Should Abortion Be Legalized? Essay
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The topic that I chose for my argumentative essay is about the topic of abortion. Abortion has been a controversial topic for a very long time. The dictionary definition of abortion is “A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus”(Merriam-Webster). Many people believe that this procedure is wrong and immoral. These people, who are categorized as “pro-lifers”, often times forget that by making abortion illegal does not mean that abortion will be stopped. In fact by making abortion illegal you will cause the number of unsafe abortions to go up which can cause a much higher mortality rate in women seeking an abortion. This makes the term “pro-life” somewhat ironic because of the future implications of their…show more content…
The topic that I chose for my argumentative essay is about the topic of abortion. Abortion has been a controversial topic for a very long time. The dictionary definition of abortion is “A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus”(Merriam-Webster). Many people believe that this procedure is wrong and immoral. These people, who are categorized as “pro-lifers”, often times forget that by making abortion illegal does not mean that abortion will be stopped. In fact by making abortion illegal you will cause the number of unsafe abortions to go up which can cause a much higher mortality rate in women seeking an abortion. This makes the term “pro-life” somewhat ironic because of the future implications of their decision to make abortion illegal.
The first argument for keeping abortion legal is in the case of rape victims. In 1996 the Medical University of South Carolina conducted a study and found that there was approximately a 5% chance that women who were raped would become pregnant. This meant that about 32,000 women became pregnant because of rape each year in the United States. Of these 32,000 women only 32.2% decided to keep the baby whereas the majority of women decided to undergo abortion (NCBI). Those who do not support abortion believe that the woman that is raped should be forced to keep the child even if she is not financially, emotionally, or mentally up to the task. The child that the new mother is now responsible for may struggle
An abortion is the “removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in, or caused by, its death” (“Abortion”). Most women who want to get rid of their unborn child choose abortion as an escape from pregnancy. In the United States of America, women decide to terminate “about 25% of their pregnancies through abortion” (“Overview of Abortion”). They believe that by having an abortion they could do away with the trouble of going through pregnancy, and eventually having to raise a child. There are a lot of reasons why abortion is resorted to and the issue of abortion has caused the never-ending debate between the “pro-lifers” and the “pro-choicers”. The former, as the individuals who want to put a stop to abortion as it is a blatant disregard of the fetus’ right to life. I am one of the “pro-lifers”, and I do believe that abortion should be illegal.
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It has been said that during the Roman times, “abortion and the destruction of unwanted children was permissible, but as out civilization has aged, it seems that such acts were no longer acceptable by rational human beings, so that in 1948, Canada along with most other nations in the world signed a declaration of the United Nations promising every human being the right to life” (“The Abortion Debate”). Thus, it is unexpected that most countries all over the globe still consider abortion as legal having as basis the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)). The case involved a pregnant woman who instituted an action scrutinizing the constitutionality of the Texas abortion laws, which proscribes any abortion save for instances where the same is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life (“Major Laws Concerning Abortion”). I believe, however, that the reasoning of the Court in this case is not reasonable. Clearly, the concern is on the woman’s exercise of her right to decide while the right of the child or the fetus is being neglected, if not forgotten. It must be borne in mind that “bearing children is the natural result of sexual intercourse under favorable conditions, it is not forced upon women by the United States government” (“9 Reasons”). So also, it is noteworthy that this leading case supporting abortion is not without flaws. “The Supreme Court's decisions in Roe and Doe did not address a number of important abortion-related issues which have been raised subsequently by state actions seeking to restrict the scope of the Court's rulings. These include the issues of informed consent, spousal consent, parental consent, and reporting requirements” (“Capital Punishment”).
I believe that the life of the woman is not, and should not be the sole concern. The life of the baby must also be considered. Together with other Pro-lifers, I am of the opinion that “at conception, a human life with its own unique DNA comes into being” (“An Overview”). Life begins as early as conception, and as early as that time, the life must already be protected. This is the stand taken by us, pro-lifers and we support our battle against abortion by saying that “human personhood” begins at the instant of conception and since abortion has for its purpose, the termination of the life of the fetus, then each abortion is a form of murder (“An Overview”). Therefore, although there is a necessity of protecting the rights of the woman as regards her option of resorting to abortion, the life of the conceived child must also be accorded ample protection. This could only be done by describing the process of abortion as illegal.
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of reasons why women consider going through the process of abortion. More often than not, most of these reasons are the same ones that justify the legality of abortion. The more popular reasons are rape, unplanned pregnancy and incest. However, it must be borne in mind that regardless of the seriousness of such reasons, they cannot be considered as sufficient in order to validate the deliberate disregard of the fetus’ right to life. In an article, it was correctly stated that rape and incest are inadequate reasons for considering an abortion, thus: pregnancy resulting from rape or incest is a tragedy. Rape is a detestable crime, but no sane reasoning can place the slightest blame on the unborn child it might produce. Incest is, if that is possible, even worse, but for centuries, traditional Jewish law has clearly stated, that if a father sins against his daughter (incest) that does not justify a second crime - the abortion of the product of that sin (“The Abortion Debate”).
So also, unplanned pregnancy should not be considered as an excuse for deciding to have an abortion. If crimes like rape and incest are not considered by pro-lifers as convincing reasons for legalizing adoption, then all the more should pregnancies resulting for faulty decision-making be not considered as justifiable reasons for abortion. As stated in another article. The act which will stop abortion is the act of making the decision to be more careful regarding sexual activity and to be responsible for the consequences of sexual activity, including the consequence of an unwanted pregnancy.
No nation committed to individual liberty could seriously consider the wholesale murder of helpless babies with little concern for the concern for the well being of the babies. Women aren't forced to bear children, they choose to bear children by the act of having sexual intercourse. (“9 Reasons”)
Thus, carelessness as regards sexual activity entails responsibility. The result of a faulty-decision decision- making cannot be eradicated simply by deciding to have an abortion. I believe that in order to teach responsibility as regards sexuality activity, then abortion should be illegal. Otherwise, it will only aggravate irresponsibility towards sexual activity since there will always be an easy way out of every unplanned pregnancy.
Another reason why I believe abortion should be illegal is because it does not only speak of adverse effects to the life of the child but also to the health and well-being of the woman who has undergone an abortion. It is due to the lack of education and information about abortion that women who resort to abortion do not know what abortion could do to their bodies (Kuroda 1996). So also, going through the process of abortion could bring about emotional depression. Women, who want to get rid of their unborn child, make hasty decisions—resorting to abortion—without even having availed of information as regards the possible consequences of the process of abortion. The sad part is that these consequences are negative and unfavorable.
The adverse effects brought about by abortion to the health of the woman are reason enough to strike down abortion as illegal. Infertility is considered as one of the possible effects of having an abortion. It is thus possible that after an abortion, the woman could no longer bear a child. Dr. Stipal, Czechoslovakia's Deputy Minister of Health states that "roughly 25% of the women who interrupt their first pregnancy have remained permanently childless" (qtd. in “Do Abortions Cause Infertility?”). Thus, the pregnancy terminated by the woman through the process of abortion could be her only pregnancy. As correctly stated, “in aborting a 16 year old this year with so-called informed consent, we may be preventing her from having even 1 or 2 children 10 years later when happily married” (“The Abortion Debate”). I believe that this kind of danger posted to the health of the woman is reason enough to consider abortion as illegal.The damaging consequences of abortion are not limited to the physical well-being of the woman but also to her emotional well-being. A number of emotions can be felt by the woman who is going through the decision of whether to have an abortion or not. Truly, abortion is not an easy decision to make, and in the process of decision-making, a lot of emotions may be experienced by the woman. The damage is caused by the fact that no positive emotion can be brought about by the decision to consider an adoption. As stated in an article.
Many pro-life groups conclude that a large percentage of women who have undergone an abortion; experience serious depression, and massive feelings of guilt. This has been called "Post-traumatic abortion syndrome," "Post abortion syndrome," "Post-abortion stress syndrome," "PAS," and "PASS". (“Post Abortion Syndrome)
There is no certainty as to how long the woman who had an abortion would stay depressed. I also believe that there is even a possibility that the depression and guilty feeling brought about by abortion will never go away. The mental and emotional trauma caused by abortion is another one of my reasons why it is but proper to consider abortion as illegal.
In sum, it is my submission that the negative effects caused by abortion calls for the State to interfere and consider abortion as illegal. The protection of the woman’s right to choose abortion cannot override the right of a child to life. In abortion, not only the woman is involved but the fetus too. I believe that even the unborn child is entitled to protection under the law. So also, an unsound decision as regards sexual activity is not reason enough to murder an unbornchild, whose life is already entitled to protection. The irresponsibility towards sexual activity should not be tolerated. The truth is that the negative effects of abortion are undeniable. It brings harmful effects to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the woman who underwent abortion. It is true that they were able to get rid of the pregnancy, but I believe that in the long run, the murder that they have committed against the baby would disturb them. More importantly, it is a blatant disregard of the fundamental right of a child to life. I believe that regardless of how small this life is, it is still considered a life which must not only be protected, but also respected.
- Kuroda, Miki. “Why I Believe That Abortions Should Be Illegal”. 1996.
- Steinmeitz, Israel. “9 Reasons Why Abortions Should Be Illegal”. 1998
- “Abortion”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2006.
- “Abortion: An Overview” Religious Tolerance. 2006.
- “Capital Punishment”. Almanac of Policy Issues.
- “Do Abortions Cause Infertility?”. Religious Tolerance. 2006.
- “The Abortion Debate -- A Pro-Life Stance”. Studyworld. 2004
- “Major Laws Concerning Abortion”. Religious Tolerance. 2004.
- “Post Abortion Syndrome”. Religious Tolerance. 2006.