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Abortion; is it murder or a woman’s right? Is an embryo a life or is it just a glob of tissue? When does an embryo become a valuable human life? Is it when conception takes place or when it gains human appearance? Is it when it feels its mothers touch and receives her love? Is it not a human until it can survive on its own outside of the womb? These are a lot of questions that are asked when the topic of abortion arises. Some believe that it is a women’s choice to deal with her body as she wishes; others believe that it is simply murder. Some have an opinion that may change at one point or another in life. And then there are others that have an opinion and will die with that same opinion. Whatever your beliefs or opinions may be, I hope that would understand both sides of this subject.
Three out of ten pregnancies end in abortion. This equals one and a half million babies per year. There are many reasons why a woman would choose to abort her unborn baby. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute Study, the one that is heard most often is convenience, at 76%. Other reasons include the following: fear of poverty, avoiding single parenthood, not ready for responsibility, wanting to hide sexual activity, too young, no desire for more children, fetus has health problems, father of the fetus has no desire for the child, the woman, herself, has health problems, or the fetus is a product of rape/ incest. According to this study, only 13% of all abortions are directly related to health concerns for the fetus; of these, only 8% were told by a physician that the fetus would indeed have health problems, the rest feared the fetus would have health problems due to their own alcohol/ drug use. The other 87% are merely for the woman’s convenience.
First and foremost conception must take place. One sperm and one egg meet to produce an embryo, each containing twenty-three chromosomes, which combine to make forty-six. Although the chromosomes come from the embryo parents, when joined together, they make a new “unique” human being.
Abortion should be a restricted medical procedure, suggests Donald Marquis, Journal of Medical Ethics.
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We hear the words “pro-choice”, “reproductive rights”, etc. All of those terms suggest that there is a choice, but that choice is certainly not referring to the fetus whose life is at stake. There is an argument that abortion on demand would guarantee that every child would be wanted and would keep poverty, child abuse, and illegitimacy levels low. However, all of these levels have soared. Abortion is merely being used as a form of birth control. It is not deniable that having a child can and does place a great burden on the mother and her family. But, is it a big enough burden to justify taking its life? There is always the option of adoption, which is uncostly and gives an unborn fetus the chance for life. But, more often than not, abortion is a fast and easy alternative to adoption.
The most brutal type of abortion is the “partial birth abortion”. These are performed late in the pregnancy. The baby is delivered feet first, with its tiny head left inside. The aborting physician then inserts scissors into the head of the partially born fetus, opens the blades to produce a hole in its skull, and then vacuum’s its brains out. The skull then collapses leaving behind a tiny corpse. The baby is then completely delivered. By leaving the fetus’s head inside the mother, this procedure is referred to as an abortion instead of infanticide. Anyone can imagine the pain that fetus must feel. In an effort to put an end to those thoughts Planned Parenthood and National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League state that the general anesthesia given to the mother kills the unborn fetus. Physicians disagree with their statement. They state that the local anesthesia, which is most often give during an abortion, has no effect at al on the unborn fetus, including pain relief. The fetus is, in fact, alive until the brains are removed. Others declare that abortion is not murder for the simple fact that if a woman miscarries and is under 24 weeks along in her pregnancy, the hospital disposes of the body. There usually is not a memorial service or naming of the fetus.
Sometimes opposing sides see thing both ways. For instance those for abortion usually do not agree with third trimester abortion. For at this time the fetus could surely survive if given the chance. Another example is some “pro-life” believers feel that if a woman is raped, then abortion should be an option. The reasoning being there was no consent for sex.
In conclusion, I am left with my own opinion. I feel that abortion should be restricted, if not banned altogether. These are innocent lives being taken away from innocent babies. If a woman is capable of having sex, she should be able to deal with the consequences. If she does not want to deal with the consequences, then at least give the child a chance at life and give it up for adoption. There are so many couples that want children and would make wonderful parents but can’t physically have a child. In my opinion, the moment that the sperm and the egg unite, there is a life. These days abortion is just another form of birth control and highly misused. Abortion should not be an easy solution for getting out of responsibility. Sadly, most of the time it is used for just that. GOD has a plan for everyone, having an abortion interferes with what is meant to be.
Lancet, 3/11/2000, Vol. 355 Issue 9207, p877, 5P, 2 charts, 2graphs
Journal of Medical Ethics, Apr2000, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p103, 5P