Abortion: A Problematic Issue in Politics - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1470 Words
Date:  2022-12-28


In recent times, the topic on abortion has often taken a political dimension where support and opposition for abortion have been on moral grounds as well as the right to freedom health choices for women. In America particularly, abortion has generated debate in election campaigns where pro-life and pro-choice camps have presented their various opinions in opposition and support of abortion respectively. That notwithstanding, scholarly research into abortion has often focused on it as a problem rather than a question of opinion. Teenage abortion rates are steadily on the increase and research is dedicated to finding out why, what implications come out of the rise, and how solutions available can be implemented adequately. What follows is a literature review from sampled peer-reviewed journals from JSTOR and Academic Search Complete databases that speak to the issue of teenage abortions.

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As stated in the previous paragraph above, the abortion debate in public spheres has often taken the form of moral discussions. Coleman takes a different angle by shedding light on a rarely discussed issue associated with abortion, that of mental health problems (180). By conducting a quantitative synthesis and analysis of research papers on abortion published between 1995 and 2009, Coleman established that abortion had led to post-abortion trauma effects that account for 81% among women who abort majority of whom were teenagers when they aborted (Coleman 185). Consequently, teenagers are incapable of making sound choices when it comes to unprotected sex. According to Honig, "...many adolescents are far from being able to engage in formal reasoning about their sexual lives and urges..." (183). Oblivious of post-abortion trauma that follows the decision to abort after having unprotected sex, teenagers often regret having made poor choices when they had the chance to decide whether or not to engage in unprotected sex and made the wrong choice (Coleman 183).

Nonetheless, not all researchers agree that teenagers are making bad choices when it comes to having unprotected sex. Potera, for instance, presents evidence-based research that indicates that "the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives by 18 and 19-year-olds tripled from 2007 to 2009" (16). Similar sentiments also indicate that research done in the past half-century shows that teenage abortions in the United States accounted for up to 30% in the 1970s. However, towards the year 2001, an estimate of between 16% and 18% was recorded clearly indicating a downward trend in the number of teenage abortions (Shoesmith 1458). Sedgh, Finer, Bankole, Eilers, and Singh also conducted a worldwide data search on the rate of teenage pregnancies and abortions. Their outcomes show that global abortion rates range between 17% in Slovakia where teenage pregnancies were least to 69% in Sweden where access to abortion services was quite high (227).

Sedgh et al., however, were also concerned with the rate of teenage births that were carried to a full term in that abortions were not secured. The findings of their study revealed that Mexico and Subsaharan African countries were the most common to have more teenage births (223). It was also discovered that teenage pregnancies in such countries were not dreaded as much as in developed nations, hence, the low teen abortion rates. In contrast, Kearney and Levine note that "teens in the United States are far more likely to give birth than in any other industrialized country in the world" (141). The authors cite poverty and economic inequality as a factor contributing to teenage births specifically among minority groups mainly Hispanics and African-AmericansCITATION Kea12 \p 164 \l 1033 (Kearney and Levine 164). Similar sentiments also show the United States to have the highest teenage birth rate at about 57% of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 years (Sedgh, Finer and Bankole 228).

The United States Government statistics indicate that since the legalization of abortion by the Supreme Court in 1973 "...about three-quarters of teen pregnancies are unplanned" (Potera 16). Concerns, therefore, range between evaluating whether teen-pregnancies that often end in abortions are a consequence of degraded moral behavior among teenagers or otherwise. Honig notes that the portrayal of sexuality in the media is among the most accessible and prevalent moral degrading source of influence to teenager's sexual behaviors (181). Driven by passions and desires, teenagers make poor sex choices that end up in them having unprotected sex, getting pregnant, and securing an abortion. The haunting that comes knocking according to Coleman is the regret and post-abortion trauma that often characterizes the experience of girls and women who have aborted (183). Such pertinent concerns on the health and wellbeing of teens make abortion a hotly contested topic in legal and public spheres (Coleman 180).

Honig notes that "children do not become sexually active earlier from knowing the correct names of body parts and functions" (184). By extension, sex education is one of the most effective approaches to ending teen pregnancies and abortions that follow suit. Honig's sentiments are echoed by Coleman who agrees that depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal tendencies post-abortion trauma can be avoided if the rate of teen abortions are mitigated early on (183). Complimentary action to avert teen pregnancies and later teen abortions can also lie in controlled access to alcohol and psychedelics. Majority of teens who have access to alcohol and marijuana are found to also be at high risk of engaging in teen sex, hence, a higher chance of getting pregnant. By reducing instances of teen pregnancies, abortion rates by teenagers can as well be brought down (Honig 184).

Sentiments by Potera attest to the success of initiatives that promote safe sex among teenagers by citing instances where the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) reported more teens between the ages of 15 and 19 adhering to the use of contraceptives as a means of safe sex practice (16). As a result, teenage abortions have declined in the United States owing to such practices. Therefore, sex education is seen to be among the most effective approaches that can be utilized as a preventive mechanism for not only teenage engagement in sex but also to reduce the teenage abortion rates (Honig 185). Sentiments by Sedgh et al. advance that ending teenage abortions will also require measures that address the root of teenage pregnancies from the start. By pointing out poverty as the main cause of teenage abortions and pregnancies, it is imperative to consider legal solutions that can end economic disparities among neighborhoods prone to sexual exploitation of teenage girls owing to poverty (Sedgh, Finer and Bankole 228).

"Nurturing, affectionate relationships between very young children and their special adults provide an inner sense of positive self-worth" (Honig 185). Honig further adds that parental love will influence teenage girls to make choices about having sex that does not present risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases as well as avoiding pregnancy or choose to have sex later in life (185). The bottom line is that preventing teenage pregnancies will require a team effort from parents, society, and the government in a multifaceted effort to provide teen girls an environment where information and support on teenage sex are readily available (Potera 16). Potera adds that through proper sex education, the rate of contraceptive use and abstinence has improved in the United States in the years following 2001. As a tested and proven method of preventing teenage sex or advancing safe teenage sex, sex education can be a critical tool in completely eradicating teenage abortions in the United States (16).


In conclusion, the literature discussed here has delved into pertinent issues related to teenage abortion. Although the sources disagree on the rate of teenage abortion rise or fall, the salient yet common feature among them is the concern that teenage abortion is a problem that needs to be addressed. The literature finds various tested methods of avoiding teenage abortions such as the use of contraceptives and sex education as options for ending the vice. Notwithstanding, the sources also discuss the risks associated with abortion such as post-abortion trauma that results in suicides and substance abuse dangers among others. To address these concerns associated with teenage abortion, the findings of the literature advocate a multifaceted effort between members of the society, parents, and the government in an effort to create a conducive climate for teenagers to learn about responsible sexual behaviors. The media, in particular, has been singled out for influencing negative sexual behavior among teens, a shift, therefore, can make the media reverse the negative traits by promoting responsible sex among teens.

Works Cited

Coleman, Priscilla K. "Abortion and mental health: Quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009." The British Journal of Psychiatry 1999.03 (2011): 180-186.

Honig, Sterling. "Teen pregnancy." International Journal of Adolescence and Youth 17.4 (2012): 181-187.

Kearney, Melissa S and Philip B Levine. "Why is the teen birth rate in the United States so high and why does it matter?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 26.2 (2012): 141-166.

Potera, C. "Teen pregnancies, births, and abortions slow." American Journal of Nursing 116.7 (2016): 16.

Sedgh, Gida, et al. "Adolescent pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates across countries: Levels and recent trends." Journal of Adolescent Health 56.2 (2015): 223-230.

Shoesmith, Gary L. "Crime, teenage abortion, and unwantedness." Crime & Delinquency 63.11 (2017): 1458-1490.

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Abortion: A Problematic Issue in Politics - Research Paper. (2022, Dec 28). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/abortion-a-problematic-issue-in-politics-research-paper

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