Abortion And Society

Abortion And Society Since the Darwinian Revolution of the 19th century our society has turned upside down. Everything under the sun had become questionable, the origin of life, how we came to be, where are we headed and what to do in the here all became questions in life. But one of the greatest impacts of this new age thinking is its effect on our Old World values. Western societies values, morals and ethics became debatable, with some people striving for change and others clinging for stability. Battle lines had been drawn and the Liberals and Conservatives were ready to duke it out on a number of issues. One of these debates centers on a womans right to have and abortion.

According to the Websters dictionary and abortion is defined as a miscarry, something misshapen or unnatural. An abortion is a procedure in which an embryo or fetus is prohibited from developing by artificial means. One could argue that this is next to murder. How can we as a society sanction the murdering of developing babies? Also it can equally be stated that abortion is unnatural and a health hazard to women who have undergone the procedure. Whatever the case, abortion should be outlawed because it is immoral and mothers should face the responsibilities of their actions. Many arguments can be used in order to put an end to abortion or at least in order to establish dialogue.

One of the oldest arguments against abortion is the religious standpoint. Western society (Canada & U.S.A.) is historically a Judeo-Christian culture with Judeo-Christian values. Although in recent times we have become an increasingly pluristic society the Old World thinking is still at the heart of our social relations and laws. The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill” thus prohibiting people from harming others or themselves. Abortion and its advocates violate this law.

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They seek to change one of the most fundamental values of our society. Pro-choice under this stance is equated with murder and “playing God”. One may raise the question, how can a minority inflict its views of the majority? According to Francis X. Meenan, this is a false assumption. He goes on to claim that those who favor abortion on demand are the real minority (Bender & Leone, 97).

He also claims that the issue of abortion is a moral debate and cannot be settled by numbers. So even if pro-choice advocates outnumbered pro-life advocates, this would prove or settle nothing (Bender & Leone, 97). This stance claims that we should focus more on moral principals and eradicate the practice of abortion in our society. The Biblical understanding of life isnt the only religious argument that opposes abortion and its practice. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many other world faiths have a similar stance on the topic at hand. Hinduism claims that the soul enters the embryo at the time of conception and abortion should hence be outlawed except in the case of rape or incest. Buddhism takes a similar stance and claims abortion is “murdering”, yet also states that each case should be individually analyzed. Islam considers abortion as a moral crime and sees life (its start finish) as the jurisdiction of God. Islamic law states that abortion is illegal except in those situations in which the womans life is in jeopardy.

The question that arises after examining these numerous perspectives is how can these practices which violate or threaten our fundamental beliefs be tolerated? The critics of the ant-abortion perspective, “pro-choice”, have arguments of their own. First and foremost they argue that biblical law and its perspectives are codes of life for believers and in a pluralistic society this view shouldnt be a reference or a deciding factor. One could imagine how it would be to have another foreign view imposed on us so why would anyone impose their views on others or the society at large? Other pro-choice arguments have went to claim that abortion isnt immoral because morality is subjective hence people decide on their own what is moral or immoral. According to Daniel C. Maguire, even religious people can disagree on abortion.

One ground for going against religion as an argument against abortion is the fact that the Church is dominated by male influence (bender & Leone, 101). Maguire wants to know how and why men have the authority to dictate what women decide to do with their bodies (Bender & Leone, 101). Is it “life” they seek to protect or is it the female “sexuality” they wish to control? The Catholic Code of Canon excommunicates one for aborting a fertilized egg, but not for killing a baby after birth. This hypocrisy thus discredits the religious argument against abortion. The counter-criticism, which in turn disproves of abortion claims that advocates of pro-choice are imposing their values on the greater population and not the other way around. In my opinion this is a good counter-strike because too often pro-choice individuals claim that the other side is being closed minded and yet seem to neglect their own errors.

The second argument, which opposes abortion, states that abortion shouldnt be a womans personal choice. Women only play one role in having a baby. There is a mans role involved and there is a new life, which under the banner of abortion would be extinguished. A pro-abortionist denies humanity to the fetus at all, a stance that shows a lack of moral character (Wennberg, 57). This perspective states that the growing fetus is an autonomous life form that has its own rights regardless and separate of the woman. I would argue that females who have undergone an abortion have infringed on the life of another human being in order to satisfy their own needs.

Other arguments opposing abortion state that if we keep abortion legal it will become a choice ethic or a new form of birth control (Wennberg, 9). Life will be a privilege only for a chosen few, the value of human life will be cheapened with people only having babies when it is convenient. Critics of this argument claim abortion should be a womans personal choice. They state that true womans liberation is intertwined with the right to bear children or the decision to abort their unborn child at will (Saarni, 104). Further claims have stated that the pro-choice argument is embedded in a larger issue which the dominant male-oriented society wants to avoid, that being feminism (Wennberg, 68). This statement regards abortion as a social issue which opens the doors for womens liberation and gives them power to make decisions in their own life.

As one could imagine this isnt a view that …