Should abortion stay legal?
by milica.vesic on September 10, 2013 - 5:29pm
For the majority of American history, women were refused the right to end any kind of unwanted pregnancy. In fact, most of these laws prohibited the practice as it was considered unsafe and harmful to women. It’s only in the 1970’s that laws have come to allow abortion in most of the states under the statement of the Fourteenth Amendment of the American Constitution saying that each people is allowed privacy. Abortions have become acceptable under the conditions that the pregnancy is at risk for the mother and the embryo. Also, the law proclaimed that mothers’ should abort in the first trimester (the first twelve to eighteen weeks of the pregnancy) in order for the abortion to be considered acceptable. Yet, polls in 2004 have shown that 92% of women have had an abortion due to social or other reasons than medical risks. This is where the issue is questioned, as people from two different groups, pro-life and pro-choice, debate upon the issue of the legality of abortion.
People from the pro-life group are those who want to outlaw abortion, therefore making it illegal again. This groups’ main argument is that the embryo is a human being and abortion therefore is a murder. In other words, they firmly believe in sanctity of life and no one should have the right to end the life of another person. In addition to this claim that embryos are human, they react on the well being of the mother, saying that an abortion can cause depressions, numbness and many other psychological reasons that affect the woman. Therefore, they also value health for women, as they try to convince them to keep their unborn babies and not have to go through the psychological downturns that mostly happen after abortions.
The other group of this debate is pro-choice, who wish to keep abortion legal. The arguments of these activists is that women have the right to choice if they are ready or not to have a child, especially if the well being of the woman is in danger. In this case, the ethical issue that they proclaim is autonomy, therefore being able to make a choice on your own, without any laws restricting this freedom. The basic of this argument comes from the historical background of the issue, as the restrictions created a lot of problems. Many women used to try to terminate the pregnancy on their own terms or by consulting a doctor that was not qualified enough, which resulted in many deaths. Therefore, this group as well says to value the health of women by stopping them to use desperate measures to end an unwanted pregnancy.
My opinion on this subject is very grey, as I am able to recognize that both sides have valuable points of supporting their argument. Therefore, I find that women should have the freedom to choose if they want to keep the embryo or not, but more restrictions should be made to not make it yet another contraceptive method.
Do you think that more restrictions are needed or are you content with what we have today?
Reference: Wagner, Geraldine. "Abortion: An overview". Web. 7 Sept. 2013. Points of View Search Premiere.