Page 1 of 7 Many have argued over the legality of abortion. Pro-life activists believe that every child conceived should be born. They also believe abortion is murder. On the other hand, pro-choice activists feel life does not begin at conception but at birth. Also pro-choice activists believe the child inside is the mothers property.
In this paper I will look at both sides and come to a conclusion. Abortion has been practiced since the beginning of civilization. Throughout history, societies have used a wide range of methods to force a pregnancy to an early and unnatural end. Until the advent of modern medical practices and understanding, women were subject to primitive procedures, often improvised, including the common use of poisonous concoctions to induce abortion (Flanders, 4). It was awfully terrible to know that women had to go through so much pain as a result of a pregnancy. During the twelfth century in ancient Assyria, abortion was a crime under the Assyrian Code.
Women who violated the code were tried and, if convicted, impaled on a stake and denied the dignity of burial. The Jewish law forbade abortion as a way of avoiding childbirth, except when necessary to save the mothers life (4). The law was a good thing in a way because abortion should not be used as a form of birth control. If you have enough responsibility to get pregnancy, you have enough responsibility to raise a child.
During the classical era, Greece allowed abortion. Practitioners either performed surgery or dispensed drugs. An abortionists failure to inform the father was criminally punishable. During this time, philosophers Aristotle and Plato both advocated abortion as a way to control population (4). I think Plato and Aristotle were wrong because abortion shouldnt control the population but people should. However, the father does have the right to know if his baby is being killed.
In ancient Rome the fetus generally was considered a part of the woman and abortion was legal. A husband who demanded his wife have an abortion was acting within social norms. Also he had the right to punish or divorce his wife if she had an abortion without his consent. Several millennia ago population control was rarely a factor.
Women were not preoccupied with limiting family size. Instead, abortions were more likely sought to end pregnancies resulting from adultery or prostitution (4). The law was clearly unfair to women if the men made their choice to have a child or not. The first teachings of the Christian church scarcely mentioned abortion. However, by the end of the first century A.D. the church had proclaimed it a sin. In the fifth century a split developed between the Eastern and Western Catholic churches.
While the Eastern church universally condemned abortion, Western Catholic theologians condoned procedures during early stages of pregnancy (4). The Western Catholic church shouldnt have condoned abortion in the early stages if they werent going to overlook it in the later stages.