It has been more than two and a half decades since the U.S. Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade decision, opened the floodgates to abortion in America. Since then, the abortion industry has developed a number of different methods-chemical and surgical-to destroy a developing child. Abortion is defined as an expulsion or removal of the human fetus (Dictionary 12). In simpler terms it is the termination of a living person. Eventhough the fetus has not left the womb does not mean it is not alive. A late-term fetus can respond to sound, suck its thumb, and generate adult brain-wave patterns, and the newborn is the same being it was just before birth (Sagen 2). An abortion should not be allowed unless the fetus would not survive outside the womb or if the pregnancy is aresult of a rape or incest (Stanek 7).
There are two views towards abortion in todays society. People who are pro-choice believe that the decision to abort a child is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. At the same time that choice should be protected by the law whether society labels it the right or wrong choice for the situation. On the other hand pro-life advocates hold that from the moment of conception, the embryo is alive and that society has a moral obligation to preserve it under any circumkstances. For centuries, abortion has been keptliterally and figuratively, in the back alleysof society, considered unfit for public discussion or mension. For years women undergoing abortions have had to suffer their pain in silence, and many have died or been amimed as a result. Abortion is no longer a topic that is only for women, as if men played no role in the diloemma of an unwanted pregnancy that millions of women around the world face every year. Under what circumstances abortion should be legal is highly debated in many parts of the world, with arguments based on religious, moral, political, human rights and public health grounds. The idea that a woman might voluntarily choose to end a pregnancy makes many people uncomfortable and provokes outright hostility in some people.
Cases where a woman has been raped or if incest has occured, are circumstances that are not frivolous or unconsidered. Incest and rape occur in all societies, even though, for understandable reasons, their incidence is seriously unreported. Many of these victims are desperate to end any pregnancy resulting from their violation, and even countries with some of the most restrictive abortion laws sometimes permit pregnancy termination on these grounds. Psychological and mental distress are likely to occur under these circumstances. Rape victims did not make an irresponsible decision, or a bad choice, they were victims of a harmful act. A woman seeking a legal abortion after she has been raped is forced to relive the horror of her experience with family members or friends, possible with a social worker, often with a lawyer and invaribly with a doctor or nurse. Pregnant not only means carrying an unborn young, it also has the strong definition of “full of signifigance.” A child that was created through an act of violence cannot, and should not, be catagorized as significant. A woman should not have to bear the living memory of such a tragic event.
Abortion should also be a choice when the birth of the child will be the cause of death of the mother or the child. Then the choice of life should be handed over to the parents. Once again they did nothing irresponsible, and made no wrong choices to be put in this position. The government has made abortion legal (1973) in order to help society and in the best interest of the children (Hyman 3). They do not believe that a child should be born if it is unwanted, or will not be taken care of properly. Abortion is an option that is open to any woman that has the emotional stability and finances to undergo these procedures. However, some woman use abortion as a form of birth control. These woman have unprotected sex knowing that if they do get pregnant they have the choice to terminate the pregnancy. The same is true for couples that only want a healthy child to be welcomed into the world. Once they find out that their child will be born with a deformity or disability they also choose to terminate it (Hyman 3). They would rather not give a child a fair chance to live than to be treated like any responsible person and asked to live with some of their choices instead of trying to reverse them whenever it suits their fancy (Hyman 2). Society often argues that abortion is the right choice for women that are economically unfit to bare a child. They may be unstable, drug addicts, alcoholics, or of low income. To these women the best choice is to undergo an abortion so that their child does not suffer under the same circumstances. But if these woman were irresponsible enough to lead an unstable life and still get pregnant, then they should at least try to be responsible enough to ask for help and still have the child. There are groups that raise up to $100,000 for pregnancy and adoption assistance services and women’s crisis centers that are willing to help (Tagney 3).
Not only is abortion an irresponsible way to rid yourself of a “problem,” but it is harmful to the pregnant woman. Doctors have been inadequately informed on the medical risks of abortion, be writers seeking to present abortion as a risk-free procedure (National 284). The procedures of an abortion are very risky and cause strain on the women’s body. After the procedures they may experience painful cramping, bleeding, and may not even be able to have any further pregnancies. Abortion also increases the risk of cancer and carries risk to future reproduction (National 284). Since an abortion doesn’t come cheap, nor is it covered by medical insurance, women are sometimes tempted to have an “illegal abortion.” This is when a person who is not medically certified performs the abortion. There is no way of knowing that the tools used are clean or safe. This increases the risk of health problems, infection, the spread of disease, and may even cause death.