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.