Abortion in Alcenia
Abortion in Alcenia a very controversial political, moral, and theological topic in Alcenian culture and society. This article focuses not only on the practice as it occurs in Alcenia, but the debate surrounding it, which consists of the pro-choice and pro-life movements; the former seeking to legalize abortion where it is disallowed (and keep it legal where it is allowed) and the latter seeking to criminalize it where it is allowed (and keep it illegal where it is not).
There has been little case law affecting abortion in Alcenia. The last abortion-related case heard in the Supreme Court of Alcenia, Harper v. Ilanuras (2011), held laws that criminalize abortion past a certain trimester are constitutional, but no challenge to laws that ban abortion entirely have arisen. Other rulings in lower courts generally surround federal and state funding of organizations that provide abortion services. Currently, the federal government of Alcenia does not provide any grants to any organization that performs abortions, but does provide funding to some states who in turn give that money to those organizations. The Alcenian Society of Birth Control (ASBC) us the largest pro-choice lobbying group in Alcenia which also offers reproductive services. The Coalition to Protect Life (CPL) is the largest pro-life lobbying group in Alcenia which also offers adoption assistance for women with unplanned pregnancies.
Public opinion varies depending on state polled. In Vellonia, which has the most permissive abortion laws (legal for any reason up to 12 weeks), 67% of respondents said they identify as "pro-choice" and 64% said they support legalizing abortion nationwide. Among states where abortion is illegal in all cases, Sidanevi had the highest percentage of respondents identifying as "pro-life" with 89%. Nationwide, there is little gender divide between opinions, with an roughly equal percentage of men and women identifying as pro-choice and pro-life. Nationwide, around 48% of Alcenians identify as "pro-choice" while 45% identify as "pro-life" with the remaining 7% having no opinion on the issue.
The federal government of Alcenia defines "abortion" in this context as "the intentional termination of a pregnancy" which distinguishes it from a miscarriage, referred to in the medical community as a "spontaneous abortion".
In the debate, people who wish to have abortion legal are considered "pro-choice" by their supporters and "pro-abortion" by their detractors. Those who wish to have abortion illegal are considered "pro-life" by their supporters and "anti-choice" by their detractors. These terms are almost never used outside the abortion debate and many people who hold either view hold other views that may not be literally "pro-choice" or "pro-life".
In states where the fetus or baby's father could be entitled to restitution, the father must show a "clear and persistent" opposition to the abortion. There must also be no doubt or contest present as to the paternity of the fetus or baby (often, simply denying being the father even once disqualifies him from restitution in the event of an abortion). In practice, this kind of restitution is rarely paid out, as the standards for proof are very high and strict.
Opinion and statistics
The key argument for the pro-choice movement in Alcenia is that a woman has a right to bodily autonomy and therefore the right to end a pregnancy she does not wish to carry to term. Some supporters of the pro-choice movement also argue that children who were unplanned and unwanted often turn to crime as they grow up and become a detriment to society.
Opinions differ within the pro-choice movement as to whether abortion should be allowed in all cases, only in certain cases, at any point during the pregnancy, or only within a certain time during the pregnancy. Polling shows that 78% of people who identify as pro-choice support legalizing abortion up until the first trimester, 48% up until the second trimester, and 6% at any point during the pregnancy. Around 55% who identify as pro-choice said they only supported abortion rights in the case of rape, incest, threats to the woman's life. 43% said the reason for wanting an abortion does not affect their opinion.
The key argument for the pro-life movement in Alcenia is that human life begins at conception and therefore has a right to life which makes terminating a pregnancy the same as murder.
Within the pro-life movement, some agree there should be exceptions. A poll showed 59% of those who identify as pro-life said they would accept an exception for rape, incest, or threat to woman's life.
Among both camps, there is little split between sex, with approximately 48% of Alcenian women identifying as pro-choice, 47% as pro-life, and 50% of Alcenian men identifying as pro-choice, 49% as pro-life. 68% of Alcenians agree abortion should be prohibited past the first trimester, while only 14% believe it should be allowed at any point during the pregnancy.
Reasons for an abortion
Data from the Vellonia Department of Public Health shows the top ten reasons why women get an abortion are:
- 1. Cannot afford a child (75%)
- 2. Do not want to be a single-mother (67%)
- 3. Not ready for a child (64%)
- 4. Do not want parents to know I got pregnant (34%)
- 5. Do not feel I would be a good mother (29%)
- 6. Partner wants me to have an abortion (21%)
- 7. The fetus has a genetic defect e.g. Downs Syndrome (18%)
- 8. I may not survive childbirth (7%)
- 9. The fetus is the product of incest (3%)
- 10. The fetus is the product of rape (1%)
Sunalie and Nievia, the only other two jurisdictions that allow abortion for any reason up to 14 and 8 weeks, respectively, do not allow a physician to ask why a woman she is requesting an abortion.