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The main causes and reasons why abortion is common among African-Americans in US and how it affects their lives

Abstract

This paper provides reliable information relating to abortion among African-Americans in the United States. Abortion is a major sociological issue that has been affecting many parents psychologically, mentally, and culturally. It also entails termination of life through medical processes that include the use of pills and contraceptives by women. The fact that the practice involves taking of innocent lives has made the matter a huge topic of debate among stakeholders some of whom register their displeasure by arguing that abortion creates a huge dent into the societal moral fabric. The main factors that fuel the practice among African-Americans include gender stereotyping, racism, and discrimination based on color, status, and ethnicity. Other factors include economic challenges, limited access to quality healthcare, inadequate foodstuffs, and lack of good job opportunities. This paper looks at these factors in detail and also covers the key reasons why the practice is becoming common among African-Americans.

Introduction

African-Americans are a group of U.S. citizens whose sociological development has faced immense challenges from the ancient days. This population has faced numerous acts of oppression that initially were meant to bar them from experiencing similar benefits as whites. They have been over the years subjected to physical abuse, rape, brutal slavery, social inequalities, and other inhuman practices. Particularly, in the past several decades, they were denied the opportunity to use some of the basic social amenities such as schools, hospitals, and transportation systems that the whites were using. The noble act of sharing the available resources equally did not apply in the American society at the time and still does not apply to-date in spite of some progress. African-Americans were also denied access to quality health care, education, favorable transportation modes, and good type of foodstuffs. The growing list of inequalities degenerated into a full-blown problem of abortion that the nation currently grapples with. Most African-Americans are practicing abortion at a high rate to avert giving birth to more children who will suffer. This paper discusses the major causes and reasons why abortion is common among African-Americans as well as the effects of the practice.

Abortion is a social issue whose practice is increasing, thereby causing mixed reactions among U.S. citizens. The practice is gaining prominence among many families and single women in the country as indicated in latest statistics. The statistics by Button (2014) indicate that the rate of abortion has grown by over 45% for the period up to the year 2014. This means that many lives of young innocent babies are lost daily in this developed nation. The los of the innocent lives is utterly painful as life is regarded as a sacred thing that comes into being immediately after conception. No one has the right to terminate life without clear reasons according to natural law. The law demands and obligates every parent especially women to take care of the young babies upon conception. The babies are to be accorded the requisite support and materialistic needs while in the womb until delivery. However, the shocking manmade laws that offer the green light for abortion are working against this natural law.

Changes in the laws prohibiting abortion have made nations such as the U.S. to record high cases of abortion. The changes have presented far-reaching consequences to the moral fabric of the society in the nation and other settings. This has occurred given that abortion has been regarded as a moral and a social issue for a long time in diverse societies. Many societies regard it as murder. Noteworthy, killing is against the law protecting fundamental human rights (Hill, 2005). Since, the legalization of abortion in the U.S., statistics indicate an increasing rate of the practice among African Americans. It is reported that many child killings occur among African-Americans as compared to Hispanics and Americans. This worrying trend is attributable to numerous reasons that include racism, lack of access to quality healthcare, discrimination based on color, and low-income levels.

African-Americans are resorting to abortion due to the complexities and challenges they are likely to face before, during, and after delivery. They are skeptical about the discriminations they are subjected to and the low financial capacity that cannot allow them to provide for their babies. This may explain why the abortion rate among African-Americans has reached a higher level of four times that of the whites and Hispanics (Hill, 2005). This implies that for every one white child dying through abortion, four African-American children are killed through the practice. Church leaders and other individuals condemn this worrying trend in the strongest terms possible. They hold that people should not focus their energy on taking innocent lives. They equate the high rate of abortion among African-Americans as a “black genocide” that should be managed.

Theoretical Concepts

Definitions

Abortion is defined as a medical process of terminating the lives of unborn babies through such artificial methodologies as the use of pills and contraceptives. It is a way of denying the unborn their right as provided for by the natural law. Religion mostly condemns the practice as people who are staunchly religious consider it as murder. They hold that there is no categorical difference between murder and abortion as both the practices entail termination of life. Abortion could also be defined as a medical process that women use to end unintended pregnancies.

Theoretical Viewpoints on Abortion

The theoretical concepts covered in this section entail the major causes of abortion, reasons for its rapid spread, and existence and mitigation approaches. According to Prisock (2007), abortion cases are increasingly becoming common in our societies. This is based on the high number of deaths that are reported of unborn babies as a result of this unethical practice. In the United States, abortion is not a new thing as its practice is widely embraced. It is widely prevalent especially among African Americans where the cases are high as compared to other groups of people. In 2012, New York State alone recorded a worrying trend of abortion especially among its African-American population (Chapman, 2014). The report provided by the New York department of health and mental hygiene indicated that more than 42.4% of child deaths were as a result of abortion and they were majorly among African Americans. Over 31,328 more African-American unborn babies died in the state during the period as opposed to 24,758 babies who were born (Chapman, 2014). This acute disparity shows how serious and complex the issue of abortion is among African Americans. They terminate the lives of the yet-to-be-born babies easily as compared to whites and Hispanics.

Another set of statistics indicates that the rate of abortion among African Americans to that among other groups in the U.S. is 4:1. This killing of unborn babies is not encouraging at all given the sacredness that is usually attached to human life. This concern has elicited mixed reactions from the public and various stakeholders who think that there is need for the review of abortion law (Brandon & Grimes, 2014). Some people argue that the law should be streamlined to ensure that the rights of the babies are protected optimally. Health organizations such as CDC are working towards ensuring effective regulation of abortion in our societies.

Why Abortion Exists

There are numerous factors and reasons that are deemed to be the major catalysts for abortion in many societies. These factors are associated with social issues, economic challenges, cultural issues, and health complications. Women cite that they do not execute abortion out of pleasure neither do they find joy in the practice but it is a solution of a last resort. They indicate that they are forced by the prevailing environmental conditions that seem hostile to their survival to secure abortion. Among African Americans, women who register higher rates of abortion indicate that they are forced to kill their babies to cope in the society sociologically (Brandon & Grimes, 2014). They contend that they abort the babies because of the immense stereotyping they face in the nation. It is worth noting that African American women are highly stereotyped in the country based on color and race and are often deemed as inferior beings. This stereotyping affects their self-esteem and in turn limits their productivity levels. Such kind of experiences is what makes women to abort, as they would not want their children to face similar stereotyping cases. The women affirm that the rate of stereotyping is real and yields severe effects on human progress and that they are not prepared to bring other people to the world to suffer in a similar way.

Another reason why abortion cases are high among African Americans is economic incapacitation. Women in this racial group lack adequate resources that can enable them raise their children effectively as compared to the white women. They have low end jobs that pay little salaries and/or wages hence cannot manage to sustain the provision of the growing needs of their children. This financial inadequacy makes them resort to abortion as way of averting the burden of child upkeep. As noted by Rousseau (2009), the economic disparity in the United States between whites, Hispanics, and African Americans is real since whites are given well-paying jobs as opposed to African-Americans. The unequal access to good jobs depicts the height of discrimination in the nation and the age-long suffering that African-Americans have had to put up with over the years. The financial insufficiency they are facing is affecting the quality of their lives in general as compared to whites (Chapman, 2014). This is because they cannot afford certain basic needs that contribute to good health. They cannot afford good meals or balanced meals daily, pay for quality health care, access quality education, or interact extensively. Lack of money does not allow them to achieve these desires thereby reducing their chances of holistic growth.

Racism remains a major factor that contributes to the numerous cases of abortion experienced in the U.S. In fact, abortion is branded as a racist issue whose eradication will require elimination of discriminations of any form (Hewitt, 2005). The negative perception about the African-American child in terms of what he can do and achieve as well as his relevance in the society has been a discouraging issue. African-Americans feel sidelined based on such perceptions and develop a sense of worthlessness that affects their personality development. This makes them feel less important in the society and thus they opt not to allow newborns to experience similar atrocities. The level of inequalities witnessed is not healthy for meaningful development of the society both socially and culturally (Hewitt, 2005). It cannot foster effective social integration and cultural practices based on mutual ideals as anticipated.

Cases of discrimination with regards to age, gender, status in the society, ethnicity, and social stratification are another factor contributing to the high number of abortion cases witnessed among African Americans. This racial group cannot have peace of mind because of the increased discrimination cases that deny them the opportunity to live like other citizens. Their activities are limited as they lack decision-making privileges on national matters including access to good healthcare plans. Despite the progress being recorded in terms of the realization of equality, more needs to be done as some African-Americans are still facing serious discriminatory challenges (Raingruber, 2014). The availability of contraceptives and pressure from various medical staff such as doctors on African-Americans to practice abortion create a threat to the African-American society. In the same breadth, the availability of contraceptives and reproductive health care plans provides women with safer ways of aborting. These approaches make them less worried about the process as they know that their safety would not be direly compromised. As noted by some women, some doctors “advise” African-American women to secure abortion so as to reduce the sizes of their families.

According to research, whereas the percentage of teenage girls that get pregnant is about 30%, not all of them eventually give birth or mother their born babies. Some of them often decide to terminate their pregnancies through abortion while there are also others who would give birth but give away their babies for adoption (Aria, 2009). The point here is that these girls, especially those from the African-American communities, look for every possible means to avoid becoming mothers. As has been seen, the best mechanism for them seems to be abortion. They are wary of getting children given that they are crippled by the problem of scarce economic resources and inadequate social capital.

The Relationship between the Causes of Abortion and Reasons for Its Existence 

The presented facts depict a strong relationship between the causes of abortion and why it exists among African Americans. First, it is recognizable that the increasing cases of abortion in the U.S. are denting the social fabric of the state and its people. The brutal termination of the lives of unborn babies depicts the level of insensitivity regarding the precious nature of human life and the extent to which moral values are not upheld. Raingruber (2014) indicates that abortion thrives because of ignorance, apathy, and confusion that should be addressed. The practice is based on manageable issues that the society should embark on addressing since there is capacity for such a move. It is not sensible to lose lives especially of innocent children because of sociological issues that can be solved. Stakeholders should come together, work towards eradicating discrimination, and develop policies that hold the capacity for enhancing equality in all aspects.

Realization of equality is necessary for social integration in an American society where African-Americans have been on the receiving end for a long time now. Ideally, the government should find it necessary to provide everyone with a comprehensive healthcare cover regardless of race, color, and social status. They should roll out a comprehensive healthcare plan and sustain it to give hope to poor citizens including the African-Americans who are always concerned about the welfare of their babies after birth. The government should also sensitize people on the dangers of abortion and prohibit it through an effective legislation.

Conclusion

Abortion has been a major issue that affects African Americans sociologically. This group are also disturbed psychologically, mentally, and economically when the babies are killed. This is expressed by the looks in their bodies. Many black women are practicing abortion with the justification that they do not want their babies to share in the long-suffering and discriminatory acts. They cite that the common cases of unethical profiling and stereotyping of African-Americans along racial lines presents social development challenges that children should not undergo. The challenges they face are painful and impede their wellbeing including advancement economically as other groups of people in the nation. Although, initiatives are being put in place to improve the prevailing situation by the current administration in terms of enhancing equality levels, more needs to be done to correct the societal imbalance. The cases of racism and feelings of discrimination should be corrected to enable African-Americans have a reason to keep their babies. With the enhancement of equality in every sector where all citizens are able to access basic amenities without any form of discrimination, the cases of abortion that destroys the social fabric of society would cease or reduce significantly.

References

Aria, L. (2009), Teenage pregnancy: The making and unmaking of a problem. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

Brandon, L. & Grimes, D. (2014). Every third woman in America: How legal abortion transformed our nation. London: Lulu.com

Button, Z. (2014). “Abortion’s racial gap”. The Atlantic. Retrieved July 20, 2018 from, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/abortions-racial-gap/380251/

Chapman, M. (2014). “NYC: More black babies killed by abortion than born. CNS News. Retrieved July 20, 2018 from, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/nyc-more-black-babies-killed-abortion-born

Hewitt, N. A. (2005). A companion to American women’s history. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

Hill, S. A. (2005). Black intimacies: A gender perspective on families and relationships. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2012). Development through life: A psychosocial approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Prisock, L. (2007). Uneasy alliance: The participation of African Americans in conservative sociology. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Raingruber, B. (2014). Contemporary health promotion in nursing practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Rousseau, N. (2009). Black woman’s burden: Commodifying black reproduction. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

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