Topic: HistoryUnited States

Last updated: February 4, 2019

Abortions is a topic that many people have an opinion on. As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an Encyclopedia Britannica Company, an abortion is, “The termination of a pregnancy after accompanied by resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus as a spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation; miscarriage, the induced expulsion of a human fetus, or the expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy. “Abortion is one of the most controversial topics to speak about since we have many different people giving their input about what they believe should happen with a pregnancy. In the midst of the controversy, two groups have emerged. There are two major group when talking about abortion and they are characterized as pro-life and pro-choice.

According to Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context, pro-life supporters claim that life begins at conception and that because of this that getting an abortion is murder despite on the conditions of the parent and other external influencers. They also believe that the child even those it hasn’t been born yet has the same rights as any other human being on that murdering per say is striping the rights of the baby before having a chance to exercise them. Pro-choice supporters, on the other hand, claim that it is the woman’s right to choose what she does with her body.

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That although the baby is alive the external factors and the condition of the mother should influence how things are executed and the procedures taken to ensure the safety of the mother even if it means aborting. These pro-abortionists claim that anti-abortionists are truly against the rights of women and free choice rather than the termination of the fetus. Pro-life and pro-choice advocates differ in many of their opinions, specifically, concerning when life begins, affects abortions have on the mother, and how politics and religion play a role in abortions.

Abortion is a better way to terminate a pregnancy since the mother of the child may or may not try to terminate it on her own, which now becomes a safety issue, there are different forms of abortion consisting of the two most commonly used which include both the suction method and the abortion pill. The in-clinic abortions work by using suction to take a pregnancy out of your uterus. Also commonly known as the suction abortion, which is also called vacuum aspiration, which uses a gentle suction to empty your uterus.

The abortion pill is yet another effective way to terminate an early pregnancy. The abortion pill is a simpler way for people to have an idea what it does, the pill includes two different types medication to help aid the abortion called mifepristone and misoprostol. Abortion is still such a controversial issue however; it is something which many people have strong feelings for or against it. Many of the arguments are based upon whether the fetus is considered a “person”. Which brings upon the question should the rights of the unborn be protected? Abortions are performed in a myriad of different procedures which are based upon how far along into the pregnancy a woman is. During the first trimester of pregnancy, there are two options. A woman can either have a medical abortion, within the first nine weeks, or a surgical abortion.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, two types of medical abortions include: Methotrexate and Misoprostol (MTX) as well as Mifepristone and Misoprostol. The MTX medication combination is not as commonly used as Mifepristone and Misoprostol which is many people in the United states know as RU-486, the abortion pill, and Mifeprex. Two surgical procedures used during the first trimester include: Manual vacuum aspiration, and aspiration, which are performed all the way up to 16 weeks of pregnancy. To help put things in perspective, leading up to the 16th week of pregnancy the fetus’ bones begin to harden, internal organs begin to function, and even the sex can be determined. During the second trimester, three types of procedures include: Dilation and curettage, dilation and evacuation, and the induction abortion.

Dilation and curettage abortion and aspiration are the same procedure. During the third trimester, there are many legal complications because some states ban any form of an abortion procedure except in certain medical situations. However, the procedures that can be performed include: Induction abortion and dilation and extraction.

Dilation and extraction, however, is now illegal in the United States in part to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995 (“American Pregnancy Association”). Some pro-choice advocates believe that this ban is a step in the wrong direction in the fight for women’s rights. Regardless, by the third trimester, the fetus is nearly fully developed, including it’s sense of pain, so this procedure is determined cruel and unusual. The opinion concerning when life begins has a detrimental effect on a person’s views concerning whether they are for or against abortions. Pro-choice supporters which are for abortions, or the mother’s choice, believe that the fetus is considered alive when it can sustain life on its own. Some of these advocates believe that viability is around the twenty-third or twenty-fourth week of pregnancy because the brain has developed to a point where it is able to control parts of the body. However, others believe that viability does not occur until after birth when the child is able to supply its own needs, such as oxygen, without its mother supplying the nutrients directly, such as in the womb.

According to “Abortion: When Does Human Life Begin?”, a bug has more characteristics of being a living creature than a fetus before eight weeks of pregnancy, which is when most women seek abortions. In other words, if a man or woman kills an insect, such as a roach, they have just killed something that has more brain activity than a fetus prior to eight weeks gestation. However, the murder of insects is accepted, whereas the termination of a pregnancy is not by pro-lifers. To counter what pro-life supporters believe about chromosomes proving proof that the fetus is human, pro-choice activists say that chromosomes are not the only components that determine a human life. Again, “Abortion: When Does Human Life Begin?” states that human chromosomes are similar to the blueprints of a building. The blueprints provide a guide as to how the building will be built.

However, the blueprints are nothing more than paper. Likewise, chromosomes provide a genetic plan for human life, but they are not human. In contrast, pro-life supporters are opposed to abortions because they believe that human life begins at conception.

The moment a man’s sperm comes into contact with a woman’s egg to form a zygote, life has begun. According to Facts on File News Services, “Abortion: When Does Human Life Begin?” issued in 2005, a perspective that pro-life advocates have is that all living things grow and develop. A child does not react to situations or look the same as he or she will when they are an adult. As the child grows and develops, they become more intelligent, mature, tall, muscular, curvy, etc. due to the fact that they are living. The same concept applies to a zygote growing and developing in the womb. Although it does not look or act like a baby at the time of or right after birth, the zygote like every other living thing, must have time to grow and develop.

Also, a tool used in science to identify certain species is to examine how many chromosomes they have. Humans are the only living species that have forty-six chromosomes, which the baby possesses from the time it is conceived until birth. They are more than a guideline or blueprints to the future human, they are what makes the fetus a human in the first place. Therefore, the baby is a human which has life, not pre-human as pro-choice advocates believe. To prove that the baby is alive, many pro-life advocates support the mandatory ultrasound required prior to obtaining an abortion. According to Issues and Controversies Facts on File News Services, “Abortion: Mandatory Ultrasounds,” of May 2012, abortions are a very serious procedure that requires the woman and doctor to be well informed prior to obtaining one.

For the woman, the ultrasound would provide a way for her to form a connection with her unborn child by actually seeing it and hearing its heart beat. It is hard to deny something is alive when it is moving and has a heart pumping blood to the rest of its body. The ultrasound would also provide a way for the doctor to become well informed concerning exactly how far along the pregnancy is to determine what type of abortion procedure would be the safest for the woman. In addition to the pro-life and the pro-choice views concerning when human life begins, a debatable topic of fetal homicide laws come into practice. According to Facts on File News Services, “Fetal Homicide Laws”, due to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 signed by President George Bush, it is a crime to injure or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent federal crime against a pregnant woman. I do not understand how the murder of a woman that is pregnant counts as the manslaughter of two people, instead of just one, when aborting a baby is not considered murder at all. However, supporters of this law, state that it is for women who are victims of violent crime. Therefore, it does not affect the rights of women to receive an abortion.

On the other hand, critics of this law claim that it is jeopardizing the rights of women because it is giving pro-life activists a leg to stand on by the government recognizing the fetus as a life with rights. Rather than giving the fetus rights, they believe that only the mother’s legal status should be elevated. In addition to what supporters of the law claim, violent action resulting in a miscarriage or the death of both the mother and the baby involves “third-party criminal activity” whereas the standard abortion is only the mother’s choice (“Fetal Homicide Laws”). In order to end the confusion of why one termination of the pregnancy is considered murder and not the other, the fetus should be given rights in both situations. A criminal should not get away with murdering a woman’s baby, it should count as manslaughter. Likewise, a selfish woman should not get away with terminating her pregnancy because the baby never got the chance to defend itself. Nevertheless, fetal homicide laws are still very debatable because it demonstrates how the relevance of the fetus’ life is based off nothing other than circumstances. The controversy over abortions does not stop concerning when the life of the baby begins.

Pro-life and pro-choice supporters also do not see eye to eye concerning the effects an abortion has on the mother. The argument of both sides is clear. Pro-choice supporters say that abortions are simple procedures, which cause no harm to the woman, cause relief, and freedom. Some doctors support these claims.

According to “British Doctors’ Group Encourages Abortion” written by Diane Ellis, Delia Lloyd, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) has written two recommendations to doctors, nurses, and any other medical professional who takes part in the woman’s pregnancy to follow. The RCOG wants medical professionals to tell women the negative effects of both abortions, since it is mandatory, and childbirth. Since women must make an informed choice regarding whether they are going to have the abortion or not, then they need to be well informed of the dangers of childbirth as well. The second recommendation of this group is to tell women that abortions are not what trigger psychological problems, even though psychological problems are more evident in women who have had abortions. Thus the RCOG are encouraging abortions under false information. Since it has been scientifically proven that women who have had abortions demonstrate more psychological problems than women who have not had an abortion, women should not be told otherwise in order to sugarcoat the woman’s decision when considering terminating the pregnancy. Religion also plays a significant role in abortions.

Pro-choice advocates tend to contradict pro-life Christian beliefs, based on “Abortion: When Does Human Life Begin?,” by stating when Genesis chapter one verse twenty-seven talks about humans being created in the image of God, it isn’t referring to the physical characteristics such as our appearance or biological make-up. Instead, it is referring to our abilities to love others, reason, and self-awareness, all which are not characteristics that a fetus has. On the other hand, although not every pro-life advocate is a Christian, many Christians are pro-life. They base their beliefs concerning abortions on certain scriptures found in the Bible. In Psalm chapter 139 and verse thirteen it says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” This verse is from the point of view of a psalmist, David, who is talking to God. David was a man after God’s own heart, therefore can be inferred to have had a lot of God’s wisdom and understanding.

David points out that God created us and knew everything about us from the time we were in our mother’s womb. Also in Jeremiah chapter twenty-nine verse eleven it says, “For I know the thoughts I have for you” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Therefore, Christians are against abortions because God has a plan for that infant from the time it is conceived.

In addition, in Exodus chapter twenty verse thirteen it states, “You shall not murder.” Since many pro-life, Christian activists believe that life begins at contraception, an abortion, which is ending the life of the fetus, is considered murder, because the Bible says not to murder, then abortions should not take place according to these supporters. As stated there are many different opinions concerning abortion. There is no right or wrong answer, it all comes from what you as a person believes in and also the circumstances also arise when it comes to childbirth.

There are many reasons to have the child as there are many reason to get an abortion.


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