Abortion is one of the issues that have received the most attention in American society in recent times. This caused a heated argument between opponents and proponents with each side pointing out their reasons and asking others to agree with them. The consequences of abortion are not limited to the narrow physical effects on the pregnant women. The issue of abortion has certain effects on the attitudes and feelings of people and it ends up affecting society. Abortion has several negative effects on people, which should be communicated to the proponents of the practice in order to ensure a healthier society (Kucera, 2011).
Abortion can be viewed as a vice capable of spreading across America and destroying the moral principles and values of the American society. The fact that abortion affects sexual morals, family life, and reproduction mean that it influences the attitudes of people towards these issues, which are central to family life. The attitudes of individualism have mostly been accompanied with autonomy, responsibility, and personal productivity. Abortion seems to be one of the negative effects of individualism on the society. This is because it results in self-centeredness and the erosion of personal responsibility.
Change in Attitudes towards Life
The issue of abortion significantly influences the attitude towards life. Many people that support abortion in the society feel that human life is not involved in the process. Most of the pro-choice advocates avoid the issue of life in the abortion debate, which shows that they are not entirely convinced in the absence of life-question in the issue. Self-deception on the topic of the sacred nature of life is bound to become rampant as the practice of abortion becomes rampant in the society. This may also affect the perceptions of people about the quality and purpose of life and the idea of fulfillment in life. These alterations on attitudes towards life reveal serious erosion in the social construct on life in the society and may influence it in a negative way.
Another documented effect of abortion is that it has given people an excuse for unprotected sex and increased immorality among people. Research shows that the number of child abuse cases has increased in America since the legalization of abortion in 1973. Abortion affects the guilty conscience of women resulting in feelings of guilt for women long after the abortion is carried out.
Mental Health Status
Abortion has a negative effect on the mental health status of the women who undergo the procedure. The feeling of guilt and low self-esteem results in unstable mental condition, which increases the possibility of women from suffering posttraumatic stress disorder. Men are also negatively affected by abortion. It results in increased feelings of guilt, anger, grief, and regrets. Abortion results in multiple losses for men including loss of the child, relationship, and hope for the future. Anxiety is also common among men who have had their girlfriends undergo an abortion resulting in somatic complaints such as palpitations and headaches. Therefore, abortion results in deterioration of the mental health of all people in the society. It also strains relationships. This may as well affect intimacy in relationships if the partners associate physical intimacy with pain (Coyle, 2008). Guilt is one of the most common causes of child battering and abuse. Low self-esteem among women resulting from abortion has been cited as a major cause of the rise in child battering by parents.
One of the arguments forwarded by the proponents of abortion is that it will reduce the number of illegitimate children in society. Unfortunately, research shows that abortion has resulted in an increased number of illegitimate children, which increased to 36% in 2004 from a low of 15.5% in 1973. The issue of children out of wedlock in society is also correlated with other negative social problems such as child poverty. Minorities in the society suffer the most from the negative effects of abortion. This has resulted in the labeling of the practice as cooperative genocide by organizations for minority communities. Demographic changes and population decline have been associated with the increase in abortion cases (Opposing Views, 2011). The birth rate in the US has declined significantly in recent times comparing to the period before the legalization of abortion.
Effect on the Family
Abortion has also influenced the set up of the traditional American family. The role of men in the family has been to protect their families. Because of abortion, many men pressure their girlfriends into abortion to avoid marriage or the payment of child support. This presents an illusion of a problem solved thus resulting in the increased decay of morality in the society and reduction in the level of responsibility among men in the society. 83% of women, who had an abortion and were interviewed in a recent study, said they would have raised their baby if the father was supportive of the pregnancy (Opposing Views, 2011). The effects of abortion on the family have resulted in permanent emotional harm to the society in general.
Abortion also influences the financial stability of the country because of the reduced number of new workers. The low birth rate results in few workers replacing the aging generation. The level of abortion even outweighs the number of people immigrating into the country. Some analysts also feel that the demise of social security in the United States could have been avoided if only one third of the aborted children were available to work (Heritage House76, 2011). The productivity of the workforce is profoundly affected by the low numbers, which results in economic output that is lower than would be expected. Reduced national income, economic growth, and savings all reduce the ability of the economy to support the aging generation.
In conclusion, abortion affects all people in the society. It has been documented to have a negative effect on people’s attitudes towards life and the mental condition in society. Abortion has also resulted in a negative effect on the economy making it an undesirable and unnecessary practice.