The Issues of Abortion Abortion has become one of the most controversial topics of the twentieth century. The act of ending a pregnancy before birth is abortion. It is hard to find someone who does not have an opinion on abortion today. About ninety percent of abortions occur during the women's first trimester, which accounts for approximately 1.
8 million abortions per year. Nine percent of abortions take place in the second trimester, and the last one percent occurs after twenty-one weeks (Callahan 145). Most people are either pro-choice or pro-life. On average, the pro-choice individual believes abortion is a private issue and the mother should have the right to choose the destiny of the fetus. Pro-life individuals believe a life is started once conception has occurred, therefore abortion is murder. Abortion is an act of man playing god, which was thoroughly introduced by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the mid 1800's.
The two sides of abortion both have worthy arguments with solid and effective support for their views. People who oppose abortions believe life of the fetus begins right after conception. The chief opponent of abortion is probably the Roman Catholic Church. Many physicians oppose abortions because it is their job and belief to save lives, not end them. Opponents to abortion believe "if left to run its natural course, (pregnancy) would ultimately result in the birth of a human being' (Schwarz). Another argument against abortion is that laws allowing abortion will increase irresponsible pregnancies.
This will lead to disrespect for human life and over-use of abortion. Opponents to abortion believe life begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg. Ergo, destroying an embryo or fetus is morally wrong and even considered murder. These arguments give good reasoning behind the need to abolish abortion, however the counterpart also has concrete arguments. Most pro-abortion individuals believe abortion is a private issue and the decision should be made by the mother of the embryo or fetus. "Many persons also approve of abortion because they do not believe a fetus is a complete human being, and therefore is not entitled to the rights normally given to humans' (Callahan 145).
This argument shows that human life does not begin shortly after conception, which is in disagreement with opposers to abortion. This disagreement causes wide controversy, but there has been no consensus or justification on the time an embryo or fetus is considered a human being. "Why should a child who would be unwanted and unloved be brought into this world?' (Cain). If the women was not given the choice then who would care for the baby and love and raise it? Also if abortion became illegal, there would be many unsafe and unclean abortions taking place.
"Bill Baird rushed to the side of a woman ‘ … who was covered in blood from the waist down, with an eight inch piece of coat hanger sticking out of her uterus,' he said. ‘ She died'' (Cain). This women was trying to have an illegal abortion in 1963 when disaster struck and she died attempting this unclean and unsafe abortion. By keeping abortion legal the number of illegal and unsafe abortions would decrease. Another situation where abortions seem justified is when a women has been raped. For obvious reasons the women may decide against having the child, thus needing an abortion.
In some situations an abortion is necessary for the survival of the mother. These abortions often take place in the third trimester when there is only a small chance the infant will live and a large chance that the mother will suffer terminal health problems or possibly die. Pro-choice individuals see the need to keep abortions legal and find it legitimate to terminate a pregnancy. I myself am pro-choice and believe the choice for an abortion should be a private issue left up to the mother and father of the embryo or fetus.
I can not find justification for bringing an unwanted, undesired, unappreciated, unloved baby into this world. To illegalize abortion would be taking away from the civil rights of the women, which would be unconstitutional in the United States. Nobody should be allowed to interfere in the choice of abortion when the decision will impact the woman for the rest of her life. Some women, however, may use abortion as a contraceptive. I believe women with repeated abortions should suffer some consequences of the law. My final argument is if you can not trust a women with a choice, how can you trust her with a child? The issue of abortion has stirred up a lot of controversy and debate.
Unfortunately, the issue has, in some cases, resulted in violence. The violence has come from the protests of the pro-life supporters. "They protest that abortions are murder, but still feel it is okay to murder those who choose to be pro-choice' (Cain). A total of eight assassinations have occurred like that of Dr. David Gunn who was killed because he performed abortions in a clinic in Florida. There have also been many attempted or successful bombings of clinics.
These acts have startled many pro-choice individuals and especially employees of abortion clinics. They have come to see a great deal of disgust and rejection to their job, which frightens them and strikes them with a sense of horror. The issue of abortion will be around till the end of time, and the controversy will continue. If the opposing sides work together to form a compromise, the tension between the two may be weakened but never destroyed. With the two sides working against eachother and not attempting to come to a consensus the issue will linger on. This issue will impact many women and men in the years to come, and for the time being, they have a moral dilemma that they must solve on their own..