The Morality of Abortions

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The Morality of Abortions Abortion’s legalization through Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade, has allowed for one in three pregnancies to end in abortion. This means that 1.5 million abortions are performed in the United States each year (Flanders 3). It ranks among the most complex and controversial issues, arousing heated legal, political, and ethical debates. The modern debate over abortion is a conflict of competing moral ideas and of fundamental human rights: to life, to privacy, to control over one's own body. Trying to come to a compromise has proven that it one cannot please all of the people on each side of the debate. Many people describe the abortion debate in America as bitter and uncompromising, usually represented on both sides by people with an intense devotion to their cause, and usually with irreconcilable positions. Many of those who are pro-choice insist that a woman's right to abortion should never be restricted, while those who are pro-life maintain that a fetus has a right to life that is violated at any stage of its development if abortion is performed. Discussions between both sides are usually very competitive, and sometimes violent, so any attempt at coming to a mutual agreement is drowned out. How can anyone hear if they refuse to acknowledge the other side, except to argue? Since the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion, compromises that limit or allow abortion have taken two forms: those based on the reasons for abortion, and those based on fetal development at different stages of pregnancy. The first compromise would allow abortion for extreme, or “hard” cases, which include rape, incest, or risk of the life or health of the pregnant woman, but not for the soft cases like financial hardship, inconvenience, possible birth defects, or failure of birth control. Compromises of the second type would allow abortions, but only until a given stage of pregnancy, which is usually much earlier than the medically accepted definition of viability- when the fetus can survive outside the womb (Flanders 8). Although compromises based on reasons for abortion have been incorporated in laws such as the Hyde Amendment, which restricts Medicaid funding for abortion to so-called “hard” cases, many people now focus on time-based restrictions. This idea is more realistic and practical than banning abortion all together since there would still ... ... middle of paper ... ... who are not ready to take on the challenges and responsibilities of raising children. To have millions of poor, homeless and unhappy children in the world to cope with life’s injustices would be far more heartbreaking than extracting an embryo from a uterus. Abortion is a very complex issue that should remain a personal decision. The bottom line is that each woman should make her own decision based on her own morals and beliefs. Works Cited Alcorn, Randy. Prolife Answers to Prochoice Arguments. Portland, Oregon: Multnomah, 2001. Bender, David L. Abortion: Opposing Views. St. Paul, Minnesota: Greenhaven Press, 1997. Carlin, David R., Jr. “Going, Going, Gone.” Commonwealth 10 Sept. 1993: 6-7. Cunningham, Amy. “Who Are The Women Who Are Pro-Life?” Glamour Feb. 1994: 154-157. Driefus, Claudia., Seizing Our Bodies: The Politics of Women's Health. New York: Vintage Books, 1977. Flanders, Carl N., Abortion: Library In a Book, New York: Facts on Life, 1991. Points, Dana. “The Truth About The Abortion Pill.” Mademoiselle Oct. 1994: 106. Rubin, Rita and Headden, Susan. “Physicians Under Fire.” U.S. News & World Report 16 Jan. 1995: 52-53.

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