Abortions Pros and Cons Essay
The United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade has spawned controversy and debate on an issue which every individual; rich, poor, young or old has an opinion. While the spectrum of the prevailing arguments draw upon facts, emotions, morals, necessity, and the legality, none of the aforementioned have been adequate to provide mankind with the panacea necessary to eradicate this socially tolerated act of life denial.
No social issue in America since slavery has ever been so diverse as that of
abortion. No issue brings out so much passion and hatred of the other side. Any court decisions related to abortion regularly bring protestors from both sides. Polls show
Americans are split evenly on the issue. The issue has been recharged by the Bush
Administration. In Bush’s first term, Congress passed a bill making third trimester abortions or “partial birth abortions”, illegal. Many of President Bush’s judicial nominations have been thwarted by the Democrats usually for one reason and one reason only—their stance on Roe v.
Wade. (Pros and Cons)
To assure that we are on the same page, I would like to offer a working definition of what an abortion is, and the commonly acceptable terms for the groups who fall on either side of this hot issue; “abortion is the premature expulsion of human fetus (naturally or artificially) (National Right to Life)
The most common abortion at this time is artificially induced which involve surgical and medical abortion. Disagreement about medically induced abortion created two political groups, which have opposite ways of thinking. “Pro-Life” and “Pro-
Choice”. Pro-Life are a group of people who are against any kind of abortion what ever the reasons are. Pro-Choice is another group that would allow abortions in most situations if the woman decides.
“Abortion is a controversial problem and very few people are neutral about it. This problem has always been serious and when the United States legalized it, the number of abortions increased, and now about 1.5 million abortions are done each year.”. (National Right to Life)
Clearly, because everyone has an opinion on the issue and given the sheer number and level of controversy, there are obvious pros and cons holding up the debate.
In general a woman aborts her fetus because she does not want that child; perhaps the unwanted child comes from a rape or an act of incest, but may just be that the woman does not want a child at that time. The Pro-Life group is against this; they believe if a woman aborts her pregnancy, she will have stress from the abortion, in addition to the physical stress because of the incident ( if there was a rape or incest) (Wisconsin Right to Life). The Pro-Life group believes that abortion would bring a lot of problems and negative effects, but Pro-Choice people have a different perspective; they believe that abortion is safe and there is no serious after effect.
“Psychological harm” is one of the effects of abortion, in the opinion of Pro-Life people. They content that women will get horrible nightmares of their children after they have had an abortion, and they will regret and feel guilty about their decisions”.(Ramli)
Jan A. Larson in his article “Abortion Pros and Cons” explains the psychological effects of post abortion in this manner; “ their lives are forever changed. Two lives (at least) are negatively affected by every abortion”. (Larson)
Right to Life materials claim that abortion is usually more painful than most doctors predict. They report that the pain is the same as cancer, but not as bad as amputation. The physical effects from the abortion usually appear in the future; such as tubal pregnancy and sterility.(National Right to Life) People from the Pro-Life group have evidence that abortion can cause breast cancer. (Ramli) The worst physical effect is death; its recorded that 200 women have died from legal abortion since the Roe v. wade ruling in 1973. (Ramli)
“Laws against abortion kill women. Legal abortion protects womens health. For tens of thousands of women with heart disease, kidney disease, severe hypertension, sickle cell anemia and severe diabetes, and other illnesses that can be life threatening, the availability of legal abortions has helped avert serious medical complications that could have resulted from childbirth. Before legal abortions, such women’s choices were limited to dangerous illegal abortion or dangerous childbirth. A woman is more than a fetus.
Though a woman might be pregnant with a child, she still is her own person and has every right to decide what she wants to do with her body”.(Abortion)
Outlawing abortion is discriminatory. Anti-abortion laws discriminate against low- income women who are forced to back alley abortions, where they can become infected.
Rich people can travel to anywhere they need to go to find the proper care that they need.
If abortion is outlawed then more “children” will be having children. Abortion should not be a form of birth control, but if something does happen there should be the option of abortion there so the wrong mother doesn’t have to raise a child at such a young age.
Abortion should be legal for those women who are raped. Women who are raped sometimes can not even bear the thought of bringing that child into their lives and sometimes the option of abortion is the best one to choose.
Economist,Steven P. Levitt in his book “Freakonomics”, he makes the case that the legalizarion of abortion beginning in 1973 has a very strong statistical correlation and may explain the dramatic drop in crime rates in the 1990’s.
Levitt cites studies that indicate that the women most likely to have abortions post- Roe were the women least likely to be able to provide a secure home environment for a child. It is children that grow up in these environments that are most likely to turn to a life of crime.
“Levitt’s analysis however, concludes that even if one could assign a value of 100 fetuses to equal the value of one new born, the annual “cost” of legalized abortion is 15,000 lives, far more than the number of homicides “saved” by legalized abortion”(Levitt)
“On balance, it would seem that the loss of life and the emotional scars carried by women (and their families) that have abortions outweigh the benefits of reduced crime (if there is a direct cause and effect) and the convenience of “cleasning up a mess” of a poor decision”.(Ramil)
“For all the rhetoric and hyperbole on both sides of this issue, there can never be a middle ground to the abortion debate. Those that believe that abortion is murder will never believe otherwise. Those that believe that having an abortion is a woman’s “right” and that a “fetus” is just tissue aren’t likely to change their views either, at least not until it is too late”(Ramil)
Abortion is a significant issue in our life because it might happen to anybody, even to our relatives or spouse. We see in just one problem, abortion, there are a lot of conflicts. There is no conclusion because we can see this problem from many perspectives. If you are one who supports Pro-Life or Pro-Choice group, you can not judge objectively if the other group has a different way of thinking. People can not judge
Pro-Life people as a people who have no respect for human feeling because they would not allow a woman who had been raped to have an abortion. On the other hand people can not say that Pro-Choice is a better group because they are more aware of human needs. People will never know the feelings of women who have had an abortion unless they are the ones that are facing the abortion decision. To face this problem, people need to spend their time to think cautiously and to weigh both sides to make the best decision.
It is my feeling that Roe will not be overturned and if the individual states take it upon themselves to determine the legality of abortions within their province, then they will be compelled to deal with the issue on a case by case basis. Each individual case is always packed with a substantial amount of special circumstances, which precludes a blanket decision on the issue of whether abortions should or should not happen. It is an extremely personal matter and when it comes down to whether or not it is going to happen, it is the individual choice of the woman affected, which matters most. As pointed out earlier, there is no panacea, and abortion is not a quick fix, it is a permanent fix, of a situation which a woman considers to be non-negotiable. If she even remotely feels that she is willing to cope with the short term effect and with proper counseling, she feels she can cope with the long term impact, then the decision and the consequences are hers.
Abortion, Adoption, Pros and Cons RU486, retrieved on line July 19, 2006, from www.abortion-alternatives.adoption.com
Larson, Jan, A. Pros and Cons of Abortion, Retrieved on line on July 19, 2006, from www.tiger.towson.edu
Levitt, Stephen P. Freakonomics
National Rights to Life 1999, Retrieved on line on July 19, 2006, from www.NRTL.com
Ramil, Felix, Cause Effect/Research, Retrieved on line July 19, 2006, from
Wisconsin Right to Life 1999, Retrieved on line on July 19, 2006, from www.wiright to life.com