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.
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 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.
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.(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
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