Is Abortion Wrong or is it Right?


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Abortion is defined as: "the termination of pregnancy and expulsion of

an embryo or of a fetus that is incapable of survival." However, if only the

debate over the abortion issue was as simple as the definition provided

above. Much like every aspect of human life, a statement is neither right

nor wrong, but simply left open for interpretation. There is no black and

white in life, only gray areas. Some issues tend to provide us more gray

areas than others. Abortion is a prime example of that. Those who refute

abortion claim that it is the murder of a helpless baby who has not yet had

the chance to live and function as a human being. However, the debate

opposite it is just as fervent: it is a woman's right to choose what happens

to her body, and if she decides that she is not capable of bringing a child

into this world, than she shouldn't be forced to out of nature. Where do we

draw the line between humane and inhumane, necessitated death and murder?

When does a woman's right over her internal reproductive organs become that

of the government's? Is abortion wrong or is it right? Are rape, incest,and

potential fatality to the mother exceptions when abortion is "okay"? Are

there truly any at all? So many questions are raised by such a fervent

debate, that we must look at both sides of the issue to better understand it

in a general, but yet thorough approach.

 

As expected, there are many people that are opposed to abortion. These

people are better referred to as "pro-life advocates", or essentially, they

advocate the life of the baby over the woman's right to choose. Groups such

as Human Life International (HLI), The Christian Coalition, and many others

support the right of human life. There are several reasons why people who

are pro-life do not support abortion. A main argument is that one is killing

an unborn baby, murdering an unsuspecting life, in their decision to have an

abortion. They are trying to "play God" by killing someone. However, they

also feel that abortion is a dangerous procedure, and puts the mother at

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risk as well. Pro-life advocates feel that there are other options other

than abortion. Adoption, for instance, provides an alternative to abortion.

Adoption would provide the baby with, (hopefully), a warm, loving home.

There are many people that are willing to take in children; people that

can't have children of their own. Pro-life advocates who are opposed to any

and all killing would definitely support finding a home for a baby as

opposed to terminating it. Many pro-life advocates feel like, 'you choose to

have sex, and now you must face the consequences of your actions.' The

aspect of "playing God" has surfaced in recent years. Pro-life advocates

feel that a mother deciding to terminate her pregnancy is deciding something

that God normally would. For example, if God wanted a woman to lose her

child, he would have her miscarry. There are many different aspects of

pro-life that can be interpreted in even more ways.

 

The second side to the debate, of course, is pro-choice. A pro-choice

advocate is someone who feels that the woman's right to choose should come

before anything, even human life. The main argument of "pro-choice"

advocates is naturally that women should have the right to choose what

happens to their own bodies. They use the Roe vs. Wade case of 1973 to

support their arguments. Roe vs. Wade has provided a fundamental basis for

nearly all of the laws regarding abortion that exist today. It ruled that

"the right of privacy... is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision

whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." (Roe. v. Wade, 1973). However,

aside from the obvious issue of whether or not it is a woman's right to

choose, pro-choice advocates also bring into play the idea of a mother's

physical safety. In cases where the mother may be put in grave danger if she

were forced to give birth to a child, some people feel abortion should be

implicated. There are other instances where people feel that abortion is

justified. Rape and incest. It seems unfair to most pro-choice advocates,

and many women in general, that a woman be forced to have a baby that was

conceived out of rape or incest. It seems that every time the mother were to

look upon her child, he or she would be a constant reminder of the horrible

act that brought about that child's creation into this world. Also, incest

can raise issues of mental retardation and handicaps. However, among all

these issues, the right to choose remains the main focus of pro-choice

advocates.

 

In recent years, the abortion debate has grown to encompass other aspects of

"early-termination" pregnancy procedures. Partial-birth abortions, abortions

in the third trimester, and the recent "day-after" or RU-486 pill, now add a

new aspect to the abortion issue. Partial-birth abortions and abortions in

the third trimester are exceedingly controversial, because they involve the

termination and/or expulsion of an actual fetus from the womb, where as many

early-prenatal abortions involve the expulsion of an embryo. It wouldn't

appear that one might be more controversial than the other, but in some

countries, and for a time in America, partial-birth abortions meant that the

baby was breached halfway from the womb, and then its neck was broken,

killing it instantly. It has since been outlawed in the United States as a

result of the numerous outraged pro-life, and even some pro-choice members

who found it to be totally and utterly inhumane. The RU-486 pill is no more

controversial than any other aspect of abortion, except tends to raise the

aspect of "playing God" with many pro-life advocates. The RU-486 pill sends

messages telling the brain that the woman that was inseminated was already

pregnant, and thus the ovum that had been created, is expelled, because the

body believes it is already impregnated. These procedures raise many of the

same issues as abortion itself.

 

However one feels about abortion can be very influenced depending on where

one might choose to read about it. Sites like Planned Parenthood will give a

more objective, unbiased, approach, where as a site like Human Rights

International would be extremely biased. I hope that my paper has provided

an objective, broad, overview of the abortion debate, and encompassed every

portion of the spectrum. And although the abortion debate is filled with

gray areas, the interpretation that one chooses to understand those gray

areas with is what will ultimately answer their own personal questions about

the morality (or immorality) of abortion.

 

WORKS CITED:

 

 

Human Life International (Online)

<http://www.humanlifeinternational.org/>

 

Encarta Encyclopedia (Online)

"Social and Ethical Issues"

<http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?z=1&pg=2&ti=761553899>

 

Planned Parenthood (Online)

<http://www.plannedparenthood.org/>

 

Facts on File (Online)

World News Digest  "Key Issue: Abortion"

<http://www.2facts.com/Ancillaries/index/z00002.asp>

 

United States Conservative Party (Online)

<http://www.usconservatives.about.com/cs/abortionstats/>


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