Abortion signifies the intended termination of pregnancy before birth. It has resulted in divergent views with the pro-choice movement supporting abortion and pro-life activists criticizing it. The pro-choice movement affirms that pregnant women should be given a right to either bear a child or terminate its life before term (Sedgh et al. 223-225). One of the reasons that they put forth is that a girl could have been raped and became pregnant yet she is not ready to have a baby.
On the contrary, pro-life activists assert that alternatives should be sought, for instance, offering a baby for adoption, instead of abortion since it has its right to life. The challenge they put forward is that if every pregnant woman were to have decided to abort, there would be no continuity of life and everyone, even the pro-choice themselves, would not be existing today. Abortion is a murder and should be illegal.
Arguments in Support of Abortion
The pro-choice movement is founded on the conviction that no woman should be forced by a nation’s rules illegalizing abortion, to have a baby while having valid and convincing reasons for not wanting to give birth. The affirmation presented by the pro-choice movement is that having a baby is a familial concern that is private and should not be encroached (Aiken et al. 396-398).
One group of the pro-life activists is the American Life League, which asserts that the sovereign right to life is bestowed in a person right from fertilization but does not put a specific age, a circumstance of dependency, or healthiness. Health professionals are also in a dilemma because in most instances they cannot tell whether the termination of pregnancy was induced or natural in cases where they are approached by patients in dire need of an abortion. The pro-choice movement simplifies the struggle with its affirmations that life starts at birth.
In line with the emphasis of the pro-choice movement, giving a fetus or embryo unfounded personhood violates the rights of women and girls as it interferes with their autonomy and bars them from seeking the assistance of health professionals when they need to tackle medical needs such as abortion concerns. People who are opposed to abortion are insensitive. For instance, they are not concerned with the manner in which the life of a teenager will be affected when denied an opportunity to abort.
Without abortion, teenage pregnancy results in most girls dropping out of school. A different concern that they overlook is the trauma that a family will go through in case the law compels them to have an unwanted baby (Jones and Jerman 3-7). The pro-life activists are also rigid and have no understanding so long as their ideas and convictions are followed. For instance, they believe that once a woman becomes pregnant, whether after being raped or not, she must have a baby at whichever cost, and could try adoption after birth. What they fail to respond to or comprehend is that after birth, the baby could lack someone willing to adopt it or it might take too long, hence hindering the mother from continuing with life endeavors as planned.
According to the pro-choice movement, one thing that pro-life activists fail to take into consideration is that the law will not stop pregnant girls and women from illegally and secretly having an abortion after unwanted pregnancies.
After all, although drugs are illegal, many people are still using them. Laws on abortion will compel pregnant girls and women to carry out abortion in unsafe conditions, which will leave them at risk of terminating their lives over and above that of the fetus or embryo (Sedgh et al. 226-229). The fact is that if pregnant women and girls are determined to abort, whether it is legal or illegal, nothing can hinder them. Therefore, it is illogical for pro-life activists to put much importance in the life of an unborn baby while not concerned with whether they are jeopardizing the life of the mother.
Arguments against Abortion
The pro-life activists affirm that only less than 20% of all abortions are rape-related or concerning minors. Therefore, they state that other alternatives would work rightfully instead of abortion (Thomas et al. 357-360). One of the most successful options is to have protected sex if one is not ready to have a baby. Another approach would be to have the baby and allow other people to care for the child or adopt it instead of terminating its life.
One could quickly get rid of the unwanted baby by contacting organizations that are designed to assist in getting homes for babies who do not have proper parents. Offering the baby for adoption gives an amicable solution to couples who want a child but cannot have one because of infertility. These alternatives show that abortion is unnecessary and a criminal offense no matter the reason presented.
Pro-life activists affirm that abortion should be avoided since, whether done in safe or unsafe conditions, in most cases it leaves the patient with psychological and health problems. For instance, many women and girls have suffered infections, hemorrhage, and death following an abortion (Thomas et al. 358-361). Breast cancer is the most prevalent risk of having an abortion because of the changed or interrupted breast structure.
Cancerous processes are evident in the transitional cells of women and girls who have carried out an abortion. The more aborts person had, the higher the likelihood of getting breast cancer. To make the matter worse, over 25% of the women who develop abortion-related breast cancers die. Additionally, despite the temporary relief after an abortion, most women and girls express associated stress. The symptoms of abortion-related stress encompass remorse, flashbacks, drug abuse, fury, suicidal ideations, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism, and hallucination. Such facts show that abortion is itself dangerous and risky, and should be prohibited.
Abortion should be illegal as it is equivalent to murder since it involves the killing of an already developed organism. After the first month of pregnancy, the heart of the embryo starts pumping, and there is the emergence of legs, arms, brain, nose, mouth, and ears. During this period, it is possible to record the brainwaves and perceive the pulse rate. Moreover, there is the development of bones, and the brain manages the progress of organs where the unborn baby can reflexively react to stimuli. All these processes occur before the earliest possible surgical abortion can be carried out (White et al. 189-193). This affirms that though the fetus is unborn, having an abortion subjects it to excruciating pain and torture. The disadvantages of abortion outweigh its benefits.
Abortion denotes the deliberate ending of a pregnancy before term. It has raised divergent opinions with the pro-choice movement affirming that pregnant women should be given freedom to either bear a child or not. In contrast, pro-life activists claim that alternatives such as adoption should be sought instead of abortion since an unborn baby has its right to life. Abortion is tantamount to killing and should be illegalized.
Aiken, Abigail, et al. “Requests for Abortion in Latin America in the Wake of Zika Virus.” The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 375, no. 4, 2016, pp. 396-400.
Jones, Rachel, and Jenna Jerman. “Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2011.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, vol. 46, no. 1, 2014, pp. 3-14.
Sedgh, Gilda, et al. “Adolescent Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion Rates across Countries: Levels and Recent Trends.” Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 56, no. 2, 2015, pp. 223-230.
Thomas, Rachel, et al. “Anti-Legal Attitude toward Abortion among Abortion Patients in the United States.” Contraception, vol. 96, no. 5, 2017, pp. 357-364.
White, Kari, et al. “Women’s Knowledge of and Support for Abortion Restrictions in Texas: Findings from a Statewide Representative Survey.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, vol. 48, no. 4, 2016, pp. 189-197.