Abortion Essay, Research Paper
A twenty-three year old mother of two, taking a shortcut on her way home from work, realizes she wasn’t alone. It was too late by the time she had noticed, the man had grabbed her from behind and held a knife to her neck. Without a chance to struggle, he shredded her clothes to pieces and repeatedly raped her. She finally awoke in the hospital and realized what had happened and that she was pregnant, but not with her husband’s child. Three hundred thousand women are raped each year and many find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. There are those who condemn the active practice of abortion.
The story above is one of many cases for “pro-choice.” In this paper I will be discussing the extent of the problem, the causes and effects of abortion, my proposal and how it could be implemented, and some arguments against my proposal’s solution.
Today women have a choice; they can either choose to abort or save their pregnancies. These people believe in “pro-choice.” They have a fundamental belief of a woman’s right to choose what to do with their bodies, and that it should be up to the women to choose whether they keep the pregnancy or to abort it. On the other hand, “Pro-life” proponents believe life to be held sacred and that abortions are institutionalized murder. What if the baby is unwanted, a case where the mother is unable to support the child, or even a product of incest or rape? What should be done then? This is the conflict we have today.
There are many problems that result from this issue. One of which comes from the harassment by the American Coalition of Life Activists. Their goal is “to expose doctors performing abortions until neighbors, relatives and other patients pressure the physicians to quit.”(Goodstein 180) The AMCLA distribute fliers, informational pamphlets and picket practicing offices in order to get their message across. This practice in performed indiscriminately and without discretion. They intrude on the rights of the people they believe are committing mortal crimes against the unborn fetus, by sending abrasive letters and visiting homes of patients. An example is of this case:
“When Penny McDonnell heard that her Bettendorf neighbor was about to have an abortion, she couldn’t help thinking of the baby she lost to heart complications more than 10 years ago. McDonnell called Quad City Right to Life to get some anti-abortion literature, hoping to change her neighbor’s mind. Then she went downstairs in her townhouse and typed up a note. ”Thought you might want a free picture of your baby . . . Baby Killer,” she wrote in early February.”(Okamoto)
Do these patients have rights?
I propose that abortion should be kept legal for all women. It is a choice and a right woman should have. “Choosing an abortion is seen as a woman’s fundamental right under the Constitution and one that ought to be shielded from state interference. Pro-choice advocate say the abortion decision ought to be a woman’s alone to make and that the procedure should be in demand until well in the pregnancy.”(Flanders 17)
People who believe in Pro-choice, believe that a woman should have the right to choose what is done to there bodies and that people who perform the practice or a patient should be protected from harassment from those who do not share the same belief. If a mother is unfit to bring a baby into the world and the baby would only be living in an un-nurturing environment, then the decision would be morally justified to abort the fetus. “If fetal life is scared, the self-denial basic to women’s oppression is also basic to the moral order.”(Barnet 388) The baby too has rights. It has the right to live in a loving, caring and protective environment, which are the bases for a proper and healthy development of a baby. When a fetus does not have this opportunity, by reason of poverty, product of rape or lack of ability from a mother to care for a child, then these rights are stripped from the baby. “Abortion is moral and responsible, to stop a pregnancy and prevent the birth of a child who cannot be properly cared for shows wisdom.”(Radl 49) People should then ask themselves, shouldn’t a child be raised in the best and loving environment?
Pro-choice opponents believe life should be revered and held precious by all means possible. The believe life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is a human being. “If they agree fetuses are children, why isn’t it right to resort to the most desperate measures—even violence—to save them?”(Goodstein 181) This is a view shared by the AMCLA. Any abortion is murder and is morally wrong.
I have discussed the causes and effects of the problem of abortion, my proposal and its implementation and some arguments against my proposal. Again, I propose that abortion should be kept as an option for women. There are those who oppose this view, but we all live in a democracy where everyone under the Constitution has rights.
Barnet, Sylvan, and Hugo Bedau. Current Issues & Enduring Questions. Boston, NY: Bedford St. Martins, 1999.
Flanders, Carl N. Abortion. New York, Oxford: Facts on File, 1999.
Goodstein, Laurie. Deadly Protest: An Overview. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1995.
Okamoto, Lynn. “Abortion Foes’ Note Spurs Trial.” Des Moines Register 4 Apr. 2000
Radl, Shirley L. Over Our Live Bodies: Preserving Choice in America. Dallas, TX: Steve Davis Publishing, 1989.