Brief description of the stand of pro-lifers and pro-choice groups
Abortion generates a heated debate among the two groups
Pro-choice: abortion should be legalized
Pro-life: abortion should be banned
Pro-choice vs. pro-life
The rights of women to their bodies and their reproductive issues should be respected. Denying a woman the right to her body is extreme violation of her fundamental rights. Fetus relies on the mother for everything and therefore, it is not a separate entity. Unwanted pregnancies psychologically affect teenagers. Life of fetus is not more valuable than that of the mother.
Human life begins immediately after conception.
Human life should be respected even at its most remote stage.
Embryos have fundamental rights including the right to life in addition to the right to physical integrity.
Embryos have the moral status of a person right from conception, and therefore any activity that results in their destruction is unethical.
Termination of pregnancy is therefore violation of the rights of the unborn baby.
Unwanted pregnancies may later turn out to be wanted.
It is against the will of God
Abortion should be banned
Abortion! Should it be legalized or prohibited? Abortion constitutes one of the most controversial topics in the modern times. This is as a result of its interaction with ethical, emotional, in addition to legal issues. People throughout the world take different stands as far as the issue is concerned. People’s viewpoints can be broken down into two major categories: Pro-life and Pro-choice. Each and every person has his/her own views and opinions concerning abortion. This paper through qualitative analysis of legitimate sources including published work, and websites will outline some of the major reasons given by the pro-life and the pro-choice groups in support of their stand so as to come to a logical conclusion.
The issue on abortion is not only ugly, but also a psychologically distressing one. It is one of the topics that generate some of the most heated debates in the United States as well as throughout the world. Personally, I have been undecided on the issue for a very long time. The issue on abortion culminates in two groups of people: the ones who advocate for respect of family values as well as the rights of the unborn and the ones who champion for the rights of a woman as an individual and choice. I felt that my view and opinions could not have an effect on the subject and therefore isolated myself from the whole controversy. The two sides have however engaged in a fierce battle that has attracted my involvement in the issue.
While pro-lifers insist that abortion should only be considered a legal solution when the life of the mother is in danger as well as in the case of incest or rape, pro-choice group assert that abortion is comparable to first degree murder. Pro-choice group, according to Tatalovich and Daynes (2005), argue that at extreme situations, the life of the mother is more valuable than the life of the unborn baby. Nevertheless, a court order would be required in order to verify the legality of abortion. Pro-choice insist that the right of a woman to have authority over her body should be respected. Pro-choice make it clear that in circumstances where personhood of human beings cannot be determined, for example in pregnancies before the point of viability, non governmental organizations as well as the government do not have the right to obstruct the right of a woman to decide whether to carry on with pregnancy or to terminate it (Coops, 2007).
Pro Choice vs. Pro Life
Pro-choice group, which is completely against the arguments of pro-lifers, assert that it is the right of women to have full control of their bodies as well as reproductive issues that affect them. The right of a woman to decide whether to continue with pregnancy or to terminate it should be respected. Women should be given full responsibility over their reproductive rights. Respect for the rights of women to decide the course of their life is vital to their civil rights (Bose, 2010). During pregnancy, it is the body of a woman that goes through all the distress associated with pregnancy, and therefore, if she decides not to carry on with the pregnancy, her decision should be respected (Maisie, 2010). Bose (2010) states that denying a woman the right to her body is extreme violation of her fundamental rights.
Even though the major question regarding the beginning of life still retains its intensity, the fact remains that live in whatever form should be reverenced. Nevertheless, the life of the unborn child is not greater than the life of the mother, who if she carries pregnancy to term would bear the responsibility of bringing up an unwanted child. A major fact concerning abortion is that most of them are carried out during the first trimester, and during this time, the fetus cannot live independent of the mother. The fetus relies on the mother, through the umbilical cord and the placenta for protection and nutrition and therefore should not be taken as a separate entity. Based on the fact that most of the abortions are conducted during the first trimester, they are safe. The risk of a woman developing complications during an abortion is minimal. Abortions also do not affect the general health of a woman or her capability to conceive in future (Rorie, 2010).
Teenage pregnancies may result in grave consequences if pregnancy is carried to term. Teenagers are neither physically nor psychologically prepared to carry pregnancy to full term. Minor mothers are also psychologically unprepared to manage the responsibilities that come along with a child. The responsibilities insert so much pressure on a minor mother that the only option is to drop out of school and start working so as to satisfy the needs of the child. Dropping out of school spells doom for the future of girls who get pregnant during adolescent stage (Bose, 2010).
Pro-choice group make it clear that implementing laws that prohibit abortion would be forcing one theory on everybody due to the fact that there are a variety of theories regarding when life starts. Bose (2010), states that declaring abortion an illegal practice does not prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring. Prohibiting abortion would mean that women who get unwanted pregnancies would turn to illegal entities in order to get the services. Seeking for abortion services from illegitimate entities would expose women to great risk of their health and life (Samudrala, n.d). The other reason why abortion should not be banned, as given by pro-choice groups, is that unwanted pregnancies from incest and rape are psychologically traumatizing not only to young girls, but also to adults. Forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term as well as bear the responsibility of a child she did not intent to have in the first place, would only augment her psychological stress (Samudrala, n.d).
Nevertheless, abortion remains a practice that should not only be shunned by all, but also prohibited by the government. Pro-lifers, in support of their stand, make it clear that human life begins immediately after fertilization and that the embryo formed thereafter is alive and therefore calls for respect. Human life, even at its most remote stage according to pro-lifers commands our respect and calls for a serious moral claim on everybody (Rorie, 2010). Human life, even in the form of a spermatozoon or an ovum, becomes a human being immediately after fertilization, and therefore any form of termination of the growth of the embryo should be regarded as murder.
Human life, even in the earliest stages, is a distinct human entity having a biological identity established right from conception; this identity does not change across all subsequent differentiations as well as growth (Tatalovich and Daynes, 2005). The changes that occur within various stages of life have no effect on the identity that was established after fertilization, and therefore embryos have fundamental rights including the right to life in addition to the right to physical integrity (Coops, 2007). Most of those who make up the large fraternity of pro-lifers, believe that if an embryo is not a person, then it has the potential to develop into a human being, and therefore its rights should be respected in an equal manner to those of a human being (Rorie, 2010).
Embryos have the moral status of a person right from conception, and therefore any activity that results in their destruction is unethical. According to pro-lifers, human life is a continuum from the single cell stage to death. Pro-lifers assert that at each and every stage, human life has dignity and should be respected as well as protected (Tatalovich and Daynes, 2005). Once conception has taken place, the biological as well as ontological personality of a human being is set up. Termination of pregnancy is therefore violation of the rights of the unborn baby (Coops, 2007). The development of human beings takes place in an orderly manner and for that reason; each and every stage of that development must be reverenced and treated as an end in itself, instead of a means through which other ends are attained however beneficial these stages might be to others (Tatalovich and Daynes, 2005). Based on the fact that abortion involves the destruction of living beings, it is definitely against the will of God (Bose, 2010). No level of benefits associated with abortion can give a good reason for the destruction of fetuses. Pro-lifers claim that it is wrong to kill fetuses on the ground of unwanted pregnancy, because most of the unwanted pregnancies may later turn out to be wanted. They make it clear that each and every person including the unborn child has the right to life. Rather than killing the baby, adoption should be sought as an alternative. Abortion according to pro-lifers may culminate in infections such as sepsis in addition to recurrent miscarriages, and in extreme cases death. Abortions also result in extreme mental distress to the woman as a result of guilt associated with it (Maisie, 2010).
I support the pro-choice side of the debate. This is due to the fact that legalizing abortion has the potential to promote women’s health as well as save numerous unwanted deaths that culminate from unsafe practices. The arguments of pro-lifers are grounded on fundamental terms and are impractical. Legalizing abortion would act as a great success in guaranteeing justice for women who are victims of mistreatment, torture, crime and rape. Forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancy to term compels them to give birth at undesirable situations, which results in unhealthy nurturing of their child. As a result of disputed childhood, many children end up becoming victims of corruption and other forms of immorality. However, even though abortion may be legalized, it should only be considered an option under extreme circumstances. Women should have a second thought before making up their mind to go for an abortion. It is unethical to repeatedly take the life of fetuses, as a result of unprotected sex or for purposes of personal convenience.
It can therefore be concluded that even though pro choice highly support abortion, the practice should be banned. Pro-choice group argue that it is the right of women to have full control of their bodies as well as reproductive issues that affect them. The right of a woman to decide whether to continue with pregnancy or to terminate it should be respected. Denying a woman the right to her body is extreme violation of her fundamental rights. Pro-choice groups assert that teenagers are neither physically nor psychologically prepared to carry pregnancy to full term. Minor mothers are also psychologically unprepared to manage the responsibilities that come along with a child. Declaring abortion an illegal practice does not prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring. Pro-lifers, on the other hand, argue that human life begins immediately after fertilization and that the embryo formed thereafter is alive and therefore calls for respect and serious moral claim on everybody. They also asserts that if an embryo is not a person, as per pro-choice groups, then it has the potential to develop into a human being, and therefore its rights should be respected in an equal manner to those of a human being. They make it clear that termination of pregnancy is therefore violation of the rights of the unborn baby. Based on the fact that abortion involves the destruction of living beings, it is definitely against the will of God and should be prohibited.
Bose D., (2010), Arguments for Pro Choice Abortions, retrieved on July 17, 2010 from
Coops M., (2007), Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro-Spirit! ISBN 1434318885: AuthorHouse
Maisie M., (2010), Pros and Cons of Abortion, retrieved on July 17, 2010 from http://www.
Rorie J., (2010), Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life, retrieved on July 17, 2010 from http://www.
Samudrala R., (n.d.), Life vs. Choice, retrieved on July 17, 2010 from http://www.ram.org
Tatalovich R., and Daynes B., (edn 3), (2005), Moral controversies in American politics, ISBN
0765614200: M.E. Sharpe