To this very day abortion has become a very sensitive issue worldwide. Known as a moral and ethical issue, abortion is an issue society should come to terms with. Legalizing abortion has been an ongoing debate, and it is an important issue because of the moral problem and medical risk a mother must experience.
An abortion is defined as the “termination of a pregnancy, followed by the death of an embryo or fetus, during the first twelve weeks of gestation (Webster, 2011) This paper will address the legalization of abortion and its opposing argument as to why it should become illegal.Legalizing abortion allows a woman to have the right to choose what is best for herself and her unborn baby. There are a large number of reasons of why abortion should be legal. A woman may choose to have an abortion due to a medical condition or unplanned pregnancy.
If a woman is raped, it is most likely she does not want to carry the child of a rapist and raise the baby on her own. If a young woman is not mentally or financially prepared to have a child, yet accidentally gets pregnant, legalizing abortion allows the young woman to have a right to choose to not bring a baby into a life of hopelessness.It should not be up to the government to decide if abortions should be illegal. A woman has control over her own body.
She can choose to do what she wants with it. It should not be up to someone else to decide what she can or cannot do to her body. If a person decides to get a tattoo, should the government also decide if this should or should not be legal? Just like abortions, tattoos can also cause life threatening infections. Before abortions were made legal, women were performing their own abortions or going to anyone that would perform the abortion for them, which resulted in death or major medical complications.
According to an Article in NY times, approximately 10% of women undergoing induced abortion suffer from immediate complications, of which 2% were considered major (NY Times, 2007). However the majority of complications take time to develop and will not be apparent for days, months or even years. Some of these complications are hemorrhage, infection, and even death. These reasons alone gave the government more of a reason to make it more difficult to get an abortion.
Other complications that are encountered and are really hard to overcome are a host of unwanted highly emotional and overwhelming feelings.Many years ago abortion was illegal and lots of women died because they tried to terminate their pregnancy themselves without professional help. In 1973 the Supreme Court passed a law that allowed women to have a choice of abortion (Andryszewski, 1996). Abortion is the removal of a developing baby within the mother’s womb by surgical procedures either by medical instruments or chemical ways, it has been estimated that before abortion became legal, thousands of women had illegal abortions and many of those women died.
When society tries to ban abortion women find different ways to terminate the pregnancies and therefore that causes illnesses, infections, diseases, and even death. One can be supportive of abortion or one can be against it, but we all have different morals and values based on our religion, from our parents, friends, family, or from our own experience and knowledge. Legal abortion does not only protect women’s lives, it also protects their health. Thousands of women, with life threatening sicknesses and diseases say that abortion has helped avert serious complications that could have resulted if they had a child.
Before abortion was legalized, many women endured expensive, dangerous and sometimes fatal procedures in order to get rid of their pregnancies. In particular, many poorer women performed dangerous abortion methods on themselves in order to prevent their pregnancies. Many women who became pregnant because they were raped also wanted illegal and dangerous methods to get rid of their pregnancies. Legalizing abortion has eliminated many illegal abortions performed by unskilled doctors under unsanitary conditions.
Illegal abortions mostly caused deaths and permanent reproductive injuries. Abortion also prevents many unwanted births and is therefore a factor in lowering child abuse and death rates. If women are forced to have unwanted children, the result will be unwanted children. According to USA TODAY, after abortion became legalized in 1973, there was an increasing trend in the amount of abortions being performed between 1973 and 1985.
This rate has since leveled off, and the abortion rate has been on a continuous decline since 1991.The legalization of abortion contributed to an increase in contraceptive methods and use which has resulted in fewer pregnancies and therefore a declining abortion rate. Legalizing abortion has also helped decrease the amount of “unwanted children” brought into environments that are not necessarily advantageous to the child, and that are sometimes hazardous to its health (USA Today, 2013). Plenty of Americans consider abortion to be murder and these values create challenges and problems for the government in society.
As a political issue in society abortion appears to be a problem for the government, but the question is how does the government create a law that benefits everyone? Those who believe abortion should be legal generally believe that the decision to end a pregnancy belongs to each individual woman, and the opposing view is based on the belief that if an egg becomes a fully-fledged human life the moment it is fertilized and that destroying it should be legally equivalent to murder. Today, Legal abortion is well-known for reducing both maternal and infant death.It has been stated in USA Today, that by allowing women to control their own bodies, it has given them an equal opportunity to participate in the economic and social life of the nation (USA Today, 2013). Looking at the issue of abortion, depending just on reason which is a must of being a reason, it becomes clear that abortion for convenience sake is wrong.
The key argument for supporters of this act is that a woman has a right to her own body. This is a true and correct statement. All people have a right to do to their own bodies what they will.However, the fetus, or unborn baby, is a separate individual.
Even though it resides inside its mother, it is a separate being genetically. Its DNA is completely its own, and different from its mother’s DNA. From the moment of conception, it is a totally separate genetic individual. Therefore, the argument in favor of abortion on demand, or abortion for convenience sake, that a woman has a right to do as she wishes to her own body, is not related to the question of abortion, since the mother’s body is different from that of her baby, or fetus.
It does not matter what a group of men in the form of the US Supreme Court has to say about the issue. Regarding abortion for medical reasons where the mother’s life is in jeopardy that decision should be left to the decision of the mother, family, and doctor. It’s true, the mother and the unborn baby are still two separate individuals, but under these difficult circumstances, it’s truly a personal decision for those directly involved. It’s like to a mother and child falling into dangerous ocean currents and a family member or witness must decide who to save.
It’s a terrible decision that must be made.Regardless of the decision, one life will be lost and one saved. This situation differs so deeply from abortion on demand, which is to kill the unborn baby for convenience, as opposed to choosing which life will be saved. For hundreds of years, abortion has been an extremely heated subject.
There are many issues pertaining to abortion like whether a woman should be permitted by law to have an abortion and if so then under what circumstances. Many people approve of abortion under certain circumstances. Some approve of abortion if a woman’s life or health is endangered by her pregnancy.Others find abortion acceptable when there is danger that the child will be born with a serious mental or physical defect.
They also approve of abortion when pregnancy has resulted from incest or rape. It is a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body, and it should not be altered or influenced by anyone else. This right is guaranteed by the ninth amendment, which holds the right to privacy. The ninth amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people (Virginia, 2008).
This right guarantees the right to women, to have an abortion, up to the end of the first trimester. We know that women have abortions for many reasons. Even if we disagree on the issue of abortion, we can agree that these are private personal decisions we all must be able to make based on our own circumstances, beliefs, and values. We should respect and support a woman and her family as they face the life-altering decision of whether to have a child.
It is neither my place nor our government’s place to make such an important life decision for someone else.We all care about life and about doing our best for the people we love. When we bring children into the world we want them to have the opportunity to live a good life. And we want to build a better future for our children and our grandchildren.
Although killing an unborn child is inherently wrong, and therefore can never be justified regardless of circumstances, it is no more just to kill an unborn child in order to avoid hardship than it would be to kill a toddler to avoid hardship (Lockhart, 2000).Because the unborn child is unseen, it is easier for society to overlook killing him or her, though this is the same as killing any child at any stage of development. Besides, abortion does not solve the deeper problems that have caused having an unfortunate pregnancy – problems such as low self-esteem, sexual abuse, and lack of education and absence of moral guidance. In fact, the negative effects of abortion can actually complicate these problems.
REFERENCESAbortion. (2010). In Encyclopedia of American Studies. Retrieved from http://www.
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com/2007/01/21/magazine/21abortion Lockhart, T. (2000). Moral Uncertainty and Its Consequences. New York: Oxford University Press.
“Abortion.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2011.
http://www.merriam-webster.com (8 May 2011). Virginia, B.
R. (2008, Oct 10). Crossing party lines over abortion. Concord Monitor.
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