Thesis: Abortion should not be legalized.
There are however a few exceptions towards such an approach. Abortion can be allowed in cases of rape, incense, where the life of a woman is in danger because of a pregnancy or where a fetus is severely malformed.
- It is an intentional killing of an innocent human being
- It endangers the life of the mother
- Abortion violates another’s human rights
- It is morally wrong and any morally wrong action should not be legalized
- Abortion deprives society of important persons
Anti-thesis: Abortion should be legalized.
- Abortion gives a woman the right to control her body
- It helps a woman to control her reproductive process
- It prevents the birth of unwanted children
- Legal abortion controls the number of deaths from abortion
Synthesis: Illegal or legal abortion?
- Disadvantages of restricting abortion
- Disadvantages of legalizing abortion
- Possible solutions to abortion
Abortion is a term used to refer to abnormal or premature termination of a pregnancy and can either be induced or spontaneous. Spontaneous abortion refers to an abnormal termination of pregnancy mainly due to illness in the woman carrying the pregnancy or as a result of genetic disorders or defects in the formation of the embryo. Induced abortion, which is the topic of discussion in this paper, refers to an external intervention through which a pregnancy is intentionally terminated. Induced abortion is a personal as well as social problem that has attracted widespread global debate and a topic that has had profound ethical, cultural, religious, medical, psychological and political implications (Faundes and Barzelatto, 2006). While abortion has been legally practiced in many societies all over the world, most people still hold to the view that it is murder; the murder of an innocent unborn child. For those who believe in God, it is clear that procreation was God’s plan of bringing forth new life and it is therefore virtually wrong to destroy such a precious gift from God. But even non-religious people are well aware that human life starts at conception and everybody accepts that it is wrong to kill another human being therefore making abortion an outright wrong against humanity. Murder through abortion should therefore not be legalized (McBride, 2007).
Abortion should not be legalized
Since medieval times, abortions have been induced using very primitive methods that have gradually evolved into modern medications and surgical procedures although crude methods are still used to procure abortions especially among the disadvantaged classes in society. Crude methods such as herbal teas, different portions and forceful massage of the woman’s abdomen have been widely used but such methods have always resulted in incomplete abortions characterized by severe uterine infections that necessitate emergency intervention in order to save the woman’s life. Induced abortions carried out in unhygienic conditions have been the cause of such complications (Faundes and Barzelatto, 2006).
There are several reasons why women seek and carry out abortions the most common ones being unwanted pregnancies, failed contraceptive methods, incest and rape. Incest and rape for example often put many women in the family way when they are least prepared for it and the circumstances under which the pregnancy comes about leaves the affected women with no option but to abort. Abortion has also often been recommended by medical experts in circumstances where a woman’s physical and mental health are endangered by a pregnancy or the fetus is physically impaired and has little or no chance of growing up into a normal human being. But an unborn child is a human being and holds the same rights to life as the mother and therefore no woman is justified to kill a baby/babies. Even in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, any instance of death for both mother and child becomes evil (MariAnna 2002; McClain, 2006).
The act of abortion is a cruel and inhuman practice, possibly the worst kind of injustice carried out against an unborn child. Through abortion, a pregnant woman takes advantage of the fact that an unborn child is defenseless and helpless and goes on to deny such a child the most fundamental right that any human being can have, a right to life. Abortion also denies such a child the chance to grow up into a productive member of society. Morally, a woman who chooses to procure an abortion except on medical grounds is regarded as very selfish, inhuman and lacking moral standing. Practically all human societies view life as a God-given natural gift that should be enjoyed by all and as a result, a woman who has procured an abortion is considered a murderer. Considering the fact that those going through abortion were never denied a right to life, it is natural and fair that this right is equally passed on to the unborn children (Lockhart, 2000).
Abortion is a plague that characterizes a society that is gradually losing its moral grip by treating unborn children like garbage. Today’s society is overly promiscuous and sex has lost its meaning as a method of procreation and has instead become a source of pleasure. This has been made worse by the rampant individualism that encourages those who fall pregnant in the process of seeking pleasure to get rid of the pregnancies. Pro-abortionists primarily focus their campaigns upon individual choice and autonomy but deny the very fact that the human race has always survived through relationships, the most important of them all being the parent/child relationship. Women therefore have a moral obligation over any form of human life that is forming inside of them and even if they hold a right over their bodies, they have no right whatsoever to kill unborn babies (McBride 2007).
Depending on the circumstances leading to a pregnancy, a woman may be pressurized to go through an abortion by a spouse, male friend or even family even when she is personally unwilling to do so. For such a woman, the lifelong guilt of killing an innocent child can be destructive to her health and life or even lead to involvement in drug addiction and crime. Abortion therefore has to be stopped for the protection of such women and their unborn children. If such court decisions as the Roe v Wade that took place in the USA cannot be overturned, then the constitution must be amended to give protection to unborn life as well (McBride 2007).
Abortion should be legalized
Unfortunately for women, a pregnancy is not something that one can walk away from but a process that affects not only a woman’s body, but her life as well. It is therefore essential that every woman is given opportunity to make decision over whether to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. If safe and legal abortions are not accessible, then women are forced to unwillingly remain pregnant and pregnancy in this case turns from being a woman’s joy to being a tragedy. It is important to legalize abortion so that women can be able to exercise such a choice (McBride, 2007).
Abortions that are performed medically or surgically, by trained professionals, in a proper environment, and using the necessary resources, are considered to be safe because there are lesser chances of illness or death. Maternal mortality is very rare and there are few incidences of complications arising from clinical abortion. This is especially in those cases where abortion is carried out in the early stages of pregnancy normally before twelve weeks. Abortions are however performed in advanced pregnancy for medical reasons where the woman’s life is in danger or the fetus is severely malformed. In fact, mortality and morbidity are said to be lower in such abortions than in normal child deliveries (Faundes and Barzelatto 2006).
Pregnancy is unique to women and a condition whose burdens only the women and not men have had to bear. Women should therefore be accorded and be able to enjoy the legal right of controlling their own reproductive life. But opponents to legal abortion argue that legalizing abortion is an outright indication of irresponsibility on the part of the women and irresponsibility should not be licensed. They argue that abortion is a wrong not only to the woman but to the unborn innocent life. Pro-abortionists argue that legal abortion would lead to wider accessibility of clinically induced and safe abortion and therefore help to reduce the number of deaths resulting from backstreet abortions. Legalizing abortion will also offer some hope for victims of rape and incest who should not be forced to bear children that they do not desire. But legalizing this process does not make it affordable to all who wish to have abortion and many financially disadvantaged women still resort to backstreet abortions (McClain, 2006).
Illegal or legal abortion?
As much as abortion is cruel and murderous, making it illegal does not help to eliminate the practice. With or without laws, women especially in developing countries continue to seek abortion from friends, back alleys or self-induced miscarriage through which most of them end up being hospitalized for life-threatening infections and damaged uteruses. Many young and hopefully productive women have lost their lives through unhygienic and crude methods of abortion. Abortion may not be recommended for birth control but should be availed as an intervention for incest and rape victims as well as very young girls who may not be physically and psychologically prepared for the family way. Legal abortion provides necessary protection for the lives of women in danger of death as a result of complicated pregnancy (Faundes and Barzelatto, 2006).
By restricting abortion, any state interferes with constitutionally guaranteed gender equality. This is because through abortion restriction laws, women’s bodies are conscripted into state service, forcing the women to unwillingly go through the uncertainties of pregnancy and pain of childbirth. Such laws also lead to the birth of many unwanted children whose social status may expose them to such malpractices as child neglect and abuse. Children exposed to social injustices do not grow up to be productive aspects of the societies they live but instead become prone to such evils as crime and drug abuse. The view that abortion leads to psychological disturbance in women is shallowly grounded. Most women are already under psychological pressure before the abortion and although some of them have reported negative psychological impacts of abortion, few of them would choose childbirth if given opportunity to reverse their decision (McClain 2006; MariAnna, 2002).
Legalizing abortion on the other hand does not guarantee a woman’s reproductive freedom or liberty unless contraceptive information and services are readily available. Contraception and a woman’s right to say no to sexual intimacy can greatly help a woman to plan her family by giving her a chance to bear legitimate children and raising such children into healthy and happy citizens (McBride 2007). Legalized abortion also permits irresponsible sex with an unwillingness to accept its consequences. Although majority of Americans for example have widely supported a woman’s right to abort, many of them support various restrictions that make the availability of abortion services harder for women. Furthermore, the gap between public approval for abortion and the reasons that lead many women to seek abortion remains very wide (McClain, 2006).
Abortion, except for medical reasons, remains a morally unacceptable practice and although solutions may vary between societies, there is dire need of educating women about responsible sex and the use of contraception. Women can also be made aware of the trauma and dangers associated with abortion and alternatives such as adoption made more attar active. If every society would be able to restore and maintain morality at considerable levels, the abortion issue would be addressed from its roots and a solution found in due time (Lockhart, 2000).
- Faundes, A. and Barzelatto, J. (2006). The human drama of abortion: A global search for consensus. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.
- Lockhart, J. (2000). Moral uncertainty and its consequences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
- MariAnna, C. (2002). Abortion: A collective story. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
- McBride, D. (2007). Abortion in the United States: A reference handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO
- McClain, L. (2006). The place of families: Fostering capacity, equality and responsibility. Standort: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.