Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, and induced abortion is when a woman makes the decision to have her pregnancy ended in a surgical or medical way. The social conflicts arising from abortion have been around since the procedure was invented, and have risen since 1973 when it became legal after the Roe versus Wade decision. Communities are constantly battling over the issues of Pro-Choice and Pro-Life and how far into a pregnancy is too long to have the procedure performed. There are several reasons that a woman may choose to abort a pregnancy.

She may not feel she is ready to become a parent, or cannot support a baby at her current level of income or immature age. She may not want to be shunned upon by becoming a single parent or letting anyone know that she is pregnant and sexually active. An older woman might be dealing with the issues of already having enough children or she or the fetus could have a health problem. Another common occurrence of a woman wanting an abortion could be if she falls victim of rape or incest. The necessity of abortion within these circumstances draws great conflict from different points of view, especially those pertaining to religion. Many people have different ideas concerning which conditions are valid reasons to abort a pregnancy, while others feel the procedure is wrong no matter what.

All women, and even men, can be affected by this social conflict. According to Planned Parenthood, Nearly half of all women will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old. About five million women in the U.S. become pregnant every year. Half of those pregnancies are unintended, and 1.2 million end in abortion. Promiscuous women Nicholson Page 2 using abortion almost as a form of birth control are the ones that bring about the most conflict of interest. Women living in inner-city areas with a high crime rate are more susceptible to become victims of rape, and therefore seek relief through abortion should a pregnancy occur.

Abortion is a common social problem worldwide. Approximately 210 million women around the world become pregnant each year. Out of all of these pregnancies, 80 million are unplanned, and 46 million will end in abortion. Internationally, the lifetime average is about one abortion per woman (After Three Decades). "In the United States, following the Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion in 1973, the U.S. abortion rate increased briefly, peaking in 1980 at 29 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44. It then declined, gradually at first, but more steeply after 1990, according to the study.

The current rate (as of 1997) is 22 abortions per 1,000 women". (After Three Decades). As represented by the statistics, abortion is practiced often throughout the world as well as in the United States. It is an issue that many have extremely strong feelings about and at the same time involves many gray lines.