Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Essay on Abortion

Essay on Abortion

The long debated issue of abortion is a tough one. There are many legal and moral debates. That's where the problem lies; is it a moral issue or is it a legal issue? The world may never know. Many problems arise with the fact that people say abortion is killing a baby, a human. Opposing sides say that abortion is a woman's right and no body can do away with of that right. "Indeed, the subject probably ranks in moral controversy with such dilemmas as capital punishment, "right to die" legislation, and just versus unjust wars," (Legge 3). Should our country take into consideration that someone's body is their body, not the governments? Or, should we take into consideration that the fetus inside is a growing person who had no decision or no choice over their own destiny? "Usually, the dependant variable is categorized into, favoring complete freedom of choice, favoring abortion under particular social or medical circumstances, and opposing abortion under any circumstances," (Legge 6). Whether or not it is morally right to abort a growing fetus, our society has no right to input or judge someone else's decision.

Those who oppose abortion, "pro-lifers" as they are called, do make good points onto why abortion should be illegal. The main view stressed in this case is the fact that the growing baby inside is actually a baby and more than just a fetus. Radical pro-lifers do not find any acceptable reason for abortion. They view abortion as "murder" and they say, "there simply existed no sustained argument to establish abortion as a fundamental right of women and as an essential aspect of what it is that constitutes a good society," (Kopaczynski 143). Here in the United States anti-abortionists are constantly in the court systems arguing that it is inhumane and arguing the baby's right to live and saying that it is not a right given to the Supreme Court. "In Canada abortion may be implicitly viewed by feminists as a woman's right, but in the U.S. it is sanctified as a right by the supreme court," (Tatalovich 128). It is a hard decision to make with a country so strong in tradition and so conservative with "sexual liberation". Americans feel as though there are levels of morality and if our society isn't strict with ethical issues our moral standards aren't set high enough. "It is a particularly troubling issue for a country with strong traditions of individual initiative and enterprise plus conservative views of sexual behavior and societal service responsibilities," (David 79).


Many people throughout the world debate this issue through a religious perspective. When someone conceives a baby they are carrying "God's child," and who are we as a democratic society to say that we can abort one of God's children? It is inevitable that someone who is into their religion, regardless of what they follow, will be opposed to abortion. The entire issue of whether it is just a fetus is not looked at but rather the fact that it is a growing baby inside of a woman. "As a rule, individuals who are more religious are more likely to oppose abortion," (Legge 6). One is bound to be "black-balled" by the holy community if a child is aborted.
The two major political parties have vastly different views on the subject, sometimes persuading one to vote a certain way. The democrats believe it is up to the woman to decide. The woman makes her own destiny. The democratic government believes that they don't have any right to tell a woman when and where to create a baby, so why should they have a right to tell her if she can abort or not? The republicans see a different side. They don't think that it is acceptable to kill an innocent baby, regardless of what the mother wants. "Pro-choice women have entered the political struggle valiantly and the political debate eloquently. But the impression is left that "the ethics" of the issue are "owned" by anti-abortion proponents," (Kopaczynski 142). But a good argument to refute the republican stance is that, when this baby is conceived and born the government isn't going to take care of that child. It is not the government's responsibility to take care of that baby and it is not the government's choice whether the baby is born or not. The republicans are conservative with sex and conception and believe in the right to live. The democrats are liberal with sex and believe in the right to choice. The democratic plank says, "It is a fundamental constitutional liberty that individual Americans-not government-can best take responsibility for making the most difficult [decisions]," (Tatalovich 150). The republican side states, "the unborn child had a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," (Tatalovich 158).

Alternative solutions are offered to those, republicans, who oppose abortion but don't have the resources in order to keep their baby (if pregnant). The Democratic Party poses many solutions to prevent unwanted pregnancy. To prevent pregnancy in this age of sexual liberation, contraceptives and classes are offered quite cheap or even free. The Republican Party pushes either abstinence or adoption, but never abortion. If a couple conceives a child out-of-wedlock then the only other option is to give the baby up for adoption, simply because they believe that baby also has a right to live. Democrats think the republicans and their, "alternative solutions such as forced marriage, bearing an out-of-wedlock child, giving a child up for adoption or adding an unwanted child to an already strained marital situation are also likely to be accompanied by psychological problems for the woman, the child, the family, and society," (David 84).

The government essentially has no right to tell a woman what she can do with her body. With everything people can do to their bodies, abortion being one of them, the United States government legally cannot make a law restricting anything one does to their own self. Regardless of whether there is another "self" in that woman's body, it is still her body something is being done to. "The decision to have an abortion should be the responsibility of the pregnant woman," (Tatalovich 114). Those who don't oppose abortion, or even have the procedure done, aren't far from the ethical boundaries set by conformists. They follow the same routines in the morning and have a good ratio of similarities when it comes to most issues. The only difference is the reform/conform stand. "Many of the people who get abortions have values very similar to the anti-abortion people," (Ginsburg 154). Other countries have the same problems/views on this subject as well. Canadians are said to have the same dilemma that Americans face and "most Canadians reacted favorably to a general statement that abortion should be a woman's personal decision," (Tatalovich 114). The United States is founded on an idea that all men are created equal, freedom of choice, religion and way of life. The government then takes away that equality if they put themselves higher than the people in order to say abortion is wrong. They take away that freedom of choice if the woman can't chose the destiny of her unborn child. Religion or "non-religion" is also the choice given as Americans, thus determining their abortion views. The way a woman lives her life, through abstinence, abortion and sexual freedom is also a right given to her by the United States government, ethical or not. "People recognize that human life is precious, and they think it should be protected. At the same time, they feel strongly that individual choice should be respected," (Ladd 3).

Women have fought long and hard to gain equality in a seemingly equal world. "Increasingly the trend in the world today, with a few exceptions, is toward liberalization," (Legge 16). Liberalization was a fight in the past and a reality of the present. Women fought to have their voices heard and rights established and they are now living those rights. Females gained the right to walk side by side to men and, "the right to an abortion is a moral necessity if women are to attain full equality with men," (Kopaczynski 151). Women stand in a place in society that demands justice and liberation. They need to, "establish the right to abortion as a foundational claim to justice - with abortion as a legal right, women at long last will be able to take their rightful place in society," (Kopaczynski 149).

There are many reasons as to why a woman would want or even need an abortion. In these cases the government has no way to rectify one instance versus another. "Moral generalizations are not likely to hold much intellectual weight," (Legge 3). Ethical conflicts don't have much importance in certain circumstances such as rape, incest or deformities in the fetus. Factors like alcohol, drugs and genetic illnesses can cause a child with down-syndrome or health problems which may cause a mother to want an abortion. Rape and incest are the biggest arguments for abortion. Without any laws to prohibit abortion a woman can easily obtain one in one of these cases. They also then have the option to abort if a lot of abuse or drugs were used. No one can tell someone else that they have to raise a child who was conceived on drugs. "Who in the world has the right to tell someone that they have to bring a deformed child into the world," (Ginsburg 153). That kind of stress can cause psychological effects on a female who has to raise the child, thus warranting a need for abortion. Another reason women chose to abort their babies is because of their poor financial standing. People don't want to raise a child in a deprived, low-wage family. There is that constant fear of not being able to provide a nice life for that baby and causing psychological damage that way.

"The number of legal abortions in the U.S. passed the million mark in 1975," (David 80), and made abortion a growing phenomenon. Many people poled are against abortion personally but think that it is a woman's decision whether she wants to do that to her body or not. Seventy-four percent of Americans say it is morally wrong but it is a woman's decision, while sixty-one percent say that it is completely wrong. The majority of the people surveyed, eighty-one percent said that minors should have parent's consent before getting an abortion, and fifty-three percent favored requiring a woman to get consent of the natural father before under-going the procedure, (Tatalovich 117).

An extensive number of abortions are performed on minors. "Approximately one-third of all abortion patients in the U.S. are teenagers," (David 82). This is a chain effect of the sexual revolution and liberation that women are taking today. Because the virginity age for teens is decreasing and sex is becoming more frequent in teens, the teenage abortions are rising. "There is growing evidence that the frequency of sexual intercourse is increasing and beginning earlier among young people," (David 81). Since more and more teens are engaging in sexual intercourse and they are conceiving children and as a result of that more abortions are arising, the question comes up, who decides that a minor can have an abortion? The government certainly can't decide, because as stated previously, the government has no right to place laws pertaining to someone else's body and the fetus. The next in the hierarchy of rulings would be the parents of the minor. The parents of the pregnant teen do not have a say in her abortion. Just as the parents of the teen are responsible for that teen, the adolescent is responsible for the baby inside of her. That is her unborn child and she is the one to decide his/her destiny. The situation gets a bit chaotic when the father of the baby feels as though he wants a say in where the child belongs. He too conceived this child, but he is not the one who would carry the baby to term. It is not his body therefore he does not get a say on the abortion issue.

The effects or consequences of making abortion illegal far surpass those of making it legal. A baby born to someone who didn't want it in the first place will always have that feeling of uselessness from the parent(s). There could be insufficient care for the baby if funds are not superfluous. The biggest consequence of making abortions illegal would be that women would have to resort to "back ally abortions." This is the most unsafe procedure where women will do anything that they can to rid their bodies of the fetus. Thus abortions need to be legalized.

Abortion in the U.S. has been a widely discussed and wildly debated issue for a long time. Many people have varying opinions. These opinions are expressed through politics, riots, protests and general word of mouth. The government has no right to say what a woman can do with her body and there are many reasons as to why abortion is a procedure needed in our country. The United States of America is a free country where men, women and children are free to do what they want. If abortion is one of those things that a woman feels as though she needs to do then by all means it is her prerogative to do so.

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