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Abortion: Life Or Death, Who Chooses?

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.


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 perc!
ent 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 alternative.


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. Because of this decision almost every third baby conceived in America is killed by abortion, over
one and a half million babies a year. 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.


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 o apeand incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their
rapist. 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.” To ignore
the rights of others is selfish and injustice. Women must have the right to control the functions of their own bodies.


A pastor of a 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.” 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
a woman of society.


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. 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.” In southern Kentucky,
a man by the name of Robert Hollis brutally assaulted his wife in effort !
to abort the fetus he suspected wasn’t his. He successfully did so and the judge believed Hollis set out intentionally
to kill that fetus and that is in fact murder. Kristina Kleg a graduate from high school had recently become pregnant
and decided against abortion. She felt 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.” 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. Also two in five had sleep disorders and flashbacks following
abortion.


In summary, 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 childs heart beats, the gastric juices flow in the stomach, and all its necessary organs
have been made present. This is a child that thinks, dreams, and feels pain. Yes, some women may look at having an
abortion to solve her personal problems, but in all, women are abandoning the abortion because it weakens their
great strengths: creation, compassion and the ability to loo e!
neath the surface of appearance of things. Maybe soon the abortion issue will reverse, and people will see the rights
of the unborn as greater importance than that of a personal right.


Bibliography:
Baehr, Ninia. Abortion Without Apology: Radical History for the 1990s. South End Press, 1990. Pro-choice side of
debate.


Hilgers, Thomas W. and others, eds. New Perspectives on Human Abortion. University Pubns. of America, 1981.


Essays on medical, social, and legal aspects.


Howe, Louise Kapp. Moments on Maple Avenue: The Reality of Abortion. Macmillan, 1984. Warner, 1986. A day
at an abortion clinic; without moral stance.


Jaffe, Frederick S. and others. Abortion Politics: Private Morality and Public Policy. McGraw, 1981. Detailed
discussion of policies; favors legalization.


Luker, Kristin. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. California, 1984. Fair explanation of women’s contrasting
views.


Willke, J. C. and Willke, Mrs. Abortion: Questions and Answers. Hayes, 1990. Antiabortion ob/gyn doctor’s
viewpoint.