During the past quarter century, abortion has joined race and war as one of the most popular subjects of controversy in the United States. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that challenges the way many of us think and feel. There are many points of view toward abortion but the only two fine distinctions are “pro-choice” and “pro-life”. A pro-choicer would feel that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mothers and the state has no right to interfere. A pro-lifer would hold that from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is person. This life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it and that abortion is tantamount to murder. As with all arguments, there are strengths and weaknesses to both sides. I personally feel that since I have never been in the position to make the decision of whether or not to have an abortion, I cannot take one side or the other. I do however feel that abortion should remain legal because the consequences of it becoming illegal far outweigh the benefits.
The traditional argument against abortion basically says that killing an innocent person is wrong. And I agree with that. But it also says that abortion is the same as murder. Therefore making abortion is wrong too. But the weakness in this argument is that we do not have a clear definition of a person. No scientific proof has been established that says that a fetus in the womb is an actual person. So we cannot compare abortion to murder if we can’t even define it.
More modern arguments for abortion say that it doesn’t matter if the fetus is a person or not. Judith Thompson says that if the man and woman have taken all precautions against pregnancy and a pregnancy still results, than that women is not responsible for the pregnancy and may abort if she so chooses. Under the 14th Amendment, women are given the right to receive an abortion. The 14th Amendment’s concept of “personal liberty” restrictions on state action is enough to allow a woman to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The right to choose to have an abortion is so personal and essential to women’s lives that without this right, women cannot exercise other fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution
In 1973 the Roe v. Wade decision recognized abortion as a fundamental constitution right and made it legal in all states. The law now permits abortion at the request of the women without any restrictions in the first trimester and some restrictions in the second trimester to protect the women’s health. Many countries have followed our decision on the abortion issue. These include Canada, England, and France. Other countries still believe abortion should be illegal, they include Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand. The National Abortion Right Act League argues that without legalized abortion, women would be denied their constitutional right of privacy and liberty. The women’s right to her own body subordinates those of the fetus and the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade argued that the women’s “right to privacy” overruled the fetus’s right to life. If abortion were illegal it would force poor women to bear and raise children they can’t afford to bring up. There would be a number of unsafe abortions in back allies. I compare it to prohibition. Just because something is illegal, that doesn’t mean it won’t be done. It would also force women to give up their dreams and stay home to bring up babies. Worst of all, it would condemn victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their violator. Abortion is necessary for women to have control over their own bodies and life. Women should not be forced to have babies they don’t want. They must be able to decide what happens to them and have a safe and legal way of doing so. The practical assertion that since pregnancy involves a woman’s body, the choice of continuing that pregnancy must be hers alone. This was the first given theoretical articulation and defense by Judith Thomson.
However, abortion is considered murder by nearly half of all Americans. Pro-lifers believe that human life begins at the moment of conception. When the merge of the egg and sperm is complete, the egg is then fertilized and known as the “zygote”. The zygote contains a full set of 46 chromosomes, which is required to create a human life. Scientists identify that at the moment of fertilization the ovum takes on an entirely different destiny, life. About 15,000 genes from the sperm and ovum form a unique combination. This is nothing less than a new human life at its earlier stage of life.
I’m not saying that abortion is right or wrong but if a women cannot choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, she is denied the right to the “possession and control” of her own body. And one of the most sacred rights of common law is to choose. So if a woman cannot do this, than one of her most important possessions is taken away.