Abortion, some points of View

Essay by Pamela DennisHigh School, 12th gradeB, March 1997

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Points of View

It is nearly impossible anymore to find someone who doesn't have an opinion

about abortion, and probably a strong opinion at that. Yet the endless debates on the topic

usually go nowhere, leaving the opponents even more committed to their positions and

the open-minded observers confused. Both sides make a good case. An unwanted child is

a pitiful thing, and the attendant social problems (single motherhood, financial

destitution, child neglect, and urban overcrowding, to name just a few) do not have easy

solutions. On the other hand, the thought of terminating something that, if left to run its

natural course, would ultimately result in the birth of a human being gives all but the

most hard-hearted among us cause for serious introspection.

One reason the debate goes nowhere is that each side focuses on a different topic.

We make no progress because we are not talking about the same thing.


pro-abortionist prefers to discuss choice, and to dwell on all of the social problems

inherent in an unwanted child. The anti-abortionist is interested primarily in protecting

the life of the fetus. In simple terms, the pro-abortionist focuses on a woman's rights and

the anti-abortionist focuses on a fetus' rights. Though interrelated, these are basically

different topics.

Though neither side realizes it, there is actually much more agreement than

disagreement between the opposing views. The majority on both sides would agree that

social problems like child neglect and urban overcrowding are serious issues. Most

would also agree that the life of a child is a precious thing that deserves the full

protection of the law. There would even be nearly universal agreement that it is a

woman's exclusive right to make decisions concerning her body. So where's the

disagreement? The entire complex...