Teenage Abortions: An Ethical and Moral Dilemma in the USA

Teenage Abortions: An Ethical and Moral Dilemma in the USA


The topic of abortion has been one of the most debated and divisive issues in the United States for decades. The situation becomes more complex when it comes to teenage abortions, as the decision to end a pregnancy can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological consequences for the young woman involved. This article will explore the ethical and moral debate surrounding teenage abortions in the USA, including expert opinions and industry statistics, as well as a conclusion.

Background on Teenage Abortions in the USA:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, approximately 19% of all reported abortions in the United States were performed on women aged 15-19. This is a significant number, considering that teenage girls make up only 7% of the female population in the country. Additionally, the CDC reports that the abortion rate among teenagers has been steadily declining since 1990, but it is still higher compared to the rates for women in their 20s and 30s.

The Ethical Debate:

The ethical debate surrounding teenage abortions is a complex and sensitive issue that touches upon various aspects of human life, such as the rights of the unborn child, the rights of the mother, and the role of the state in regulating medical procedures. Proponents of abortion rights argue that a woman, regardless of her age, should have the right to make decisions about her own body and to terminate a pregnancy if she so chooses. They believe that the state should not interfere with a woman's right to privacy and autonomy and that access to safe and legal abortion is essential for women's health and well-being.

On the other hand, opponents of abortion argue that the right to life of the unborn child is paramount and that ending a pregnancy is equivalent to taking a life. They believe that the state has a duty to protect the lives of the unborn, and that denying access to abortion is a way of ensuring that the lives of the unborn are protected.

Expert Opinions:

The ethical debate surrounding teenage abortions is also a matter of ongoing debate among medical professionals, legal experts, and scholars. According to Dr. Jennifer Conti, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University School of Medicine, "Abortion is a complex issue that raises important ethical and moral questions, but ultimately, the decision to terminate a pregnancy should be left up to the individual woman, in consultation with her healthcare provider."

Similarly, Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has stated that "Women, regardless of their age, should have access to safe and legal abortion services. It is a critical aspect of reproductive health care, and it is essential for ensuring the health and well-being of women and their families."

Industry Statistics:

Despite the ongoing debate, access to abortion services remains a crucial aspect of reproductive health care in the United States. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a leading research organization focused on reproductive health and rights, there were 657 abortion providers in the United States in 2017, down from a peak of 2,176 in 1982. This decline in the number of providers has made it more difficult for women, including teenagers, to access abortion services.

In addition, a number of states have enacted laws designed to restrict access to abortion, such as mandatory waiting periods, parental consent requirements, and restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion services. These laws have made it more difficult for teenagers to obtain abortions, as they often face significant barriers to accessing care, including stigma, lack of transportation, and limited financial resources.


The ethical and moral debate surrounding teenage abortions in the United States is ongoing and polarizing. However, it is important to consider the needs and well-being of the young women who are faced with this decision. Whether one is pro-choice or pro-life, it is important to provide comprehensive sex education and family planning services to help prevent unintended pregnancies and to support young women in their reproductive health choices.

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