preview

Abortion

Satisfactory Essays
The word abortion by definition means, naturally or especially induced expulsion of a fetus from the womb before it is able to survive independently, according to the American Century Dictionary. This is one subject that, when mentioned, completely polarizes individuals. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that faces many individuals to create a emotional and sometimes violent atmosphere. There are many points of view toward abortion but the only two fine distinctions are "pro-choice" and "pro-life".

A person that is pro-choice would feel that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mothers and that the state has no right to interfere. A person that is pro-life would say that from the moment of conception, the fetus is alive. This life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it and that abortion is tantamount to murder (Kolner 5)This is important because part of our society would have to carry the guilt of terminating a human life. This would be severe and almost unbelievable for a society as educated as ours to make this big of a mistake. How could the country that leads in individual rights be so ignorant? We are America where everyone is created equal and deserves a chance to pursue happiness.

What if this fetus is not a human life, is this a question that we can really answer? These are questions that haunt our nations soul.Early in our nations history they had no means of measuring or telling if a fetus was alive in the womb. The colonies inherited English Common Law and operated under it until well into the 19th century. Abortion was illegal according to English Common Law. Abortion prior to quickening (feeling life) was a misdemeanor. Abortion after quickening was a felony.

This type of punishment was inherited from earlier ecclesiastic laws. In the early 1800s it was discovered that human life did not begin when she "felt life," but rather at fertilization. As a direct result of this, the British Parliament in 1869 passed the "Offenses Against the Persons Act," eliminating misdemeanor charge and dropping the felony punishment back to fertilization. One by one, across the middle years of the 19th century, every then present state passed its own law against abortion. By 1860, 85% of the population lived in states that had prohibited abortion with new laws.

These laws, preceding and following the British example, moved the felony punishment from quickening back to conception.
Get Access