Both Sides of the Abortion Debate


During the past quarter century, abortion has joined race and 
war as one of the most debatable subject of controversy in the United 
States. It discusses human interaction where ethics, emotions and law 
come together. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that 
faces many individuals to create a emotional and violent atmosphere. 

There are many points of view toward abortion but the only two fine 
distinctions are "pro-choice" and "pro-life". A pro-choicer would feel 
that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mothers and the 
state has no right to interfere. A pro-lifer would hold that from the 
moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive. This life imposes 
on us a moral obligation to preserve it and that abortion is 
tantamount to murder (Kolner 5).

 In the United States about 1.6 million pregnancies end in 
abortion. Women with incomes under eleven thousand are over three
times more likely to abort than those with incomes above twenty-five 
thousand. Unmarried women are four to five times more likely to abort 
than married and the abortion rate has doubled for 18 and 19 year 
olds. Recently the U.S. rate dropped 6 percent overall but the rate of 
abortion among girls younger than 15 jumped 18 percent. The rate among 
minority teens climbed from 186 per 1,000 to 189 per 1,000.

 The most popular procedure involved in abortions is the vacuum 
aspiration which is done during the first trimester (three months or 
less since the women has become pregnant). A tube is simply inserted 
through the cervix and the contents of the uterus are vacuumed out. 
The most commonly used type of second trimester abortion is called 
dilation and evacuation. Since the fetus has bones, bulk and can move, 
second trimester is not as simple. When as much of the fetus and 
placenta are vacuumed out then tweezers are used to remove larger 
parts. After this, or the beginning of the fifth month abortion is 
serious and actually induced as childbirth. That is, the mother is 
given substances which puts her into labor and delivers the fetus as 
she would a full-term baby. About 40 percent of Americans believe that 
abortion should remain legal and 40 percent believe it should be 
banned except when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother or 
is the result of rape or incest. Also 15 percent b eveit should be 
illegal in all cases. Although abortion is regarded as a women's 
right, it should be banned with exceptions because it's considered 
murder, has many psychological side effects and there is an 

 Abortion is a women's own right and choice. In 1973 the Roe v. 
Wade decision proved this by recognizing abortion as a fundamental 
constitution right and made it legal in all states. The law now 
permits abortion at the request of the women without any restrictions 
in the first trimester and some restrictions in the second trimester 
to protect the women's health. The National Abortion Right Act League 
argues that without legal abortion women would be denied their 
constitutional right of privacy and liberty. The women's right to her 
own body subordinates those of the fetus and the U.S. Supreme Court in 
Roe v. Wade argued that the women's "right to privacy" overruled the

 fetus's right to life. If abortion was illegal it would force 
poor women to bear and raise children they can't afford to bring up.
There would be a number of unsafe abortions in back allies. It would 
also force women to give up their dreams and stay home to bring up 
babies. Worst of all, it would condemn victims of apeand incest to 
carry and nurture the offspring of their rapist.(Kolner 5) Abortion is 
necessary for women to have control over their own bodies and life. 
One activist said, "If I hadn't had that abortion my life would have 
been a disaster. I wouldn't have made it to medical school. I was 
married at that point to a very ill man and it would have been 
terrible to have to have my baby. People who need abortions are in 
some kind of turmoil and it's really a life-saving thing."(Blender 4) 
To ignore the rights of others is selfish and injustice. Women must 
have the right to control the functions of their own bodies. Revern 
George Gardiner pastor of the college Hill United Methodist Church, 
told the council that the ordnance would have done little good. "Young 
women need the freedom to make choices for their reproductive life 
when their family can't guarantee them parental support."(Lynn B6-7) 
Women should not be forced to have babies they don't want. They must 
be able to decide what happe ns to them and have a safe plus legal way 
of doing so. Women are in control of their own bodies and lives. 
Legislators have no right to interfere. The practical assertion that 
since pregnancy involves a women's body, the choice of continuing that 
pregnancy must be hers alone. This was the first given buerful 
theoretical articulation and defense by Judith Thomson.(meilander 3)

 However, abortion is considered murder by half of all 
Americans. Pro-lifers believe that human life begins at the moment of
conception. When the merge of the egg and sperm is complete, they are 
fertilized and known as the "zygote". The zygote contains a full set 
of 46 chromosomes which is required to create a human life. Scientists 
identify that at the moment of fertilization the ovum takes on a 
entirely different destiny, life. About 15,000 genes from the sperm 
and ovum form a unique combination. This is nothing less than a new 
human life at its earlier stage of life. In the United States many 
infants will not make it to puberty, old age or even their second 
birthday. Just because of their shortened life, it doesn't mean that 
it never existed.

 Dr. Nathanson stopped preforming abortions after becoming 
aware of the horrors he observed. "A woman has the right to go to bed 
with who she wants, but she can not choose death for her child. It's a 
direct violation of human rights." (Koval i grid c-7) Anthony Simpson 
has a photo of a aborted fetus and believes that abortion is nothing 
less but ruthless murder. In southern Kentucky, Robert Hollis brutally 
assaulted his wife in effort to abort the fetus he suspected wasn't 
his. He successfully did so and Caroll believed Hollis set out 
intentionally to kill that fetus and that is in fact murder. Kristina 
Kleg a graduate from high school has recently become pregnant and 
decided against abortion. She feels that it's an innocent child inside 
of her. It has a brain and a heart therefore it also has a right to 
life. "Abortion is the unnatural end of pregnancy. That child has a 
right to life that is equal to the mothers right. One cannot kill 
another human being just because they wished it wasn't around. 
Abortion is murder of the innocent practiced on a national scale." 
(Abortion: The Personal, Medical and Social Dilemma) Overall it has
been proven that the fetus is a real person. It responds to noise, has 
feeling and fears. To h ave an abortion it will destroy an innocent 
life which is directly connected to murder.

 Scientific research has successfully shown that abortion 
causes many psychological side effects. It leaves the woman with many
strong feelings about their desicion. They feel sadness, wishing 
things could have been different and grief for a lost life. Guilt
arises because they know a fetus represents an independent life. Anger 
builds up towards other people having to do with their desicion. 
Sometimes the mother may feel that she has infact been abandoned. Most 
of all the mother feels ashamed and embarrassed about her action. 
People close to the mother may be angry at her for ending her 
pregnancy and make it difficult for her to deal with. Even years after 
the abortion, women tent to remember the regretful experience. They 
usually wonder what the baby would have looked like and its birthday. 
Thirty-three year old Michelle Urbain of south Florida has had five 
abortions so far. She realizes now that they all left emotional scares 
her that are unbearable. "It wasn't just a mass of cell t was children 
I was killing." (Kovaleski c-7) It maybe a month or a year but 
feelings do catch up with the mother. Symptoms like nightmares,
panic attacts and flashbacks are signs of a recently discovered Post 
Abortion Syndrome (PAS). According to a study published by Association 
for Interdisciplinary Research in Valves and Social Change, one in 
five women studied had diagnosable stress disorders. (Lyons d-11) Also 
two in five had sleep disorders and flashbacks following abortion.


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