In this sense, abortion is now legal for one or more reasons (mainly as exceptions to the law) in all but a few countries, while Canada is still the only country to have completely decriminalized abortion by a Supreme Court decision in 1988.9 No other country, no matter how liberal its legislative reform, has been willing to completely remove abortion from the law that limits it. Throughout history, the idea of access to “family planning” – whether birth control or abortion – has been controversial. Abortifacient drugs were initially very common, but were later banned under the Comstock Act after much lobbying efforts by the American Medical Association. After that, feminist movements began to fight for contraception. The movements` objections were not answered until much later, when the Supreme Court rendered its decisions in Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstadt v. Baird and Roe v. Wade. The first state to launch this wave of legislation was Connecticut in 1860. The law contained four separate sections setting out all the things that were now illegal with respect to abortion.
The first section dealt with abortion in general, stating that the act was considered “a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to five years” (Mohr, 1979, p. 201). The second section noted that all accomplices of the person performing the abortion are equally guilty of the crime. The third section states that the woman who receives the abortion is also guilty of the crime, even if she tries it herself. The fourth section dealt with information and materials on abortion, noting that the distribution of both was subject to fines ranging from $300 to $500 (Mohr, 1979, pp. 201-202). The content of the third and fourth articles of this law had never before been mentioned in anti-abortion laws and signified the “development of abortion policy” that was about to sweep the nation (Mohr, 1979, p. 201). This Connecticut law paved the way for other states to begin passing their own stricter abortion laws. Examples include “Colorado Territory and Nevada Territory in 1861 and Arizona Territory, Idaho Territory, and Montana Territory in 1864,” both of which made abortion a criminal offense (Mohr, 1979, p.
202). When considering whether abortion has a psychological effect on women, it is important to note the intersectionality between sociology and psychology. As we have seen above, culturally developed societal norms and stigmas influence individuals to behave and think in a certain way. Therefore, how abortion is socially accepted within a particular group can impact the psychological impact a woman experiences after the procedure. If a woman belongs to a community where women are stereotyped and abortion is stigmatized, she may have a bad self-image afterwards. “Women may feel selfish or immoral because they resist family expectations, cultural norms, or notions of motherhood” (Kumar et al., 2009, p. 633). In comparison, when women are part of a community that demonstrates support for their personal choice, they may “experience less grief and anxiety than those who have not been supported by their community or the wider environment” (Kumar et al., 2009, p.
632). This interrelationship shows how important it is to be socially accepted in society and how outcasts can cause real psychological problems in humans. With respect to anxiety and depression specifically, the study found that among women who had an abortion, the risk of panic disorder increased by 111% and the risk of depression by 45% (Coleman et al., 2009, p. 773). In Manassas, Virginia, the amendment [requires] “that medical care facilities, including abortion clinics, obtain a special use permit granted only after a period of public comment and City Council approval.” This means that all new clinics attempting to open in Manassas will need to get approval, as will any current clinics looking to relocate or carry out extended renovations. Due to the fact that the city council is predominantly Republican, the need for their consent can be a potential barrier for abortion providers (Stein, 2015). Globally, 25% of pregnancies between 2010 and 2014 ended in induced abortion, including in countries with high contraceptive prevalence rates.6 Thanks to years of effective campaigning, more and more women are increasingly advocating for the need for abortion and the right to safe abortion – and access to it when and when they need it. In addition, a growing number of Governments, both in the North and, more recently, in the South, have begun to recognize that preventing unsafe abortion is part of their commitment to reduce preventable maternal mortality and their obligations under international human rights law. Therefore, the availability of safe abortions depends not only on permissive legislation, but also on a permissive environment, political support, and the ability and willingness of health services and health professionals to make abortion available. Unlike Turkey, Ethiopia is an example of the success of this support.