In the past thirty years, the issue of abortion has prevailed as possibly the most controversial health issue facing our nation. Within the issue clear sides can be drawn. Activists on either side are highly organized, pummeling the public with proof that abortion is either wrong or right. Stripped down, the abortion argument becomes a dispute between those who perceive the unborn fetus to be viable human life and likewise abortion as murder, and those who prioritize the rights of the living mother over those of an unborn fetus. The anti-abortion campaign is one based almost exclusively on religious notions and ideals. In contrast, those who support a woman's right to an abortion draw support from a combination of scientific evidence as well as moral and political issues. As a nation of reason and one that prioritizes the rights of its citizens above all other things, the right to an abortion must be protected.
Pro-Life activists contend that a fetus is a human life and to end that life is murder. This belief is one based solely on religious philosophy. Scientific evidence is attestation to the fact that a fetus, especially one early in development, does not exhibit qualities marked by a human life.
One of the most controversial issues of the abortion debate is the question of when life begins. Many anti-abortionists argue that life begins at conception. Therefore they contend that any process that terminates a pregnancy after a sperm has fertilized an egg cell, including RU 486 and "morning after" pills, is murder. Advocates for abortion rights concede that although a zygote or embryo has the potential for human life, it is not yet a person. During its stages of development, the fetus does not experience the fundamental qualities of a human such as self-awareness, moral perception,