In the past centuries, abortion has been used to prevent people of genetically inferior racial groups or different genetic defects and mutations from having children or stop population’ growth in general. At present, the issue is an object of political games in society and often considered being one of the most serious criminal act and violation of human rights.
The discussion over the issue whether abortion should be a legal or not continues to divide the American community long after Jan. 22, 1973 the Roe v. Wade decision US Supreme Court that declared the procedure as a fundamental right. Opponents calling themselves the defenders of life claim that personhood begin from the moment of conception. Therefore, abortion process inflicts pain and suffering on the innocent human being, and in essence is the killing of the unborn child. They claim that it is not fair on the relation to those couples who cannot born a child due to biological reasons and are compelled to adoption. Proponents, on the contrary, act for the freedom of choice. They state that abortion is a fundamental human right, which outweighs any other right of a fetus or an embryo, and should not be limited by any religious or governmental authority. Their argument is that in case if there are no legal abortions then women will resort to illegal and unsafe options. Thus, the issue of abortion legalization remains to be controversial; however, the advantages of abortion are fairer from moral physical and psychological perspectives. Below the paper considers it in more details.
- Laws against abortion simply make it less safe instead of stop it. Legal to illegal status of abortions does not change the number of women who make it. The only change is the number of women who die from it. Culp-Ressler (2012) states, “…complications from unsafe abortions in the developing world contribute to 47,000 preventable deaths each year” (n.p.). Obviously, more effective methods should be used in order to stop abortion. These must include affordable and safe contraceptives and comprehensive sex education.
- The issue of legalization is often not medical or demographical, but a political issue. The vast majority of politicians are not for or against abortion as a phenomenon. They just choose appropriate point in order people to vote for them. Also, they realize the more population will be to rule over, the more work they will have.
- The religion is not a foundation for any law. The U.S. guarantees the freedom of religion. According to American Civil Liberties Union website (2003), “The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that everyone in the United States has the right to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all” (n.p.). Thus, why should the values and beliefs of one religion establish the laws for all people? It is considered being immoral, unjust and unfair. The abortion is not the end for reproductive restrictions. People who vote for that are going further stating that the contraception itself is not right by the definition. This statement also lies in purely religious reasons.
- Most people who vote against abortion are men who will never biologically become pregnant. Would it be more logical to give only women the right to vote in this issue?
- The victims of incest and women who was violated should not be forced to complete pregnancy. This is a strong argument considering the number of women who got raped in the U.S. every year. Millions of unwanted children are waiting for adoption due to the fact that their mothers were forced to carry out the pregnancy.
- Reproductive choice may be the reason of poverty. In the third world countries, families usually consist of four to seven children that leave them beyond the line of poverty. In the other case, particularly India, the main problem is female feticide. For economic and sociological reasons, parents prefer to have male babies. In order to change the situation, it is accepted to interrupt pregnancy if it is known that the girl will be born.
- Often pregnancy can become the reason of death. The organisms of teenage girls are not ready for carry out the baby; therefore, they are in the group of risk. Even the abortion opponents agree that it can be morally acceptable for the sake of the women’s health in case if there is a high possibility of her serious damage.
- In case if newborn child has severe disabilities, then he/ she would have low quality of life due to serious genetic problems, mental defects and physical handicaps.
- Life does not start until the fetus is viable, it happens only after birth.
- In our over-populated world, there are too many unwanted babies already existing. What is the purpose of the population increase?
- The body belongs to a mother, and it is she and her family in some cases, but not the society or government, who should make the decision whether to keep the child or not.
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The arguments listed are serious reasons why the abortion legalization should be accepted by the government and the society. Abortion plays an important role in regulation the structure of society and the growth of population. It is considered being more appropriate from mental, psychological, physiological and sociological points of view.
On the contrary, other people consider that abortion is wrong. They have a number of reasons to make an objection to legalization. To summarize, the main arguments are the following:
- The religious aspect. The Bible is against abortion. The Christians consider the interruption of pregnancy as a violation of God’s will. Pavone (n.d.) states, “The Bible clearly teaches that abortion is wrong. This teaching comes across in many ways and for many reasons” (n.p.). However, there is no unity in this issue among all religions and churches.
- Abortion conflicts with the natural order and selection. It is the nature who has to make a decision whether to keep life or not. Leonard (2011) states, “Abortion is man’s way of interfering in the gene pool by means of artificial selection” (n.p.). Humans by interfering into the issue break the process apart. However, he does not exclude it completely, “Abortion should be a rare exception, not the rule regarding post-procreation options primarily for the emotional, physical, and mental health of the mother. If it must be done, the earlier the better” (Leonard, 2011).
- A person’s life begins from the moment of Thus, abortion is a murder in essence.
The main arguments against abortion come from religious and scientific field. First, there is no reason to claim that embryo in a womb of mother possesses consciousness. Thus, it would be wrong to state that his life began from the moment of conception. Consequently, the list of our memory begins only from birth and contains no memories about the time when we were in the mother’s womb. Second, the religion could not be a foundation for any law. No religion of the world is given the right to decide whether it is necessary to allow abortions or not. It is strictly personal matter and a choice of a mother and her family. Third, the natural selection does not provide abortion. But what does it provide in that case? It provided whether the people do not change the gene structure of human by inserting anticancer cages into his/ her blood. Such operations are not rare nowadays, or the experiments with the extension of human life that can give people the possibility to live thousand years and more. Is not it the violation of natural selection? Thus, in that case, we are facing double standards. Abortion is not bigger violation that the removal of a cancer tumor. Consequently, critics of the legalization of abortion lie in the religious field, which is beyond practical meaning. In the other case, it is the result of double standards of people. Those views should be updated according to the technological development of the 21th century.
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To summarize, the issue of legalization of abortion continues to divide society into supporters and opponents of this decision for more than two centuries. Nevertheless, abortion has never been under the protection of law till Jan. 22, 1973. The Roe v. Wade decision of US Supreme Court made it legal. The opponents of that decision refer to the Bible and that it breaks natural selection. However, their arguments do not stand against the critics. Since then, millions of American women have got the legal right to make an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in all territory of the U.S. and no matter what the reason is. The Supreme Court built into the Constitution that abortion rights are autonomous and established that any legal obstacles to abortion are unconstitutional. Abortion is not considered being a crime or an illegal action. It is a personal choice that is appropriate under particular circumstances like rape victims, teenage pregnancy or in case, if a newborn baby is going to be disabled. Pregnant women and her family have an exclusive right to interrupt the pregnancy if they choose to do so. The law should provide her to do it in a legal and safe way.