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Abortion - Poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, "the Mother"

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In the title of the poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Mother," is ironic, for this mother is a woman who has lost her children because of very difficult and painful decisions--decisions that she believes were for the best. Abortion is defined as the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy. Abortion is a valid reproductive choice. It should be an equally accepted option, like childbirth or adoption.

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, abortions have become one of the safest medical procedures in the country. Prior to Roe v. Wade, illegal abortions were unsafe. Between 1880s and 1973, many thousands of women died or suffered serious medical problems after attempting to self induce their abortions or go to untrained practitioners, who would perform abortions in unsanitary conditions. By keeping abortions legal, the lives and safety of women facing unplanned pregnancies are protected. 97% of women that obtain surgical abortion before 13 weeks report no complications; 2.5% have minor complications that can be handled at the medical office or abortion facility; and less than 0.5% have more serious complications that require some additional surgical procedure and/or hospitalization. If abortions were not legal or if there were not clinics, what would happen to the mother? Would she try to do the abortion illegally? Would she have done the abortion herself?

Is adoption really much of an option? 423,773 children were in foster care on September 30, 2009. Also, 114,556 children were waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2009.(AFCARS) Waiting children are identified as children who have a goal of adoption and/or whose parental rights have been terminated. Children 16 years old and older whose parents' parental rights have been terminated and who have a goal of emancipation have been excluded from the estimate. Also on September 30, 2009, only 57, 466 children were adopted with public agency involvement. (AFCARS) So with these statistics in mind, ask these questions. Where would the child be? Would the child be with a loving, stable family who adopted him or her or would the child be with an unstable, cruel family? Brooks said "You will never neglect or beat them." Would the child be in-and-out of foster care throughout his or her life? If there was something medically wrong with the child, his or her chances of being adopted would become extremely low. The foster care systems is flawed because there are too many children with not enough people willing to adopt. Also, the adoption systems can cost a great deal of money.

Over population can also be another factor. The United States is the third most populous country in the world following China and India. The U.S. population, currently more than 265 million, is growing by about 2.5 million people each year, making the United States one of the world's fastest-growing industrialized nations.(1) In 1994, there were about



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