Abortion Essay, Research Paper
For every two babies born, one dies because of abortion. Abortion is the most disruptive bio-ethical issue of our time (Levine 2). Abortion has two different viewpoints. One view, known as pro-life, sees abortion as the immoral slaughter of innocent life. The other view, pro-choice, considers abortion as an option that must be available to women if they are to control their own reproductive lives (2). Abortion is very much a heated topic these days, and many people think that they know how to solve the problem of abortion. Abortion can be seen through two extremely different sides, but I think that abortion is morally, ethically and spiritually wrong. The one, most popular, option is to give the baby up for adoption.
In the U.S. since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, abortion is essentially legal on request throughout the country. The Roe v. Wade decision established the trimester system of regulating abortion. Under this system, the Supreme Court ruled that:
1) The state doesn’t have any compelling interest in regulating
Abortion during the first trimester (12 weeks) of pregnancy,
Except to require that an abortion performed by a licensed
2) The states only interest in regulating abortions during the second trimester is to protect maternal health.
3) When outside the fetus becomes viable (capable of independent
Survival outside the womb, with or without life support), the
State may choose to limit abortions to women for whom continued pregnancy would be life threatening (Costa 75).
Many people see abortion as something that has to be done, not as something that is wrong. Women seek abortions for a number of reasons. One is that women who are not married may wish to terminate a pregnancy. Sometimes this is because she can’t support a baby on her own. Another reason is that in some societies where premarital sex is condemned and even punished, an unmarried woman may seek an abortion to hide the fact that she had sex (Broude 4).
Some believe that the fetus is being aborted and not a baby. They think that the fetus hasn’t developed enough to let it be called a baby (7). A fetus is known as the unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate (Levine 5). Even though the fetus is unborn, it is still recognized as a human being and should be treated that way.
Aristotle believed that children were a common good to parents but there are circumstances (deformity, overpopulation) in which certain children should be destroyed (Shelp 28). Take China for example. The country is so overpopulated that there is a limit to one child per family. So what happens when a third child is conceived? Does that make abortion right then?
Abortion is legal in the USA at any time throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy. 37,000,000 babies have been aborted since 1776. At 18 days after conception, a baby’s heart is already beating. At 6 weeks, brain waves can be measured. At 8 weeks, the stomach, liver, and kidneys are functioning, and fingerprints have formed. At 9 weeks, the unborn child can feel
pain. 700,000 abortions are performed each year in America after 9 weeks into the pregnancy. The overwhelming majority of all abortions, (95%), are done as a means of birth control. Only 1% are performed because of rape or incest; 1% because of fetal
abnormalities; 3% due to the mother’s health problems. 1.5 million babies die each year from abortion; That’s 4,000 babies every day; That’s 1 baby every 20 seconds (Costa 102).
There are many different methods to go about aborting a child. There is Suction Abortion, this is the most common abortion technique in use today. In this procedure, A powerful vacuum tears the placenta from the uterus and dismembers the body of the developing child, sucking the pieces into an attached jar. The second method is dilation and curettage (D&C): In a D&C abortion, usually performed between seven and twelve weeks of pregnancy, the doctor inserts a curette, a loop-shaped steel knife, into the womb through the dilated cervix. As the curette scrapes the wall of the uterus, the baby is cut into pieces. The third method is dilation and evacuation (D&E): This method is similar to a D&C, except that forceps must be used to grasp the baby’s body because of the child’s advanced development. The baby is dismembered as the abortionist twists and tears the parts of the body and slices the placenta away from the uterus. Another method is salt poisoning, “Salting out” is the second most common method of inducing abortion and is usually used after sixteen weeks. The doctor inserts a long needle through the mother’s abdomen and injects a saline solution into the sac of amnionic fluid surrounding the baby. The baby is poisoned by swallowing the salt and his skin is completely burned away. It takes about an hour to kill the baby. After the child dies, the mother goes into labor and expels the dead baby. In spite of the horrible burning effect, some babies have survived “salting out” and been born alive. The other method is hysterectomy; Similar to the Cesarean section, the hysterectomy abortion is a surgical procedure whereby the baby is removed from the mother’s womb and allowed to die by neglect or killed by a direct act. The last method is prostaglandin abortion; Prostaglandin is a chemical hormone that induces violent labor and premature birth when injected into the amnionic sac. (ProChoice Website).
“In 1973 the Supreme Court said it was ok to kill unborn babies. Since then, we have killed more than the entire population of Canada. And it continues. A woman’s choice? Half of those who died in their mothers’ wombs have been women. They didn’t have a choice. It’s called abortion,” Donald Wildmon, President, AFA, 1999 (ProChoice Website).
Abortion is known as the intentional termination of a pregnancy and can also be understood as murder (Broude 6). It is one among the number of ways that have emerged over the course of time to deal with unwanted pregnancy (Murray 32). Rather than killing an innocent life though, there are alternatives, one of them being adoption (51).
Yes, it can be hard to give a baby away to some stranger, but isn’t it more ethical than killing an innocent life?
My hero and role model Mother Teresa once said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion,” (ProChoice Website). What she says is so true, abortion is the greatest destroyer of not just love and peace but an innocent life as well.
God has created each person for a specific purpose. The person is pretty much calling God a failure when they take away a precious gift He has given him or her (62). Consider the words of David, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born, every day of my life was recorded in your book” (Psalm 139, NLT). Even before this precious life was conceived, God knew that the baby would be aborted, yet He still loved the baby and took great joy in it. He loved the baby just the same.
Another passage in the Bible that talks about a baby in the mother’s womb is “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5. God knew this child was going to die before it got a chance to live, but He still loved this child and called it His own.
My friends’ mother knows about abortion firsthand, she had three of them before the age of 20. To this day, Diana thinks about the children that she could possibly have a relationship with and how much she wants to erase her mistakes. “I am so thankful for my two sons. They mean so much to me and I can’t see my life without them. I regret wasting three precious lives because of the mistakes that I made. I will never forget seeing my unformed baby so dead and lifeless” (Diana Cox).
Having an abortion can bring a lot of grief and regret on a person later on in his or her life (Levine 6). They, more than likely, will never forget how they killed such an innocent life for such selfish reasons (Costa 10). Abortion is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly; it is a killing of a precious human being (Levine 8).
There are numbers of couples and families waiting to adopt children all across America. They are loving and want to love this child with everything that they have. It is estimated that there are over 200,00 people in America looking to adopt (Broude 22). Adoption, in my view, is the most safe and affective way to go if someone does not want a baby. Killing the baby just doesn’t seem right or ethical. If there are so many people out there wanting kids, then why not let them have one? God brought these children into the world for a purpose, not to be killed or neglected.
There are many couple out there that are unable to have children because of medical reasons. These are the people that so desperately want to adopt. If someone becomes pregnant and cannot support the child, then that gives them a reason to put this child up for adoption instead of killing it.
I can understand that if a teenager finds out that she is pregnant, she will be scared. The first thing that will probably cross her mind will be abortion because that is the quickest and easiest way out. But why hurt or kill the child because the mistake the mother made? Why not find a family that will be willing to love and nurture the child in the best possible way?
There are two types of adoptions, confidential and open. Confidential: The birth parents and the adoptive parents never know each other. Adoptive parents are given background information about the birth parents that they would need to help them take care of the child, such as medical information.
Another option is Open: The birth parents and the adoptive parents know something about each other. There are different levels of openness:
Least open-The birth mother will read about several possible adoptive
families and pick the one that sounds best for her baby. She will not know each other’s names.
More open-The mother and the possible adoptive family will speak
on the telephone and exchange first names.
Even more open-The mother can meet the possible adoptive family.
Most open-The birth parents and the adoptive parents share their full
names, addresses, and telephone numbers. They stay in contact with the family and their child over the years, by visiting, calling, or writing each other. (Adoption Website)
Giving up a child would be hard for a mother once she sees it born, but that would be healthier than just killing the innocent life. If a mother chooses a certain adoption, she will be able to see her child grow up. Every human being deserves the right to live and should not be taken for granted (ProChoice Website).
Abortion has two extremely different viewpoints. Both viewpoints have many excuses and reasons. I believe that abortion is ethically, morally and spiritually wrong. Abortion should not be legal; murder isn’t. Don’t abortion and murder go hand in hand? I believe that every human being, whether born or unborn is God’s creation, and we shouldn’t take that for granted. There are many alternatives other than abortion to not having to become a mother. I think adoption is a great alternative, there are many families out there that are willing to adopt. There are families that are trying and unable to have children. They would be more than willing to adopt.
Broude, Gwen J. Growing Up. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio Inc, 1995.
Costa, Marie. Abortion. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio Inc, 1995.
Cox. Diana. Personal interview. 6 Nov. 1999.
Graham, Jim. Methods of Abortion. 4 June 1999 http://www.prochoice.com.
Gruley, Dan. Adoption as an Alternative. 6 Nov 1999 http://www.adoption.com.
Levine, Carol. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues. Guilford, CT:
The Dushkin Publishing Group, Inc. 1991.
Murray, Thomas H. Which Babies Shall Live? Clifton, NJ: Humana Press, 1985.
Shelp, Earl E. Born to Die? New York: The Free Press, 1986.