Abortion: Social, Political and Socio-cultural Factors

Abortion: Social, Political and Socio-cultural Factors
Abortion: Social, Political and Socio-cultural Factors

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Abortion: Social, Political and Socio-cultural Factors

Abortion is one of the issues that have been cited to affect women’s health. The issue of abortion has courted controversy and created a political, public as well as moral divide across the globe. Where as a section of the public are for the view that abortions should be legalized, another sect recommend that t should be restricted. The society on the other hand has often defined abortions from the perspective of when life truly begins and on what point during the gestation period that fetus acquires legal rights of a human being. A number of political, social, and socio-cultural issues surround abortions.

Social Factors

In most societies abortion is considered to be a taboo. Consequently, women have been forced to come up with alternative measures regarding their health. Incidents of women conducting abortions in hide outs are common in the society. Poverty has also played a major in promoting abortions in the society. This is because lack of funds to buy contraceptives forces some women to opt for abortions.

Cases have also been reported of women who prefer to abort due to their inability to raise children (Boyle et al., 2015). Lack of education, especially for the girl child has also led to cases of abortions. This is because a woman can prefer to do an abortion without sufficient knowledge on the consequences that are associated with the practice. Religions have also taken a strong stand against abortion arguing that no human being has the right to end the life of the other.   

Political Factors

According to Githens & Stetson (2013) the abortion issue is considered to be a question of personal privacy rights. Several government laws as well as decisions to have them have been based on two questions; whether it is right for a woman have an abortion and at what point are human rights accorded to the an unborn child. Some states have legalized abortion on medical grounds, that is, if the practice is aimed at safeguarding the health of the woman. Other states have enacted strict rules against abortion pointing out that it may encourage immorality.

Health care providers hold varying beliefs on abortion. A number of physicians may not provide the service due to the fear of the associated consequences whereas however others are ready to offer the service especially when it predisposes the woman to other health risks.

Socio-cultural Factors

Different communities have varied perspectives of sexual and reproductive behavior (Shrage, 2013). In most communities, abortion is termed as a taboo, and therefore, individuals who partake in it are considered to be rebels and hence rejected from by the community members.


Boyle, E. H., Kim, M., & Longhofer, W. (2015). Abortion Liberalization in World Society, 1960–20091. American Journal of Sociology121(3), 882-913.

Githens, M., & Stetson, D. M. (2013). Abortion politics: public policy in cross-cultural perspective. Routledge.

Shrage, L. (2013). Moral dilemmas of feminism: Prostitution, adultery, and abortion. Routledge.

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