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Reports & Essays: Social Issues - Abortion

"AND""OR"

Abortion
Many have pondered about abortion and presented the argument that every child born should be wanted, and every child conceived should be born (Sass vii). . Many people want to be able to decide the destiny of others. Everyone in the United States is covered under the United States constitution, and under the 14th Amendment women have been given the choice of abortion. In 1973, Harry A. Blackmun wrote the majority opinion that it's a women's right to have an abortion. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Even though these people have been given the right, the case is not closed. Pro-life activists carry a strong argument, and continue to push their beliefs. They feel so strongly about these beliefs that violence has broken out in some known instances. Pro-choice activists, on the other hand, also carry very strong points. They believe that the child inside them is their property and it's life doesn't begin until birth. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court decided that as long as the baby lived in the womb, he or she would be the property of the mother. Because of this decision almost every third baby conceived in America is killed by abortion, over one and a half million babies a year (Willke vii). Many countries have followed our decision on the abortion issue and some of these include Canada, England, and France. Other countries still believe abortion should be illegal, they include Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand. Although many believe that abortion is a women's choice, abortion should be banned because its immoral and life begins at conception. Abortion is the choice of a woman. Under the 14th Amendment's "personal liberty", women are given the right to receive an abortion and to choose whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The right to choose to have an abortion is so personal and essential to women's lives that without this right women cannot exercise other fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution (Paltrow 72). The state can't interfere in the private lives of a citizen. Without the right to choose an abortion the 14th Amendment's guarantee of liberty has little meaning for women. With the right to choose abortion, women are able to enjoy, like men, the rights to fully use the powers of their minds and bodies (Paltrow 73). A man can withdraw from a relationship as soon as he finds out about a pregnancy. There is no question of his involvement after that; he has made his choice. It is only fair to say that women should be given the same choice. If one doesn't want to hold the responsibilities of a child than she should be able to have the choice of abortion. "Because contraceptives fail, and because they are not always available or possible to use, abortion is necessary if people are to be able to determine whether and when to "bear or beget a child"(Paltrow 72). Couples choose the alternative of abortion so they can start or expand their families when they feel most ready and able to care for them. Women choose to have an abortion because pregnancy and childbirth can prevent them from keeping their jobs, from feeding their families, and from serving others in ways they consider necessary and appropriate. Pregnancy and childbirth may determine whether a women ever gets to start or complete her education, which will significantly influence her ability to support herself and her family. The availability of abortion makes it possible for people not only to choose the number of children they want, but also to create the kind of family life they have always wanted for themselves, to meet their responsibilities. If a woman cannot choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, she is denied the right to the "possession and control" of her own body. One of the most sacred rights of common law is to choose and if a woman can't do this, than her most important possession is taken away. Abortion isn't only a woman's right, it's a woman's choice. Allowing abortion to be legal is immoral. A pre-born child is given the status of a "product of pregnancy" and never seen as the miracle only a women can create. Compassion for the small one is drowned out under a demand for "rights", but what about the rights for the unborn. "A woman has a right to her own body" is an idea more and more women are realizing, but that idea ignores the unborn child's right to his or her body. Never, in modern times, has the state granted to one citizen the right to have another killed in order to solve his/her personal, social, or economic problems. The embryo is its own being that should have it's own rights to protect it. The zygote is a unique genetic being (Zindler 27). If one was to abort an embryo than that embryo, that human life, would never be duplicated. A scientist that may have found the cure to A.I.D.S. would be killed. There is a better way to solve our problems than by killing children. A fertilized egg is the most beautiful, most innocent being that we could ever create, and can redeem even the worst of our mistakes. This fertilized egg is not just a mass of tissue, for if it were than there would be no debate. A fetus feels pain. Ultra sound, fetoscopy, study of the fetal EKG (electrocardiogram) and fetal EEG (electroencephalogram) have demonstrated the remarkable responsiveness of the human fetus to pain, touch and sound (Willke 64). The fetus responds to light, heat, cold, and taste. Observations of the fetal movements in saline abortions indicates that the fetus experiences discomfort as it dies. One doctor who, the New York Times wrote, "conscientiously performs saline abortions stated, when he injected the saline, he often saw an increase in fetal movements" (Willke 64). In another case, a film using mew sonographic techniques, shows the outline of the child in the womb thrashing to resist the suction device before it tears off the head. Then you see the dead child, dismembered and the head crushed (Edwards 40). This is murder. Nobody who sees this film will speak again of "painless" abortion. After the doctor who performed this procedure saw this film, he never performed another abortion again. But, many doctors still do perform abortion, and in some instances a live child is killed. "About once a day, somewhere in the United States, something goes wrong and an abortion results in a live baby" (Willke 76). Forty five out of six hundred and seven mid trimester abortions done in Connecticut in 1974-1976 resulted in live births (Willke 76). In these cases the child was killed in cold blooded murder. It is immoral to kill, therefore abortion is immoral. Finally, abortion should be banned because life begins at conception. The individual sex cell consists of 23 chromosomes. It is only through combination, however, that the sex cells contain the full complement of heredity units that defines a human being (Shettles 17). This procedure of combination defines conception. After the merger of the two sex cells 46 chromosomes are present. This is what makes a human being. The merger is complete within twelve hours, at which time the egg is fertilized and becomes known technically as the "zygote". The inherited characteristics of a unique human being has been established, and in no circumstances will it change (Shettles 17). Nothing from this time on, until death, will anything be added. The definition of alive is that a being is growing, developing, maturing, and replacing its own dying cells. It means not being dead. At the very time conception begins, the zygote is growing, developing, maturing, and replacing its own dying cell. It's alive. The single-celled fertilized ovum cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered part of a woman's body. This new living being has a genetic set up unlike anyone else's, totally different from the cells of the mother's body. It makes no sense to assume that human life is more human post-born than pre-born. What is critical to figure out is if it is or isn't human life. At 18 days the heart is pumping through a closed circulatory system, with blood whose type is different from that of the mother. At 40 days the brain begins to function. In the 16th week motion has been detected. At 6 and 1/2 weeks all twenty milk-teeth buds are present. During the eighth week the baby's stomach secretes gastric juice, and all it's body system is present. The baby dreams, thinks, and feels pain. This is definitely a child, and no one on the face of this earth would be here if they weren't conceived. Abortion can be justified by a women's right to choose, but it should be banned because it's immoral and life begins at conception. Women have been given the right to have an abortion under the United States Constitution, but this right is still being protested by the people that fight for the unborn's rights. Pro-life activists claim that its immoral because it is simply defined as murder. Life begins at conception is another strong point brought up by pro-life activists. Before a child is born it is given all it's necessities to survive. Notice the operative word is before. Before birth the child's heart beats, the gastric juices flow in the stomach, and all its necessary organs are present. This is a child that thinks, dreams, and feels pain. Some women may look at having an abortion to solve their personal problems, but in all, women are abandoning the abortion because it weakens their great strengths: creation and compassion. Maybe soon the abortion issue will reverse, and people will see the rights of the unborn as being of greater importance than a personal right.

 



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