Abortion is terminating of pregnancy by expelling the foetus from the uterus prior to its viability. It can occur spontaneously or be induced. Miscarriage is when an abortion occurs spontaneously. Abortion is, however, a controversial issue that evokes mixed, strong emotions amongst people. Its discussion is a hotbed for conflicts as people have different views on whether it should be legalized or not. This issue should be addressed urgently because abortion is a daily phenomenon. Abortion cases are increasing daily, especially due to the scaling moral decadence in the society today (Torr, 2006). Ideally, when a woman gets pregnant, family and friends are happy for her, waiting eagerly for the unborn child. However, sometimes, the pregnancy may be unwanted and unintentional. In this case, a woman faces a challenging decision to make whether to deliver the child though unprepared or to seek a risky abortion process.
This paper aims to discuss in detail the controversial issue of abortion. Should abortion be legalized? However, in response to this, there are three positions. Prolife position says that abortion should never be legalized and that it is morally unjustifiable. This position proposes that a fetus is a moral human being with equal rights to those of the mother. The prochoice position suggests that abortion should be legalized. It suggests that abortion is morally justifiable regardless of the reason, time or age of the pregnancy. This position proposes that although the foetus is a human being biologically, it has no moral rights and, therefore, it is not a moral, human being. The moderate position proposes that abortion is legal up to a certain stage in the development of the fetus. This position assigns a moral status to the fetus, when it attains ontological status and the brain activity starts. Therefore, abortion before the eighth week may not raise any serious moral questions. However, people judge abortion differently mainly because of personal and religious differences. More than 40 percent of women in the United States commit abortion at least once in their lifetime.
Abortion is a crime and should not be legalized. Laws should be enacted against abortion. Central to the abortion debate is the question on the right of the foetus to life, when life begins. Life begins at conception. A foetus is a developing, unborn human being and has a right to life. Abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being, and it denies the foetus the right to life. All human beings have a right to enjoy life and, therefore, abortion is wrong and should not be legalized at all (Berlatsky, 2011). Abortion puts the life of the mother at risk. Mostly, untrained people who do not understand the risks, associated with the process, do abortion. This risks the mother’s life and in case she dies, two lives are lost. During abortion, the mother may over bleed and lose conscience. This may lead to death, which could be avoided. During abortion, the mother may experience a lot of pain that add up to the psychological torture she undergoes. Abortion may also affect the mother’s physical appearance. The body will respond to the stress and pain she undergoes. To maintain a pregnancy, hormones play a part. Securing an abortion may alter the hormonal balance of the woman, and this may affect her potential to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. Legalizing abortion will put women under risk of death.
Religiously, children are gifts from the divine being. Therefore, there are no unwanted pregnancy and, hence, no unwanted kids. A woman is, therefore, not justified to claim that the pregnancy is unwanted. Abortion is against religious training and should not be legalized. Mostly, women who secure abortion claim to have unwanted pregnancies. Pregnancy results from sex activity (Callahan, 1970). According to religion, sex is a sacred activity and a sign of commitment between married partners. Women who practice sex outside marriage or before marriage are at risk of getting pregnant. However, according to religion, this is not the intended purpose for sex. Everything that results from sex should be treated well as it is sacred. Abortion violates the importance of sex and, therefore, it should not be legalized. Allowing abortion undermines the inherent sanctity of human life. It undermines the intended purpose of sex. People will see abortion as harmless, and this is dangerous (Sachdev, 1985).
Legalizing abortion will lead to increased moral decadence in the society. People will no longer be responsible for their sexual actions. They will have loose moral principles, and this may increase the rate of spread of sexually transmitted diseases. To avoid this, abortion should not be legalized.
However, there are people who say that abortion should be legalized. These are the pro-choice or the liberal thinkers. They propose that abortion is morally justifiable since the foetus has no moral rights. They argue that a foetus is a potential human being and, therefore, has no rights. The foetus can’t make its own decisions and, therefore, it is not a full human being. They also argue that the foetus is a part of the mother’s body since it is dependent on her. The foetus cannot survive on its own in the absence of the mother.
Most abortions occur during the first tri-semester. During this time, the foetus is fully dependent on the mother. It is attached to the mother by the placenta and the umbilical cord and, therefore, it is part of the mother’s body. It is not a separate entity from the mother. They argue that the mother has a right to discard it and abortions, therefore, should not be perceived to be illegal. The pro-choice supporters also argue that forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies is torture.
Sometimes, a woman may get pregnant from rape or incest. This makes a woman suffer a lot of psychological pressure. Forcing this woman to carry the pregnancy to term will torture her even more and cause low self-esteem. If the woman is not prepared for the baby, it may be a double torture. She will not be able to provide for the baby fully and will cause torture even to the child. They argue that abortion is a family planning method just as contraception. If a woman is forced to deliver the baby, then, she should also be denied the right to use contraception. However, use of contraception is a choice of a woman and, therefore, abortion should also be a woman’s choice.
They also argue that abortion is a safe medical procedure and if made legal few women will die out of it since they will access the services from the hospital. Medical practitioners are trained and they understand the dangers that may emanate from the procedure. During the first tri- semester, there are not many risks involved and, therefore, securing an abortion at this time should be legalized. It does not put to risk the woman’s potential to get pregnant and deliver in the future. They also argue that a mother has a right to secure an abortion if the sex of her child is different from what she expected. They argue that, forcing a mother to deliver that child will torture the kid because the mother will have a negative attitude to the kid. The kid may not be fully accepted or appreciated by the mother and this may cause harm to the child.
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However, the above propositions are not valid to some degree. The proposition that a foetus is not a moral, human being is not valid. Whether moral or immoral, the foetus is a normal human being with a right to life (Meier & Geis, 2006). This, therefore, should not be a reason to justify abortion. The proposition that the foetus is a part of the woman’s body is not valid. This is because, scientifically, the fetus and the mother are genetically different. Therefore, the foetus is a separate entity and the mother has no rights over the life of the foetus. Abortion violates the rights of the foetus and should, therefore, not be legalized. The proposition that a woman has rights over her body is not valid. This is because rights are not absolute. The woman’s right to control her body stops at the point, where she has to take the life of an unborn child. The right of life of the unborn child overrides the woman’s right and freedom to control her body. Therefore, abortion is illegal. The argument that women have choice and freedoms to use their bodies the way they feel are mistaken. This is because freedom comes with responsibility. Women are, therefore, responsible for their sexual behaviors. Freedom to do what they want with their bodies includes the freedom to choose not to engage in irresponsible sexual behaviors. It is, therefore, immoral to advocate for the killing of innocent lives. The mother can prevent this by not engaging in irresponsible sexual activities.
Advocating for selective abortion favors one gender and oppresses the other. This is wrong since it amounts to discrimination on the base of gender, which is beyond human control. This sends a message that one gender is more valuable than the other. Arguing that abortion during the first tri-semester is allowed is not valid viewpoint of reality. This is because whether done during the first or the last tri semester abortion is killing. Life begins after conception and, therefore, regardless of time, abortion is violating a person’s right and should not be allowed. The argument that abortion should be legalized in case of rape or incest is equally disputable. This is because there are safe medical procedures to prevent a victim of rape from conceiving (Rose, 2007). A victim should seek medical advice immediately to avoid instance of pregnancy. Also, a woman, who gets pregnant due to rape or incest, should not secure an abortion. This is because it may end up being a double tragedy as far as her suffering is concerned. First, she will suffer psychologically from rape and sexual harassment that she experiences during rape. If she secures an abortion, she will also suffer psychologically because it will haunt her throughout her life. This causes her more torture than that of rape.
The argument that abortion is a family planning method is not true. Abortion is a way of killing a human being but not planning. The government cannot force women to take contraceptives, but it can only advise them to use.Abortion should not be viewed as an alternative to contraceptive. The argument that legalizing abortion will reduce the number of abused children may not be satisfactory. Legalizing abortion will not make women ready for kids; instead, the number of unwanted pregnancies will increase. Not all women will succeed to secure abortions, and they will end up delivering the kids. The kids will end up in the streets to earn a livelihood since their parents will not provide for them fully. The argument that few women will die out of abortion if it is legalized is not convincing. Professional abortion services are expensive and, therefore, only the rich will access these services. This will create a business opportunity for black market, where untrained men will claim to secure abortions. The poor will go for these services and may die due to lack of appropriate medical care.
Abortion is an issue that is happening all over the world. It is not a recent phenomenon, but dates back to years long ago. However, since then, there has been a hot debate internationally on whether it is legal or illegal. This evokes strong emotions among people. Governments work day and night to get a convincing solution to the controversial abortion debate. Non- governmental organizations rise every day to give their views on this issue.
Though there are some opinions that abortion should be legalized, the greatest number of people still holds that abortion is a crime and legalizing it is wrong. According to religion, abortion should never be legalized, and it undermines the sanctity of human life. It is only the divine being who has control over life and, therefore, mothers have no rights over the rights of the unborn kids. Legalizing abortion gives mothers control over the fetus lives and may make them careless. This is because they will not be responsible for their sexual behaviors and abortion actions will increase. Also, legalizing abortion may bring many undesirable things such as increased spread of sexually transmitted disease, high immorality levels and others.
However, some people argue that abortion, if done by a qualified doctor, is not risky. This should not be guaranteed because not all people will be able to access the services of the qualified medical practitioners. They will, however, look for the cheap abortion, which is very risky. This puts the life of the mother under risk of death. The pro-choice position, however, tries to provide bases, on which abortion should be legalized. This position fails to recognize that rights and freedom has boundaries and responsibility. If women have the freedom to do as they wish with their bodies, then, they have the responsibility over the consequences of the freedom. They should be ready to accept the pregnancies that result from their freedom of choice and not to evade.
Regardless of all the propositions of the pro-choice, abortion should be avoided at all costs. The government should take relevant measures to ensure that abortion rates decline. The government can do this by educating the public on the risks involved in abortion. Non- governmental organizations should sensitize people on the importance of having tight on moral principles. With good morals, unwanted pregnancies will be avoided and, therefore, abortion will reduce. Young girls should be advised to be sensitive of their characters. School-going girls practice abortion since they are not ready to provide for the kid. However, they should avoid sexual actions that may impregnate them. Women also should be advised on how to avoid rape and incest. In case of such occurrences, they should be advised to seek medication direct to reduce the possibility of conceiving. This reduces abortion of the unwanted pregnancies.
In conclusion, there are some circumstances that may require abortion intervention. Qualified medical practitioners may induce an abortion since the pregnancy risks the life of the mother. Also, there are cases, where women get pregnancy complications and the doctors opt to induce an abortion. In such cases, where pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, abortion may be the next best alternative. However, this should only be done under the consent of a qualified medical practitioner and in a hospital, where the woman is under great care. This should not be the basis for claiming abortion and should be done only at such extreme cases.