Safe Abortion is a Human Right

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Ece Coskun, a medical student at Izmir Katip Celebi University in Turkey. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Nowadays, there is a very popular discussion topic around the world: Abortion. So what exactly does abortion mean? There are different ideas about this topic. The definitions of abortions have different perspectives except the scientific view such as political or social views. First of all according to scientific perspective; World Health Organization (WHO) [1] defines abortion as a pregnancy termination prior to 20 weeks’ gestation. It occurs with medications or surgical procedures or it occurs its own, such as a miscarriage.

In the society, there are many people who advocate against abortion with their subjective social or political ideas. But this situation threatens the health of women. As political and societal opinion think, abortion is not just about the woman not wanting to give birth. It is about the women’s health condition and as well as women’s human rights for being healthy. Abortion is crucial healthcare and women’s health has to be important than politics. At this point, the scientific facts are principal. Considerable amount of literature has been published on that abortion is a medical necessity for women’s health.

According to WHO [2], absence of access secured, timely, appropiate, affordable and respectful abortion care; threatens to women not only the physical, but also the psycological and social, well being of women and girls. Abortion is secure, when carring out using procedure, advised by WHO [3], suitable to the pregnancy time and by someone with the neccesary skills. But women with undesired pregnancies run into restrictions to get quality abortion, they often resort to unsafe abortion.

According to WHO facts [3], approximately 45% of all abortion takes place dangerous condition for women’s health. United Nations Human Rights data [4], estimates that 25 million dangerous abortions occur each year. Unsafe abortion causes -but preventable- maternal mortality and morbidity. According to United Nations Human Rights [4], annualy approximately 7,9% of maternal deaths can be ascribe to unsafe abortion.

Absence of access secured, timely, appropiate affordable and respectful abortion care is a serious public health and human rights subject. Lack of safe abortion is a violation of women’s human rights to health.United Nations Human Rights [4] says that, nearly all mortalities from unsafe abortion takes place in countries where abortion is seriously constricted in law and/or in action.

Safe abortion is human right. Making a difference for human rights begins individual. First of all, we must defend women’s safe abortion rights everywhere and every condition as individual. We must do advocate to safe abortion. As a individual we can be volunteer to a global organisation and we must stand with United Nations to support and protect human rights. We can stay in contact with social movements. What we do individually like these can help change legal restrictions on abortion and raise awareness of human rights. Therefore, safe abortion is human right for every women’s as a human being and it is possible to make a difference individually.

References

  1. John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP. (2021, August 27). What Is Abortion According to WHO?. Retrived July 26, 2022 from https://www.emedicinehealth.com/what_is_abortion_according_to_who/article_em.htm
  2. World Health Organisation (WHO). (2022). Abortion. Retrived July 26, 2022 from https://www.who.int/health-topics/abortion#tab=tab_1
  3. World Health Organisation (WHO). (2022). Abortion Key Facts. Retrived July 26, 2022 from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/abortion
  4. United Nations Human Rights Information Series on Sexuel and Reproductive Health and Rights. (2020). Abortion. Retrived July 26, 2022 from https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Issues/Women/WRGS/SexualHealth/INFO_Abortion_WEB.pdf

About the author

Ms. Ece Coskun is a medical student at Izmir Katip Celebi University in Turkey. She is a member of the Cardiology Scientific Subgroup at National Scientific Research Societies (UluBAT). She has been accepted as a member of the European Support Division on Health Law at European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA). She is interested in cardiology, neurology and oncology. Outside of those fields she is curious about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Medicine.

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