Psychological Perspectives on Abortion
In both Ethiopia and Nigeria, "injuries resulting from unsafe, clandestine abortions caused as many as half of Ethiopia's maternal deaths" (Petroni & Skuster, p. 12). These statistics are reminiscent of the American 1960's where self inflicted abortion and back alley abortions took the lives of young women desperate to get out of their situation out of fear of facing parents and the resulting shame and ridicule they would endure. Today, through improved equality in the workplace and at home, the psychological perspective has changed from one of shame to one of choice. Women are no longer required to endure their unwanted or surprise pregnancies alone. From a psychological perspective, the world is a safer place and women facing an unwanted pregnancy are no longer ridiculed and cast out of society, but rather embraced and offered a choice of raising their baby with the help of their family, the father, or to end the pregnancy safely without fear of dying.
As to the question of support between the two sides, pro-choice versus, pro-life, the pro-life cause "has been greatly bolstered by, the support of many distinguished intellectuals," yet "the same is not true of the pro-choice movement" (Neuhaus, 2009, p. 69). According to Neuhaus, "intellectuals who share their policy preferences are always raising inconvenient questions about the intellectual coherence of arguments advanced in favor of the unlimited abortion license" (p. 69). Nehaus gives a documented example from Rosamund Rhodes of Mt Sinai School of Medicine who stated that "three decades after Roe, abortion proponents are simply not prepared to explain how or why the fetus is transformed into a franchised person by moving from inside the womb to outside or by a reaching a certain level of development" (p. 69). Nehaus states that even "one of the most prominent of abortion proponents, Judith Jarvis Thompson, concedes that the prospects for 'drawing a line' in the development of the fetus look dim" (p. 69). This inability to define a line between the newborn baby and the fetus leaves the issue in political and moral limbo and has most likely lead to the conclusion that since it is permissible to kill a baby inside the womb, that it is permissible to kill one outside the womb as in partial birth abortion (Neuhaus). This line of thinking would never have held up in the 1960's or even in 1973 in the landmark case of Roe and its psychological implications on the future of a moral culture could prove disturbing.
Neuhaus, R. J. (2009). The pro-life movement as the politics of the 1960s. First Things,(189), 67-70. Retrieved June 16, 2009, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1622565301).
Petroni, S., & Skuster, P. (2008). The Exportation of Ideology: Reproductive Health and Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy. Human Rights, 35(1), 9-12. Retrieved June 16, 2009, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1588001151).
Robertson, E., & Mckelway, B. (2009). Zelda K. Nordlinger, feminist activist, dies: Richmonder inspired in 1960s fought for women's rights and abortion rights. McClatchy - Tribune Business News, 1.Retrieved June 16, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Dateline database. (Document ID: 1449269511).
Vic: Abortion report reignites debate. (2009). AAP General News Wire,1. Retrieved June 16, 2009, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1486253981).