A Woman's Right to Bodily Autonomy


U.S. Congressmen for Kansas;

Senator Jerry Moran

Senator Roger Marshall

District 1 – Representative Tracey Mann

District 2 – Representative Jacob LaTurner

District 3 – Representative Sharice Davids

District 4 – Representative Ron Estes

Dear Senator Jerry Moran; Senator Roger Marshall; Rep. Tracey Mann; Rep. Jacob LaTurner; Rep. Sharice Davids; Rep. Ron Estes; and all others To Whom It May Concern:

I submit to you this document in regards to the overruling of the Roe v. Wade within the United States Constitution. The purpose of this document is to provide references, resources, facts, and perspectives to light, regarding the rights of women’s decisions over their bodies, also referred to as “bodily autonomy”.

I recently opened a notification from my NewsBreak application; article titled Kansas lawmakers react to Roe v. Wade decision (Dakota, 2022). To be completely transparent: I had little recollection to what this law was originally. I needed to educate myself before reading this article so that I comprehended it well, as I knew that it is/was an important constitutional law and this was a major overruling. I found Lewis (1973, 2022), Roe v Wade. “Date: January 22, 1973; Citation: 410 U.S. 113; Issue: Abortion; Significance: -- The Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy before the fetus acquires viability and that a fetus is not a person under the **Fifth and **Fourteenth Amendments; -- court determined that rather than supporting women’s health as lawmakers claimed, the restrictions placed ‘undue burden’ on women’s rights to obtain abortions, a direct violation of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling” (Lewis, 1973, 2022). -- After the Roe decision, annual abortions increased from 616,000 in 1973 to 1.4 million in 1990. But the number has been declining since then, reaching its lowest point in 2017 with 862,000 abortions. This is due in large part to an overall decline in pregnancies and births” (Shehan, 2022).

It is now my understanding that the overruling of Roe v. Wade means that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, on the grounds of the constitution never mentioning abortion, nor guaranteeing abortion rights via another right (the right to liberty). While I can understand the technicalities addressed in this decision, I have gained a strong, aching feeling within my body for: myself, my daughter, and the lives of women everywhere. Campaigns for “My Body, My Choice” have risen, rapidly, in the past couple of years regarding the “jab or job” references during Covid & vaccinations, and now to women’s rights to bodily autonomy.

An oppositional perspective -- “majority of states permitted abortions only when necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, … under other circumstances (rape and incest) -- As American culture placed greater emphasis on individual freedom, the number of illegal abortions appeared to be growing -- right to an abortion, although a fundamental right, is not unqualified and must be considered in relation to the state’s important and legitimate interests in protecting maternal health and the ‘potentiality of human life’” (Lewis, 1973, 2022). An Example: -- “If the Roe v. Wade decision were overturned, women's control over the timing and number of children they have would be reduced or even eradicated -- the effect that teen pregnancy, for example, has on a woman's education. Examine the following:

• Thirty percent of all teenage girls who drop out of school cite pregnancy and parenthood as key reasons.

• Only 40% of teen mothers finish high school.

• Fewer than 2% finish college by age 30.

• Educational achievement, in turn, affects the lifetime income of teen mothers.

• Two-thirds of families started by teens are poor, and nearly 1 in 4 will depend on welfare within three years of a child's birth.

• Many children will not escape this cycle of poverty.

• Only about two-thirds of children born to teen mothers earn a high school diploma, compared with 81% of their peers with older parents.

• Roe v. Wade greatly improved the lives of generations of women across the U.S. in the last decades of the 20th century and early in the 21st, giving them previously unknown levels of freedom, autonomy and control over their lives. (Shehan, 2022).

“Extremists” range from one side to the other.

Pro-life: -- “one of the greatest threats to these attempts to protect every child statewide by love and by law are "pro-life" groups and "pro-life" leaders who favor exceptions or who believe states have a duty to submit to lawless and unconstitutional judicial tyranny; -- 2004 in Muskingum County, Ohio, fifteen physicians from a dozen different specialties have publicly stated that they are convinced that life begins at fertilization, and have committed not to do abortions nor refer for abortions; -- The Sixth Commandment states, "You shall not murder." -- Health of the Mother; Rape and Incest; Severely Handicapped Fetus: ‘These exceptions, when evaluated, are really just smoke and mirrors—distractions from the true point of contention. If I held an infant in my arms and informed a crowd … the child was conceived through rape/handicapped/mother extremely depressed that child was still living, do you think any of them would propose that the infant should be killed?’ -- Ireland; Dublin Declaration: direct abortion—the purposeful destruction of the unborn child—is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman -- Just because the outcome is the same, that doesn't make the acts morally equivalent. -- “PRO- LIFE WITHOUT EXECPTIONS” (Johnston, 2015).

Pro-choice: -- “Each year, 75 million women have unwanted pregnancies (familial relationships; hopes for the future; economic concerns; health needs) -- Provisions that include protections of: the right to physical integrity, the right to determine the number and spacing of children, right to privacy. -- The right to gender equality is a fundamental principle of human rights law. Freedom from discrimination in the enjoyment of protected human rights is ensured in every major human rights instrument. Denying women access to abortion is a form of gender discrimination.

• Preventing woman from exercising any of her human rights or fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men

• Denying women access to a procedure that may be necessary for their enjoyment of their right to health

• Only women must live with physical/emotional consequences of unwanted pregnancy

• Some summer maternity related injuries: hemorrhage, obstructed labor

• Denying access to medical services that enable them to regulate fertility or terminate a dangerous pregnancy = refusal to provide health care that only women need

• Discriminatory purpose … to define women by their reproductive capacity

• Safe abortion protects women’s right to health

• Forcing unsafe abortion due to laws violates woman’s right to life; high association with maternal mortality” (Center for Reproductive Rights, 2005”

Reasons with percentages of FLORIDA surveyors (of 74,868 abortions | via Guttmacher Institute survey)

• .01% - incestuous relationship

• .15% - raped

• .2% - woman’s life endangered by pregnancy

• .98% - serious fetal abnormality

• 1.48% - woman’s physical health was threatened by pregnancy

• 1.88% - woman’s psychological health was threatened by pregnancy

• 20.4% - social or economic reasons

• 74.9% - no reason (elective)

Abortion rates of general America (CDC, 2019):

• Unmarried women = 86% of all abortions

• Married women = 4%

• Unmarried = 28%

• Women in 20s = 56.9%

• Adolescents under 15 = .2%

• 15-19 year olds = 8.5%

• Unmarried, with partner = 25% (per the 10% of women in the population)

• No past abortions = 58%

• 1-2 abortions = 34%

• 3+ abortions = 8%

• No prior live births = 40%

• 1-2 prior live births = 45%

• 3+ prior live births = 15%

• White women = 10%

• Black women = 28%

• Protestants = 30%

• Catholics = 24%

Reasons with percentages (of 957 women in the anonymous 2019 survey | via Guttmacher Institute survey and CDC, 2019):

• <.5% - victim of rape

• 3% - fetal health problems

• 4% - physical health problems

• 4% - interference with education/career

• 7% - not mature enough

• 8% - don’t want to be a single mother

• 19% - done having children

• 23% - can’t afford a baby

• 25% - not ready for a child

• 6% - other

Finally, percentages of abortions in relation to weeks of gestation (CDC, 2019):

• <6 weeks = 42.9%

• 7-9 weeks = 36.4%

• 10-13 weeks = 13.4%

• 14-15 weeks = 2.9%

• 16-17 weeks = 1.7%

• 18-20 weeks = 1.6%

• >21 weeks = 1%

Additional abortion facts (via Abort73.com, 2022)

• (2018) 2 women reportedly died as a result of induced abortion

• (1973-2018) 521 women died due to complications from legal abortions (CDC, 2018)

• (1972) 24 women died from causes associated with legal abortions

• (1972) 39 women died from illegal abortions

• 51% of women were on birth control when becoming pregnant

• 9 in 10 women at risk of unintended pregnancy are using birth control

• Oral contraceptives carry failure rates = 6-8%

• 40% of minors have abortions without parental knowledge

• 39 states enforce parental consent

According to SMG (2022), “80% of single-parent families are headed by single mothers and nearly one-third live in poverty. This is now becoming the ‘new norm’. About 4 out of 10 were born to unwed mothers; nearly two-thirds were born to mothers under age 30; 1 in 6 children under 18 (approx. 12.7 million) are being raised without a father.”

Several other studies suggest that women undergo several forms of violence, and many of these women have children who feel the effects of this abuse, also. In Mexico, there is a large war on women, known as Femicide. In Violence with Femicide Risks, these forms of violence (physical, sexual, mental/emotional) “increased symptoms of depression, as well as alcohol and tobacco consumption. The children of victims of VFR had significantly more recent episodes of bloody stool, diarrhea, fever, and coughing. These effects can be understood to stem from somatization, stress, substance use, and neurological damage due to exposure to this violence.” (Hernandez, 2021).

Relationships between abortion and child abuse, provides: “The following mechanisms may apply:

1. Having an abortion may decrease an individual's instinctual restraint against the occasional rage felt toward those dependent on her care;

2. Allowing infants to die by permissive abortion might diminish the social taboo against aggressing the defenseless;

3. By lessening children's confidence in their parents' care, abortion may increase the hostility between the generations which may become violent;

4. By discarding non-defective unborn children wholesale, abortion may devalue children, thus diminishing the importance of caring for children;

5. When abortion increases guilt and self-hatred, the parent may displace it onto a child;

6. A woman's choice for abortion increases the hostile frustration of some men, intensifying the battle of the sexes, for which children are scapegoated;

7. Abortion of the first pregnancy may truncate the initial developing mother-infant bond, thereby diminishing future mothering capability;

8. A previous abortion may result in depression which interferes with the mother's capacity to bond to her newborn;

Abortion, producing guilt in both the mother and in the children who survive, increases the probability of displaced hostility, which results in battered or murdered children. By interrupting the formation of the delicate mechanism which promotes mother-infant bonding, it puts at risk millions of babies who are not aborted” (Ney, 1979).

“Freud’s predominant attitude towards motherhood was that the mother’s first child was the extension of her own narcissism, and thus her ambivalence towards her living child would be positively resolved. Her child would feel wanted and loved. Her love for this living child would elicit guilt about her negative feelings and prompt her toward reparation … maternal ambivalence and the difficulty for a mother in having a surviving yet unwanted child” (Pines, 1990).

It is imperatively evident that child abuse is set to the wayside and the focus is directed more at abortion. Equalizing the rights of all children, both unborn and born, is a large debate and it is focused mostly on whether or not to terminate a pregnancy rather than preventing child abuse. There is significantly less focus on the quantity of unwanted children being raised and abused by their parents (a statistic of 80% of parents being the child’s abuser), so caring for the already existing ones (a much more serious topic) is taking less priority over monitoring the further introduction of human beings (specifically in reference to abortion). The view should be opened to take in the “goal of keeping troubled parents from having children -or- (failing that) helping them to cope with the stress of parenting” (Wickham, 2004). These resources are extremely low. “48% of all pregnancies are unintended … 47% of these were aborted, 13% ended in miscarriage, and 40% produced live births … 900,000 cases of child abuse in a single year ought to be viewed as a national crisis” (Wickham, 2004).

Limitations on abortion can lead to increased occurrences of the “Safe Haven Laws” being enacted with several children being abandoned in ‘safe places’. According to National KIDS COUNT (2020), the number of children in foster care are as follows:

• 2011 – 397,885

• 2012 – 397,091

• 2013 – 402,172

• 2014 – 415,129

• 2015 – 427,901

• 2016 – 437,465

• 2017 – 442,733

• 2018 – 437,283

• 2019 – 426,749

• 2020 – 407,493

In 2020 alone, juvenile incarcerations (foster care) by state (provided by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2022) as follows:

• Alabama – 5,573

• Alaska – 2,860

• Arizona – 13,599

• Arkansas – 4,280

• California – 50,737

• Colorado – 4,804

• Connecticut – 4,034

• Delaware – 481

• District of Columbia - 577

• Florida – 23,518

• Georgia – 11,370

• Hawaii – 1,593

• Idaho – 1,534

• Illinois – 20,568

• Indiana – 15,084

• Iowa – 4,660

• Kansas – 7,242

• Kentucky – 8,675

• Louisiana – 3,542

• Maine – 2,291

• Maryland – 3,800

• Massachusetts – 9,320

• Michigan – 10,661

• Minnesota – 7,763

• Mississippi – 3,594

• Missouri – 12,650

• Montana – 3,406

• Nebraska – 3,605

• Nevada – 4,372

• New Hampshire – 1,184

• New Jersey – 3,788

• New Mexico – 2,120

• New York – 15,497

• North Carolina – 10,630

• North Dakota – 1,556

• Ohio – 16,017

• Oklahoma – 8,052

• Oregon – 6,026

• Pennsylvania – 14,354

• Puerto Rico – 2,259

• Rhode Island – 2,140

• South Carolina – 4,070

• South Dakota – 1,683

• Tennessee – 8,839

• Texas – 29,991

• Utah – 2,373

• Vermont – 1,078

• Virginia – 4,773

• Washington – 9,616

• West Virginia – 7,334

• Wisconsin – 7,105

• Wyoming - 815

“More than 60% of children in foster care spend 2-5 years in the system before being adopted, almost 20% spend 5+ years in the system, and some never get adopted; approximately 28.6% of children that cannot be returned to family are waiting to be adopted. Of these waiting children, males outnumber females, African American children are disproportionately represented, and over half are 6 years or older … no more than 2% of Americans have actually adopted (homing approximately 1 out of 50 children), but more than 33% have ‘considered’ it … 6 in 10 Americans have had a personal experience with adoption (themselves, a family member, or close friend was adopted, had adopted, or had placed a child up for adoption)” (Lima, 2018).

“Age distribution of children in foster care waiting for adoption:

• 1-3 years = 26%

• 4-6 years = 19%

• 7-9 years = 15%

• 10-14 years = 20%

• 15+ years = 12%” (Lima, 2018)

Several resources claim that the number of American families/parents waiting to adopt ranges between 1.3 and 2 million, also supported by Lima (2018). “Every year, there are about 1.3 million abortions. Only about 4% of women with unwanted pregnancies placed their children through adoption. State and federal expenditures for foster care administrative costs totaled $4.3 billion versus the 679,191 children entering foster care or in care, averaging cost per child served per year to be $6,675” (Lima, 2018). Not to be discouraged, here are a few adoption sites:

US Adoption Statistics

How Many Couples are Waiting to Adopt a Baby?

See All Waiting Adoptive Families

Waiting Children

Lists of Waiting American Children. Heart Gallery of America

View Waiting Adoptive Family Profiles | Considering Adoption

Become a foster parent

Meeting Our Waiting Families

Helping Children in Foster Care

A different perspective to consider, how do children view adoption? Sources were limited, but here are some comments/questions/concerns:

• “I was excited about the idea of being adopted by a family”

• “I knew I wanted a real mom and dad”

• “Will my birth parents come for me?”

• “How long will I be here?”

• “How long will I stay with my foster family before I’m adopted?”

• “Will I ever be adopted?”

• “The end result is certainly worthwhile for everyone concerned. My adoptive parents changed my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.” (Perez, 2015)

Associated conflicts that psychological professionals have taken note of: “Many lose contact with their birth parents, physical surroundings, and sometimes even their siblings. They often struggle with feelings of trust, insecurity, and emotional stability … some children (who have been in the system a while) may be moved to different foster homes, which can create a sense of loss that happens over and over again … essential for adoptive parents to be sensitive to the impact of loss, lack of trust, and feelings of insecurity … may require time for emotional healing to restore feelings of security, trust, and well-being” (Perez, 2015).

Developmental Education on the Subject

“About 12% of babies in the U.S. are premature, but complications of premature birth account for 35% of infant deaths. Complications related to labor and delivery, about one-quarter of deaths, and various types of infections together account for another one-quarter of deaths (Liu et al., 2015). Congenital malformations—defects that are present at birth, either from genetic factors or prenatal events (heart defects, spina bifida, Down syndrome, cleft palates, and more )—account for 1 out of 10 deaths during the first year … approximately 20% of infants who do not receive the recommended immunizations are more likely than immunized babies to contract illnesses that can compromise their health (CDC, 2013). Socioeconomic status in the United States often determines who has access to health care services that cover immunizations.” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). This association with already unfavorable experiences that women undergo further enhances good reasoning for allowing a woman the choice to continue on with an unwanted pregnancy or terminate due to various complications to come in the future. Even if a woman decided to continue on with the outcome, her inability to access health care can severely damage the child’s development, overall.

Nature vs. Nurture is a hot debate, naturally we reproduce, in terms of nurture, is how we progress. Many of the ‘failing’ parents lack proper nurturing abilities. Nurture is essentially “emphasizing change in response to environment – all the external physical and social conditions, stimuli, and events that can affect us … adolescents already experience a time of emotional ups and downs and rapid changes, characterized as storm and stress …” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). “Paul Baltes laid out seven key assumptions of the life-span perspective, that development is: a lifelong process, multidirectional, involves both gain and loss, characterized by lifelong plasticity, shaped by its historical-cultural context, multiply influenced, and must be studied by multiple disciplines” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). Experience in our environment creates change within us, lifelong, multidirectional, with gains and losses, and several other factors. This section is to suggest those conflicting experiences women have when entering an unwanted pregnancy and how it affects our health physically, mentally, emotionally, behaviorally, and cognitively. This will spill over into our central environments. This can affect already living children.

“Psychoanalytic theory focused on the development and dynamics of the personality, revolutionized thinking about human nature and human development. It proposed that people are driven by motives and emotional conflicts of which they are largely unaware, and that they are shaped by their earliest experiences in the family” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). “Fixation means arrested development in which part of the libido remains tied to an earlier stage of development” (Freud; Sigelman & Rider, 2017). Erik Erikson discusses his 8 stages of psychosocial development: 1. Trust v. Mistrust; 2. Autonomy v. Shame/Doubt; 3. Initiative v. guilt; 4. Industry v. Inferiority; 5. Identity v. Role Confusion; 6. Intimacy v. Isolation; 7. Generativity v. Stagnation; 8. Ego integrity v. Despair. (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). While these range from birth to late adulthood, fixation may occur at any age if given an impactful experience, and regression can take place; meaning an individual will regress to a previous stage in life where they experienced less (or no) trauma. In the case of a woman as a parent, her knowledge or intelligence on parenting can decrease and reverse her abilities to parent to proper standards pre-set by society. This can negatively impact living children in the home.

“Early learning theorists such as Watson and B. F. Skinner emphasized that human behavior changes in direct response to environmental stimuli” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). “Albert Bandura claims that humans are cognitive beings whose active processing of information plays a critical role in their learning, behavior, and development … he notes that people think about the connections between their behavior and its consequences … emphasizing that his theory is about the motivating and self-regulating role of cognition in human behavior … these cognitions play a real causal role in influencing their behavior; individuals develop high or low sense of self-efficacy (belief that they can effectively produce a particular desired outcome” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). This explains a female’s processing of a pregnancy, the circumstances surrounding that pregnancy, the decisions that can be made for that pregnancy (both continuing and discontinuing), and the potential outcomes of these factors. Unfavorable experiences can severely, negatively impact development, cognition, self-regulation, motivation, and behavior. This can then place impact on society in the surrounding vicinity as well as other living children within the home of that individual. The biggest point to note is: these experiences cannot be unlived, nor can the be prevented to begin with. If they are lived, they will create some sort of change within our minds and that can play out in our interactions with our surroundings, like their living children in their home.

Bronfenbrenner’s BioEcological Model discusses how we start with the individual, and how that individual is influenced by its microsystem (home, school, immediate family, neighborhood). The mesosystem (home, school, neighborhood, work) further influence the microsystem and the individual. The individual then gets to experience influences from the Exosystem (parent’s workplace, child’s school, community services, mass media). The Macrosystem is the basis of all of this development as it is the widely shared cultural values, beliefs, customs, and laws (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). In sum, United States of America is our Macrosystem of widely shared cultural values, beliefs, customs, and laws. This governs what can then take place within our Exosystem (geographic location, workplace, child’s school, media exposure). This then influences our Mesosytem of our work environment, school environment, neighborhood environment, and home environment. These environments dictate the tone of our interactions at home, school, in our neighborhood, and at our work; which ultimately moulds: us; the individual at the center of the model. These influences change adults and adolescents through crucial experiences throughout their lives.

“Accidents constitute a major category of negative influences on health and well-being … some injuries for some can have lasting effects on their physical or mental well-being … brain development is never truly complete. The brain is responsive to experience and is capable of neurogenesis, the process of generating new neurons, across the life span … According to the neuroconstructivism theory, new knowledge is constructed through changes in the neural structures of the brain in response to experiences (Westermann et al., 2010)” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). Accidents, as in rape, assault, child neglect, malnutrition, and various other forms of abuse. These experiences can all have lasting effects on physical and/or mental well-being in an individual, and largely inhibit ‘normal’ brain development as it damages and reconstructs neurons. This then effects both adults… and already existing children.

If we have yet to acknowledge the center message of how this affects both adults (mothers) and children (both unborn and already living), this a strong explanation through several psychological studies and psychologists and further analysis of additional psychologists on the constant development humans experience, how those experiences directly (and intensely) affect us both mentally and cognitively, AND how conflicted adults (from traumatic experiences) negatively impact developing children (both prenatal and living). “Poverty is often defined by low family income, but child poverty involves more than low parent income: It also involves low levels of meeting children’s basic needs (see Lipina & Colombo, 2009). Thus, children who live in poverty often have inadequate health and dental care and nutrition; they live in overcrowded and unsafe neighborhoods; their families experience chronic stress; their relationships with parents are often not as affectionate or supportive; and they lack opportunities for cognitive stimulation that are commonplace in other homes” (Sigelman & Rider, 2017). Poverty is ever-increasing with high rates of inflation taking place in our country right now, subjecting even more children to these unfavorable circumstances if restrictions are placed against women’s uteruses.

“PANDEMIC ORPHANS: We are experiencing the greatest mass orphan-hood event in a generation. About 200,000 American children were orphaned during the pandemic--an average of two children in each public school in the country. Orphans face an immense set of challenges, including an increased risk of substance abuse, dropping out of school, living in poverty, and death by suicide, and they remain more susceptible to every major cause of death throughout their lives. Despite the urgency, the national response is not meeting the moment. Nobody has come up with a plan for identifying these children or providing them with targeted resources (Atlantic, April 6)” (The Christian Century Foundation, 2022).

UNICEF: previously standing for United Nations International Child Emergency Fund; updated to now stand for United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF states that “there are 163 million orphans worldwide -- 18.5 million of these orphans lost both parents, most of which have moved to living with extended family -- 95% of all orphans are over the age of five -- nearly 5700 children become orphans due to war, natural disaster, poverty, disease, stigma, and medical needs -- 2017, 15000 children under 5 years of age died daily (1 per 17 seconds) and 2.7 million die within first month of life -- 60% of orphan girls will become victims of the sex trade – 10-15% will commit suicide before turning 18 – 70% of orphan boys will become criminals (Eastern Europe) – 250,000 children are adopted annually – 14,050,000 orphans will grow up/age out of the system without loving family – one orphan every 2.2 seconds will leave with no family, no place to call home, and less than 1% ever get adopted” (Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, 2011).

“Other high rates of problems arising in Russia are: living on streets, limited education, minimal support, end up in drug and alcohol addiction, or commit suicide; 10-15% Ukraine and Russia orphans commit suicide before 18; 60% of girls lured into prostitution; 70% of boys become hardened criminals. Russian study reports of 15,000 orphans aging out, 10% committed suicide (1,500), just over 33% (5,000) were unemployed, 40% (6,000) were homeless, and 20% (3,000) were in prison within three years.

More than 29.6 million children live on the streets in India, as the orphanages are overcrowded with abandoned children (relation suggested: Movie “Slumdog Millionaire”). Africa holds about 39 million orphans, adding just over 2 million every year. 15% of children in Uganda are orphans, those under 5 years of age, suffering from malnutrition, with a 60% child mortality rate. Haiti holds a large portion of orphaned children as well as twice as many falling beneath poverty lines” (Orphan’s Lifeline International, 2022). “(In United States) There are an estimated 10 million children living in institutions and more than 60 million children living on the streets today … one out of 50 children (1.5 million) will be homeless each year. In 2013, it was one out of 30 (2.5 million) (Kuligowski, 2019).

Results of Child homicide perpetrators worldwide: a systematic review declare 15-19 year olds = 57% of the global child homicides; children under 5 years = 20%. 90% of child homicide victims live in low-income and middle-income countries, with 70% boy victims. “Overall, 9431 abstracts and 565 full texts were screened. 126 studies were included into the study. Information via statistical offices and experts offered 1031 estimates on perpetrators of child homicides across 44 countries … Across all 35 countries with data on homicide perpetrators for all children under 18, more than half were murdered by a parent; 3% by another family member; 12.6% by an acquaintance (neighbor/friend), 2.1% by a stranger and 9.2% for unknown perpetrator. 58.4 % of girls murdered by parents versus 46.8% of boys. Mothers covered just over half of the parental homicides. Parents are the most common perpetrator of parental homicides of children under 1 year. Parents (mostly mothers) committed 100% of neonaticides (murder within first 24 hours, up to 1 month after birth). Limitations include lack of available studies and/or study subjects, with several places inaccessible to the fields.” (Stöckl, 2017).

“According to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS): 2015 -1,660 fatalities; 2016 - 1,730 fatalities; 2017 – 1,710 fatalities; 2018 – 1,780 fatalities; 2019 – 1,840 fatalities, a slight increase from 2018. However, it is a 10.8-percent increase over the FFY 2015 number of 1,660 … 5 children die every day from abuse or neglect … roughly 70.3% of child fatalities involved children under 3 years, and 45.4% for children under 1 year … occur from repeated abuse over a period of time, single, impulsive incident, fatal neglect, malnourishment, drowning … younger than 1 year = 45.4%; 1-3 years = 30.9%; 4-7 years = 11.2%; 8-11 years = 5.6%; 12-15 years = 4.7%; 16-17 = 2.0%; unborn, unknown, + ages 18-21 = .2%. 72.9% suffered neglect or in combination with maltreatment. 44.4% suffered physical abuse or in combination with maltreatment. Parents alone or with another individual were responsible for 79.7% of abuse/neglect fatalities; 29% mothers, 14% fathers, 22% both parents, 16% other.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, 2021).

“Unintended pregnancy was associated with 20-22% greater odds of maternal depression and parenting stress … Pregnancy intention may affect attitudes and behaviors in parenting and eventually have an impact on child development … women without pregnancy intention had greater exposure to cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol, taking medications and illicit drugs, and X-ray during pregnancy, and were less likely to take folic acid and attend antenatal care … Pregnancy intention also has long-term influences on child health. Children born after unintended pregnancy showed a cognitive delay at 3-years-old, more behavioral problems at 5- and 7-years-old, and increased problem behaviors and substance use at 14-years-old than their counterparts [9-11]. Unwanted births may also cause poor relations between mother and offspring, even after the child has become an adult … An unintended pregnancy is a risk factor for poor maternal mental health including perinatal depression, stress, and lower levels of psychological well-being and life satisfaction. An unintended pregnancy increases the risk of maternal depression and parenting stress” (Bahk, 2015).

According to Cal Poly Humboldt (2022), “91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and 9% are male. Nearly 99% of perpetrators are male; at least 1 out of 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise absued in her lifetime (most often a family member or partner); only 2% of rapists are convicted and imprisoned.”

Holmes et al., 1996 created a “3-year longitudinal survey of 4008 adult American women, assessing prevalence and incidence of rape and related physical and mental health outcomes. Results: National rape-related pregnancy rate is 5% (age 12-45); 11.7% of victims received immediate medical attention after the assault; 47.1% received no medical attention; 32.4% of victims did not discover their pregnancy until they had entered the second trimester; 32.3% opted to keep the unborn; 50% underwent abortion; 5.9% placed it up for adoptions; 11.8% had spontaneous abortions.”

The CDC claims 1 in 4 women will have an abortion and: “60% are in their 20s, 75% are low-income, 62% are religious, and around more than half are already parents; Dr. Nguyen and his colleagues found that approximately half of the men surveyed said they desired the abortion so they could focus on the children they already had, which mirrors motivations reported by women who choose abortion that I’ve found in my research as well” (Becker, 2022). Reminder: fatalities per year (via NCANDS) are (2015) 1,660; (2016) 1,730; (2017) 1,710; (2018) 1,780; (2019) 1,840; 8,720 murdered children, by their parents over 5 years of data collection, with the first (and largest) number of victims being under the age of 3 (70.3% -or- 6,130 children) and secondly under the age of 1 (45.4% -or- 3,958). On average, between foster-placed children and murdered children, 2.1% are murdered and the other 97.8% end up in the system. As of 2020, there are 72,822,113 recorded children under 18 (22%), and 256,662,010 over the age of 18 (78%); total population = 329,484,123.

Our current list of children in need of adoption has reached 407,493 as of 2020, which is the most recent recorded set of data released. “Children under 13 were 23% of murder victims by family, with 19% involving one parent, killing multiple victims … of imprisoned inmates for crime against their child, 79% raped or sexually assaulted the child, and another 10% murdered them” (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 2005). Between 2015 and 2019, of all the children removed from their parents, 3.99% were killed and the rest were put in foster systems.

American population as of 2021 was 328.3 million. Of these, 255.2 million are adults, leaving 73.1 million approximate children under 18. 407,493 ended up in foster care, and 629,898 abortions for 2019 were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas (Kortsmit, 2021). This means about 1% of the childhood population in America end up in foster care and (if included in the total population) .5% are aborted. “The U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Drop: Once Again, State Abortion Restrictions Are Not the Main Driver” (Nash, & Dreweke, 2019).

“According to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS): … 5 children die every day from abuse or neglect … roughly 70.3% of child fatalities involved children under 3 years, and 45.4% for children under 1 year … occur from repeated abuse over a period of time, single, impulsive incident, fatal neglect, malnourishment, drowning … younger than 1 year = 45.4%; 1-3 years = 30.9%; 4-7 years = 11.2%; 8-11 years = 5.6%; 12-15 years = 4.7%; 16-17 = 2.0%; unborn, unknown, + ages 18-21 = .2%. 72.9% suffered neglect or in combination with maltreatment. 44.4% suffered physical abuse or in combination with maltreatment. Parents alone or with another individual were responsible for 79.7% of abuse/neglect fatalities; 29% mothers, 14% fathers, 22% both parents, 16% other.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, 2021).

Reflection: We already have a significantly large number of orphan/foster care-placed children, and this number climbs more often than it declines. While it must be intimidating for the American population to increase by adults and decrease by children, placing even more restrictions on access to legal abortion could further damage these statistics, dramatically, from unsafe abortion practices (potentially removing both fetus and mother), increased children in the foster system, and an even more increased amount of children that simply go neglected at home, but barely survive. Rather than placing more concern on the children that are already suffering, we have consumed our limited time with attempting to control a woman’s right to choose important factors that effect her future as well as all she is interpersonal with.

The testimonials should speak for themselves, on behalf of both the women AND the men that are affected by these decisions and/or restrictions. I found it immensely difficult to find a substantial amount of testimonials describing the regret, guilt, shame, or embarrassment of women who later faced internal conflict over their decision to abort, although a small amount did exist, as I discovered. While these conflicts are no doubt existent, they equally (and possibly even more-so) affect parents that are forced to keep unwanted pregnancies for a variety of reasons including career goals, current familial relations, future aspirations, academic goals, and psychological management or maintenance. Mental Health risks pose a threat to women that are forced to keep their unwanted fetus, more-so than women who had access to, and followed through with, an abortion or for women who wanted their child and gave live birth.

Limitations to these resources include a lack of multiple studies for further validation in regards to effects on mothers under each option as well as minimal resources supporting the removal of a woman’s right to do with her body as she pleases. As the war on women continues silently, more and more women fall subject to discrimination and oppression. Us women are experiencing our basic rights to our bodies being evicted and replaced with religious perspectives, emotional oppositions, and control by someone other than ourselves. This has been an ongoing issue, and just one example is that of a woman being able to “tie her tubes” or eliminate her ability to have children to begin with, in addition to needing a father’s approval as well.

I can recall my high school years and learning about the general woman’s struggle to be considered more than just a homemaker, and women have made leaps and bounds to prove their abilities. I can also recall a large majority of children with improper social skills or other mental deficits, due to parental neglect (myself being one of them). I have witnessed women become distraught with the idea of having to carry an unwanted baby to full term that developed from a rape. And I have also witnessed several women walk away from a courthouse after a rape trial, having not been granted justice, and their rapist walking free and able to do as they please, yet again. I have had several acquaintances that endured unfavorable circumstances, while using protection and/or being on birth control, and have achieved high success after being allowed access to a safe abortion clinic, most of whom would probably not have reached that level of success, had they been forced to keep the child.

At what point do we allow women to have free choice over their body, without restricting it to a man’s approval, a government’s perspective, or another civilians emotional disagreement? Men can schedule an appointment for a vasectomy with ease, while women struggle through hoops in order to obtain an abortion OR permanent child-rearing-ability removal. Men can walk around with little to nothing on, while women get ostracized by many for their clothing choices. Men walk free from most rape cases (only 2% are convicted and sentenced), while women suffer PTSD from both the event AND the unserved justice. Men have a power to refuse women the ability to eliminate reproduction abilities on her end (regardless of reason from either party), while women have absolutely no influence on a male’s decision to eliminate his reproduction abilities. How and when can women achieve bodily autonomy and obtain the right to govern their own bodies without the restricting power of someone else’s perspective?

I can say with confidence that most women standing on this side of the argument simply feel like Barbie dolls at everyone else’s disposal, to do with as they see fit. Disregarding societal demands and expectations of a woman, what will give women their individual power back? These restrictions placed on women is disintegrating our direction of identity development by taking away our ability to develop freely. This correlates heavily with authoritarian parents (cold, controlling, expectant, no emotional discussion, strict, and not affectionate) who consistently take away the rights of their children, place them inside a box of rules, and expect them to live as the parent has defined them. Removing ANY individual’s ability to develop freely within their identity is a social disgrace by itself, yet it happens all too often to women; from parents to children, and from governing bodies to mothers.

I strongly fear for myself, as I have had two children, removed my reproductive abilities, and am not psychologically capable of raising a third child; but if I were to mistakenly end up pregnant (as that does rarely occur), I would be forced to keep a child I was incapable of providing for -OR- give that child up for adoption and live with a lifetime of regret, guilt, shame, and dissatisfaction of abandoning someone because I was not able to give them what they deserved.

I strongly fear for my 8-year-old daughter, coming up on puberty, that visits her father in a large city nearly 2 hours away. While she is in that large city (population nearly 400,000), she could (more easily than our current hometown, population less than 600) become a victim of assault or rape. If that were to happen, she could suffer an unwanted pregnancy from a traumatic experience. Due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, she could have her right to move forward with a fulfilling life revoked from her, and forced into a life of poverty and despair. This could further affect her entire person.

I fear deeply for all women in our country, facing these life-altering decisions. Yes, they are LIFE-ALTERING. They can and WILL affect people emotionally, cognitively, psychologically, socially, behaviorally, and academically. This will take basic individual respect away from all women, and place it in the hands of anyone but her. Mental health is being studied more and more as the years go by and it has been becoming a large focal point for our entire existence, as it literally involves every aspect of our development. Without proper research in these fields by governing officials or even collaboration with educated professionals within these fields, uneducated decisions are (and will continue to be) made with little regard to the outcome of the individuals effected by these decisions.

I fear most for unborn children. The ones within the statistics that end up in foster care and never get adopted. The ones within the statistics that end up adopted, but get abused by their adoptive parents (this actually happened to 4 of my personal friends, both physical and sexual abuse). The ones that suffer abuse from their own actual parents (the parents who were not given the option to prevent those kids from the life they know they have to offer, or don’t have to offer). The ones that remain unrecorded, unrepresented, misrepresented, unsolved, or neglected. There are far more horrors surrounding us than comforts to support raising a child in. Most adults around my generational age fear for the future of themselves and their children for several reasons.

The strongest opposition to a woman having rights over her own body and own reproductive system are: a) religious perspectives and expectations, b) a governed body’s control over population reproduction, c) an unknown agenda, serving to take more control over women or the people of the population overall. The population votes on the President of the United States; but the entire population did not have the capability to vote on this decision to remove a woman’s right over her own reproductive organs inside her body.

Ultimately, a mother knows whether or not she is fit to be a mother, and to take that choice away from her is putting a disproportionate number of individuals at risk of severe, negative outcomes. The most negative outcomes that can result from successfully taking this right away from women is religious satisfaction and population control.

Testimonies from individual’s whom have been effected:

Testimonials (women’s)

“Cynthia Nixon (actress & activist): “Almost 60 years ago, my mother had an illegal abortion. It was too harrowing for her to discuss, but she made sure I knew it had happened. In 2010, my wife had a legal abortion after we found out her pregnancy was not viable. We cannot and will not go back”


Amber Tamblyn (actress): “In 2012, I had an abortion. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. … it was the right choice for me, at that time in my life. I have not a single doubt about this.”


Minka Kelly (actress): “When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself and my boyfriend at the time, but also for this unborn fetus.”


Tess Holliday (Model): “Married with 2 kids, and I had an abortion. My mental health couldn’t handle being pregnant again and I made the best decision for ME and ultimately my family.”


Jameela Jamil (actress): “Call me whatever you like. I’m not sorry about my abortion. Contraception failed me and I did what was best for my mental and physical health at the time. And I would do it again if I had to. I don’t feel at ALL ashamed, and if you had one too, for any reason, neither should you.”


Milla Jovovich: *medical abortion after four and a half months* “I went into pre-term labor and told that I had to be awake for the whole procedure. It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever gone through. I still have nightmares about it. I was alone and helpless.”


Cecile Richards (activist, former head of Planned Parenthood): “I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me, and it wasn’t a hard one. My husband and I were working more than full time and had three kids already. I was fortunate that, at that time, accessing abortion in Texas was not the nightmare it is now.” (Manila Bulletin, 2019)


Rep. Cori Bush (a Missouri Democrate): “Recounting an attack during a church trip, I was raped, I became pregnant, and I chose to have an abortion. How could I, 18 years old and barely scraping by, support a child on my own?


Gloria Steinem (feminist icon | a statement testimony): “Remember, when Hitler was elected his very first official act was to padlock the family planning clinics and declare abortion a crime against the state. Mussolini did exactly the same thing. Because they knew that controlling reproductions and nationalizing women’s bodies is the first step in an all controlling state. The huge majority of American women stand for democracy, and in opposition. We do not want our bodies nationalized. Otherwise, we will be very close to … when one in three women had an illegal, and dangerous abortion.


Rep. Barbara Lee (California Democrat | recounting back alley abortion): “Lee, 16, an honor student and the first black cheerleader at her high school, was sent to El Paso (where Lee had been born) to her mom’s friend. That friend took her across the border to Mexico, to a good, competent and compassionate doctor. She claimed: I was one of the lucky ones.”


Loretta Ross: “A 27 year old cousin who was babysitting her, raped her when she was 14, in 1968, while living in San Antonio where legal abortion was not an option. Intended to give baby up for adoption, but kept him instead and had to co-parent with her rapist for the next 30 years.”

(Gillman, 2021)

Daria, 26 (surgical abortion): “What sands out about my experience is how ‘normal’ an abortion can be … felt less invasive than a standard gynecological visit ... I often read abortion stories in big publications with undertones of heavy emotions … it’s just a medically mundane process. And it doesn’t always have to be a part of your identity.”


Veronika, 19: “Found out I was pregnant at 17; knew immediately that I needed to have an abortion. I had just gotten into college, ready to change cities, start a career in electrical engineering; wasn’t ready to start a family. My father is religious and conservative; I feared what would happen if I told my mom; scared they would kick me out. I cried. I was required by law to prove I was “mature” enough to make the decision. The judge got to decide my entire future, before I was able to make any decisions of my own. I felt so out of control. Ruling in my favor lead me to deal with the cost and travel (harder barriers for youth), some have to wait weeks to get their appointment, making the cost even higher as the pregnancy pushes further.”


Kenya, 44: (Had prior abortions) “I found out I was pregnant; my partner and I both knew an abortion was the best option; we were both full-time single parents of teenagers, not looking to have more children. Houston Women’s Clinic performed previous abortions as well as delivered my daughter … arrived at clinic and started completing forms. All of the sudden, most excruciating pain hit me out of nowhere on right side of my uterus, I felt faint, could barely speak, and it was difficult to move. Ultrasound suggested an ectopic pregnancy, possibly threatening to rupture one of my fallopian tubes; it was a life threatening condition. Abortion care providers saved my life and I’ll never forget that.”


Jen, 41: “Realized I hadn’t had my period in months, recently moved to a new city, and I was on the pill, so I hadn’t noticed the change. I knew I didn’t want to continue the generational legacy of young parenthood. That was my first abortion. My second abortion was when I was 29. I already had a (wanted) 1 year old, now pregnant with a second (also, wanted). I went for a routine prenatal exam and was told my pregnancy had ended and I was scheduled for a D&C the next day. I had to wait because of laws in my state requiring a waiting period between abortion counseling and procedure, even though my pregnancy was over. When I arrived, the provider had to read me a script written by politicians in my state, ‘You are ending a life and could experience depression or cancer as a result of this decision.’”


Joy*, 38: “I had an IUD (had being the operative word). The same day I found out I was pregnant, I found out it somehow went missing in the years since it was placed. I was raised in an anti-choice community, and my views have slowly changed over the years. I never thought that I would need an abortion. I thought I was supporting other women. Instead, through very unexpected circumstances, I am the one being supported by a legion of women. I, too, am the face of abortion.”


Tara, 26: I sat in a small waiting room with 30 people in hospital gowns, who were made to feel afraid and ashamed by the state’s anti-choice laws and attempts to suppress our right to our bodies. Two rounds of counseling, a long waiting list, and a 72-hour waiting period forced upon us were used to produce shame and doubt. Many nurses there were tired volunteers and did not wear name tags because it could threaten their careers within the state. After my procedure, I realized I had no regret about my abortion. I made a decision, for myself, that was right for my life.”


Kerri, 40: We struggled with infertility and were so excited when I finally got prenant. 12 week ultrasound went great. 21 week anatomy scan showed our daughter had heart and brain abnormalities and a small chest cavity; triploidy; she was not compatible with life. It was a hard decision, but we did not want her to suffer.


Emily, 23: Been married for two years at that point, found at I was pregnant, and we knew immediately that we were not fit to welcome a child due to numerous circumstances, but most importantly ‘we don’t want children’. It felt like a strong period cramp; it was not pleasant. Without that abortion, I would have a nearly 1 year old and not be living happy. I’d be in worse debt, and my mental health would be much worse than it already is.


Miki, 43: The day I found out I was pregnant, was 6 days after my mother had died in my arms from cancer. I was unhealthy to an extreme, both mentally and physically. The last year was spent caretaking for my mother and all chemo sessions/doctor visits/procedures, and nightly self-abusing by putting substances into my body to numb myself and feel free for just a minute. It was the first empowering life choice that I had made in a very long time. Access to safe abortion saved my life.


Marie, 30: After having my first child, I asked myself “How can a woman who has brought life into this world possibly be able to have an abortion?” but then I found myself 7 weeks pregnant with an almost 3 year old and a 9 month old. Initial shock: happy. Realization: thinking about how I struggled mentally with my second pregnancy and finally gotten to a place where I finally felt like myself again.


Barbara, 58: Two abortions, about 5 weeks pregnant, each. I knew instantly that I wanted an abortion; I wanted nothing to do with the fathers of the babies (both of whom I had dated, and had raped me, and one of whom otherwise abused me regularly). I knew if I had that child, I would be tied to those men for the rest of my life. After my second one, I woke up crying and told the volunteer I wanted my tubes tied. She told me I would basically have to beg a doctor to do to, as it wasn’t really up to me.

(Campoamor, 2020)

Men’s Testimonials on the subject:

Siggy, 25: I was a senior in college, I had no money, she couldn’t afford to be pregnant for nine months, giving it up is still a long commitment, and she just didn’t want to have a baby and give it away. I could’ve dropped out, but that would be limiting whatever I could do afterward. My parents got pregnant soon after high school and had literally zero way of making it. They decided to keep it, get married, and had a really hard first ten years. We grew up really poor, in not great neighborhoods, and my biggest thing was making sure my kids have a drastically different life.”


Nathan, 40: In my early 20s, my girlfriend got pregnant. We made the decision to terminate, made jokes about the invader, went to the clinic, it was done and I held her hand. Other women there, girls, had no one. The receptionist told me less than 10% have a man to hold their hand.


Garin, 41: Got pregnant, fetal protein test showed unremarkable results associated with really bad outcomes. Then bilateral clubbed feet (can be corrected after birth). Then both hands were clenched (indications that something might be going on, no specific reveals). At about 30 weeks, she had really elevated amniotic fluid level – baby couldn’t swallow (that’s how they practice breathing) and doctor said baby was effectively incompatible with life. She also had brain surgery a year prior and doctor had concerns about deliver causing a brain bleed and killing her. Our options: a) carry out the pregnancy, birth a child who chokes for air and dies, or b) find a provider to give us an abortion this late in pregnancy, because of our state laws. Result: logistical planning; organize an appointment in Colorado (from New York), maternal-fetal medicine specialist and brain surgeon working together on a plan, fly to Colorado to get an injection to induce fetal demise, then fly back to New York.


Richard, 81: We had 3 kids in 22 months. My wife had an IUD placed, it failed, and she got pregnant. We could not have a fourth child; it just was absolutely impossible. My wife said “I can’t go through this”, it would have been a damn near physical and psychological impossibility to have a fourth child. This was 3 years before Roe v. Wade and in those days you had to have a psychiatric clearance to have a legal abortion. My wife had to go through the charade and degradation of going to a psychiatrist for clearance for a therapeutic abortion.

With heartfelt regards,

Samantha Goodall

June 25, 2022

Southern New Hampshire University | Undergraduate - Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Mental Health, Currently residing in Little River, KS. Expected completion December of 2023.

Additional Resources for testimonials:

33 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Abortion Stories to Help Women Feel Less Alone

‘I had an abortion on tour’: celebrities share their stories in backlash to Roe v Wade leak

Abortion stories: From a “sense of relief” to a “broken heart.”

Our Abortion Stories: “The Baby’s Life Came First, Apparently, so I Was Sent Home.”

After Abortion Emotional Healing & Care

Reasoning from the Body: A Historical Perspective on Abortion Regulation and Questions of Equal Protection


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Lewis, Thomas Tandy. (1973, 2022). Roe v. Wade. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Provided by: SNHU's Shapiro Library. https://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=95330284&site=eds-live&scope=site

U.S. Constitution, Library of Congress. (1992). U.S. Constitution - Fifth Amendment | Resources | Constitution Annotated | Congress.gov | Library of Congress. Constitution of the United States | Fifth Amendment.


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Lewis, T. T. (1972, 2022). Eisenstadt v. Baird. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Provided by: SNHU's Shapiro Library. https://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=95329642&site=eds-live&scope=site

Shehan, C. (2022). Roe v. Wade gave American women a choice about having children – here's how that changed their lives. In Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Gale. (Reprinted from Roe v. Wade gave American women a choice about having children – here's how that changed their lives, The Conversation, 2021, May 19) https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/LVEPBM257772802/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=19093c9f

Johnston, P. (2015). Abortion Should Be Banned, Regardless of the Circumstances. In T. Thompson (Ed.), Current Controversies. Abortion. Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Are There Rare Cases When an Abortion Is Justified?, 2009, March 31) https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010946223/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=8e8c8f42

Center for Reproductive Rights. (2005). Abortion Is a Woman's Right. In C. Watkins (Ed.), At Issue. The Ethics of Abortion. Greenhaven Press. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010012215/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=aac72f4e

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Gillman, T. J. (2021, September 30). Abortion testimonials from women in Congress punctuate hearing on SB8, the Texas ‘bounty’ law. Dallas Morning News, The (TX). https://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nfh&AN=2W63850388928&site=eds-live&scope=site

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Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. (2011). Orphan statistics explained | Adoption | Gender & Justice Project | Schuster Institute | Brandeis University. ORPHAN STATISTICS EXPLAINED. https://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/adoption/orphan-statistics.html#:%7E:text=Of%20the%20more%20than%20132,over%20the%20age%20of%20five.

Orphan’s Lifeline International. (2022). Orphan and Child Poverty Fact Sheet. Orphans Lifeline. https://www.orphanslifeline.org/orphan-fact-sheet

Kuligowski, S. (2019, April 25). How Many Orphans in the U.S.? Adoption.Com. https://adoption.com/how-many-orphans-in-the-us/

Stöckl, H. (2017, August 1). Child homicide perpetrators worldwide: a systematic review. BMJ Paediatrics Open. https://bmjpaedsopen.bmj.com/content/1/1/e000112

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2021). Child abuse and neglect fatalities 2019: Statistics and interventions. Child Welfare Information Gateway. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/fatality.pdf

Bahk, J. (2015, April 3). Impact of unintended pregnancy on maternal mental health: a causal analysis using follow up data of the Panel Study on Korean Children (PSKC) - BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. BioMed Central. https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-015-0505-4#:%7E:text=Results,1.16%20greater%20parenting%20stress%20score.

Campoamor, D. (2020, January 9). 39 Abortion Stories Show Just How Important Abortion Access Is. Teen Vogue. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/abortion-stories

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Siegel, R. (1992). Reasoning from the Body: A Historical Perspective on Abortion Regulation and Questions of Equal Protection. Stanford Law Review, 44(2), 261–381. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.2307/1228947

Wickham, D. (2004, December 21). Abortion debate eclipses a child abuse epidemic. USA Today, 13A. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A126369979/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=6745bb50

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2022). Children in foster care. KIDS COUNT Data Center. https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/6243-children-in-foster-care?loc=1&loct=2#detailed/2/2-53/false/574/any/12987

Lima, J. (2018, April 2). Surprising Adoption Statistics You May Not Know About. Medium. https://medium.com/@limakidhouse/surprising-adoption-statistics-you-may-not-know-about-b5045a6b18f0

Adoption Network. (2022, January 26). US Adoption Statistics | Adoption Network. Adoption Network |. https://adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-myths-facts/domestic-us-statistics/#:%7E:text=How%20many%20children%20are%20waiting,are%20waiting%20to%20be%20adopted.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. (2005). Family Violence Statistics Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances. Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvs03.pdf

Nash, E., & Dreweke, J. (2019, September 18). The U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Drop: Once Again, State Abortion. Guttmacher Institute. https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2019/09/us-abortion-rate-continues-drop-once-again-state-abortion-restrictions-are-not-main

Kortsmit, K. (2021, November 24). Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/ss/ss7009a1.htm

Sigelman, C. K., & Rider, E. A. (2017). Life-Span Human Development (9th Edition). Cengage Learning US. https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/books/9781337516068

Additional Resources for further information:

Cho, D. J. (2022, May 3). 33 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Abortion Stories to Help Women Feel Less Alone. PEOPLE.Com. https://people.com/health/celebrity-abortion-stories-busy-philipps-jameela-jamil/?slide=6898624#6898624

BBC News. (2017, October 27). Abortion stories: From a “sense of relief” to a “broken heart.” https://www.bbc.com/news/health-41725082

Moulton, M. (2022, June 17). Our Abortion Stories: “The Baby’s Life Came First, Apparently, so I Was Sent Home.” Ms. Magazine. https://msmagazine.com/2022/06/16/abortion-stories-pre-roe-v-wade/

Life Perspectives. (2022). After Abortion Emotional Healing & Care. Abortion Changes You. https://www.abortionchangesyou.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw5NqVBhAjEiwAeCa97Y2aI0-0IqC_zDICYksWnC90Ta1j6trsjzQy_tgCLw7vbTfrbEbB_BoC6TEQAvD_BwE

Cal Poly Humboldt. (2022). Stop Rape: Response & Prevention. Sexualized Violence Statistics. https://stoprape.humboldt.edu/statistics#:%7E:text=An%20estimated%2091%25%20of%20victims,99%25%20of%20perpetrators%20are%20male.

Holmes, M. M., Resnick, H. S., Kilpatrick, D. G., & Best, C. L. (1996). Rape-related pregnancy: Estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 175(2), 320–325. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0002-9378(96)70141-2

Becker, A. (2022, May 26). Opinion | How Abortion Benefits Men. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/26/opinion/men-abortion.html

Single Mother Grants. (2022, March 12). Single Mother Statistics (UPDATED 2022). Single Mother Guide. https://singlemotherguide.com/single-mother-statistics/#:%7E:text=According%20to%202021%20U.S.%20Census,were%20headed%20by%20single%20mothers.&text=Of%20all%20single%2Dparent%20families,were%20born%20to%20unwed%20mothers.

American Adoptions, Inc. (2022). How Many Couples are Waiting to Adopt a Baby? American Adoptions. https://www.americanadoptions.com/pregnant/waiting_adoptive_families

Open Adoption & Family Services. (2017, April 14). See All Waiting Adoptive Families. https://www.openadopt.org/all-waiting-families/

Adopt America Network. (2019). Waiting Children. https://www.adoptamericanetwork.org/waiting-children

Heart Gallery of America, Inc. (2022). Lists of Waiting American Children. Heart Gallery of America. https://www.heartgalleryofamerica.org/Galleries/Bookmarks.html

Considering Adoption. (2021, July 13). View Waiting Adoptive Family Profiles | Considering Adoption. https://consideringadoption.com/pregnant/finding-a-family/waiting-families/

New Alternatives for Children, Inc. (2022, June 6). Become a foster parent. Adoption Services | New Alternatives for Children | Homepage. https://nackidscan.org/become-a-foster-parent/#apply

Adoptions Together. (2022b, January 20). Meeting Our Waiting Families. https://www.adoptionstogether.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjw5NqVBhAjEiwAeCa97eFPMKEDbJMOalrCkOperRE4wJmKqNU8VJdCalWsHPs0YyFspgo95hoCTMwQAvD_BwE#/

Rainbow Kids, Adoption & Child Welfare Advocacy, & Perez, Chris. (2015, 2022). The Adoption Process from a Foster Kid’s Perspective. Rainbow Kids. https://www.rainbowkids.com/adoption-stories/the-adoption-process-from-a-foster-kid-s-perspective-1094

Together We Rise. (2022). Helping Children in Foster Care. A Children’s Nonprofit. https://www.togetherwerise.org/

**Fifth Amendment: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” (U.S. Constitution, Library of Congress, 1992).

**Fourteenth Amendment: Section 1 All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Section 2 [irrelevant] Section 3 [irrelevant] Section 4 [irrelevant] Section 5 The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.