God gave us the sixth commandment. It was intended to stress the fact that life is sacred, that God alone gives life, and that no individual has the right to just take it from another person. The command which God gave to Moses literally says, ‘You shall do no murder.’ During abortion, you are taking the life of a human, an innocent, defenseless unborn child. While it is not against the law to not follow the ten commandments, it is against the law to murder. So, should terminating an unwanted pregnancy be the same as committing murder?
Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before the fetus has acquired a sufficiently developed form to survive outside the womb. Sometimes abortion is induced at 20 weeks, at this time the fetus has developed many well-defined body parts. Planned Parenthood says the cost at health centers ranges from about $350 to $950 for abortion in the first trimester. The cost is usually more for a second-trimester abortion. Costs can vary depending on how long you’ve been pregnant and where you decide to go. According to the South Carolina Code Title 44, Chapter 41, it is legal to have an abortion under the following three circumstances: (1) In the first trimester, with the pregnant woman’s consent; (2) In the second trimester, with the pregnant woman’s consent in a certified hospital or clinic; (3) In the third trimester, when necessary to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman on the written recommendation of two doctors, and if the basis is mental health then both the two doctors and a consulting psychiatrist must agree in writing the abortion is necessary.
Abortion is such a simple word, yet it has become such a complicated issue. It has been a controversial topic in the religious and political world, since as long as I can remember. People identifying themselves as pro-choice, believe that choosing abortion is a right that should not be controlled by governmental or religious authority, and which outweighs any right claimed for an embryo or fetus. On the other hand, pro-life supporters, believe that individual human life begins at fertilization; therefore, abortion is the immoral killing of an innocent human being. They feel abortion causes suffering on the unborn child, and that it is unfair to allow abortion when couples who cannot biologically conceive are waiting to adopt. Variations exist in arguments on both sides of the debate. Some pro-choice supporters believe abortion should only be used as a last resort, while others believe unrestricted access to abortion services under any circumstance. Pro-life supporters range from opposing abortion under any circumstance to accepting it for situations of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is in danger.
When choosing whether you believe abortion is ever morally permissible or not, you really have to stop and think. Say a woman becomes pregnant and the doctor tells the mother life is in danger and will die if she carries the baby to term. What should she do? The fetus is a person and has the right to life, but so is the mother, so she has a right to life too, right? Should the mother give up her life for the unborn child? As Judith Thomson explains in, A Defense of Abortion, it can’t seriously be thought to be murder if the mother performs an abortion to save her life. It can’t seriously be said that she must refrain, that she must sit passively by and wait for her death. However innocent the child may be, you shouldn’t have to wait passively while it crushes you to death. In this case yes, I do believe that she should be able to abort her baby to save her life.
Let’s look at another scenario. A woman goes out to a bar and has a few drinks with her friends and ends up meeting a guy. By the end of the night she goes home with him, they end up hooking up without using protection, with her knowing she’s not on birth control, and a couple weeks later she finds out she’s pregnant. She tells the guy and he decides he wants nothing to do with it. She freaks out and decides she wants to get an abortion because she thinks she can’t take care of a baby by herself. Should she able to abort this innocent baby? She laid down and had unprotected sex knowing the risk, so why shouldn’t this baby have the right to live? The mother’s life is not in danger? The baby is not a production of rape? How does she really know she can’t take care of this baby? This is a case where the mother just doesn’t want the child. This is where I believe abortion is wrong. There are so many precautions for women who don’t want children or feel like it is not their time yet. Even if a woman does find herself with an unwanted pregnancy, there are alternatives to getting an abortion.
There are many contraceptive methods that can be used if you are not ready to have a child. Condoms give you the best protection when you use them in the right way every time. You can get condoms at drugstores and some health clinics. There are also many hormone methods that give constant protection from pregnancy. According to SCDHEC, you can visit your local doctor and they can provide you with options such as an implant, which is a thin, 2-inch plastic rod that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy for 3 years, which is inserted under the skin on the inside of your arm. There is an IUD, which is a small device inserted into your uterus that last about 3-10 years. You can get the Depo Shot, which is a birth control shot you get once every 3 months. They also provide NuvaRing, which is small, soft plastic ring you place in your vagina every month. If you feel like a device or shot isn’t for you, you can take a Birth Control, this is a pill that you take once a day at the same time every day. The pills are easy to take and are an effective birth control that doesn’t interrupt sex. If any of the above are taken at perfect use, they are 99% effective.
Say you do end up pregnant and you feel like abortion is the only option because it would be difficult for you to raise your baby in your current circumstance, it’s not, there are other options instead. For example, you can choose to place your baby in a temporary guardianship with a close friend or family member. These legal arrangements allow you to ensure your baby is safe and cared for while you finish school, find more stable housing, or make other changes to your life that will allow you to successfully parent. Sometimes, a family member may step in and offer to help an expectant mother raise her baby through a kinship adoption. While that may sound ideal, you may want to consider parenting disagreements and shifts in post-placement contact that could cause serious damage to your relationship with your child and the adoptive family members. You can also place the child with an outside family who is looking to adopt. While giving up your child is rarely an easy choice to make, women often find that this option helps address many of the challenges of abortion. While abortion and adoption may both involve grief and loss, many women find that by maintaining an open relationship with their child, they are better able to process these difficult feelings in a healthy way. In addition, adoption services are always provided at no cost to expectant mothers, and many women even receive help with their living and medical expenses during pregnancy.
I was brought up in a Christian family and abortion generally goes against my spiritual belief. There are so many options that you can choose to prevent a pregnancy and other options you can choose other than abortion. Choosing to kill an unborn child just because you don’t want it, I feel is murder. What makes abortion such a complicated subject is when it comes down to the mother’s health. There is no way we can call a mother a murderer for choosing her life to live over the unborn child. There is no way we can make a mother, pregnant from rape go through a full pregnancy, being reminded of the horror she went through every day. I feel that abortion should only be legal in cases if the mother health is in danger, rape, or incest. It should be illegal and considered murder, for a woman to have an abortion just because she didn’t want to use protection.
- “Birth Control.” SCDHEC, scdhec.gov/health/family-planning/birth-control.
- “Code of Laws- Abortions.” South Carolina Code of Laws, www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t44c041.php.
- “How Much Does It Cost to Get an Abortion?” Planned Parenthood, www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/ask-experts/how-much-does-it-cost-to-get-an-abortion.