International Relations Concerning Abortion

Human rights aim at ensuring that no individual is treated unfairly due to the economic, social or cultural position but instead their views are respected and protected despite these views being different from that which is accepted by the society. Human rights are very fundamental as they protect different rights which include the right to life, education, free trail and expression. Human rights violation is economical, social or cultural. It is a worldwide problem that occurs when a country fails to uphold its policies and does not perform its obligations without any form of discrimination. Around the world, violation cases have included cases such as freedom of the press that has gained momentum which has seen people voice their opinion concerning the issue. Abortion has been and is still an issue of contention in many societies today. Many people claiming that abortion is an act that takes away the freedom of life from the unborn child; feminist women on the other hand claim that it is their body and they have the right to do what they wish with it. This essay, therefore, examines violation of human rights by the state when it comes to abortion and how this problem is being addressed domestically and internationally. It will also review duties of the state under international law, how this violation was brought to the attention of the world and what happened at each stage.  It is also important to analyze the legitimacy of that human right to the state and the international community based on the reactions that occur once the right is violated.

Violation by the State

Right to abortion has been an issue that has been argued in many states even to date. This is because the access to safe and legal abortion is usually prohibited by law in many countries worldwide. Violation of this right by the state has contributed to women bringing complaint cases to the court which have revolutionized the perspective of abortion in the country, for example, Roe V. Wade.  Countries that allow abortion in their constitution only allow it when the mother has to be saved during pregnancy or the pregnancy was as a result of rape. Right to life is violated by the states once it prohibits abortion. This is because women seeking abortion are driven to unsafe and unhealthy clinics to carry out the abortion. They end up endangering their lives because these clinics are usually ill-equipped and have unskilled medical staffs who do not know how to carry out abortion successfully which in some cases lead to the death of these women. This also violates their right to health as they may end up with long-term physical and mental health complications that could have been avoided if the state had legalized abortion. Women are also denied the right to equality and privacy since women cannot do what they wish with their bodies and decide what they are to do with an unwanted pregnancy.  Their decision should not cohere by the legislations put in place but be made on what they believe is the right decision just like men are given the liberty to choose on when they would wish to get children.


Domestic Perspective and Duties

 In the United States, abortion is not restricted for any reason and women have the right to exercise their rights without any violation. However, before this decision is made it is important to determine if taking abortion protects the right and the interest of both the mother and the unborn child. The court has legal frameworks that ensure that the law protects everyone and not only the interest of the pregnant mother are considered but also of the fetus who some argue is still a person. This, therefore, ensures that no rights are violated for both the mother and the unborn child.  The court has to, therefore, consider all risks involved in the health of the mother and the child before it makes its decision. 

The international law works in ensuring that the state avoids any case of rights violation to the women and also protects them. This means ensuring that they protect their health and they also get proper medical treatment after the abortion is performed and that they are protected from mistreatment. In many cases, those who have aborted are usually shunned and discriminated, therefore, the states should ensure that this people’s right to privacy is maintained and they are not abused by the public. The state has the responsibility of ensuring that the hospitals are fully equipped with all facilities needed to properly accommodate those who go through abortion and that they get the needed treatment. This also means that the state has the responsibility of ensuring that those who work in these clinics are fully certified and skilled in order to protect the lives and the health of patients.  The state has the responsibility of ensuring that no one gets stigmatized or harassed due to their decision to go ahead and get an abortion.

Abortion Laws Internationally

Abortion came to the attention of the public in the 19th century when feminists campaigned for liberalization in abortion laws. This involved ways to make the public accept family planning methods and the use of birth controls in order to enable women make choices on when they would wish to get pregnant. This is the repression stage which aims at ensuring that there is an advocacy network. At this stage, there is socialization of the international community in order to ensure that these norms are promoted and upheld. Advocacy involved in bringing abortion laws to the public includes carrying out campaigns. However at this time, many denied the practice of abortion and there was a lot of resistance. The public did not accept abortion and therefore looked down upon those who performed the act. However, feminist groups brought the issue to the public and helped women understand their rights and how not being granted abortion rights is a violation of their human rights. Over the next years, abortion reforms were enforced in various countries such as the United States which allowed women to exercise their rights and have privacy and equality when it comes to their reproductive health.

The international community is however divided on the issue of abortion and some countries have  not been fully sold on issues concerning abortion; with many viewing it as illegal and can only be performed when the health and life of the mother are in danger due to the pregnancy. However, activists have been trying to change this perspective and prove that illegalizing abortion is a violation of human rights. International human rights do recognize that everyone has the right to life and it should be protected by the law at all costs and them therefore not only protect the mother but also the unborn child ensuring that no rights are violated. This is also so in countries that abortion is allowed since it ensures that abortion is not only performed without cause but the mother is informed of other options such as adoption process instead of going ahead with the abortion process. International communities have set conventions such as the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention which protects women from any form of violence.

Legitimacy of Abortion Rights

In the United States, the cases of abortion rights such as Roe V. Wade got the support from the judicial system when the court awarded the plaintiff the freedom to exercise their abortion rights. This legitimized the existing abortion rights by ensuring that those who practice abortion and the patients therefore protecting them.  Abortion rights include the rights to security, rights to no discrimination and right to privacy. All these have granted women the freedom to decide the number and the spacing of children without really being discriminated. This has also granted women the right to equality and therefore legitimizing these right ensures that all these rights are protected. Empowerment of these rights in the United States gave women the chance to feel free to express them without feeling discriminated. The constitution ensures that no one is discriminated due to their race, gender or pregnancy status, therefore, ensuring that abortion rights are legitimized.

In the international community, countries such as the United Kingdom have legalized abortion and it is therefore important to ensure that the legal frameworks and the public community in such countries allow those who wish to carry out abortion are not discriminated by the public. Justice frameworks in these countries are therefore tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that there is legal coverage for abortion which ensures that criminalized abortions are prohibited by placing the needed restrictions. Such restrictions ensure that the abortion services offered are professional and the risks to physical injury are avoided and the chance of death occurring is minimal.   Protection of these rights ensures that no violation occurs and women feel comfortable in their choices. In countries where abortion is prohibited but can only be performed when there is a risk to the mother’s health or life, then it is important to ensure that the health facilities are at a professional level. This means that they should be fitted with the necessary equipment with ultrasound and modern technology that will ensure everything is done to ensure that the lives of the citizens are protected.

The international community has also encouraged states without abortion to revise their laws to include clauses that will ensure abortion rights are allowed but only in exceptional cases such as rape. This will, therefore, ensure that women do not seek medical attention from unqualified individuals that would put their lives at risk. Countries such as Ireland that have strict and great barriers in their abortion rights have been scrutinized by the international community. This is because they have been accused of not protecting their women reproductive health which has led to the death of many women in the country yet this could have been avoided.

Abortion rights protect the women’s rights to privacy, equality, security, and health in order to ensure that they are not discriminated because of their actions. This grants women the freedom to ensure that their reproductive health is in their hands and they are not arrested or harassed because of their decision to carry out abortion.  Does life begin at conception or is it after birth. This has led to division and clash of many people especially the religious community who believe that life begins in the womb. This has therefore contributed to the court making decisions that protect the lives of the fetus as well since they have the right to life. If by any chance the pregnancy is high risk to the mother then it should be aborted as the life of the mother is vital. However, abortion cannot be performed despite the mother’s wish to do it if by any chance going forward with the process will endanger the life of the mother. In such a case, the mother is advised to go on with the pregnancy and then look into other measures such as adoption process.


Abortion rights have been a bone of contention not only in the United States but also internationally, with people having different approaches to the issue. Countries that allow abortion rights aim at granting women their rights to life and good health by ensuring that they are able to access medical facilities that are well equipped in protecting their lives. These rights also ensure that they are granted their rights to equality and they are therefore able to decide when they would like to start a family just like the men. The state has, therefore, the responsibility of protecting the women by ensuring that there are facilities that offer these services in the country. They also have the responsibility of ensuring that these women are protected from discrimination and stigmatization.  The international community has strongly condemned counters that violate these rights on the basis that the government is not protecting the right to life of its citizens and therefore forcing them to seek medical attention in clinics that are not accredited. These rights also protect the unborn child as it too does have the right to life and therefore abortion process will occur in only in the case that it does not endanger the mother’s life.