The abortion debate is the ongoing controversy surrounding the moral, legal, and religious status of induced abortion. The sides involved in the debate are the self-described “pro-choice” and “pro-life” movements. “Pro-choice” emphasizes the right of women to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy. “Pro-life” emphasizes the right of the embryo or fetus to gestate to term and be born.
Both terms are considered loaded in mainstream media, where terms such as “abortion rights” or “anti-abortion” are generally preferred.[ Each movement has, with varying results, sought to influence public opinion and to attain legal support for its position, with small numbers of anti-abortion advocates using violence, such as murder and arson.
Articles from the World Health Organization call legal abortion a fundamental right of women regardless of where they live, and argue that unsafe abortion is a silent pandemic. In 2005, it was estimated that 19-20 million abortions had complications, some complications are permanent, while another estimated 68,000 women died from unsafe abortions. Having access to safe abortion can have positive impacts on women’s health and life, and vice versa. “Legislation of abortion on request is necessary but an insufficient step towards improving women’s health.
In some countries where it abortion is legal, and has been for decades, there has been no improvement in access to adequate services making abortion unsafe due to lack of healthcare services. It is hard to get an abortion due to legal and policy barriers, social and cultural barriers (gender discrimination, poverty, religious restrictions, lack of support etc., health system barriers (lack of facilities or trained personnel), however safe abortions with trained personnel, good social support, and access to facilities, can improve maternal health and increase reproductive health later in life.