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To what extent can abortion be considered a fundamental right for women?

*Disclaimer - This article represents the author's own opinion. The article does not have the intentions of discriminating different beliefs*

Essentially, for those unfamiliar with the topic, abortion is the act of terminating a pregnancy of an unwanted fetus. Though the definition may seem cruel or harsh , abortion should be considered a fundamental right to women, a right to have control over their own reproductive system. In Brazil, abortion is legalised under limited occasions, permitting abortion in cases of rape and when it puts a woman's life in danger.

It is crucial to take into account that when the law was established, the Brazilian parliament had no women representatives. Women did not have a voice or right to participate in the making or voting of this law, considering that men were imposing laws concerning women's rights, life choices and their own body. Criminalising abortion withdraws women from the possibility of making their decisions. Even though abortion is illegal in most cases, according to IBGE, every year, more than one million Brazilian women practise clandestine abortions. These statistics reveal that more than one million lives are at risk every year due to the illegalization of the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, especially within the low income regions in Brazil. Nevertheless, lacking financial means negatively affects the child and the mother's life.

Arguments that are against abortion have been titled "pro-life", arguing to save the life of an unborn without taking into consideration the millions of women whose lives are at risk as well. Legalising abortion would save lives in regard to clandestine termination, thereby decreasing the mortality rate, making it accessible, safe and beneficial for the lives of millions. Every individual should have the fundamental and inalienable right to a decent healthcare system, therefore becoming going beyond a country's obligation. Being legal or not, abortion will not change a woman's decision. It will simply assure that women's lives are not at risk.

Additionally, no public laws should impose unwanted occupations on someone's body. In 2021, research concluded that in Brazil, more than 53.9 thousand children are raised with just a mother, emphasising that many women in Brazil take care of their children alone. Therefore this matter could be seen as the woman's choice to abort. It is critically important to understand that contraceptives are not 100% efficient, where one night, one mistake should not change a woman's future. Providing the choice to have an abortion is more than urgent, rational and necessary, only bringing benefits to our country.

Pro-life supporters unknowingly argue that when legalising abortion, women will stop

using contraceptives and will abort at higher frequencies. By analysing the first world countries such as the Netherlands, Norway, Japan, Australia, France and many others, which have decriminalised abortion, making it safe and accessible for all women, the abortion rate has decreased and women are informed about the topic. However, considering the economic state of a country persistent with social injustice, investment in public and sexual education is crucial for the better development of legalising abortion in Brazil; a developing country.

To conclude, It can be strongly believed that children should be wanted, loved and

treated right, whereas, if a woman is not planning or prepared to take care of a child, she will

not be able to provide that. More so, women forced to have babies without the financial means leads to severe consequences, affecting both the mother and the baby's life. There is no other solution for this substantial issue other than to give women the right to abort. I believe abortion is a personal decision, not a legal debate. Fully autonomous human beings all hinge on the primitive ability to decide when and if they want to reproduce.

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