Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. Abortion has been an intensely debated issue in the United States today. It is very difficult to find someone who doesn’t have an opinion about abortion and probably a strong opinion at that. Our country remains divided over what many consider the most conflict-ridden American issue since slavery. There are usually two sides. The pro-life side and the pro-choice side. Both sides make a good case. An agreement exists among pro-lifers and pro-choicers that when human personhood starts the person must be protected.
The endless debates on the topic usually go nowhere, leaving the rivals even more committed to their positions and the open-minded observers confused. One reason the debate goes nowhere is that each side focuses on a different topic. They make no progress because they are not talking about the same thing. The pro-abortionist prefers to discuss choice and to stay on all of the social problems important in an unwanted child. The anti-abortionist is interested mainly in protecting the life of the fetus. In simple terms, the pro-abortionist focuses on a woman’s rights and the anti-abortionist focuses on a fetus’ rights. Though interconnected, these are basically different topics.
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Though neither side realizes it, there is actually much more agreement than disagreement between the opposing views. The majority on both sides would agree that social problems like child neglect and urban overcrowding are serious issues. Most would also agree that the life of a child is a precious thing that deserves the full protection of the law. There would be general agreement that it is a woman’s exclusive right to make decisions concerning her body.
The disagreement is if the fetus is a human being. If you believe it is not a person, then it is simply part of the woman’s body and subjects to her complete control. From this point of view, any attempt to belittle that control is a malicious infringement upon a woman’s rights. If, however, you believe a fetus is a person, then you are obligated to protect it, even to the point of restricting the actions of the woman carrying it. The objectives of both groups are the same, it is to reduce the number of abortions, and to make any needed abortions safe. However, they have very different methods of achieving their goals, and they have opposing beliefs about which abortions are justifiable. They are thus unable to cooperate.
A woman may want to get an abortion for many reasons. The woman may be too young or too old. It may be the wrong time in her life. She may be single and lack financial and emotional support. She may also have too many other responsibilities. Her baby is likely to be born with serious disabilities. She is pregnant as a result of rape or incest. She has no home or secure base. She has a serious disease that would be made worse by pregnancy; there is a hereditary disease in her or her partner’s family. She has a large family already. Lastly, she may have relationship or marriage problems.
Many pro-lifers have strict beliefs that they trust in. They believe that abortion should not be legal. Pro-lifers sometimes define abortion as an intentional interruption of the development process, at any time from conception to birth. They believe that women should not be having sex unless they are prepared for the consequences and that pregnancy is a natural outcome of sex. To most pro-lifers, human personhood begins at the instant of conception and it has the right to life under all circumstances.
Pro-life advocates typically believe that the transition from life to human life happens at fertilization when a unique DNA is created. They think that all or almost all abortions should be prohibited. The reasons for these beliefs vary, some pro-lifers hold this belief because of their religious faith. They also claim that any intentional termination of the developing process from conception to birth is thus considered a form of homicide. They argue that abortion is profoundly immoral, and should be outlawed.
A few would make no exceptions, even if an abortion is needed to preserve the life of the woman. Most would allow exemptions in cases where the woman’s life is threatened by the continued pregnancy. Some would permit an abortion if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. Most conservative groups actively advocate legislation restricting or eliminating abortion access. People who are Anti-abortion say that women who act irresponsibly and get pregnant when they’re not married or don’t want children don’t deserve the right to have an abortion. Giving women the right to abort babies will only mean that abortions will increase. They strongly consider abortion as a sin, it is evil and immoral.
Many pro-lifers also think abortions should be illegal because of the side effects that can result from an abortion. Some of these risks include intense pain, a punctured uterus, excessive bleeding, and infection. Also, parts of the baby left inside the mother could result in Shock or a coma. Damage to other organs, death, inability to become pregnant again, miscarriage, or stillbirths could also result. More dangers include tubal pregnancies, premature births, pelvic inflammatory disease, and hysterectomy. Emotion problems could also occur like guilt, desire to become pregnant again, depression, crying, inability to forgive yourself, intense grief, sadness, anger, rage, and drug or alcohol abuse. Breast cancer has also been claimed to be linked to abortions and also infertility. Also the a serious possibility of suicidal urges.
Pro-choicers support the legality of abortions. They view abortion as a civil rights matter they think it is a decision that should be left up to an informed woman and her physician. A woman has the right to choose in the matter of abortion based on her own religious and ethical beliefs and her physician’s guidance. Feminist organizations, liberal religious groups, etc. favor abortion access so that any woman can choose to have an abortion after consultation with her medical, spiritual, and other advisors.
Their motivation is to give women choice in controlling their own bodies. To pro-choicers, human personhood begins later in gestation or at birth. Some believe that a woman should have free access to abortions up until fetal viability; others say that a woman should be able to choose to have an abortion later in pregnancy.
Most liberal groups actively oppose laws that restrict access to abortion, at least up to a certain point in pregnancy. The pro-choice movement generally argues that life becomes human life much later in pregnancy, or at birth.
Pro-choicers believe that every woman has the right to choose how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. We believe that she has the right to choose an abortion. We believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and easily accessible. We believe that young people need to know the facts in order to minimize the stress caused by an unwanted pregnancy. We believe that education about abortion enables young people to deal with an unwanted pregnancy in a calm, rational manner. We believe this is essential in order to maintain women’s reproductive health.
Pro-choice supporters see the fertilized egg as potential life, based on medical and scientific evidence that the fetus is not viable in the early stages of pregnancy and is still a part of its mother. They believe women have the right to make decisions, the right to choose when and whether to have a child. A fundamental principle in moral theory holds that those who suffer the consequences of a situation are by right the ones who should make the decision about that situation. In the case of pregnancy, it is clear that women suffer the greatest consequences. They have to deal with the expected physical consequences of childbearing but also more serious complications, women do die of pregnancy-related causes. Women are tremendously responsible for the care of children once they are born. They deserve the right to make these decisions.
They believe that the human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence. Constitutional protection of the woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy derives from the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It declares that no State shall ‘deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
Legal restrictions do little to reduce the number of abortions. All across the globe, in countries where abortion is illegal, women still find ways to end pregnancies they cannot continue. Denying the right does not make the need disappear. They believe that abortions should remain legal so women are not forced to resort to unsafe illegal abortions that result in many deaths. They believe it is immoral that women are branded as criminals simply because they have an abortion. When a woman takes seriously the question of whether or not she should continue a pregnancy, whether or not she should bring a child into the world, and concludes, through a serious process of self-reflection, that the most moral thing she can do is to terminate the pregnancy, it is hard for them to say that she is immoral.
Even if she has drawn a conclusion that they would not draw, even if they think it is the wrong decision, they really respect her process and would never call her immoral. In a Constitution for a free people, there can be no doubt that the meaning of “liberty” must be broad indeed. holding that a woman’s right to privacy includes the right to abortion. Life and personhood are two very different matters.
There do not appear to be any convincing studies that would indicate that abortions have any significant link to increased miscarriage rate, at least for the first abortion. There seems to be no evidence at all that emergency contraception or non-surgical abortions could cause later miscarriages. Most pro-choice groups state that an ABC link either does not exist or is unproven. Most cancer groups believe that an ABC link has not been proven to exist. Pro-choice advocates typically believe that the transition happens much later. It would seem that if the physician is competent, and the woman monitors her body temperature after the procedure, that the chances of abortion-causing later infertility are quite remote.
I think I am a pro-choice advocate. I believe a woman should have the right to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy. I think women have a constitutional right to get an abortion. As proven in Roe V. Wade, it is our body and we have the right to decide what to do. I do not condone it as an easy way out but I think when it is absolutely necessary, a woman should not have any restrictions put on her.
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