Abortion Essay, Research Paper
The topic of Abortion is one of the most controversial of our times. It has caused countless deaths and several violent confrontations between the two separate parties of opinion. The fight between pro-life and pro-choice supporters has been long and brutal. This is because, despite what several people may believe, abortion is neither right nor wrong. It is a matter of personal opinion and it varies from person to person. In this way, each side can say with certainty that the other side is wrong.
Therefore, the question remains; should abortion be legal? Though some may disagree on this point, the fact that legalizing abortion is the only option that will protect the lives of American citizens. This is all because of the difference in opinion of the pro-life and pro-choice activists. Pro-life activists carry a very strong argument, and continue to push their beliefs. They feel so strongly about these beliefs that violence has broken out in some known instances. They present an argument 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).
Pro-choice activists on the other hand, also carry very strong points. They believe that the child inside the women is her own property and the state has no right to interfere. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court decided that as long as the baby lived inside the womb, he or she would be the property of the mother, because of this decision almost every third baby conceived in America is killed by abortion, over one half million babies a year (Willke 7).
Abortion is the choice of a woman whether or not she want?s to receive one. Under the 14th Amendment?s ?personal liberty? women are given the right to receive an abortion. The 14th Amendment?s concept of ?personal liberty? and restrictions on state action is enough to allow a woman?s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The right to choose to have an abortion is so personal and essential to a woman?s life that without this right a woman cannot exercise other fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution (Paltrow 72).
The state cannot interfere in the private lives of a citizen. Without the right to choose an abortion the 14th Amendment?s guarantee of liberty has little meaning for women. With the right to choose abortion, women are able to enjoy, like men, the rights to fully use the powers of their minds and bodies (Paltrow 73).
Abortion has been around since a lot of years in every inhabited corner of the globe. It has always been accepted as a means to prevent the suffering of both woman and potential child. It has been practiced widely in every society for many reasons including famine, war, poverty, overpopulation, or simply because a woman felt she was not ready for a child (Whitney 40). No one ever questioned a woman?s right to this procedure till the 1800?s. During this era of change people began to turn their attention in a new direction, the fetus. They began to protest abortion as cruel, inhumane, and murderous. Abortionists who were once revered and depended upon were scorned and threatened. Though abortions still happened with regularity, they were kept silent and seen as a matter of shame. ?Over the next hundred years, public sentiment for fetus continued to rise until the inevitable happened in America during the early 40?s; Abortion was made illegal.? (Cohen 17).
The pro-life supporters had succeeded in saving the lives of innocent babies who would have been slaughtered for the convenience of selfish, ignorant and irresponsible women. This new law had made women actually settle down and raise families or give birth to beautiful children. We all know that, it has been proven time to time throughout history that the human spirit will not allow prohibition. Something inside us feels the need to strike out at that, which restrains us and holds us from the life we want. Just as prohibition of alcohol made a black market for liquor.
Government, through regulation, had once again created a need that would be fulfilled by the lawless. Most doctors refused to treat the women who so desperately wanted abortions. Women, seeing no other solution to their problems, were often desperate enough to turn to these ?Back Room? clinics. These clinics were located in poverty-ridden sections of the city and their conditions were really bad. The places themselves were layered with filth and disease. Inexperienced and so-called doctors and nurses treated the desperate girls with crude equipment, and some times because of these inexperienced surgeons, many girls died at the time of these illegal surgeries.
When the girls could not afford to pay for these illegal and high priced surgeries, some of them chose to perform the act themselves. ?Knitting needles, coat hangers, antiseptic douches and poisons were used most often.?(Welton 123). Emergency rooms primarily in more urban areas were reporting higher numbers of intractable bleeding to the point of death. Pelvic inflammatory disease and other forms of life threatening diseases were on the rise. Self induced poisoning was another complication.(Boyer 98). One thing that most people do not think about is fetus.
Abortion is defined as ? The induced termination of a pregnancy before it is capable of survival as an individual? (Frohock 186). Considering this definition, at the time of abortions, the fetus is not an individual. One needs to take into consideration the developmental stages of the fetal life span. Most abortions occur soon after the confirmation of pregnancy, (usually prior to 12 weeks gestation). The first twelve weeks is known as the first trimester or the embryonic phase. At this time the fetus is about 3-3.5 inches long having a weight of 15-20 grams. The neurological system is primitive at best, demonstrating only vague swimming motions. (Rosenblatt 37).
The second trimester heralds at a time of rapid growth. At about 20 weeks the mother usually first perceives fetal movement. After 24 weeks, the brain resembles that of a mature person. The fetal weight is about 650 grams. (Rosenblatt 39). The third trimester is from 24 weeks to birth (approximately 40 weeks). At 26th week, the nervous system begins to regulate some body processes. (40). It is only logical that the more complex the neurological system, the more likely one is to induce pain or end a sense of self if in fact that sense exists prior to birth. (Frohock 28).
The people, who ask questions about the killing of fetus, I personally would like to ask a question from them, that what would they do if they come to know about their daughters or sisters getting pregnant and also at an underage? Would they still like to just ask questions about fetus and the life of fetus?, I guess not. I would also like to question the people who talk about women having, the right of abortion, that what would they do if their sister or daughter was pregnant at an underage and her so called boyfriend had suddenly disappeared from the scene or was not willing to give his name to the child for some reason. Would they let their sister or daughter to keep the baby or force her to get an abortion, thinking of what would people in the society say?
I agree with some people who talk about orphans and that some women who do give birth to a baby and later are unable to raise it, they surrender the babies to the orphan homes. I would also want to ask those women a question about their foolishness that why would they give birth to a child at the first place?, and if they did they should try to give it for adoption in their family or take care of it. If they cannot for a reason that they are underage and their so-called boyfriends are not willing to give their name to the child, then according to me the reason is justified.
On the other hand, if they are just abandoning the child because they just think it would be really tough for them to raise a child. Besides they have to enjoy their life, partying all nights, getting drunk, and not caring about the little life they gave birth to, then I think those women are not only wrong but also a disgrace to the humanity. These women should think about the fact that there are a lot of families just wanting to have a child but are not able to for some reason and they are just waiting for it with open arms.
The people who don?t have a child, can only explain, how hard life is for them? In India, people are very religious, as per what I?ve seen, being born there. The couples who are not able to conceive try almost everything to have a baby and when they?ve tried all the medical procedures they can, but are unable to have a baby. They start paying visits to all the holy places they can to pray to god to bless them with the opportunity to have a child. When they get tired of all the prayers, some of them choose to go for adoption and some of them who are afraid of the society, ruin their life caring about what the society would say and prevent themselves from leading a happy life.
The conflicting views of the pro-life activists and the pro-choice activists have led to many deaths and injuries on both sides from riots, bombings, and fights. Some of my colleagues at work have seen these fights when they were in San Diego, but they didn?t wanted to talk about it, all they told me about it was it was one of the worst experiences of their life. They, also said, that these two groups will never join in their ways of thinking. According to me, if both the groups could just stop the finger pointing and name-calling, and just listen to what group has to say, they might find that both sides have some points. Only then we can stop the hatred and violence that has done so much wrong to America in the last few decades.
In conclusion, my research leads me to believe that, while abortion must be legal, a woman should also be provided with all the correct information she needs to make a responsible and rational decision. I believe that this is the only solution we can have which can conclude this ?war? between the two groups once and for all. Most of the negativity regarding the issue of abortion comes from the people who try to hide behind the curtain of religion and try to impose their own beliefs on others that the right to the life of the fetus supercedes everything else. Unfortunately, this will always be there.