romania

Legal perspective on abortion

In Romania, abortion was brought under regulation by the first Criminal Code of the United Principalities, from 1864.

The Criminal Code from 1864, provided the abortion infringement in Article 246, on which was regulated as follows: “Any person, who, using means such as food, drinks, pills or any other means, which will consciously help a pregnant woman to commit abortion, will be punished to a minimum reclusion (three years).

The woman who by herself shall use the means of abortion, or would accept to use means of abortion which were shown or given to her for this purpose, will be punished with imprisonment from six months to two years, if the result would be an abortion. In a situation where abortion was carried out on an illegitimate baby by his mother, the punishment will be imprisonment from six months to one year.

Doctors, surgeons, health officers, pharmacists (apothecary) and midwives who will indicate, will give or will facilitate these means, shall be punished with reclusion of at least four years, if the abortion took place. If abortion will cause the death of the mother, the punishment will be much austere of four years” (Art. 246) [ 27 ].

The Criminal Code from 1864, reissued in 1912, amended in part the Article 246 for the purposes of eliminating the abortion of an illegitimate baby case. Furthermore, it was no longer specified the minimum of four years of reclusion, in case of abortion carried out with the help of the medical staff, leaving the punishment to the discretion of the Court (Art. 246) [ 28 ].

The Criminal Code from 1936 regulated abortion in the Articles 482–485. Abortion was defined as an interruption of the normal course of pregnancy, being punished as follows:

“ 1 . When the crime is committed without the consent of the pregnant woman, the punishment was reformatory imprisonment from 2 to 5 years. If it caused the pregnant woman any health injury or a serious infirmity, the punishment was reformatory imprisonment from 3 to 6 years, and if it has caused her death, reformatory imprisonment from 7 to 10 years;

2 . When the crime was committed by the unmarried pregnant woman by herself, or when she agreed that someone else should provoke the abortion, the punishment is reformatory imprisonment from 3 to 6 months, and if the woman is married, the punishment is reformatory imprisonment from 6 months to one year. Same penalty applies also to the person who commits the crime with the woman’s consent. If abortion was committed for the purpose of obtaining a benefit, the punishment increases with another 2 years of reformatory imprisonment.

If it caused the pregnant woman any health injuries or a severe disablement, the punishment will be reformatory imprisonment from one to 3 years, and if it has caused her death, the punishment is reformatory imprisonment from 3 to 5 years” (Art. 482) [ 29 ].

The criminal legislation from 1936 specifies that it is not considered as an abortion the interruption from the normal course of pregnancy, if it was carried out by a doctor “when woman’s life was in imminent danger or when the pregnancy aggravates a woman’s disease, putting her life in danger, which could not be removed by other means and it is obvious that the intervention wasn’t performed with another purpose than that of saving the woman’s life” and “when one of the parents has reached a permanent alienation and it is certain that the child will bear serious mental flaws” (Art. 484, Par. 1 and Par. 2) [ 29 ].

In the event of an imminent danger, the doctor was obliged to notify prosecutor’s office in writing, within 48 hours after the intervention, on the performance of the abortion. “In the other cases, the doctor was able to intervene only with the authorization of the prosecutor’s office, given on the basis of a medical certificate from hospital or a notice given as a result of a consultation between the doctor who will intervene and at least a professor doctor in the disease which caused the intervention. General’s Office Prosecutor, in all cases provided by this Article, shall be obliged to maintain the confidentiality of all communications or authorizations, up to the intercession of any possible complaints” (Art. 484) [ 29 ].

The legislation of 1936 provided a reformatory injunction from one to three years for the abortions committed by doctors, sanitary agents, pharmacists, apothecary or midwives (Art. 485) [ 29 ].

Abortion on demand has been legalized for the first time in Romania in the year 1957 by the Decree No. 463, under the condition that it had to be carried out in a hospital and to be carried out in the first quarter of the pregnancy [ 30 ]. In the year 1966, demographic policy of Romania has dramatically changed by introducing the Decree No. 770 from September 29 th , which prohibited abortion. Thus, the voluntary interruption of pregnancy became a crime, with certain exceptions, namely: endangering the mother’s life, physical or mental serious disability; serious or heritable illness, mother’s age over 45 years, if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest or if the woman gave birth to at least four children who were still in her care (Art. 2) [ 31 ].

In the Criminal Code from 1968, the abortion crime was governed by Articles 185–188.

The Article 185, “the illegal induced abortion”, stipulated that “the interruption of pregnancy by any means, outside the conditions permitted by law, with the consent of the pregnant woman will be punished with imprisonment from one to 3 years”. The act referred to above, without the prior consent from the pregnant woman, was punished with prison from two to five years. If the abortion carried out with the consent of the pregnant woman caused any serious body injury, the punishment was imprisonment from two to five years, and when it caused the death of the woman, the prison sentence was from five to 10 years. When abortion was carried out without the prior consent of the woman, if it caused her a serious physical injury, the punishment was imprisonment from three to six years, and if it caused the woman’s death, the punishment was imprisonment from seven to 12 years (Art. 185) [ 32 ].

“When abortion was carried out in order to obtain a material benefit, the maximum punishment was increased by two years, and if the abortion was made by a doctor, in addition to the prison punishment could also be applied the prohibition to no longer practice the profession of doctor”.

Article 186, “abortion caused by the woman”, stipulated that “the interruption of the pregnancy course, committed by the pregnant woman, was punished with imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years”, quoting the fact that by the same punishment was also sanctioned “the pregnant woman’s act to consent in interrupting the pregnancy course made out by another person” (Art. 186) [ 26 ].

The Regulations of the Criminal Code in 1968, also provided the crime of “ownership of tools or materials that can cause abortion”, the conditions of this holding being met when these types of instruments were held outside the hospital’s specialized institutions, the infringement shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to one year (Art. 187) [ 32 ].

Furthermore, the doctors who performed an abortion in the event of extreme urgency, without prior legal authorization and if they did not announce the competent authority within the legal deadline, they were punished by imprisonment from one month to three months (Art. 188) [ 32 ].

In the year 1985, it has been issued the Decree No. 411 of December 26 th , by which the conditions imposed by the Decree No. 770 of 1966 have been hardened, meaning that it has increased the number of children, that a woman could have in order to request an abortion, from four to five children [ 33 ].

The Articles 185–188 of the Criminal Code and the Decree No. 770/1966 on the interruption of the pregnancy course have been abrogated by Decree-Law No. 1 from December 26 th , 1989, which was published in the Official Gazette No. 4 of December 27 th , 1989 (Par. 8 and Par. 12) [ 34 ].

The Criminal Code from 1968, reissued in 1997, maintained Article 185 about “the illegal induced abortion”, but drastically modified. Thus, in this case of the Criminal Code, we identify abortion as “the interruption of pregnancy course, by any means, committed in any of the following circumstances: ( a ) outside medical institutions or authorized medical practices for this purpose; ( b ) by a person who does not have the capacity of specialized doctor; ( c ) if age pregnancy has exceeded 14 weeks”, the punishment laid down was the imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years” (Art. 185, Par. 1) [ 35 ]. For the abortion committed without the prior consent of the pregnant woman, the punishment consisted in strict prison conditions from two to seven years and with the prohibition of certain rights (Art. 185, Par. 2) [ 35 ].

For the situation of causing serious physical injury to the pregnant woman, the punishment was strict prison from three to 10 years and the removal of certain rights, and if it had as a result the death of the pregnant woman, the punishment was strict prison from five to 15 years and the prohibition of certain rights (Art. 185, Par. 3) [ 35 ].

The attempt was punished for the crimes specified in the various cases of abortion.

Consideration should also be given in the Criminal Code reissued in 1997 for not punishing the interruption of the pregnancy course carried out by the doctor, if this interruption “was necessary to save the life, health or the physical integrity of the pregnant woman from a grave and imminent danger and that it could not be removed otherwise; in the case of a over fourteen weeks pregnancy, when the interruption of the pregnancy course should take place from therapeutic reasons” and even in a situation of a woman’s lack of consent, when it has not been given the opportunity to express her will, and abortion “was imposed by therapeutic reasons” (Art. 185, Par. 4) [ 35 ].

Criminal Code from 2004 covers abortion in Article 190, defined in the same way as in the prior Criminal Code, with the difference that it affects the limits of the punishment. So, in the event of pregnancy interruption, in accordance with the conditions specified in Paragraph 1, “the penalty provided was prison time from 6 months to one year or days-fine” (Art. 190, Par. 1) [ 36 ].

Nowadays, in Romania, abortion is governed by the criminal law of 2009, which entered into force in 2014, by the section called “aggression against an unborn child”. It should be specified that current criminal law does not punish the woman responsible for carrying out abortion, but only the person who is involved in carrying out the abortion. There is no punishment for the pregnant woman who injures her fetus during pregnancy.

In Article 201, we can find the details on the pregnancy interruption infringement. Thus, the pregnancy interruption can be performed in one of the following circumstances: “outside of medical institutions or medical practices authorized for this purpose; by a person who does not have the capacity of specialist doctor in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the right of free medical practice in this specialty; if gestational age has exceeded 14 weeks”, the punishment is the imprisonment for six months to three years, or fine and the prohibition to exercise certain rights (Art. 201, Par. 1) [ 37 ].

Article 201, Paragraph 2 specifies that “the interruption of the pregnancy committed under any circumstances, without the prior consent of the pregnant woman, can be punished with imprisonment from 2 to 7 years and with the prohibition to exercise some rights” (Art. 201, Par. 1) [ 37 ].

If by facts referred to above (Art. 201, Par. 1 and Par. 2) [ 37 ] “it has caused the pregnant woman’s physical injury, the punishment is the imprisonment from 3 to 10 years and the prohibition to exercise some rights, and if it has had as a result the pregnant woman’s death, the punishment is the imprisonment from 6 to 12 years and the prohibition to exercise some rights” (Art. 201, Par. 3) [ 37 ]. When the facts have been committed by a doctor, “in addition to the imprisonment punishment, it will also be applied the prohibition to exercise the profession of doctor (Art. 201, Par. 4) [ 37 ].

Criminal legislation specifies that “the interruption of pregnancy does not constitute an infringement with the purpose of a treatment carried out by a specialist doctor in Obstetrics and Gynecology, until the pregnancy age of twenty-four weeks is reached, or the subsequent pregnancy interruption, for the purpose of treatment, is in the interests of the mother or the fetus” (Art. 201, Par. 6) [ 37 ]. However, it can all be found in the phrases “therapeutic purposes” and “the interest of the mother and of the unborn child”, which predisposes the text of law to an interpretation, finally the doctors are the only ones in the position to decide what should be done in such cases, assuming direct responsibility [ 38 ].

Article 202 of the Criminal Code defines the crime of harming an unborn child, pointing out the punishments for the various types of injuries that can occur during pregnancy or in the childbirth period and which can be caused by the mother or by the persons who assist the birth, with the specification that the mother who harms her fetus during pregnancy is not punished and does not constitute an infringement if the injury has been committed during pregnancy or during childbirth period if the facts have been “committed by a doctor or by an authorized person to assist the birth or to follow the pregnancy, if they have been committed in the course of the medical act, complying with the specific provisions of his profession and have been made in the interest of the pregnant woman or fetus, as a result of the exercise of an inherent risk in the medical act” (Art. 202, Par. 6) [ 37 ].

The fact situation in Romania

During the period 1948–1955, called “the small baby boom” [ 39 ], Romania registered an average fertility rate of 3.23 children for a woman. Between 1955 and 1962, the fertility rate has been less than three children for a woman, and in 1962, fertility has reached an average of two children for a woman. This phenomenon occurred because of the Decree No. 463/1957 on liberalization of abortion. After the liberalization from 1957, the abortion rate has increased from 220 abortions per 100 born-alive children in the year 1960, to 400 abortions per 100 born-alive children, in the year 1965 [ 40 ].

The application of provisions of Decrees No. 770 of 1966 and No. 411 of 1985 has led to an increase of the birth rate in the first three years (an average of 3.7 children in 1967, and 3.6 children in 1968), followed by a regression until 1989, when it was recorded an average of 2.2 children, but also a maternal death rate caused by illegal abortions, raising up to 85 deaths of 100 000 births in the year of 1965, and 170 deaths in 1983. It was estimated that more than 80% of maternal deaths between 1980–1989 was caused by legal constraints [ 30 ].

After the Romanian Revolution in December 1989 and after the communism fall, with the abrogation of Articles 185–188 of the Criminal Code and of the Decree No. 770/1966, by the Decree of Law No. 1 of December 26 th , 1989, abortion has become legal in Romania and so, in the following years, it has reached the highest rate of abortion in Europe. Subsequently, the number of abortion has dropped gradually, with increasing use of birth control [ 41 ].

Statistical data issued by the Ministry of Health and by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) in Romania show corresponding figures to a legally carried out abortion. The abortion number is much higher, if it would take into account the number of illegal abortion, especially those carried out before 1989, and those carried out in private clinics, after the year 1990. Summing the declared abortions in the period 1958–2014, it is to be noted the number of them, 22 037 747 exceeds the current Romanian population. A detailed statistical research of abortion rate, in terms of years we have exposed in Table ​ Table1 1 .

The number of abortions declared in Romania in the period 1958–2016

Source: Pro Vita Association (Bucharest, Romania), National Institute of Statistics (INS – Romania), EUROSTAT [ 42 , 43 , 44 ]

Data issued by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in June 2016, for the period 1989–2014, in matters of reproductive behavior, indicates a fertility rate for Romania with a continuous decrease, in proportion to the decrease of the number of births, but also a lower number of abortion rate reported to 100 deliveries (Table ​ (Table2 2 ).

Reproductive behavior in Romania in 1989–2014

Source: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Transformative Monitoring for Enhanced Equity (TransMonEE) Data. Country profiles: Romania, 1989–2015 [ 45 ].

By analyzing data issued for the period 1990–2015 by the International Organization of Health , UNICEF , United Nations Fund for Population Activity (UNFPA), The World Bank and the United Nations Population Division, it is noticed that maternal mortality rate has currently dropped as compared with 1990 (Table ​ (Table3 3 ).

Maternal mortality estimation in Romania in 1990–2015

Source: World Health Organization (WHO), Global Health Observatory Data. Maternal mortality country profiles: Romania, 2015 [ 46 ].

Opinion survey: women’s opinion on abortion

Argument for choosing the research theme

Although the problematic on abortion in Romania has been extensively investigated and debated, it has not been carried out in an ample sociological study, covering Romanian women’s perception on abortion. We have assumed making a study at national level, in order to identify the opinion on abortion, on the motivation to carry out an abortion, and to identify the correlation between religious convictions and the attitude toward abortion.

Examining the literature field of study

In the conceptual register of the research, we have highlighted items, such as the specialized literature, legislation, statistical documents.

Formulation of hypotheses and objectives

The first hypothesis was that Romanian women accept abortion, having an open attitude towards this act. Thus, the first objective of the research was to identify Romanian women’s attitude towards abortion.

The second hypothesis, from which we started, was that high religious beliefs generate a lower tolerance towards abortion. Thus, the second objective of our research has been to identify the correlation between the religious beliefs and the attitude towards abortion.

The third hypothesis of the survey was that, the main motivation in carrying out an abortion is the fact that a woman does not want a baby, and the main motivation for keeping the pregnancy is that the person wants a baby. In this context, the third objective of the research was to identify main motivation in carrying out an abortion and in maintaining a pregnancy.

Another hypothesis was that modern Romanian legislation on the abortion is considered fair. Based on this hypothesis, we have assumed the fourth objective, which is to identify the degree of satisfaction towards the current regulatory provisions governing the abortion.

Research methodology

The research method is that of a sociological survey by the application of the questionnaire technique. We used the sampling by age and residence looking at representative numbers of population from more developed as well as underdeveloped areas.

Determination of the sample to be studied

Because abortion is a typical women’s experience, we have chosen to make the quantitative research only among women. We have constructed the sample by selecting a number of 1260 women between the ages of 15 and 44 years (the most frequently encountered age among women who give birth to a child). We also used the quota sampling techniques, taking into account the following variables: age group and the residence (urban/rural), so that the persons included in the sample could retain characteristic of the general population.

By the sample of 1260 women, we have made a percentage of investigation of 0.03% of the total population.

The Questionnaires number applied was distributed as follows (Table ​ (Table4 4 ).

The sampling rates based on the age, and the region of residence

Source: Sample built, based on the population data issued by the National Institute of Statistics (INS – Romania) based on population census conducted in 2011 [ 47 ].

Data collection

Data collection was carried out by questionnaires administered by 32 field operators between May 1 st –May 31 st , 2018.

The analysis of the research results

In the next section, we will present the main results of the quantitative research carried out at national level.

Almost three-quarters of women included in the sample agree with carrying out an abortion in certain circumstances (70%) and only 24% have chosen to support the answer “ No, never ”. In modern contemporary society, abortion is the first solution of women for which a pregnancy is not desired. Even if advanced medical techniques are a lot safer, an abortion still carries a health risk. However, 6% of respondents agree with carrying out abortion regardless of circumstances (Table ​ (Table5 5 ).

Opinion on the possibility of carrying out an abortion

Although abortions carried out after 14 weeks are illegal, except for medical reasons, more than half of the surveyed women stated they would agree with abortion in certain circumstances. At the opposite pole, 31% have mentioned they would never agree on abortions after 14 weeks. Five percent were totally accepting the idea of abortion made to a pregnancy that has exceeded 14 weeks (Table ​ (Table6 6 ).

Opinion on the possibility of carrying out an abortion after the period of 14 weeks of pregnancy

For 53% of respondents, abortion is considered a crime as well as the right of a women. On the other hand, 28% of the women considered abortion as a crime and 16% associate abortion with a woman’s right (Table ​ (Table7 7 ).

Opinion on abortion: at the border between crime and a woman’s right

Opinions on what women abort at the time of the voluntary pregnancy interruption are split in two: 59% consider that it depends on the time of the abortion, and more specifically on the pregnancy development stage, 24% consider that regardless of the period in which it is carried out, women abort a child, and 14% have opted a fetus (Table ​ (Table8 8 ).

Abortion of a child vs. abortion of a fetus

Among respondents who consider that women abort a child or a fetus related to the time of abortion, 37.5% have considered that the difference between a baby and a fetus appears after 14 weeks of pregnancy (the period legally accepted for abortion). Thirty-three percent of them have mentioned that the distinction should be performed at the first few heartbeats; 18.1% think it is about when the child has all the features definitively outlined and can move by himself; 2.8% consider that the difference appears when the first encephalopathy traces are being felt and the child has formed all internal and external organs. A percentage of 1.7% of respondents consider that this difference occurs at the beginning of the central nervous system, and 1.4% when the unborn child has all the features that we can clearly see to a newborn child (Table ​ (Table9 9 ).

The opinion on the moment that makes the difference between a fetus and a child

We noticed that highly religious people make a clear association between abortion and crime. They also consider that at the time of pregnancy interruption it is aborted a child and not a fetus. However, unexpectedly, we noticed that 27% of the women, who declare themselves to be very religious, have also stated that they see abortion as a crime but also as a woman’s right. Thirty-one percent of the women, who also claimed profound religious beliefs, consider that abortion may be associated with the abortion of a child but also of a fetus, this depending on the time of abortion (Tables ​ (Tables10 10 and ​ and11 11 ).

The correlation between the level of religious beliefs and the perspective on abortion seen as a crime or a right

The correlation between the level of religious beliefs and the perspective on abortion procedure conducted on a fetus or a child

More than half of the respondents have opted for the main reason for abortion the appearance of medical problems to the child. Baby’s health represents the main concern of future mothers, and of each parent, and the birth of a child with serious health issues, is a factor which frightens any future parent, being many times, at least theoretically, one good reason for opting for abortion. At the opposite side, 12% of respondents would not choose abortion under any circumstances. Other reasons for which women would opt for an abortion are: if the woman would have a medical problem (22%) or would not want the child (10%) (Table ​ (Table12 12 ).

Potential reasons for carrying out an abortion

Most of the women want to give birth to a child, 56% of the respondents, representing also the reason that would determine them to keep the child. Morality (26%), faith (10%) or legal restrictions (4%), are the three other reasons for which women would not interrupt a pregnancy. Only 2% of the respondents have mentioned other reasons such as health or age.

A percentage of 23% of the surveyed people said that they have done an abortion so far, and 77% did not opted for a surgical intervention either because there was no need, or because they have kept the pregnancy (Table ​ (Table13 13 ).

Rate of abortion among women in the sample

Most respondents, 87% specified that they have carried out an abortion during the first 14 weeks – legally accepted limit for abortion: 43.6% have made abortion in the first four weeks, 39.1% between weeks 4–8, and 4.3% between weeks 8–14. It should be noted that 8.7% could not appreciate the pregnancy period in which they carried out abortion, by opting to answer with the option “ I don’t know ”, and a percentage of 4.3% refused to answer to this question.

Performing an abortion is based on many reasons, but the fact that the women have not wanted a child is the main reason mentioned by 47.8% of people surveyed, who have done minimum an abortion so far. Among the reasons for the interruption of pregnancy, it is also included: women with medical problems (13.3%), not the right time to be a mother (10.7%), age motivation (8.7%), due to medical problems of the child (4.3%), the lack of money (4.3%), family pressure (4.3%), partner/spouse did not wanted. A percentage of 3.3% of women had different reasons for abortion, as follows: age difference too large between children, career, marital status, etc. Asked later whether they regretted the abortion, a rate of 69.6% of women who said they had at least one abortion regret it (34.8% opted for “ Yes ”, and 34.8% said “ Yes, partially ”). 26.1% of surveyed women do not regret the choice to interrupted the pregnancy, and 4.3% chose to not answer this question. We noted that, for women who have already experienced abortion, the causes were more diverse than the grounds on which the previous question was asked: “What are the reasons that determined you to have an abortion?” (Table ​ (Table14 14 ).

The reasons that led the women in the sample to have an abortion

The majority of the respondents (37.5%) considered that “nervous depression” is the main consequence of abortion, followed by “insomnia and nightmares” (24.6%), “disorders in alimentation” and “affective disorders” (each for 7.7% of respondents), “deterioration of interpersonal relationships” and “the feeling of guilt”(for 6.3% of the respondents), “sexual disorders” and “panic attacks” (for 6.3% of the respondents) (Table ​ (Table15 15 ).

Opinion on the consequences of abortion

Over half of the respondents believe that abortion should be legal in certain circumstances, as currently provided by law, 39% say it should be always legal, and only 6% opted for the illegal option (Table ​ (Table16 16 ).

Opinion on the legal regulation of abortion

Although the current legislation does not punish pregnant women who interrupt pregnancy or intentionally injured their fetus, survey results indicate that 61% of women surveyed believe that the national law should punish the woman and only 28% agree with the current legislation (Table ​ (Table17 17 ).

Opinion on the possibility of punishing the woman who interrupts the course of pregnancy or injures the fetus

For the majority of the respondents (40.6%), the penalty provided by the current legislation, the imprisonment between six months and three years or a fine and deprivation of certain rights for the illegal abortion is considered fair, for a percentage of 39.6% the punishment is too small for 9.5% of the respondents is too high. Imprisonment between two and seven years and deprivation of certain rights for an abortion performed without the consent of the pregnant woman is considered too small for 65% of interviewees. Fourteen percent of them think it is fair and only 19% of respondents consider that Romanian legislation is too severe with people who commit such an act considering the punishment as too much. The imprisonment from three to 10 years and deprivation of certain rights for the facts described above, if an injury was caused to the woman, is considered to be too small for more than half of those included in the survey, 64% and almost 22% for nearly a quarter of them. Only 9% of the respondents mentioned that this legislative measure is too severe for such actions (Table ​ (Table18 18 ).

Opinion on the regulation of abortion of the Romanian Criminal Code (Art. 201)

Conclusions

After analyzing the results of the sociological research regarding abortion undertaken at national level, we see that 76% of the Romanian women accept abortion, indicating that the majority accepts only certain circumstances (a certain period after conception, for medical reasons, etc.). A percentage of 64% of the respondents indicated that they accept the idea of abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy (for solid reasons or regardless the reason). This study shows that over 50% of Romanian women see abortion as a right of women but also a woman’s crime and believe that in the moment of interruption of a pregnancy, a fetus is aborted. Mostly, the association of abortion with crime and with the idea that a child is aborted is frequently found within very religious people. The main motivation for Romanian women in taking the decision not to perform an abortion is that they would want the child, and the main reason to perform an abortion is the child’s medical problems. However, it is noted that, in real situations, in which women have already done at least one abortion, most women resort to abortion because they did not want the child towards the hypothetical situation in which women felt that the main reason of abortion is a medical problem. Regarding the satisfaction with the current national legislation of the abortion, the situation is rather surprising. A significant percentage (61%) of respondents felt as necessary to punish the woman who performs an illegal abortion, although the legislation does not provide a punishment. On the other hand, satisfaction level to the penalties provided by law for various violations of the legal conditions for conducting abortion is low, on average only 25.5% of respondents are being satisfied with these, the majority (average 56.2%) considering the penalties as unsatisfactory. Understood as a social phenomenon, intensified by human vulnerabilities, of which the most obvious is accepting the comfort [ 48 ], abortion today is no longer, in Romanian society, from a legal or religious perspective, a problem. Perceptions on the legislative sanction, moral and religious will perpetual vary depending on beliefs, environment, education, etc. The only and the biggest social problem of Romania is truly represented by the steadily falling birth rate.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

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Impact of abortion law reforms on women’s health services and outcomes: a systematic review protocol

  • Foluso Ishola   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8644-0570 1 ,
  • U. Vivian Ukah 1 &
  • Arijit Nandi 1  

Systematic Reviews volume  10 , Article number:  192 ( 2021 ) Cite this article

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A country’s abortion law is a key component in determining the enabling environment for safe abortion. While restrictive abortion laws still prevail in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), many countries have reformed their abortion laws, with the majority of them moving away from an absolute ban. However, the implications of these reforms on women’s access to and use of health services, as well as their health outcomes, is uncertain. First, there are methodological challenges to the evaluation of abortion laws, since these changes are not exogenous. Second, extant evaluations may be limited in terms of their generalizability, given variation in reforms across the abortion legality spectrum and differences in levels of implementation and enforcement cross-nationally. This systematic review aims to address this gap. Our aim is to systematically collect, evaluate, and synthesize empirical research evidence concerning the impact of abortion law reforms on women’s health services and outcomes in LMICs.

We will conduct a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature on changes in abortion laws and women’s health services and outcomes in LMICs. We will search Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases, as well as grey literature and reference lists of included studies for further relevant literature. As our goal is to draw inference on the impact of abortion law reforms, we will include quasi-experimental studies examining the impact of change in abortion laws on at least one of our outcomes of interest. We will assess the methodological quality of studies using the quasi-experimental study designs series checklist. Due to anticipated heterogeneity in policy changes, outcomes, and study designs, we will synthesize results through a narrative description.

This review will systematically appraise and synthesize the research evidence on the impact of abortion law reforms on women’s health services and outcomes in LMICs. We will examine the effect of legislative reforms and investigate the conditions that might contribute to heterogeneous effects, including whether specific groups of women are differentially affected by abortion law reforms. We will discuss gaps and future directions for research. Findings from this review could provide evidence on emerging strategies to influence policy reforms, implement abortion services and scale up accessibility.

Systematic review registration

PROSPERO CRD42019126927

Peer Review reports

An estimated 25·1 million unsafe abortions occur each year, with 97% of these in developing countries [ 1 , 2 , 3 ]. Despite its frequency, unsafe abortion remains a major global public health challenge [ 4 , 5 ]. According to the World health Organization (WHO), nearly 8% of maternal deaths were attributed to unsafe abortion, with the majority of these occurring in developing countries [ 5 , 6 ]. Approximately 7 million women are admitted to hospitals every year due to complications from unsafe abortion such as hemorrhage, infections, septic shock, uterine and intestinal perforation, and peritonitis [ 7 , 8 , 9 ]. These often result in long-term effects such as infertility and chronic reproductive tract infections. The annual cost of treating major complications from unsafe abortion is estimated at US$ 232 million each year in developing countries [ 10 , 11 ]. The negative consequences on children’s health, well-being, and development have also been documented. Unsafe abortion increases risk of poor birth outcomes, neonatal and infant mortality [ 12 , 13 ]. Additionally, women who lack access to safe and legal abortion are often forced to continue with unwanted pregnancies, and may not seek prenatal care [ 14 ], which might increase risks of child morbidity and mortality.

Access to safe abortion services is often limited due to a wide range of barriers. Collectively, these barriers contribute to the staggering number of deaths and disabilities seen annually as a result of unsafe abortion, which are disproportionately felt in developing countries [ 15 , 16 , 17 ]. A recent systematic review on the barriers to abortion access in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) implicated the following factors: restrictive abortion laws, lack of knowledge about abortion law or locations that provide abortion, high cost of services, judgmental provider attitudes, scarcity of facilities and medical equipment, poor training and shortage of staff, stigma on social and religious grounds, and lack of decision making power [ 17 ].

An important factor regulating access to abortion is abortion law [ 17 , 18 , 19 ]. Although abortion is a medical procedure, its legal status in many countries has been incorporated in penal codes which specify grounds in which abortion is permitted. These include prohibition in all circumstances, to save the woman’s life, to preserve the woman’s health, in cases of rape, incest, fetal impairment, for economic or social reasons, and on request with no requirement for justification [ 18 , 19 , 20 ].

Although abortion laws in different countries are usually compared based on the grounds under which legal abortions are allowed, these comparisons rarely take into account components of the legal framework that may have strongly restrictive implications, such as regulation of facilities that are authorized to provide abortions, mandatory waiting periods, reporting requirements in cases of rape, limited choice in terms of the method of abortion, and requirements for third-party authorizations [ 19 , 21 , 22 ]. For example, the Zambian Termination of Pregnancy Act permits abortion on socio-economic grounds. It is considered liberal, as it permits legal abortions for more indications than most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa; however, abortions must only be provided in registered hospitals, and three medical doctors—one of whom must be a specialist—must provide signatures to allow the procedure to take place [ 22 ]. Given the critical shortage of doctors in Zambia [ 23 ], this is in fact a major restriction that is only captured by a thorough analysis of the conditions under which abortion services are provided.

Additionally, abortion laws may exist outside the penal codes in some countries, where they are supplemented by health legislation and regulations such as public health statutes, reproductive health acts, court decisions, medical ethic codes, practice guidelines, and general health acts [ 18 , 19 , 24 ]. The diversity of regulatory documents may lead to conflicting directives about the grounds under which abortion is lawful [ 19 ]. For example, in Kenya and Uganda, standards and guidelines on the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to unsafe abortion supported by the constitution was contradictory to the penal code, leaving room for an ambiguous interpretation of the legal environment [ 25 ].

Regulations restricting the range of abortion methods from which women can choose, including medication abortion in particular, may also affect abortion access [ 26 , 27 ]. A literature review contextualizing medication abortion in seven African countries reported that incidence of medication abortion is low despite being a safe, effective, and low-cost abortion method, likely due to legal restrictions on access to the medications [ 27 ].

Over the past two decades, many LMICs have reformed their abortion laws [ 3 , 28 ]. Most have expanded the grounds on which abortion may be performed legally, while very few have restricted access. Countries like Uruguay, South Africa, and Portugal have amended their laws to allow abortion on request in the first trimester of pregnancy [ 29 , 30 ]. Conversely, in Nicaragua, a law to ban all abortion without any exception was introduced in 2006 [ 31 ].

Progressive reforms are expected to lead to improvements in women’s access to safe abortion and health outcomes, including reductions in the death and disabilities that accompany unsafe abortion, and reductions in stigma over the longer term [ 17 , 29 , 32 ]. However, abortion law reforms may yield different outcomes even in countries that experience similar reforms, as the legislative processes that are associated with changing abortion laws take place in highly distinct political, economic, religious, and social contexts [ 28 , 33 ]. This variation may contribute to abortion law reforms having different effects with respect to the health services and outcomes that they are hypothesized to influence [ 17 , 29 ].

Extant empirical literature has examined changes in abortion-related morbidity and mortality, contraceptive usage, fertility, and other health-related outcomes following reforms to abortion laws [ 34 , 35 , 36 , 37 ]. For example, a study in Mexico reported that a policy that decriminalized and subsidized early-term elective abortion led to substantial reductions in maternal morbidity and that this was particularly strong among vulnerable populations such as young and socioeconomically disadvantaged women [ 38 ].

To the best of our knowledge, however, the growing literature on the impact of abortion law reforms on women’s health services and outcomes has not been systematically reviewed. A study by Benson et al. evaluated evidence on the impact of abortion policy reforms on maternal death in three countries, Romania, South Africa, and Bangladesh, where reforms were immediately followed by strategies to implement abortion services, scale up accessibility, and establish complementary reproductive and maternal health services [ 39 ]. The three countries highlighted in this paper provided unique insights into implementation and practical application following law reforms, in spite of limited resources. However, the review focused only on a selection of countries that have enacted similar reforms and it is unclear if its conclusions are more widely generalizable.

Accordingly, the primary objective of this review is to summarize studies that have estimated the causal effect of a change in abortion law on women’s health services and outcomes. Additionally, we aim to examine heterogeneity in the impacts of abortion reforms, including variation across specific population sub-groups and contexts (e.g., due to variations in the intensity of enforcement and service delivery). Through this review, we aim to offer a higher-level view of the impact of abortion law reforms in LMICs, beyond what can be gained from any individual study, and to thereby highlight patterns in the evidence across studies, gaps in current research, and to identify promising programs and strategies that could be adapted and applied more broadly to increase access to safe abortion services.

The review protocol has been reported using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines [ 40 ] (Additional file 1 ). It was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) database CRD42019126927.

Eligibility criteria

Types of studies.

This review will consider quasi-experimental studies which aim to estimate the causal effect of a change in a specific law or reform and an outcome, but in which participants (in this case jurisdictions, whether countries, states/provinces, or smaller units) are not randomly assigned to treatment conditions [ 41 ]. Eligible designs include the following:

Pretest-posttest designs where the outcome is compared before and after the reform, as well as nonequivalent groups designs, such as pretest-posttest design that includes a comparison group, also known as a controlled before and after (CBA) designs.

Interrupted time series (ITS) designs where the trend of an outcome after an abortion law reform is compared to a counterfactual (i.e., trends in the outcome in the post-intervention period had the jurisdiction not enacted the reform) based on the pre-intervention trends and/or a control group [ 42 , 43 ].

Differences-in-differences (DD) designs, which compare the before vs. after change in an outcome in jurisdictions that experienced an abortion law reform to the corresponding change in the places that did not experience such a change, under the assumption of parallel trends [ 44 , 45 ].

Synthetic controls (SC) approaches, which use a weighted combination of control units that did not experience the intervention, selected to match the treated unit in its pre-intervention outcome trend, to proxy the counterfactual scenario [ 46 , 47 ].

Regression discontinuity (RD) designs, which in the case of eligibility for abortion services being determined by the value of a continuous random variable, such as age or income, would compare the distributions of post-intervention outcomes for those just above and below the threshold [ 48 ].

There is heterogeneity in the terminology and definitions used to describe quasi-experimental designs, but we will do our best to categorize studies into the above groups based on their designs, identification strategies, and assumptions.

Our focus is on quasi-experimental research because we are interested in studies evaluating the effect of population-level interventions (i.e., abortion law reform) with a design that permits inference regarding the causal effect of abortion legislation, which is not possible from other types of observational designs such as cross-sectional studies, cohort studies or case-control studies that lack an identification strategy for addressing sources of unmeasured confounding (e.g., secular trends in outcomes). We are not excluding randomized studies such as randomized controlled trials, cluster randomized trials, or stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trials; however, we do not expect to identify any relevant randomized studies given that abortion policy is unlikely to be randomly assigned. Since our objective is to provide a summary of empirical studies reporting primary research, reviews/meta-analyses, qualitative studies, editorials, letters, book reviews, correspondence, and case reports/studies will also be excluded.

Our population of interest includes women of reproductive age (15–49 years) residing in LMICs, as the policy exposure of interest applies primarily to women who have a demand for sexual and reproductive health services including abortion.

Intervention

The intervention in this study refers to a change in abortion law or policy, either from a restrictive policy to a non-restrictive or less restrictive one, or vice versa. This can, for example, include a change from abortion prohibition in all circumstances to abortion permissible in other circumstances, such as to save the woman’s life, to preserve the woman’s health, in cases of rape, incest, fetal impairment, for economic or social reasons, or on request with no requirement for justification. It can also include the abolition of existing abortion policies or the introduction of new policies including those occurring outside the penal code, which also have legal standing, such as:

National constitutions;

Supreme court decisions, as well as higher court decisions;

Customary or religious law, such as interpretations of Muslim law;

Medical ethical codes; and

Regulatory standards and guidelines governing the provision of abortion.

We will also consider national and sub-national reforms, although we anticipate that most reforms will operate at the national level.

The comparison group represents the counterfactual scenario, specifically the level and/or trend of a particular post-intervention outcome in the treated jurisdiction that experienced an abortion law reform had it, counter to the fact, not experienced this specific intervention. Comparison groups will vary depending on the type of quasi-experimental design. These may include outcome trends after abortion reform in the same country, as in the case of an interrupted time series design without a control group, or corresponding trends in countries that did not experience a change in abortion law, as in the case of the difference-in-differences design.

Outcome measures

Primary outcomes.

Access to abortion services: There is no consensus on how to measure access but we will use the following indicators, based on the relevant literature [ 49 ]: [ 1 ] the availability of trained staff to provide care, [ 2 ] facilities are geographically accessible such as distance to providers, [ 3 ] essential equipment, supplies and medications, [ 4 ] services provided regardless of woman’s ability to pay, [ 5 ] all aspects of abortion care are explained to women, [ 6 ] whether staff offer respectful care, [ 7 ] if staff work to ensure privacy, [ 8 ] if high-quality, supportive counseling is provided, [ 9 ] if services are offered in a timely manner, and [ 10 ] if women have the opportunity to express concerns, ask questions, and receive answers.

Use of abortion services refers to induced pregnancy termination, including medication abortion and number of women treated for abortion-related complications.

Secondary outcomes

Current use of any method of contraception refers to women of reproductive age currently using any method contraceptive method.

Future use of contraception refers to women of reproductive age who are not currently using contraception but intend to do so in the future.

Demand for family planning refers to women of reproductive age who are currently using, or whose sexual partner is currently using, at least one contraceptive method.

Unmet need for family planning refers to women of reproductive age who want to stop or delay childbearing but are not using any method of contraception.

Fertility rate refers to the average number of children born to women of childbearing age.

Neonatal morbidity and mortality refer to disability or death of newborn babies within the first 28 days of life.

Maternal morbidity and mortality refer to disability or death due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

There will be no language, date, or year restrictions on studies included in this systematic review.

Studies have to be conducted in a low- and middle-income country. We will use the country classification specified in the World Bank Data Catalogue to identify LMICs (Additional file 2 ).

Search methods

We will perform searches for eligible peer-reviewed studies in the following electronic databases.

Ovid MEDLINE(R) (from 1946 to present)

Embase Classic+Embase on OvidSP (from 1947 to present)

CINAHL (1973 to present); and

Web of Science (1900 to present)

The reference list of included studies will be hand searched for additional potentially relevant citations. Additionally, a grey literature search for reports or working papers will be done with the help of Google and Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Search strategy

A search strategy, based on the eligibility criteria and combining subject indexing terms (i.e., MeSH) and free-text search terms in the title and abstract fields, will be developed for each electronic database. The search strategy will combine terms related to the interventions of interest (i.e., abortion law/policy), etiology (i.e., impact/effect), and context (i.e., LMICs) and will be developed with the help of a subject matter librarian. We opted not to specify outcomes in the search strategy in order to maximize the sensitivity of our search. See Additional file 3 for a draft of our search strategy.

Data collection and analysis

Data management.

Search results from all databases will be imported into Endnote reference manager software (Version X9, Clarivate Analytics) where duplicate records will be identified and excluded using a systematic, rigorous, and reproducible method that utilizes a sequential combination of fields including author, year, title, journal, and pages. Rayyan systematic review software will be used to manage records throughout the review [ 50 ].

Selection process

Two review authors will screen titles and abstracts and apply the eligibility criteria to select studies for full-text review. Reference lists of any relevant articles identified will be screened to ensure no primary research studies are missed. Studies in a language different from English will be translated by collaborators who are fluent in the particular language. If no such expertise is identified, we will use Google Translate [ 51 ]. Full text versions of potentially relevant articles will be retrieved and assessed for inclusion based on study eligibility criteria. Discrepancies will be resolved by consensus or will involve a third reviewer as an arbitrator. The selection of studies, as well as reasons for exclusions of potentially eligible studies, will be described using a PRISMA flow chart.

Data extraction

Data extraction will be independently undertaken by two authors. At the conclusion of data extraction, these two authors will meet with the third author to resolve any discrepancies. A piloted standardized extraction form will be used to extract the following information: authors, date of publication, country of study, aim of study, policy reform year, type of policy reform, data source (surveys, medical records), years compared (before and after the reform), comparators (over time or between groups), participant characteristics (age, socioeconomic status), primary and secondary outcomes, evaluation design, methods used for statistical analysis (regression), estimates reported (means, rates, proportion), information to assess risk of bias (sensitivity analyses), sources of funding, and any potential conflicts of interest.

Risk of bias and quality assessment

Two independent reviewers with content and methodological expertise in methods for policy evaluation will assess the methodological quality of included studies using the quasi-experimental study designs series risk of bias checklist [ 52 ]. This checklist provides a list of criteria for grading the quality of quasi-experimental studies that relate directly to the intrinsic strength of the studies in inferring causality. These include [ 1 ] relevant comparison, [ 2 ] number of times outcome assessments were available, [ 3 ] intervention effect estimated by changes over time for the same or different groups, [ 4 ] control of confounding, [ 5 ] how groups of individuals or clusters were formed (time or location differences), and [ 6 ] assessment of outcome variables. Each of the following domains will be assigned a “yes,” “no,” or “possibly” bias classification. Any discrepancies will be resolved by consensus or a third reviewer with expertise in review methodology if required.

Confidence in cumulative evidence

The strength of the body of evidence will be assessed using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system [ 53 ].

Data synthesis

We anticipate that risk of bias and heterogeneity in the studies included may preclude the use of meta-analyses to describe pooled effects. This may necessitate the presentation of our main findings through a narrative description. We will synthesize the findings from the included articles according to the following key headings:

Information on the differential aspects of the abortion policy reforms.

Information on the types of study design used to assess the impact of policy reforms.

Information on main effects of abortion law reforms on primary and secondary outcomes of interest.

Information on heterogeneity in the results that might be due to differences in study designs, individual-level characteristics, and contextual factors.

Potential meta-analysis

If outcomes are reported consistently across studies, we will construct forest plots and synthesize effect estimates using meta-analysis. Statistical heterogeneity will be assessed using the I 2 test where I 2 values over 50% indicate moderate to high heterogeneity [ 54 ]. If studies are sufficiently homogenous, we will use fixed effects. However, if there is evidence of heterogeneity, a random effects model will be adopted. Summary measures, including risk ratios or differences or prevalence ratios or differences will be calculated, along with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Analysis of subgroups

If there are sufficient numbers of included studies, we will perform sub-group analyses according to type of policy reform, geographical location and type of participant characteristics such as age groups, socioeconomic status, urban/rural status, education, or marital status to examine the evidence for heterogeneous effects of abortion laws.

Sensitivity analysis

Sensitivity analyses will be conducted if there are major differences in quality of the included articles to explore the influence of risk of bias on effect estimates.

Meta-biases

If available, studies will be compared to protocols and registers to identify potential reporting bias within studies. If appropriate and there are a sufficient number of studies included, funnel plots will be generated to determine potential publication bias.

This systematic review will synthesize current evidence on the impact of abortion law reforms on women’s health. It aims to identify which legislative reforms are effective, for which population sub-groups, and under which conditions.

Potential limitations may include the low quality of included studies as a result of suboptimal study design, invalid assumptions, lack of sensitivity analysis, imprecision of estimates, variability in results, missing data, and poor outcome measurements. Our review may also include a limited number of articles because we opted to focus on evidence from quasi-experimental study design due to the causal nature of the research question under review. Nonetheless, we will synthesize the literature, provide a critical evaluation of the quality of the evidence and discuss the potential effects of any limitations to our overall conclusions. Protocol amendments will be recorded and dated using the registration for this review on PROSPERO. We will also describe any amendments in our final manuscript.

Synthesizing available evidence on the impact of abortion law reforms represents an important step towards building our knowledge base regarding how abortion law reforms affect women’s health services and health outcomes; we will provide evidence on emerging strategies to influence policy reforms, implement abortion services, and scale up accessibility. This review will be of interest to service providers, policy makers and researchers seeking to improve women’s access to safe abortion around the world.

Abbreviations

Cumulative index to nursing and allied health literature

Excerpta medica database

Low- and middle-income countries

Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols

International prospective register of systematic reviews

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Acknowledgements

We thank Genevieve Gore, Liaison Librarian at McGill University, for her assistance with refining the research question, keywords, and Mesh terms for the preliminary search strategy.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Fonds de recherche du Quebec – Santé (FRQS) PhD doctoral awards and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Operating Grant, “Examining the impact of social policies on health equity” (ROH-115209).

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FI and AN conceived and designed the protocol. FI drafted the manuscript. FI, UVU, and AN revised the manuscript and approved its final version.

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Supplementary Information

Additional file 1:.

PRISMA-P 2015 Checklist. This checklist has been adapted for use with systematic review protocol submissions to BioMed Central journals from Table 3 in Moher D et al: Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement. Systematic Reviews 2015 4:1

Additional File 2:.

LMICs according to World Bank Data Catalogue. Country classification specified in the World Bank Data Catalogue to identify low- and middle-income countries

Additional File 3: Table 1

. Search strategy in Embase. Detailed search terms and filters applied to generate our search in Embase

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Ishola, F., Ukah, U.V. & Nandi, A. Impact of abortion law reforms on women’s health services and outcomes: a systematic review protocol. Syst Rev 10 , 192 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01739-w

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Received : 02 January 2020

Accepted : 08 June 2021

Published : 28 June 2021

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01739-w

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  • Abortion law/policies; Impact
  • Unsafe abortion
  • Contraception

Systematic Reviews

ISSN: 2046-4053

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abortion law dissertation topics

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Recognising a Human Right to Abortion

TONGUE, ZOE,LOUISE (2023) Recognising a Human Right to Abortion. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

This thesis presents an argument for the recognition of a human right to abortion in the international human rights framework. Firstly, I identify the key conceptual issues with the current human rights system; its approach to gender-based rights, issues with cross-cultural traction, and the relative lack of protection afforded to economic, social, and cultural rights. I go on to consider the specific limitations of the international human rights framework in relation to abortion, in light of worldwide variations in access to abortion and recent backsliding. The remainder of my thesis seeks to address these issues, by adopting Alan Gewirth’s Principle of Generic Consistency (PGC) and applied in conjunction with feminist values as the foundation for a genuinely universal human rights framework. I argue that the PGC establishes a moral right to abortion which must be recognised as a human right and set out a framework for the progressive realisation of the right to abortion capable of responding to the socio-economic, political, religious, and cultural variation in how abortion is currently addressed. I also consider specific barriers to accessing abortion which must be addressed in order for the right to abortion to be effective. Finally, given the limited enforcement mechanisms available to human rights bodies and the ongoing contested nature of abortion, I consider how the right to abortion could be realised indirectly, through legal change achieved through local social movements, national courts, and regional human rights bodies. My thesis demonstrates an original contribution to knowledge by applying the PGC as a feminist-adjacent theory capable of addressing the key issues with the international human rights approach to abortion.

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Translation Note

Abortion care guideline

whohrp-logos

  • Background and context (1.1)
  • Guideline objective, rationale, target audience, inclusivity and structure (1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4)
  • An enabling environment for comprehensive abortion care (1.3)
  • Human rights including a supportive framework of law and policy (1.3.1)
  • Availability and accessibility of information (1.3.2)
  • Health system factors (1.3.3)
  • Health system considerations (1.4, 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4, 1.4.5)
  • Common approaches to abortion regulation (2.1)
  • Law & policy Recommendation 1: Criminalization (2.2.1)
  • Law & policy Recommendation 2: Grounds-based approaches (2.2.2)
  • Law & policy Recommendation 3: Gestational age limits (2.2.3)
  • Background (3.1, 3.1.1)
  • Underlying principles and assumptions relating to recommendations on health worker roles (3.1.2)
  • Service delivery Recommendation 4: Provision of information on abortion care (3.2.1)
  • Service delivery Recommendation 5: Provision of counselling (3.2.2, 3.2.3)
  • Law & policy Recommendation 6: Mandatory waiting periods (3.3.1)
  • Law & policy Recommendation 7: Third-party authorization (3.3.2)
  • Clinical services Recommendation 8: Rh isoimmunization for abortion at gestational ages
  • Clinical services Recommendation 9: Antibiotic prophylaxis for surgical and medical abortion (3.3.4)
  • Clinical services Recommendation 10: Pre-abortion ultrasound scanning (3.3.5)
  • Clinical services Recommendations 11–14: Pain management for surgical abortion and for prior cervical priming (3.3.6)
  • Clinical services Recommendations 15 and 16: Pain management for medical abortion (3.3.6)
  • Cervical priming prior to surgical abortion: Recommendations 17-20 (3.3.7)
  • Law & policy Recommendation 21: Provider restrictions (3.3.8)
  • Law & policy Recommendation 22: Conscientious objection (3.3.9)
  • Methods of surgical abortion: Recommendations 23-26 (3.4.1)
  • Medical management of induced abortion: Recommendations 27-30 (3.4.2)
  • Clinical services Recommendation 31: Medical management of missed abortion at gestational ages
  • Intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD): Recommendations 32-33
  • Clinical services Recommendation 34: Follow-up care or additional services after abortion (3.5.1)
  • Incomplete abortion management: Recommendations 35-38 (3.5.2)
  • Management of non-life-threatening complications: infection and haemorrhage: Recommendations 39-40 (3.5.3)
  • Post-abortion contraception: Recommendations 41-47 (3.5.4)
  • Supported service-delivery approaches: Recommendation 48 (Telemedicine) and Best Practice Statement 49 (3.6.1)
  • Self-management Recommendation 50: Self-management of medical abortion in whole or in part at gestational ages
  • Self-management approaches for post-abortion contraception: Recommendations 51-54 (3.6.3)

Law and policy

Clinical services, service delivery, universal health coverage (uhc), health financing and commodities.

  • Annex 1: External experts and WHO staff involved in guideline development
  • Annex 2: Selected human rights treaties and their treaty monitoring bodies
  • Annex 3: References for the glossary
  • Annex 4: Guideline development methods and process
  • Annex 5: Health worker categories and roles
  • Annex 6: Monitoring and evaluation of quality abortion care: identification of indicators
  • Annex 7: Systematic reviews and links to PICOs and recommendations
  • Annex 8: Law and policy domain PICO questions
  • Annex 9: Clinical services domain PICO questions
  • Annex 10: Service delivery domain PICO questions
  • Annex 11: Details about guideline dissemination and updating
  • Annex 12: Acknowledgements
  • Acronyms and abbreviations

Chapter 4. Dissemination, applicability, research gaps and future updates of the guideline and recommendations

Research gaps/topics for further research (4.3), share or print.

In the course of developing this guideline, during the meetings of the Evidence and Recommendation Review Groups (ERRGs) and the Guideline Development Group (GDG), several evidence gaps and areas for further research were identified.

  • Impact of abortion laws and policies on people with disabilities and people with diminished capacity who seek abortion
  • Impact of abortion laws and policies on groups in vulnerable situations and groups with marginalized identities, specifically adolescents and transgender individuals
  • Impacts, effects and rights-related implications of procedural barriers to abortion in various contexts
  • Impacts, effects and rights-related implications of making abortion available on the request of the woman, girl or other pregnant person, with no additional restrictions
  • Impacts, effects, and rights-related implications of the decriminalization of self-management of abortion and of assistance with self-management of abortion
  • Efficacy, safety and acceptability of the letrozole plus misoprostol combination regimen across gestational ages and compared with the mifepristone plus misoprostol combination regimen
  • Effectiveness of using misoprostol alone (i.e. typical/real use outside of study conditions, optimal number of repeat doses)
  • Efficacy, safety and acceptability of the use of misoprostol alone across gestational ages
  • Effectiveness, safety and acceptability of outpatient medical abortion at gestational ages ≥ 12 weeks
  • Safety, effectiveness and acceptability of anti-epileptics and anxiolytics for pain management for medical abortion at gestational ages ≥ 14 weeks
  • Management of cervical priming prior to dilatation and evacuation (D&E) at gestational ages ≥ 18 weeks in settings where osmotic dilators are not available
  • Optimal antibiotic regimens for post-abortion infection prophylaxis
  • Effective methods for diagnosis and treatment of non-symptomatic ectopic pregnancy
  • Safety and effectiveness of screening and antibiotic treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease before surgical abortion versus provision of pre- or perioperative prophylactic antibiotics without screening or risk assessment for pelvic inflammatory infection
  • Effectiveness of telemedicine for medical abortion at gestational ages < 6 weeks
  • Efficacy, safety and acceptability of all abortion methods and related clinical interventions across gestational ages in transgender, nonbinary and intersex individuals seeking abortion care
  • Development and adaptation of validated materials to provide individuals engaging in self-management of abortion with the information they need to make informed decisions about the risks/benefits of and the alternatives to the use of different medical abortion regimens
  • Development of effective and user-friendly information for abortion seekers, e.g. leaflets and web pages or information for use in the context of hotlines and telemedicine services
  • Development and validation of quality training materials for use in training of providers on a range of abortion care services (e.g. to train pharmacists, pharmacy workers and community health workers to effectively provide – or support self-management of – all tasks involved in medical abortion at gestational ages < 12 weeks)
  • Safety, convenience and acceptability of re-using manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) equipment
  • Safety, effectiveness and feasibility of expansion of health worker roles for certain abortion care tasks in low- and middle-income settings (e.g. surgical abortion at gestational ages ≥ 12 weeks, vacuum aspiration for incomplete abortion)
  • Feasibility of pharmacists administering injectable contraception in low- and middle-resource settings (implementation research)
  • Impact of social marketing and social franchising approaches in abortion care assessed through evaluation research
  • The most appropriate prescribing and dispensing authorities for abortion medicines, including comparison of self-sourced abortion medicines versus medicines prescribed and/or dispensed by trained health workers
  • Mechanisms for ensuring individuals who manage medical abortion on their own have access to medicines for pain management and to contraceptive methods
  • Acceptability of and satisfaction with a range of service-delivery approaches for quality abortion care for transgender, nonbinary and intersex individuals
  • Impact of the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines changes to the mifepristone plus misoprostol combination regimen assessed through evaluation research

Indicators for use in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of care

  • Development and validation of indicators that include social and economic disability in addition to physical disability when calculating years living with abortion-related disability (in line with the growing focus on global burden of disease and disability estimation)
  • Development and validation of standardized data-verification methods, so that abortion-related data can be presented with a verification score (as part of efforts to address the underreporting of abortion-related data as a result of abortion-related stigma)
  • Development and increased use of qualitative methods for M&E of quality abortion care to assess barriers to progress and enablers for strengthening health system performance

Thesis Helpers

abortion law dissertation topics

Find the best tips and advice to improve your writing. Or, have a top expert write your paper.

142 Abortion Research Paper Topics To Write Your Thesis About

142 Abortion Research Paper Topics

The word abortion gets thrown around quite a bit in the present day and age and has often become a cause of concern amongst political parties, religious leaders, and believers of different ideologies. Some believe that it’s unethical and push for strict laws to ban it, while others support free choice and stand behind ideas that don’t involve any legalities when it comes to something like this.

Besides being a significant point of contention between conservatives and liberals across the world, it is also known for how multidimensional it is, as it’s spoken about in a variety of different circles. Being as “controversial” as it is, it also results in engaging debate, with points of information made by both parties, giving it the divisiveness that makes for an excellent research paper. You may be asked to write one as part of an English class in high school for a debate or an ethics class in college, and searching for the perfect abortion research paper topic can be tricky, so here’s a comprehensive list of abortion research paper topics to explore and create the one that fits you best.

Trigger Warning : The following topics could include rape, sexual assault, and other sensitive discourse.

Structure Of Good Thesis About Abortion

Abstract : A highly integral part of a research paper is the abstract, which is essentially a summary of your dissertation or research paper. It is responsible for conveying details like the purpose of research, the relevance of work and topic, and what your research will cover. It also elaborates on any main results if any primary data-driven studies were undertaken as part of the research paper. The abstract is formatted after the paper’s title and precedes the introduction to your actual research paper. Introduction : One of the essential components of academic writing is the introduction, especially regarding contentious issues such as abortion. Starting with a strong beginning allows you to give the reader the exact details of your stance and the specification of your topic. An incredible strategy to effectively communicate all the details you need in an introduction is to jot down the five W’s + one H (Where, When, Who, What, Why, and How), and be sure to inculcate them within the paragraph. Body : After the introduction successfully conveys the thesis statement and hooks the reader, you have the job of keeping them connected throughout the body paragraphs. Following the one-idea, one-paragraph rule as the baseline will allow you to provide evidence behind each argument, inculcate counterarguments, and enable the paper to have an easy flow. In addition to an in-depth outline, you can also chalk up meaningful transitory sentences to go from one paragraph to the other to make the overall piece more engaging and easy to read. Be sure to include headings and sub-headings, take data from primary sources (and give due credit) and quotes from experts on the subject to strengthen your opinion, and give your research paper credibility. Make sure that you logically present all your data without involving too many variables and confusing the reader. Conclusion : Again, an essential part of a successful research paper is the end because the end is most remembered. A well-written conclusion will summarize all the arguments you make, restate the thesis statement, and cause the readers to introspect, more so in the case of such a debatable topic as abortion. Bibliography : Not only will a bibliography with all your sources in the appropriate format (e.g., MLA, APA, etc.) safeguard you against any coincidence that comes up during plagiarism checks and provide credibility to your claims. It’ll allow your professor to feel like you’ve done your in-depth research and due diligence and that you’re confident in your paper and your opinions about the cause.

Characteristics Of Well-written Paper About Abortion

  • Evidence-backed arguments : With a topic as polarizing as abortion, it is vital to have well-thought-out opinions supported by sufficient evidence
  • Flow : An essential for every piece of academic writing, mainly when deadline with heavier topics such as this, having well-connected paragraphs and overall similarity in tone makes for an intriguing and easy read
  • Conciseness : Another critical skill is to say more with lesser words, and once you do that, your points will become sharper and your opinions more pronounced in your work
  • Voice : One of the essential parts of any form of writing is your voice and style, especially when researching papers on issues like abortion. Let your opinions (backed with piles of evidence) shine through to truly make your writing a world apart
  • Good grammar and style : Basic for any successful writing, correct grammar, syntax, and tone that fits the nature of the conversation

Good Abortion Argumentative Topics

With a vast topic like abortion, it can be easy to stray away from your specific thesis and go into the surface level of many arguments surrounding abortion. If you feel too sensible to explore any of this topics, you can hire professional thesis writer to do it for you. However, here are some topics to delve deep into for your following essay:

  • Abortion after-care: Is it available?
  • A study of accessibility to abortion clinics
  • Mental health resources post-abortion
  • Abortion laws in African countries
  • The perception of abortion in Asia
  • Southeast Asian families’ and their views on abortion
  • The future of abortion law and policy
  • Abortion Rights: The for and the against
  • Judith Thompson’s perspectives on abortion
  • Abortion and the trajectory of Abby Johnson’s anti-abortion stance
  • Activism in the pro-choice space
  • Is abortion an act of violence?
  • The foster-care and adoption center system in the US
  • Attitudes towards adoption and foster kids
  • The intricacies of abortion law
  • A study of abortion and teenage pregnancies
  • Is the world’s opinion on abortion nuanced enough?

Interesting Abortion Paper Titles

There is so much to learn and understand about abortion, the reasons such a private matter has become a public matter of concern, and to unpack those concepts, here are some engaging titles for your next assignment:

  • The physical effects of an abortion
  • The mental turmoil of getting an abortion
  • The disconnect between a woman’s body and a woman’s choice
  • Is the social discussion on abortion warranted?
  • Abortion as an aftermath of sexual assault
  • Abortion through a feminist lens
  • Should the government fund planned parenthood?
  • Do abortions qualify as an essential medical service?
  • The study of abortion laws in Poland
  • The position of abortion in China’s goal of gender equality
  • Are gender equality and abortions connected?
  • Pro-life and battles of quality of life after birth
  • Parenting responsibilities and financial distress: A projection of a future where abortion is criminalized
  • The morality behind abortion decisions
  • Abortion amongst minors
  • The ethical dilemma of abortion
  • The era of reproductive politics
  • Infanticide v/s abortion

Creative Topics For Abortion Research Paper

With so many opinions about the issue, abortion is indeed a gray area, so here are some topics to help you out for your next research paper:

  • Perspectives on unwanted pregnancies; there’s no winner
  • Healing from an abortion: Physically and mentally
  • Regional disparities among US states on abortion
  • The difference in views on abortion from Boomers to Millenials
  • Is the argument on abortion solvable?
  • Abortion amongst AAPI
  • The long-term health effects of an abortion
  • Abortion in the Dominican Republic
  • The economics of an abortion
  • Does legalizing abortion lead to lower crime rates?
  • The psychological impact of an abortion
  • Abortion and its repercussions
  • The impending decision of an abortion
  • Abortion in the case of incest
  • Is abortion brave or weak?
  • The multi-dimensions of the abortion argument
  • Is your personal opinion on abortion also your political one?

Engaging Topics On Abortion For Research Paper

If you’re struggling to find the perfect topic for your following essay on a segment of the entire abortion debate, here’s a list of topics for you:

  • Abortions in US states with restrictions
  • Our views on abortion are black-and-white?
  • Perspectives on abortion: generalized or circumstantial?
  • The role of men in the abortion decision
  • Is abortion considered a form of birth control?
  • Are pro-choice people anti-life?
  • Freedom and free will: A study of abortion
  • Are abortions celebrated?
  • The political involvement in abortion law
  • The history of abortion practices
  • The types of medical procedures involved in abortions
  • Are abortionists at fault?
  • Responsibility of child: On woman, man, or doctor?
  • Is abortion safe for the body?
  • Medical responsibility to protect life: Doctors on abortion
  • Abortions through the experience of people of color (POC)
  • Abortions through the views of indigenous peoples
  • Hormonal effects on an abortion

Religion-based Topics On Abortion

Religion and abortion seem fairly intertwined as it’s something that comes up in several debates about pregnancy termination. While both are incredibly precarious topics to talk about and are ingrained so heavily in people’s personal lives, abortion becoming political has caused the connection between the two ideas to rise to fame. Here are some topics for your next religion-related abortion essay:

  • Views on abortion as per major religions
  • Does Christianity view abortion as a sin?
  • Does religion play a role in abortion policy?
  • The history of abortions from a Christian lens
  • How does Judaism view abortions?
  • The discourse of abortions in Islamic circles
  • The spiritual discussion on abortions
  • Major religions’ beliefs about human life
  • Anti-Abortion: Science v/s Religion
  • Is abortion irreligious?
  • Are all atheists on the same page about abortion?
  • Orthodox Jews on abortion
  • Faith and accessibility to abortion resources
  • The divisive religion argument in the abortion debate
  • Personal stand v/s political stand: which one to take on abortion?
  • Religious women and their pro-stance on abortion
  • Religion as a substitute for science in the abortion conversation
  • Christianity and abortion amongst US women

Broad Abortion Topics For Research Paper

There’s so much to cover about abortion because it’s such a personal event that has made its way into the public sphere and the debate is unfortunately here to stay. There are a variety of myths about abortions, and perspectives on it differ across the globe and are ever-changing. Here are some topics that broadly examine the intricacies of the issue:

  • Abortion and its role in the feminist movement
  • Abortion and its depiction in the media
  • The journey of a fetus: When is it a life?
  • The part of financial responsibility in abortions
  • Company insurance and its support of abortions
  • Difficult pregnancies and abortion
  • Misconceptions about abortions: Explained
  • Should abortions be kept confidential?
  • Global demonstrations against abortion: A closer look
  • Is not wanting kids looked down upon?
  • Planned pregnancies v/s unplanned pregnancies
  • The societal need to have the desire to procreate and its role in the pro-life argument
  • A case study on abortion and its use in different circumstances
  • Abortion in Ireland: Laws & Practice
  • Political icons and their contributions to the anti-abortion movement
  • The sound of a heartbeat: Texas’ argument against abortion
  • The underground abortion network of the 1960s
  • How do movies position abortion?

Ethical And Law-related Topics For Research Paper

Abortion is such a multifaceted issue and has penetrated the ethics and law world since a lot of the discussion on abortion is about abortion policy and legality. While it’s a very polarised scenario, civil discourse is always encouraged. So here are some significant cases to write your research paper on:

  • Abortion: Should it be illegal?
  • Are abortions morally incorrect?
  • A study on countries without abortion laws
  • The survey of abortions since Roe v. Wade
  • Should abortion be talked about in the law?
  • Private v/s Public matter: Where does abortion lie?
  • Abortions in the case of sexual assault and rape
  • Does the women’s choice have to be taken away for her to have one?: On sexual assault and abortion
  • Is abortion murder?
  • Why should abortion be legal?
  • Why is abortion legal in Canada?
  • A study of abortion data from countries where it is criminalized
  • Who determines morally right or wrong in terms of abortion policy?
  • Is voice divided equally between males and females when it comes to childbirth?
  • Analysis of legislations until Roe V. Wade
  • The morality of a fetus’ life
  • Decisions on abortion and how the law perceives them
  • The supreme court’s place in abortion as a medical practice

Captivating Research Paper Topics

One of the most contentious issues plaguing the world due to its extreme polarity, writing about abortion certainly isn’t easy. That being said, with so much debate, you’re bound to wind up with some stellar arguments that make or break your case. Here are some intriguing topics that you can consider for your next research paper on abortion:

  • Abortion as a policy issue
  • Will criminalizing abortions decrease them?
  • How are women who get abortions viewed?
  • The history protests against abortion
  • Does everyone who gets an abortion think the same?
  • Abortion perspectives in the Middle East
  • The culture clash between views on abortion
  • The repercussions of criminalizing abortion
  • Subsidies for abortion pills and other methods of pregnancy termination
  • Society’s views on abortions and miscarriages
  • Is abortion the taking of human life?
  • Abortion laws and perspectives in India
  • Is abortion the murder of innocence?
  • Political figures and their role in the abortion movement
  • The abortion movement in Japan
  • Colombia’s historic abortion laws
  • The 1900 feminists and their take on abortion
  • Abortion defined by black feminists

Need Professional Abortion Research Paper Help?

While this is an extensive list of research paper topics on abortion, writing the actual essay can become pretty hard, especially with a controversial topic. It’s difficult to juggle school, college, and the pile of work that amounts every day, making it hard to research and write quality papers that will fetch you top grades and rank you as one of the best students. So other than just choosing out of these abortion controversy research paper topics, you can get expert help from professional writers at a minimal cost. These professionals provide  custom thesis help from start to end and will also take care of the formatting and sources (to avoid plagiarism), producing stellar work that’s sure to impress your teacher or professor!

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241 Abortion Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples

Abortion is a highly controversial issue because it involves a conflict between a woman’s bodily autonomy and a fetus’s right to life. Due to the complicated nature of this problem, one can come up with many research questions on abortion. On this page, you’ll find plenty of interesting and thought-provoking abortion title ideas and essay examples. Read on to get inspired!

📚 Subtopics for Abortion Essays

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Do you need to write a paper on pregnancy termination but don’t know where to begin? Here are some general abortion topics to write about. You can use them as a starting point for developing more nuanced research questions about abortion for your assignment.

  • Analysis of Advantages and Disadvantages of Abortion
  • Ethical Egoist and Social Contract Ethicist: On Abortion
  • Should Abortion Be Banned?
  • Why Abortions Should Be Legal?
  • Abortion in Hanafi and Maliki Schools of Islamic Thought
  • Deductive and Inductive Arguments: Granting Abortion Rights
  • Is Abortion Beneficial or Harmful To a Teenager?
  • The Controversy Around Morality of Abortion
  • Abortion: An Ethical Dilemma
  • Should Abortions be Legal?
  • Thompson’s ‘A Defense of Abortion’ and Hursthouse’s ‘Virtue Theory and Abortion’ This paper is a reading summary of two articles on the ethics of abortion, such as ‘A defense of abortion’ and ‘Virtue theory and abortion’.
  • Abortions: Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life The issue of abortions has always been a controversial one leading to multiple clashes between irreconcilable ideologies.
  • Abortion: Comparing Advantages and Disadvantages Pro-life and pro-choice have their respective stands regarding the issue of abortion. The question is whether to terminate or keep the pregnancy.
  • Abortion in Feminist and Care Ethics Abortion is one of the most discussed topics of bioethics. It is one of the oldest topics and, at the same time, one of the most divisive.
  • Fetal Abnormality and Ethical Dilemms of Abortion In the case study “Fetal Abnormality,” four characters face the same problem: an abnormal condition of a fetus and the necessity to decide if to save a child or consider abortion.
  • The Dilemma of Abortions: Consequentialist and Deontological Points of View Despite numerous discussions and studies regarding the advantages and disadvantages of abortions from the issue remains a problematic area that requires additional analysis.
  • Sex-Selective Abortions Around the World Sex-selective abortion is a problem that must be addressed if we take into account the place of women in society and the effects of sex choice on interpersonal relationships.
  • The Judith Thomson vs. Don Marquis Abortion Debate Thompson agrees that murder is immoral, as the Marquis believes, but a woman has every right to get rid of the fetus, and outsiders have the right to help her.
  • “Why Abortion is Immoral” by Don Marquis Don Marquis is an author of an essay that argues that abortions are immoral from a non-religious standpoint. He begins with a general discussion on why killing is wrong.
  • Abortion Dilemma in Pragmatic Ethics The moral acceptability of abortions has always been a disputable issue. From the perspective of pragmatic ethics, the decision to make an abortion can be acceptable and moral.
  • Ethical, Medical, and Legal Aspects of Abortion Abortion is a medical procedure aimed at termination of pregnancy “before the fetus is able to live independently in the extrauterine environment”.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues Concerning Abortion in the United Kingdom Samantha can legally have an abortion if she meets the legal requirements stipulated in the United Kingdom abortion Act of 1967.
  • Mandating Ultrasound Prior to Having an Abortion It is hard to stay unbiased when the issue of abortion and human life is under consideration. Each person can support or oppose mandatory ultrasound as well as abortion.
  • Abortion Issues: Credible and Non-Credible Sources of Information The difference between sources of information lies in the author’s expertise in the field. In case of abortion a credible source provides more details and identifies the problem.
  • Pros and Cons of Abortion Undergoing abortion is a very difficult step to take for any woman and it takes a lot of guts to take the decision. This paper will throw light upon the pros and cons of abortion.
  • “Why Abortion Is Immoral” the Article by Don Marquis The selected text for analysis relates to the ethical issue of abortion since its title is “Why Abortion is Immoral” by Don Marquis.
  • The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion This paper discusses Warren’s work “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” which raises a question about the status of any given fetus and whether it made the latter a person.
  • The Need for Abortion and the Moral Status of the Fetus The people who rely on religious postulates are likely to see a fetus as a creature that is supposed to have the same rights as the child that is already born.
  • Reflection on “A Defense of Abortion” by Judith Jarvis Thomson In her moral philosophy essay, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thomson implements thought experiments to argue in support of abortion based on two core premises
  • Abortion: The Indispensable Woman’s Right A woman’s freedom to safe, legal abortion is an integral part of her right to privacy and physical and psychological health.
  • Social Exchange Theory and Abortion Legalization While the risk of having financial issues influences individuals, they will be more likely to refuse to give birth to a child because of the possible losses in the future.
  • An Exploration of the Abortion Debate The essay aims to examine whether abortion is immoral and stands against central religious practices, or rather anti-abortion laws symbolize reproductive oppression.
  • Violinist Analogy in Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion” This example of Thompson’s article demonstrates what kind of a burden women are obliged to deal with in case they live in a society that prohibits abortions.
  • Abortion: Negative Impacts on Women Abortion is an issue that evokes controversy, with those opposed to it invoking moral and religious ground as to why it should not be allowed.
  • Utilitarianism and Abortion: Mill’s Principle of Utility and Bentham’s Felicific Calculus The issue of abortion is often approached from spiritual or religious standpoints, and utilitarianism arguably has the potential to provide a refreshing perspective.
  • “A Defense of Abortion” by Judith Jarvis Thomson According to Thomson, abortion is not killing as a human fetus is not a living person. She says that it is impossible to love a child that does not exist.
  • Abortion: Arguments for Defense Abortion should be accepted as a way of curbing unnecessary maternal death and showing compassion to rape victims.
  • Abortion: Arguments in Support This essay will explore the medical reason for an abortion to be performed. It will ask the pertinent question of why abortion should remain legal with limitations.
  • Abortion: The Ethically Appropriate Procedure Based on the available evidence and the considerations of women’s rights, treating abortions as an ethically appropriate procedure seems to be a more reasonable position.
  • Social Justice Protests Regarding Abortions This study aims to understand abortion rights and how they were significant in women’s equality. Roe v. Rode was a case that challenged the rule about abortion.
  • Abortion in Christian and Non-Christian Ethics The Christian ethical system approaches the issue of abortion through God’s image and character while utilitarianism is concerned with maximizing happiness.
  • Abortion Is a Woman’s Right and Should Be Legal Abortion is one of the most controversial topics in our society. Some believe that a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body and believe that abortion is murder.
  • The Controversy Around Abortion in the US In the US, the issue of abortion has been facing controversy. The disagreement from society is making it difficult to address the problem.
  • Abortion With Limitations: Analysis Since abortion remains a divisive issue due to the presence of divergent opinions, permitting it with specific limitations is a good decision.
  • The Abortion Prohibition Issue Analysis The paper analyzes the issue of the irrationality of abortion prohibition due to the ideological, sociological, medical, and legal perspectives.
  • Abortion Should Be Available in Modern Society Abortions should be allowed for every woman within the framework of respect for human rights and eliminating undesirable consequences for a woman’s health.
  • Ethical Aspects of Abortion: A Moral Dilemma This paper discusses the ethical aspects of abortion, a controversial and highly debated topic that raises religious, moral, and other fundamental issues.
  • Justifying Abortion From Utilitarian Position This paper argues that abortion should be justified since a woman’s body, health and future should depend on her own consensual and conscious decisions.
  • Abortion Ban and Its Negative Consequences The choice to ban abortion will have a severe impact on women; doctors must engage judges in case a clinical feticide are necessary, causing a delay that might result in death.
  • Abortion Abolitionists and Pro-Life Activists While both abortion abolitionists and pro-life activists share a variety of fundamental beliefs, they also vary in their approach and interpretation of women’s rights to abortion.
  • American Democrats’ Pro-Abortion Beliefs The US political system consists of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans. The chosen news article elaborates more on the Federal Abortion ban from these two perspectives.
  • Decriminalizing Abortion for Women’s Health’s Sake The debate for and against abortion has caused controversies worldwide, with some groups ruling out the act as heinous.
  • Ban on Abortions as Current Civil Rights Issue Even if a woman leaves a child for upbringing due to an unplanned pregnancy, it will be difficult to talk about a good emotional climate in a family.
  • Ethics and the Right to Abortion The paper discusses a case in which a gynecologist must decide to perform an abortion for a woman who is a survivor of abuse in a state that prohibits the practice.
  • The Morality of Selective Abortion and Genetic Screening The paper states that the morality of selective abortion and genetic screening is relative. This technology should be made available and legal.
  • Right to Abortion and Related Ethical Issues This paper applies the utilitarianism approach to ethics in showing that women that have been raped or have some health complications should be free to terminate their pregnancy.
  • Abortion: A Pro-Choice Rally in Charlotte The article discusses the author’s experience at a pro-choice rally in Charlotte, NC, where a Christian preacher attempted to reason with the protestors and spread God’s message.
  • Women’s Reasons for Seeking Abortions The cause-effect essay aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion by exploring the reasons why women seek abortions.
  • The Advantages and the Dangers of Abortion The paper states that the right to abortion allows a woman the freedom to control their body. It also empowers pregnant people to manage their health.
  • Supreme Court’s Abortion Ruling Sets Off New Court Fights The article discusses the Supreme Court’s decision to ban abortions and give states the right to decide on their local level whether they want to prohibit it or not.
  • Abortion in Public Opinion and Legislation Supporters of abortion believe that embryos and fetuses cannot have full human rights since the fetus is not yet a human being.
  • Right to Abortion: Ethical Issues On the one hand, abortion is the woman’s right to protect her life; on the other hand, abortion touches upon two lives minimum.
  • Women’s Right to Abortion: Religious Perspective Some religious people are right to accept the US court decision on limiting women’s right to abortion. They believe that the act is murder because life starts at conception.
  • Ethical Issue: Abortion Should Be Legal Abortions should be lawful because morally justifiable activities should be legal: it is an injustice to punish behaviors that are not bad.
  • Roe v. Wade: Abortion Rights in the United States Since the beginning of May, the United States has been discussing the possible cancellation of the decision in the Roe v. Wade case.
  • “A Defense of Abortion” by Judith Thomson and Abortion Discussion “A Defense of Abortion” by Judith Thomson tries to bridge the gap between supporters of abortion, and opponents, who believe that a fetus is a person.
  • Ethics: Women’s Right to Abortion In the current paradigm of medicine and healthcare, abortion has become a relatively safe operation due to the increased quality of competencies and equipment.
  • “Abortion Law and Policy Around the World”: Source Evaluation The paper analyzes article “Abortion law and policy around the world” which was written by Marge Berer and published in June, 2017.
  • Abortion: The Lifesaving Procedure Even though abortion is a form of right to life deprivation, the act is not a crime, as some believe hence should be legalized. It can potentially be a lifesaving procedure.
  • Should Abortions Be Legal? The paper states that doing an abortion before 20 weeks is permissible and has to be an option for women willing to stop their pregnancy.
  • Abortion: Effects and Legalization The social stigma surrounding abortion has a negative impact on people’s mental health and their willingness to seek safe abortion services despite the legal laws.
  • The Right to Abortion Must Be Protected Legal abortion means respecting women’s reproductive freedom, ensuring that all children grow up wanted in safe environments, and improving the general conditions of society.
  • Abortion Legalization and List of Circumstances In some cases where the expectant mother cannot handle a child, abortion in such a scenario needs legalization.
  • Discussion: Legalization of Abortion Aspects The paper argues abortion needs legalization under exceptional grounds, such as when a mother’s life is at risk.
  • Abortion Issues and Safe Practices Fathalla’s Safe abortion discusses solutions to preventing unsafe abortions, including sexual education, increased access to contraceptives, provision of safe abortions, etc.
  • The Abortion Issue Regarding Human Rights This article raises the question of how people should determine what rights should be guaranteed by the constitution and what rights are core rights from birth.
  • The Controversy Over Abortion Rights The paper states that the confrontation between the two movements over the years has led to the fact that abortion has become a controversial topic.
  • The Future of Abortions in the United States This paper examines the different ways United States legislators have used their power to politicize abortion and argues about the future of abortion rights.
  • Reproductive Health and Abortion Practices in Fiji The legalization of abortion has always been a difficult and contentious topic of discussion, both in the academic field and in politics.
  • The Morality of the Abortion Case Abortion is perceived as a morally incorrect action. This paper investigates the morality of the case and which action is supposed to be right or wrong.
  • The Issues Surrounding Abortion This paper aims to find solutions to the issues surrounding abortion and to justify why the proposals need to be considered when implementing abortion laws.
  • Abortion: Comparison and Contrast of Arguments Abortion has been a controversial issue for many decades, with both sides of the argument often feeling very strongly about it.
  • Abortion Policies: History, Current Issues, and Social Workers’ Roles This discussion is aimed at discussing abortion policies with regard to the Constitution, their history, current issues on abortion, and social workers’ roles.
  • Disagreeing With Abortion Encouragement This essay argues that abortions should not be publicly encouraged as it represents a serious decision for women that should be undertaken without pressure.
  • Women’s Mental Health after Receiving or Being Denied an Abortion: Summary The results infer women who were refused abortion experienced higher levels of anxiety, lower levels of contentment, and a similar level of depression as those who had an abortion.
  • President’s Power to Affect National Policy: The Case of Abortion Probably, none of the important and controversial policies can be implemented without the participation of the country’s chief executive.
  • Affordable Abortions as a Reproductive Right of Women This paper examines the issue of abortion affordability as a public health and human right concern from legal and judicial perspectives.
  • Women’s Bodies, Women’s Rights: A Case for Abortion If one holds that a woman has the moral right to make decisions about her health and existence, the only reasonable conclusion is to acknowledge the right to abortion.
  • Abortion Safety as Topic of Sociological Studies Sociological studies show that about half of all abortions are unsafe, while every third abortion is performed in dangerous circumstances.
  • Abortion and Its Permissibility Issue Abortion during pregnancy is one of the discussed topics in the modern world, which sometimes becomes more acute in connection with certain incidents.
  • Christianity Views on Abortion Concepts, the Big Bang, and the Evolution Theory The Bible and other Christian articles provide information related to contemporary society, views on abortion concepts, the big bang, and the evolution theory.
  • Debates: Abortions Must Be Legal Access to safe and effective abortions is not only a universal human right but also an indicator of social development concerning women.
  • A Controversial Topic of Abortion Abortion has been a controversial topic globally for many decades. The side of the argument an individual chooses to support depends on many factors.
  • Discussion of Legalization of Abortion The paper presents annotated bibliography of sources aims at providing a clear view of various policies and laws around the globe on abortion.
  • Ethical Issues and Concerns Regarding Abortion The paper is addressing contemporary ethical issues and concerns regarding abortion. The debate over this subject involves ethical arguments.
  • Way Forward for Improving Abortion Healthcare The healthcare field should ensure the safety of those who want to terminate the pregnancy, the first step towards changing the situation is training enough personnel.
  • Moral Arguments Regarding Abortion The paper describes that abortion laws within the US vary dramatically between states, and to understand the reason for this disparity, it is critical to list the moral arguments.
  • “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” Act and the Judeo-Christian Worldview The purpose of this paper is to analyze the H.R. 7 “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” act within the framework of the Judeo-Christian worldview and ethics.
  • Abortions’ Negative Impacts on Modern Society Abortion is an immoral act or rather a crime that has diverse negative implications for individuals and the entire society.
  • The Moral Status of a Fetus and the Acceptability of Abortion The case study involves four individuals presenting their views on the moral status of a fetus and the acceptability of abortion.
  • Decriminalizing Abortion in Victoria, Australia The issue of abortion had been rampant in Australia, particularly in Victoria, to the point that it was considered a crime until 2007 when the government decriminalized it.
  • Abortions. Perspectives, Federalism, Court Cases Abortion has been one of the most provocative topics across the globe. People have different views on whether a woman should be permitted to abort her child or not.
  • The Problem of Alabama’s Latest Abortion Bill The problem revolves around Alabama’s latest abortion bill, which punishes abortion, providing doctors with lifetime sentencing.
  • The Controversial Issue of Abortion Legal and ethical issues associated with abortion are becoming controversial every day in modern society; some people support the idea of abortion, while others disagree.
  • Policy Debate: Argument in Support of Abortion Abortion is a critical issue in the support of women’s rights because usually women are more affected by the debate than men (both as a gender and individuals).
  • The Effects of Abortions on the Black Community The paper states that it cannot be confidently stated that the ‘trend’ on abortion among the black community is the result of political conspiracy.
  • Why Abortion Should Be Included in the National Healthcare Plan The abortion debate is one of the most controversial and irrational issues that have lacked a concrete solution for a very long time in America.
  • Abortions: Is It a Legalized Murder? The views about abortion are often based on the cultural and ethical values of people and on how an individual perceives the status of the fetus.
  • Ethics of Smoke-Free Legislation and Abortion Laws There are laws that are clear for the population and their importance is undeniable. A bright example is smoke-free legislation, which is crucial for the health of non-smokers.
  • Providing the Argument Against Abortion The paper questions the argument against abortion that is associated with the fact that every aborted child may become a great composer, an artist, or some other prominent person.
  • Fetus Abnormality and Morality of Abortion There are various theories that have been used to determine the fetus’s moral status. Each of them has a significant impact on the choices taken by people.
  • “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions” by Finer The article’s “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions” aim is to answer the question about the reasons causing U.S. women to end a pregnancy using quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  • Abortion Should Be Encouraged in the United States The legalization of abortion is a disputable issue today in the US. Feticide should be allowed, giving individuals the freedom to determine the fate of their children’s life.
  • Abortion: Analysis of the Main Causes The causes of abortion are not universal around the world; they vary depending on the country and region of residence.
  • Should Abortions Be Legal? Arguments For and Against Abortions should be legal because, at early stages, fetuses do not experience pain or other sensations, their personhood does not begin until they are born.
  • The Abortion Debate: The Conservative and Liberal Arguments Against
  • Abortion and Catholic Church’s Attitude
  • Abortion Topic in “A Defense of Abortion” by Thomson
  • The Abortion Dilemma: Islam vs. Christianity
  • Judith Jarvis Thomson’s Views on Abortion
  • Abortion: The Issue of Legalization and Ethical Considerations
  • ‘A Defense of Abortion’ by Judith Jarvis Thomson: Major Arguments for Abortion
  • The Legalized of Abortion in the United States
  • Summary of the Research Article About Abortion
  • The Decision to Seek Abortions
  • Pro-choice vs. Pro-life: The Question of Abortion
  • Abortion as the Fundamental Right of Women
  • Women Have the Right to Decide the Abortion
  • The Issue of Abortion Eligibility
  • Overview of the Abortion as a Legal Issue
  • The Ethics of Abortion and Reproductive Rights
  • The Controversy About Abortion Prohibition and Women’s Rights
  • Abortions Through the Prism of Christianity
  • Women Have the Right to Decide Whether to Have an Abortion
  • Legality of Abortion in the USA: Discussion
  • Pro-Abortion Ethics Case and Argument
  • The Abortion Law in Ireland and Canada
  • The Issue Of Abortion in the United States: Arguments For and Against
  • Abortion: Arguments for and Against
  • Ethics in Society. Abortion Debates: Different Sides
  • Abortion as a Legal Women’s Right
  • The Problem of Abortion
  • Debate of the Dangerous Consequences of Abortion
  • Abnormal Fetus, Its Moral Status and Abortion Ethics
  • Abortion: G. Marino’s Controversial Points of View
  • Abortion and Moral Status of Fetus with Abnormality
  • Abortion: Pros and Cons
  • Abortion and Moral Theory
  • Debate on Abortion Insurance in South Dakota
  • Health Insurance Abortion Ban in South Dakota
  • Abortion Policy in the United States
  • Abortion in the US: Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • Abortions in Australia Discussed in Media
  • Abortion as a Woman’s Choice and Right
  • Abortion: Legal, Medical, Moral, Religious Issues
  • Abortion from Legal and Public Health Perspectives
  • Abortion Nursing Care and Patient’s Rights
  • Abortion in Marquis’, Bentham’s, Biblical Theories
  • Abortion and Maternal Health: the Global Health Crisis
  • Ethics in Practice: Abortion Choice
  • President Obama’s Fallacy in Abortion Arguments
  • Abortion in Texas as a Political Issue
  • Ethics of Abortion and Over-the-Counter Drugs
  • Abortion Clinic Access Policy and Women’s Health
  • The Issue of Abortion: Ethics Challenges
  • Abortion in Case of Down Disease in Fetus
  • Abortion as a Moral Controversy in the US
  • Abortions and Rights of a Fetus in the US
  • Florida Abortion Policies and Health Insurance
  • Abortion and Its Moral Status
  • Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access
  • Abortion: Reasons and Issues
  • Debate on Abortion: Ethics and Principals
  • Abortion as a Public Issue: The New York Times Views
  • Anti-Abortion Advocacy of Pro-Life Movement
  • Canadian Abortion Laws and Women’s Rights
  • Abortion: Judith Thomson’s Ethical Perspective
  • Fetal Abnormality and Abortion: Ideal and Discretionary Theories
  • The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights
  • Abortion: Legal, Ethical and Professional Evidence
  • A Defense on Abortion: Ethical Issues
  • Moral Argument in Support of Abortion
  • Should Abortion be Legal or Illegal?
  • Abortion as a Controversy
  • Possible Effects After Abortion
  • Abortion: Women’s Health as Their Integral Right
  • Abortion’s Physical and Psychological Effects
  • What Does the Bible Say About Abortion?
  • What Kind of Connection Exist Between Abortion and Mental Health?
  • Does Abortion Relieve Overpopulation?
  • Why Many Christians Oppose Abortion
  • What Similar Features Are Seen Between Abortion and Slavery?
  • Does Male Age Have an Influence on the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion?
  • What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Abortion?
  • Why Abortion Should Remain Legal?
  • What Are the Reasons for the Choice of Abortion in American Women?
  • What Are the Pros and Cons of Abortion, Prostitution and Gun Control?
  • What Are Opposition and Conflicting Feelings on Abortion?
  • Does Rape Justify Abortion?
  • What Are the Ethical Issues Raised With Abortion?
  • Who Should Decide the Legality of Abortion?
  • Does Abortion Have Severe Psychological Effects?
  • Why Abortion Attitudes Will Always Be Controversial?
  • Does Abortion Affect Subsequent Pregnancy?
  • Why the Abortion Controversy Is Often So Bitter Essay
  • Why the Government Should Ban Abortion Essay
  • Why Has Abortion Become Such a Political Issue? Who Should Have the Final Say?
  • Why Doctors Should Not Perform Induced Abortion?
  • What Are the Religious Arguments Concerning Contraception and Abortion?
  • What Social, Moral and Ethical Dilemma Causes Abortion?
  • Why Abortion Laws Should Be Changed for Teens?
  • Does abortion promote gender equality?
  • Should parental consent be required for minors seeking an abortion?
  • Is a fetus’s right to life more important than a woman’s right to choose?
  • Is abortion acceptable in case of rape or incest?
  • Should waiting periods and pre-abortion counseling be mandatory?
  • Abortion: a relief or a toll on a woman’s physical and mental health?
  • Is abortion justified in case of failed contraception?
  • Should medical professionals be allowed to refuse to perform abortions?
  • Should medically unnecessary abortions be criminalized?
  • Abortion: a personal choice or a social matter?
  • How do religious beliefs affect opinions about the legality of abortions?
  • How do restrictive abortion laws influence women’s access to safe healthcare?
  • What is the role of informed consent in abortion?
  • How do socioeconomic disparities affect women’s decisions regarding abortion?
  • What is the impact of sex education programs on the demand for abortions?
  • What do women experience before, during, and after abortion?
  • How does the media shape public attitudes toward abortion?
  • How do societal attitudes toward abortion differ across the world?
  • How did abortion laws evolve over time?
  • Do the psychological effects of abortion differ from one woman to another?
  • How do cultural perceptions of motherhood affect women’s abortion decisions?
  • How does abortion accessibility influence the rates of self-induced and unsafe abortions?
  • What is the role of grassroots movements in shaping abortion policies?
  • What are the long-term health consequences of multiple abortions?
  • How do technological advancements shape how the public perceives the fetus?
  • How do mandatory waiting periods affect women’s mental well-being?
  • Does telemedicine improve rural women’s access to safe abortion?
  • What is the emotional impact of mandatory pre-abortion ultrasounds on women?
  • How does the availability of abortion affect women’s economic stability?
  • How do personal narratives help reduce the stigma surrounding abortion?

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These essay examples and topics on Abortion were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

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Princeton Legal Journal

Princeton Legal Journal

abortion law dissertation topics

The First Amendment and the Abortion Rights Debate

Sofia Cipriano

Following Dobbs v. Jackson ’s (2022) reversal of Roe v. Wade (1973) — and the subsequent revocation of federal abortion protection — activists and scholars have begun to reconsider how to best ground abortion rights in the Constitution. In the past year, numerous Jewish rights groups have attempted to overturn state abortion bans by arguing that abortion rights are protected by various state constitutions’ free exercise clauses — and, by extension, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. While reframing the abortion rights debate as a question of religious freedom is undoubtedly strategic, the Free Exercise Clause is not the only place to locate abortion rights: the Establishment Clause also warrants further investigation. 

Roe anchored abortion rights in the right to privacy — an unenumerated right with a long history of legal recognition. In various cases spanning the past two centuries, t he Supreme Court located the right to privacy in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments . Roe classified abortion as a fundamental right protected by strict scrutiny, meaning that states could only regulate abortion in the face of a “compelling government interest” and must narrowly tailor legislation to that end. As such, Roe ’s trimester framework prevented states from placing burdens on abortion access in the first few months of pregnancy. After the fetus crosses the viability line — the point at which the fetus can survive outside the womb  — states could pass laws regulating abortion, as the Court found that   “the potentiality of human life”  constitutes a “compelling” interest. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) later replaced strict scrutiny with the weaker “undue burden” standard, giving states greater leeway to restrict abortion access. Dobbs v. Jackson overturned both Roe and Casey , leaving abortion regulations up to individual states. 

While Roe constituted an essential step forward in terms of abortion rights, weaknesses in its argumentation made it more susceptible to attacks by skeptics of substantive due process. Roe argues that the unenumerated right to abortion is implied by the unenumerated right to privacy — a chain of logic which twice removes abortion rights from the Constitution’s language. Moreover, Roe’s trimester framework was unclear and flawed from the beginning, lacking substantial scientific rationale. As medicine becomes more and more advanced, the arbitrariness of the viability line has grown increasingly apparent.  

As abortion rights supporters have looked for alternative constitutional justifications for abortion rights, the First Amendment has become increasingly more visible. Certain religious groups — particularly Jewish groups — have argued that they have a right to abortion care. In Generation to Generation Inc v. Florida , a religious rights group argued that Florida’s abortion ban (HB 5) constituted a violation of the Florida State Constitution: “In Jewish law, abortion is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman, or for many other reasons not permitted under the Act. As such, the Act prohibits Jewish women from practicing their faith free of government intrusion and thus violates their privacy rights and religious freedom.” Similar cases have arisen in Indiana and Texas. Absent constitutional protection of abortion rights, the Christian religious majorities in many states may unjustly impose their moral and ethical code on other groups, implying an unconstitutional religious hierarchy. 

Cases like Generation to Generation Inc v. Florida may also trigger heightened scrutiny status in higher courts; The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993) places strict scrutiny on cases which “burden any aspect of religious observance or practice.”

But framing the issue as one of Free Exercise does not interact with major objections to abortion rights. Anti-abortion advocates contend that abortion is tantamount to murder. An anti-abortion advocate may argue that just as religious rituals involving human sacrifice are illegal, so abortion ought to be illegal. Anti-abortion advocates may be able to argue that abortion bans hold up against strict scrutiny since “preserving potential life” constitutes a “compelling interest.”

The question of when life begins—which is fundamentally a moral and religious question—is both essential to the abortion debate and often ignored by left-leaning activists. For select Christian advocacy groups (as well as other anti-abortion groups) who believe that life begins at conception, abortion bans are a deeply moral issue. Abortion bans which operate under the logic that abortion is murder essentially legislate a definition of when life begins, which is problematic from a First Amendment perspective; the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prevents the government from intervening in religious debates. While numerous legal thinkers have associated the abortion debate with the First Amendment, this argument has not been fully litigated. As an amicus brief filed in Dobbs by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Center for Inquiry, and American Atheists  points out, anti-abortion rhetoric is explicitly religious: “There is hardly a secular veil to the religious intent and positions of individuals, churches, and state actors in their attempts to limit access to abortion.” Justice Stevens located a similar issue with anti-abortion rhetoric in his concurring opinion in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) , stating: “I am persuaded that the absence of any secular purpose for the legislative declarations that life begins at conception and that conception occurs at fertilization makes the relevant portion of the preamble invalid under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution.” Judges who justify their judicial decisions on abortion using similar rhetoric blur the line between church and state. 

Framing the abortion debate around religious freedom would thus address the two main categories of arguments made by anti-abortion activists: arguments centered around issues with substantive due process and moral objections to abortion. 

Conservatives may maintain, however, that legalizing abortion on the federal level is an Establishment Clause violation to begin with, since the government would essentially be imposing a federal position on abortion. Many anti-abortion advocates favor leaving abortion rights up to individual states. However, in the absence of recognized federal, constitutional protection of abortion rights, states will ban abortion. Protecting religious freedom of the individual is of the utmost importance  — the United States government must actively intervene in order to uphold the line between church and state. Protecting abortion rights would allow everyone in the United States to act in accordance with their own moral and religious perspectives on abortion. 

Reframing the abortion rights debate as a question of religious freedom is the most viable path forward. Anchoring abortion rights in the Establishment Clause would ensure Americans have the right to maintain their own personal and religious beliefs regarding the question of when life begins. In the short term, however, litigants could take advantage of Establishment Clauses in state constitutions. Yet, given the swing of the Court towards expanding religious freedom protections at the time of writing, Free Exercise arguments may prove better at securing citizens a right to an abortion. 

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Abortion: Laws and Ethics - Dissertation Example

Abortion: Laws and Ethics

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Algebraic approach to annihilation and repulsion of bound states in the continuum in finite systems

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N. M. Shubin; Algebraic approach to annihilation and repulsion of bound states in the continuum in finite systems. J. Math. Phys. 1 April 2023; 64 (4): 042103. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0142892

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We present an algebraic approach to the description of bound states in the continuum (BICs) in finite systems with a discrete energy spectrum coupled to several decay channels. General estimations and bounds on the number of linearly independent BICs are derived. We show that the algebraic point of view provides straightforward and illustrative interpretations of typical well-known results, including the Friedrich–Wintgen mechanism and the Pavlov-Verevkin model. Pair-wise annihilation and repulsion of BICs in the energy–parameter space are discussed within generic two- and three-level models. An illustrative algebraic interpretation of such phenomena in Hilbert space is presented.

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    Medical law is an interesting topic to explore for your dissertation as it draws on controversial areas such as assisted suicide and euthanasia, the Abortion Act 1967 and organ donation. The legal and ethical principles of medicine are covered which provokes all kind of engaging debates. 1.

  2. Abortion as a Human Right in the United States: Exploring the Role of

    Pierson, Jessica Women's sexual and reproductive rights are foundational to gender equality. Having access to abortion care is fundamental to the full realization of a woman's human rights. Anti-choice advocates consistently and successfully separate abortion from other basic health care that women need.

  3. Dissertations / Theses: 'Right to abortion'

    Dissertations / Theses on the topic 'Right to abortion' To see the other types of publications on this topic, follow the link: Right to abortion. Author: Grafiati Published: 4 June 2021 Last updated: 26 April 2022 Create a spot-on reference in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and other styles Select a source type: Book Website Journal article

  4. PDF The impact of criminalisation on abortion- related outcomes: a

    Criminalisation can be understood as the application of criminal law to some or all persons who seek, access, provide (including medication), assist with, are aware of, or believe someone to have accessed abortion (UN Special Rapporteur, paras. 21-36).1 Where abortion is criminalised, the crim-inal law is used to regulate abortion, and those who...

  5. Abortion bans and their impacts: A view from the United States

    In "Association of Texas' 2021 Ban on Abortion in Early Pregnancy with the Number of Facility-Based Abortion in Texas and Surrounding States," White et al. used a large dataset containing information before and after the passage of SB8 in September 2021. 1 This bill banned most abortions after 6 weeks in the state of Texas.

  6. A research on abortion: ethics, legislation and socio-medical outcomes

    The analysis of abortion by means of medical and social documents. Abortion means a pregnancy interruption "before the fetus is viable" [] or "before the fetus is able to live independently in the extrauterine environment, usually before the 20 th week of pregnancy" [].]. "Clinical miscarriage is both a common and distressing complication of early pregnancy with many etiological ...

  7. Abortion Law

    Vol. 136 No. 1 November 2022 When it comes to people of color, the Roberts Court treats "racism" as if it is an objective fact — out there in the world, apparent to anyone who stumbles upon it. The Roberts Court invites observers to believe that it is just using simple common sense when it identifies, or refuses to identify, something as ...

  8. PDF University of Essex Dissertation School of Law

    feminist legal theory between two apparently opposing ideas in relation to abortion rights4: 1 Christina Zampas and Jaime M. Gher, 'Abortion as a Human Right - International and Regional Standards' (2008) 8,2 Human Rights Law Review 251 2 Rosalind Pollack Petchesky, Abortion and a Woman's Choice. The State, Sexuality and Reproductive ...

  9. Impact of abortion law reforms on women's health services and outcomes

    A country's abortion law is a key component in determining the enabling environment for safe abortion. While restrictive abortion laws still prevail in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), many countries have reformed their abortion laws, with the majority of them moving away from an absolute ban. However, the implications of these reforms on women's access to and use of health ...

  10. Abortion Access and the Benefits and Limitations of Abortion-

    Introduction. The enactment of the Abortion Act 1967 (AA 1967) meant abortion became legally accessible in a wider range of circumstances in Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland). Footnote 1 The AA 1967 remains the basis of abortion provision in Great Britain today, and there have been few attempts to modernize it. Amendments have only been made twice in 1990 Footnote 2 and 2022 ...

  11. Recognising a Human Right to Abortion

    I argue that the PGC establishes a moral right to abortion which must be recognised as a human right and set out a framework for the progressive realisation of the right to abortion capable of responding to the socio-economic, political, religious, and cultural variation in how abortion is currently addressed.

  12. Rewriting reproductive rights

    This dissertation draws on feminist legal theory to demonstrate how the exclusion of feminine perspectives from the law has impacted the content and interpretation of women's rights.

  13. Research gaps/topics for further research (4.3)

    Next. In the course of developing this guideline, during the meetings of the Evidence and Recommendation Review Groups (ERRGs) and the Guideline Development Group (GDG), several evidence gaps and areas for further research were identified. Law and policy Impact of abortion laws and policies on people with disabilities and people with diminished ...

  14. 142 Relevant Abortion Research Paper Topics For Free

    Trigger Warning: The following topics could include rape, sexual assault, and other sensitive discourse. Structure Of Good Thesis About Abortion Abstract : A highly integral part of a research paper is the abstract, which is essentially a summary of your dissertation or research paper.

  15. 241 Abortion Essay Topics & Research Titles + Examples

    308 experts online Let us help you 🏆 Best Essay Topics on Abortion Analysis of Advantages and Disadvantages of Abortion Ethical Egoist and Social Contract Ethicist: On Abortion Should Abortion Be Banned? Abortion in Hanafi and Maliki Schools of Islamic Thought Why Abortions Should Be Legal?

  16. The First Amendment and the Abortion Rights Debate

    Sofia Cipriano. Following Dobbs v.Jackson's (2022) reversal of Roe v.Wade (1973) — and the subsequent revocation of federal abortion protection — activists and scholars have begun to reconsider how to best ground abortion rights in the Constitution. In the past year, numerous Jewish rights groups have attempted to overturn state abortion bans by arguing that abortion rights are protected ...

  17. PDF UK Abortion Law: Reform Proposals , Private Members' Bills, Devolution

    University of Aberdeen School of Law . Abortion - Devolution - Private Members' Bills - Convention Rights - Judicial Review . UK abortion law remains unsettled, and is subject to on-going controversy and reform. This article offers for the first time a comprehensive critique of the reforms which have been implemented or proposed since ...

  18. Women's social and emotional experiences with abortion

    in Abortion and Reproductive Health: Alison Norris, MD, PhD; Davida Becker, PhD, MS; Danielle Bessett, PhD; Julia R. Steinberg, PhD; Megan Kavanaugh, DrPH; and Silvia De Zordo, PhD for inspiring me to explore abortion stigma as my master's thesis topic. Ulla Larsen, PhD, former Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship

  19. Abortion Topic: Medical Law & Ethics Dissertation

    Abortion Topic: Medical Law & Ethics Dissertation peachyessay December 16, 2021 Legal Theory, Philosophy, Sample Essay Introduction Abortion as a procedure has, existed for many centuries and it has become one of the most controversial issues in the society. [1] Yet, despite the age of the procedure, it remains highly contentious.

  20. (PDF) PROBLEMS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF PREGRAVID ...

    Dissertation. Мoscow, 2006, 24 p. (In Russian). 8. ... The percentage of +ve TPO Ab of the control group was 5% and of the recurrent abortion group was 20% and of the preterm labor group was 15% ...

  21. Abortion: Laws and Ethics Dissertation Example

    The analysis of rightness or wrongness of any given act, i.e. abortion, is referred to as consequentiality of an affair; on the other hand, utilitarianism is referred to as a part of the consequentiality, since it takes the suitability or unfairness of an action to be decided by its penalty for everybody who gets affected by the particular act.

  22. Algebraic approach to annihilation and repulsion of bound states in the

    We present an algebraic approach to the description of bound states in the continuum (BICs) in finite systems with a discrete energy spectrum coupled to several decay channels.

  23. Academic D.K. Zabolotny and his contribution to the development of

    Abstract. Read online. The article presents biographical data of academician D. K. Zabolotny and his scientific and practical contribution to the fight against plague and cholera, to the research of germ and pathogenesis of syphilis and to the management of preventative disinfection department in Russia.

  24. Max Luckovsky on LinkedIn: #innovation #intellectualproperty #patent #law

    Max Luckovsky's Post. The Founder of the Institute of Innovation and Law, LLC. "Institute of Innovations and Law" took part in the V International Conference "ERA IP" On April 26, 2023, a grand ...