Many people talk about many issues. Some are more heated than others are. Abortion is an issue that divides are nation like no other. Religions, sexes, and even political parties take opposite sides on the issue. The question is, which opinion is morally permissible?
What is abortion you might ask? In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, abortion was defined as induced termination of pregnancy and expulsion of embryo or fetus: cessation of normal growth, prior to full development or maturation. In simple terms, the killing of an embryo and extracting it.
Where did all this rage and brewing arguments come from? Well, in 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jane Roe in a 7-2 decision. This decision allowed abortions to be legal in all 50 states that were performed within the first trimester of pregnancy. Prior to this decision, an abortion was only performed to save a mother’s life. Since this controversial decision was made, the issue of abortion rings throughout American society everyday (Goldman, Jerry).
As soon after the decision in 1973, the American people quickly jumped to one side or another. These two sides were pro-life and pro-choice. A pro-choice person believes that this developing embryo is merely a mass of tissue just as developing skin cells or liver cells. This person believes that it is the woman’s choice whether to have the baby or not. The baby is being carried within her body and being provided nutrients by her, and stopping the development of this fetus for any reason is not wrong. This group strongly agrees with the 1973 Supreme Court decision and pushes for more abortion rights.
A pro-lifer believes that the unborn child is a human being and has the right to live. Aborting this unborn child is considered an act of murder to this group. John Noonan is a professor of law at the University of Berkeley. Noonan is a Roman Catholic philosopher who argues abortion is morally wrong. He defends the conservative view (pro-life) by stating, “an entity becomes a person at conception and that abortion, except to save the mother’s life, is morally wrong.” He believes that fetuses are innocent human beings, and since it is wrong to kill innocent human beings, which fetuses are innocent humans, it is wrong to kill fetuses. (Abortion) Noonan asks the question: How do you determine the humanity of a being? He goes on to give many examples of the humanity of a fetus, so fourth concluding it is a being. (Human Rights and Abortion)
Noonan goes on to discuss the issue of viability. Pro-choice argues that a fetus is not viable based on the fact that it is absolutely dependent on the life of the mother. He argues that a one, three, even five-year-old child is absolutely dependent on its mother, because uncared for, the child will die just as quickly as the fetus. Since a five-year-old child is considered a human being, viability seems to have no special acquisition of humanity. (Human Rights and Abortion)
Why do this young woman want or have abortions? It could be as simple as a money issue or as crucial to save one’s life. A young girl, around the age of 18, engages in sex and becomes pregnant might not have to financial stability to nurture and care for a child. Also, this teenager might also be fulfilling their dreams of receiving a college education and do not want to give that up to care for a child. On the flip side, a pregnant woman has just found out that having this child would put her own life at high risk. Another woman just got back lab results saying the baby will grow up deformed or retarded. These examples are merely a tip of the iceberg why women have abortions, but all seem to be a valid reason to pro-choice people to obtain an abortion (Abortion TV).
Women then have the choice of exterminating the embryo or fetus. Such examples of doing away with the embryo are dilation, suction method, hysterectomy, saline process, D and X abortion, and Ru-486. A dilation is performed by inserting a knife into the womb and cutting the placenta and fetus into pieces, which are then scraped out. In the second gruesome procedure, a vacuum tube is inserted in the womb. The fetus is torn into pieces, once again, and remains are sucked out into a bottle. This is called the suction method. A hysterectomy is when a mother’s abdomen and uterus is surgically opened and the embryo is lifted out. Almost all embryos are alive and then killed or left to die. The fourth shocking procedure is called the saline process. It is performed by inserting a large needle into the abdomen wall and in the embryo’s amniotic sac. A concentrated salt in then injected into the woman which causes the embryo to inhale and swallow it. After an hour of struggle, the embryo dies.(Aaron Women’s Health Center)
The D and X abortion is completed when the cervix is dilated. A clamp then reaches up the birth canal and grasps the leg of the embryo. The leg is then pulled out. This goes on until on the head is left inside. This is when a pair of scissors is jabbed into the embryo’s skull causing the head to collapse. Now the embryo can slip out.
Using a pill performs the next two abortions. The prostaglandin abortion is when the woman takes a pill causing her body to go into labor no matter what stage of development the fetus is in. The Ru-486 abortion is a little different. A pill is taken which causes the starvation of essential nutrients, hormones, and progesterone to the embryo. The embryo slowly dies. (Aaron Women’s Health Center)
Being a legalized act, abortions occur everyday in every state, even every country. The jaw-dropper is the statistics. In 1990, a striking 1,429,577 abortions were performed. (Abortion Tv) That is over one million legalized murders in only one year. Since the Roe vs. Wade decision, approximately 38 million abortions have been recorded, and that statistic only dates to the year 1998. The next odd statistic is the percentage of why these women have the abortion. Only 3% have abortions to save one’s own life. That leaves 1% to rape and incest cases, 1% to fetal abnormalities occurrences, and a staggering 95% for merely birth control. (Recent Polls on Abortion) Too many abortions are being performed for insignificant reasons. Only 1/20th of the abortions being done have part good excuses, but still, no excuse allows murder to be acceptable.
The last amazing stat is what ages of women have the abortions. It was found that 20.2% of women who had these abortions were under the age of 20. This means that over 7 million abortions have been executed on teenagers barely legal by governmental standards. Kids who can’t even buy alcoholic beverages can take away the life of an unborn child and think nothing of it. (Bruce Shapiro)
Now having background information of abortion and its statistics, how does one prove that the embryo is alive and human? This is a simple biological approach broken down into three answerable questions: is the being alive, is the being human, and is the being complete?
Is the being alive? Yes! It has characteristics of life. It can reproduce own cells and develop them into a specific pattern of maturity and function. More simply, it is not dead. (Abortion Facts)
Is the being human? Yes! This is a unique being, distinguishable totally from any other living organism, completely human in all of its characteristics, including 46 chromosomes, and can develop into a fully mature human.(Abortion Facts)
Is the being complete? Yes! Nothing new will be added from the time of union of sperm and egg until the death of an old man or woman, except growth and development of what is already there at the beginning. All it needs is time to develop and mature. (Abortion Facts)
Those three simple answers not only define the being as living, but as human. This proves the fact that killing an unborn child is comparable to killing a born one. Furthermore, Dr. Lily, known as Father of Fetology (the growth and development of the fetus), explains the humanistic traits of the fetus. He quotes,” the young individual, in command of its envirnoment and destiny with a tenacious purpose, implants in the spongy lining and with a display of physiological power, suppresses its mother’s menstrual period. This is its home for the next 270 days and to make it habitable; the embryo develops a placenta and a protective capsule of fluid for itself. It also solves, single-handed, the homograft problem, that dazzling feat by which fetus and mother live in parabiosis for 9 months.” (Pro-life, Pro-children)
The argument of sight and touch is my next approach. One argues that one can not clearly be human if one can not be seen or touched by its moral community (pro-choice). I feel the opposite. Sight is more untrustworthy than feeling. Doesn’t sight find evilness, as in color and racial discrimination, indicating one being is more human than the other is. Neither can touch be an issue, as in when one is “out of touch” with others he does not become any less human then he once was.
The next idea that abortion is wrong and pregnancy is somewhat a plan by a higher being is not usually thought of or debated about, yet it poses a good point. I feel moral judgments should relate to some real difference in probabilities. There are at least 200,000,000 spermatozoa in a single ejaculation. This meets with about 100,000 oocytes in a female infant, which 390 are ovulated. Once spermatozoon and ovum meet, studies show that only about 20 percent have a chance at spontaneous abortion. In simple terms, the chance of a fetus developing is 1 out of 5 times. This seems to be outstanding odds. (Biology Book)
The next issue to be discussed is experience. Pro-choice would argue that one who has experienced, lived and suffered, one who possess memories, is more human than one who has not. This distinction is not serviceable. An embryo after eight weeks is experiencing, as it is responsive to touch and sensation. Furthermore, if a human has lost his memory due to say aphasia, then is he not human? Based on this issue he would not be. Nor would the man who has never loved or learned, for these are certainly human experiences.
Finally, I must sum everything up with some biblical reasoning, being a strong believer in God. The word of God states, “do not injure your fellow man without reason.” In these terms, once the humanity of a fetus is perceived.(Abortion Facts) Abortion simply violates the equality of human life. So I end with a question, are abortions wrong? You decide.