Abortion: Pros and Cons
By Mia, age 17, North Carolina
Sweet Advice Featured Columnist
Abortion is a very touchy topic in today's society. Religion, gender, race, family, TV, school, peers, and every opinionated person all play a part in the decision that will either make or destroy life. From boyfriends, best friends, mothers, fathers, preachers, and Britney Spears, there's a never ending cycle of influences a decision goes through. I'm going to lay it on the line for you, with simple pros vs. cons to help you make your decision, a decision I had to make myself.
There are many types of preventative measures one can take, and not all of them work 100% of the time. Birth control might work for your mom, but it doesn't mean it will work reliably for you. Condoms break every day. People forget to take the pill. Nothing is a "for sure" method of protection. I've even heard of women becoming pregnant with their tubes tied. This choice truly falls on our shoulders and ours alone; no one else will be held responsible for our actions.
Here's a scenario:
You are 16 years old, at the 'peak' of your teenage life. Prom is approaching fast, and you're enjoying your junior year of high school. You and your boyfriend are sexually active. You're using a condom. It breaks, and you think to yourself, Oh well, one little break after all the sex we've had couldn't hurt, could it? So you ignore it, and a month goes by, and wow ... no period. You begin to worry, so you tell your closest, dearest friend. You make a pact to get a pregnancy test from Wal-mart and take it on Friday.
Friday comes, and you're still shaking in fear. You slowly urinate on the end of the indicator. Those three minutes are like hours upon hours of fear. Slowly you see the beginning of two pink lines. Your heart falls into the pit of your stomach and you ache in pain. Then it hits you. There is someone inhabiting your uterus. And they won't be leaving for quite some time. You think of all the things you're going to lose - no scholarships to colleges because you'll have to drop out, your mother and father will 'kill' you, no more sports or goofing off with friends. You'll have to get a part time job. The next thing that hits you is the fact that your boyfriend might not even want your child. What if he doesn't? How can I raise a baby on my own?? Then the decision hits...and the thoughts begin to grow...
Here come the 'pros' to having an abortion:
No pregnancy side effects (which vary person to person) - vomiting, swelling, weight gain, difference in smells, acid reflux, and high blood pressure.
You'll never have to tell anyone
You can stay in school
Your boyfriend will still want you
It only takes a day
You won't have to take care of a baby
You won't have to grow up just yet
You won't have to deal with the pain of labor
You won't have to worry about the thought of a c-section
No outrageous doctor visits
And then, as you continue to think about it, come the 'cons':
It is painful
You'll never get to see your unborn child
Your life will go on even though theirs never got a chance to begin
In some women it will cause infertility
You won't enjoy the beauty of childbirth
It often causes depression
You may have to tell your parents, as you must have parental consent unless you're over 18 (in my state - laws vary from state to state)
It costs an average of $1,000 - $2,000, and most insurance providers will not cover the procedure.
Your body becomes weaker. It could cause side effects such as blood clots, hemorrhoids, and as with any medical procedure, you run the risk of infection.
You will have destroyed a little piece of you that would have someday become a big part of your or someone else's life
Here are some more things to think about before you make your decision:
Some women cannot even try to have children; some women try so hard and fail every time. But you are pregnant not by choice but by "accident", as you would call it. But what about women who would do anything to have an "accident" like yours, who pay money after money for treatments, and often end up with nothing to show for it but heartache? Worse heartache than you could fathom. There are so many families out there seeking, hoping, waiting for the birth of a child - their own or even not their own - people who would welcome the love of a child and treat, love, and care for your child as if it were their own.
There are so many arguments as to what the first stages of pregnancy are. I've heard it all. "It's just cells", "there's no feeling", "it's not a person", and so on. This is the way I look at it: In the beginning it may just be "cells". It probably cannot feel yet. But those unfeeling cells within a few short months will become a baby, and that baby will grow into a child. That child will become a teenager, and that teenager will become an adult. If a baby, child, teenager, or adult is not a person, then what is?? Would it matter if it were just cells if you knew those cells would become a person, just like these words I'm writing will become thoughts?
Any decision like this takes a lot of thought, but for me abortion wasn't and will never be an option. I love my three month old daughter with all my heart, and I couldn't imagine life without her. I went through a lot to get her here, but it was all worth it to see her little fingers and toes in my hands, smell her sweet infant smell, and see her blue eyes looking straight into mine, showing me that I made the best choice there was. I couldn't imagine not seeing her first time on the floor trying to crawl or hearing her first laugh, and seeing that very first smile she now shows so often.
But I will not preach at you...it's what you feel would be the best decision for you. I believe I made the best choice. Just remember, there are many options for you.