The debate about whether abortion should be legal or not has been a pressing issue for a long time now. Ever since the Supreme Court affirmed that access to safe and legal abortion was a constitutional right for women in Roe v. Wade, there has been a debate on the morality of abortion (Planned Parenthood, “Roe v. Wade”). Those who claim to be “pro-life” argue that abortion should be illegal and that it is immoral. Those that are pro-choice believe that abortion should remain legal and that the right should not be so heavily restricted. I believe that access to safe abortion should remain legal and less restricted for women, because it is no one’s place to make such a crucial health care decision for anyone but themselves.
People that are “pro-life” have tried to have Roe v. Wade overturned for years, and to this day have been passing laws to restrict the right this case protects, however, “ 72 percent of Americans — including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned” (Planned Parenthood, “Roe v. Wade”). A majority of Americans believe that abortion is a woman’s right, and that her freedom of choice regarding her healthcare should not be infringed upon. Those that would see Roe v. Wade overturned and abortion made illegal believe that it will stop abortion from happening, however this is far from what would actually happen. Restricting legal access to abortion does not restrict abortion, it restricts safe abortions. “In 1965, illegal abortions made up one-sixth of all pregnancy- and childbirth- related deaths” (Planned Parenthood, “Roe v. Wade”). Abortions took place before it was legal, and abortions would take place even after it was made illegal again, except many women would die from unsafe abortions just as they did in the past. Moreover, a recent bill proposed in the Ohio House of Representatives would criminalize abortion at any stage, and any woman who receives one, and the doctor who performs it, would potentially face the death penalty (CNN, “Ohio Law”). These people are so “pro-life” that they would kill someone over it; that makes sense, doesn’t it? Many people that are “pro-life” are willing to put aside the the life of the woman carrying the fetus, in order to make sure the fetus is born, only to no longer care after the child is born. It would save more lives over all to keep abortion safe, accessible, and legal.
People who call themselves pro-life have a tendency to rely on Natural Law Theory (Shafer-Landau, pg 76-90) to back up their belief that abortion is immoral. They follow the belief that God creates each and every soul, and that abortion is immoral because it disrupts “God’s plan”. They believe that acting in this manner is unnatural, and because it is unnatural it must be immoral. First of all, this is belief should be irrelevant when it comes to making legislation since we separate church and state in our government. Secondly, not everyone follows such religions, so using this as a basis for their law making is wrong since it not only violates the woman’s freedom of choice for herself, it violates her religious freedom. Furthermore, if you follow the belief that we were created by God, then you must acknowledge that He gave us free will; the power to make our own decisions instead of living predetermined lives (JW.ORG, “Bible About Free Will). This then leads us to deduce that it is more unnatural, more immoral, to infringe upon the woman’s freedom of choice, as that goes directly against God’s design. If a person is truly pro-life, they would be willing to put the life of an existing human, a fully grown woman capable of rational thought, one of God’s creations, above the life of an unborn fetus, a mere clumping of cells.
- JW.ORG. (2018). What Does the Bible Say About Free Will? | Bible Questions. [online] Available at: https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/free-will-in-the-bible/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2018].
- Parenthood, P. (n.d.). Roe v. Wade: The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion.Retrieved November 30, 2018, from https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/roe-v-wade.
- Shafer-Landau, R. (2018). The fundamentals of ethics. New York: Oxford University Press. Chapter, Natural law, Pg 76-90.
- Willingham, A. (2018, November 21). A proposed Ohio law would redefine a person to include ‘unborn humans’ and could treat abortion like murder. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/21/us/ohio-abortion-ban-bill-criminal-law-trnd/index.html