Abortion

One subject in society that is greatly debated is abortion. The debates are basically divided into Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. Pro-life supporters want abortion to be illegal and not performed anywhere. Pro-choice supporters want the choice to be up to the woman and no one else. There is no ethical way to decide between the two subjects and its all based on what the persons moral values.


Abortion is the termination of an unwanted pregnancy by loss of or destruction of an egg, embryo or fetus before birth. The term of abortion is used to define the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus attains capacity for life outside the uterus. In all societies, women have for many reasons, sought to terminate pregnancies. When a woman tries to self-induce an abortion it can cause serious physical risk to a woman. Today, abortions in the early weeks of a pregnancy, by a trained practitioner and under proper conditions, can be safe medical procedure. (Americana, 1)
In no society, either in the present or the past has there been a single dominant attitude toward abortions. The Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle discussed abortion as a useful means of population control. Also under Roman law, abortion primarily reflected family rule by the husband, who on the one hand could order an abortion and on the other hand could punish or divorce his wife if she ended a pregnancy without his consent. (Ameicana, 2)
In the Roman Catholic Church they consider abortion as murder only after the point at which the rational soul became instilled, usually said to be 40 days after conception. In 1930, Pope Pins XI declared even if the life of the mother is threatened by giving birth, abortion is unjustified. The only exception to the abortion prohibition that the church has considered to be morally acceptable has been the destruction of the fetus as an indirect consequence of other surgery that is deemed necessary. In the former Soviet Union abortion was legalized in 1917 after the revolution, then it was restricted in the 1930s due to population concerns, then it was legalized again in the mid 1950s. A strong and worldwide feminist movement during the 1960s heightened the pressure to legalize abortion. In the U.S. this trend culminated in a 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal during the early months on pregnancy. (Americana, 3)
In the early American colonies abortions were permitted. I was not until the mid-1800s that abortion became a widely debated subject. A campaign led by physicians was seeking to maintain professional control over the practice, leading to a strict legal regulation. For almost 100 years after, in most U.S. jurisdictions, abortion was illegal unless performed by a physician. (Americana, 4)
In the case of Roe v. Wade the decision allowed states to pass regulations affecting second-trimester abortions and to prohibit third-trimester abortions. In 1989 the Supreme Court permitted further regulation at the state level. The case was Webster v. Reproductive Services. The decision upheld a Missouri law prohibiting the performance of abortions by public employees or in taxpayer-supported facilities. In 1991 a courts decision in the case of Rust v. Sullivan upheld federal regulations forbidding abortion counseling in federally funded clinics. (Americana, 5)
The Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 1997 was introduced to the U.S. Congress in an attempt to outlaw abortions in late pregnancy. The bill defined partial-birth abortion as the partial vaginal delivery of a living fetus, which is then killed before delivery is completed. As of 1999, however, a ban on the procedure had failed to become federal law. (Americana, 4)
Supporters as well as opponents of abortion rights support their arguments with what they consider to be basic moral principles. Pro-Choice supporters declare that a woman has a right to determine if she wants to continue a pregnancy or not. Additionally, supporters point out also that abortions, would take place even if the procedure was made illegal and that criminalization of it would lead to unsafe abortion practices, particularly among the poor. Pro-Life supporters perceive abortion as murder and a violation of the fetuss right to live. Some supporters believe that accepting abortion will lead to the disregard for human life in general. Many right-to-life advocates believe that the acceptance of abortion encourages sexual immortatality. (Americana, 6)
Of all the issues in ongoing society wars abortion is the most intimate and the most common. Almost half of American women have terminated at least one pregnancy, and millions more Americans of both sexes have helped them, as partners, parents, health-care workers, counselors, and friends. The debate of abortion causes powerful feelings that at times causes violence. In the 1990s laws passed to require abortion protestors to conduct activities outside clinics in what were called buffer zones. (Americana, 4) One extreme Pro-Life movement is known as The Army of God. The organization believes in violence against abortion providers. In 1994, The National Abortion Federation announced it had attained a copy of When Life Hurts, We can Help The Army of God. The manual details 99 Covert Ways to Stop Abortion, included were arson, bombing, use of chemicals, and methods of vandalism. (The Abortion Rights Activist, 1) In 1998 a Justice Department task force was assembled to help prevent violence against those who provide health care services, especially reproductive-health care. The task force was called The National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care Providers. This task force was formed to answer to violence that had occurred across the nation months before. Its job was to coordinate with local investigations and look for links between attacks in different parts of the country. It also established a national database that would identify facilities that could be at risk, provide protective services, and help train enforcement officials to handle clinic violence. (Rovner, 1688)
When trying to find a neutral zone between Pro-life and Pro-Choice it is hard to find a moral decision. Either the Pro-Life supporters will want abortion defined in the constitution, as defining human life beginning at the moment of conception and abortion as murder. On the other hand the Pro-Choice supporters would want Congress to pass a Freedom of Choice Act that would remove all state restrictions on abortion. Both of the supporters believe in their moral views and an end to the dilemma may never be made. (Henslin, 13)
One subject in society that is greatly debated is abortion. The debates are basically divided into Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. Pro-life supporters want abortion to be illegal and not performed anywhere. Pro-choice supporters want the choice to be up to the woman and no one else. There is no ethical way to decide between the two subjects and its all based on what the persons moral values.

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Abortion is the termination of an unwanted pregnancy by loss of or destruction of an egg, embryo or fetus before birth. The term of abortion is used to define the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus attains capacity for life outside the uterus. In all societies, women have for many reasons, sought to terminate pregnancies. When a woman tries to self-induce an abortion it can cause serious physical risk to a woman. Today, abortions in the early weeks of a pregnancy, by a trained practitioner and under proper conditions, can be safe medical procedure. (Americana, 1)
In no society, either in the present or the past has there been a single dominant attitude toward abortions. The Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle discussed abortion as a useful means of population control. Also under Roman law, abortion primarily reflected family rule by the husband, who on the one hand could order an abortion and on the other hand could punish or divorce his wife if she ended a pregnancy without his consent. (Ameicana, 2)
In the Roman Catholic Church they consider abortion as murder only after the point at which the rational soul became instilled, usually said to be 40 days after conception. In 1930, Pope Pins XI declared even if the life of the mother is threatened by giving birth, abortion is unjustified. The only exception to the abortion prohibition that the church has considered to be morally acceptable has been the destruction of the fetus as an indirect consequence of other surgery that is deemed necessary. In the former Soviet Union abortion was legalized in 1917 after the revolution, then it was restricted in the 1930s due to population concerns, then it was legalized again in the mid 1950s. A strong and worldwide feminist movement during the 1960s heightened the pressure to legalize abortion. In the U.S. this trend culminated in a 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal during the early months on pregnancy. (Americana, 3)
In the early American colonies abortions were permitted. I was not until the mid-1800s that abortion became a widely debated subject. A campaign led by physicians was seeking to maintain professional control over the practice, leading to a strict legal regulation. For almost 100 years after, in most U.S. jurisdictions, abortion was illegal unless performed by a physician. (Americana, 4)
In the case of Roe v. Wade the decision allowed states to pass regulations affecting second-trimester abortions and to prohibit third-trimester abortions. In 1989 the Supreme Court permitted further regulation at the state level. The case was Webster v. Reproductive Services. The decision upheld a Missouri law prohibiting the performance of abortions by public employees or in taxpayer-supported facilities. In 1991 a courts decision in the case of Rust v. Sullivan upheld federal regulations forbidding abortion counseling in federally funded clinics. (Americana, 5)
The Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 1997 was introduced to the U.S. Congress in an attempt to outlaw abortions in late pregnancy. The bill defined partial-birth abortion as the partial vaginal delivery of a living fetus, which is then killed before delivery is completed. As of 1999, however, a ban on the procedure had failed to become federal law. (Americana, 4)
Supporters as well as opponents of abortion rights support their arguments with what they consider to be basic moral principles. Pro-Choice supporters declare that a woman has a right to determine if she wants to continue a pregnancy or not. Additionally, supporters point out also that abortions, would take place even if the procedure was made illegal and that criminalization of it would lead to unsafe abortion practices, particularly among the poor. Pro-Life supporters perceive abortion as murder and a violation of the fetuss right to live. Some supporters believe that accepting abortion will lead to the disregard for human life in general. Many right-to-life advocates believe that the acceptance of abortion encourages sexual immortatality. (Americana, 6)
Of all the issues in ongoing society wars abortion is the most intimate and the most common. Almost half of American women have terminated at least one pregnancy, and millions more Americans of both sexes have helped them, as partners, parents, health-care workers, counselors, and friends. The debate of abortion causes powerful feelings that at times causes violence. In the 1990s laws passed to require abortion protestors to conduct activities outside clinics in what were called buffer zones. (Americana, 4) One extreme Pro-Life movement is known as The Army of God. The organization believes in violence against abortion providers. In 1994, The National Abortion Federation announced it had attained a copy of When Life Hurts, We can Help The Army of God. The manual details 99 Covert Ways to Stop Abortion, included were arson, bombing, use of chemicals, and methods of vandalism. (The Abortion Rights Activist, 1) In 1998 a Justice Department task force was assembled to help prevent violence against those who provide health care services, especially reproductive-health care. The task force was called The National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care Providers. This task force was formed to answer to violence that had occurred across the nation months before. Its job was to coordinate with local investigations and look for links between attacks in different parts of the country. It also established a national database that would identify facilities that could be at risk, provide protective services, and help train enforcement officials to handle clinic violence. (Rovner, 1688)
When trying to find a neutral zone between Pro-life and Pro-Choice it is hard to find a moral decision. Either the Pro-Life supporters will want abortion defined in the constitution, as defining human life beginning at the moment of conception and abortion as murder. On the other hand the Pro-Choice supporters would want Congress to pass a Freedom of Choice Act that would remove all state restrictions on abortion. Both of the supporters believe in their moral views and an end to the dilemma may never be made. (Henslin, 13)
One subject in society that is greatly debated is abortion. The debates are basically divided into Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. Pro-life supporters want abortion to be illegal and not performed anywhere. Pro-choice supporters want the choice to be up to the woman and no one else. There is no ethical way to decide between the two subjects and its all based on what the persons moral values.


Abortion is the termination of an unwanted pregnancy by loss of or destruction of an egg, embryo or fetus before birth. The term of abortion is used to define the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus attains capacity for life outside the uterus. In all societies, women have for many reasons, sought to terminate pregnancies. When a woman tries to self-induce an abortion it can cause serious physical risk to a woman. Today, abortions in the early weeks of a pregnancy, by a trained practitioner and under proper conditions, can be safe medical procedure. (Americana, 1)
In no society, either in the present or the past has there been a single dominant attitude toward abortions. The Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle discussed abortion as a useful means of population control. Also under Roman law, abortion primarily reflected family rule by the husband, who on the one hand could order an abortion and on the other hand could punish or divorce his wife if she ended a pregnancy without his consent. (Ameicana, 2)
In the Roman Catholic Church they consider abortion as murder only after the point at which the rational soul became instilled, usually said to be 40 days after conception. In 1930, Pope Pins XI declared even if the life of the mother is threatened by giving birth, abortion is unjustified. The only exception to the abortion prohibition that the church has considered to be morally acceptable has been the destruction of the fetus as an indirect consequence of other surgery that is deemed necessary. In the former Soviet Union abortion was legalized in 1917 after the revolution, then it was restricted in the 1930s due to population concerns, then it was legalized again in the mid 1950s. A strong and worldwide feminist movement during the 1960s heightened the pressure to legalize abortion. In the U.S. this trend culminated in a 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal during the early months on pregnancy. (Americana, 3)
In the early American colonies abortions were permitted. I was not until the mid-1800s that abortion became a widely debated subject. A campaign led by physicians was seeking to maintain professional control over the practice, leading to a strict legal regulation. For almost 100 years after, in most U.S. jurisdictions, abortion was illegal unless performed by a physician. (Americana, 4)
In the case of Roe v. Wade the decision allowed states to pass regulations affecting second-trimester abortions and to prohibit third-trimester abortions. In 1989 the Supreme Court permitted further regulation at the state level. The case was Webster v. Reproductive Services. The decision upheld a Missouri law prohibiting the performance of abortions by public employees or in taxpayer-supported facilities. In 1991 a courts decision in the case of Rust v. Sullivan upheld federal regulations forbidding abortion counseling in federally funded clinics. (Americana, 5)
The Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 1997 was introduced to the U.S. Congress in an attempt to outlaw abortions in late pregnancy. The bill defined partial-birth abortion as the partial vaginal delivery of a living fetus, which is then killed before delivery is completed. As of 1999, however, a ban on the procedure had failed to become federal law. (Americana, 4)
Supporters as well as opponents of abortion rights support their arguments with what they consider to be basic moral principles. Pro-Choice supporters declare that a woman has a right to determine if she wants to continue a pregnancy or not. Additionally, supporters point out also that abortions, would take place even if the procedure was made illegal and that criminalization of it would lead to unsafe abortion practices, particularly among the poor. Pro-Life supporters perceive abortion as murder and a violation of the fetuss right to live. Some supporters believe that accepting abortion will lead to the disregard for human life in general. Many right-to-life advocates believe that the acceptance of abortion encourages sexual immortatality. (Americana, 6)
Of all the issues in ongoing society wars abortion is the most intimate and the most common. Almost half of American women have terminated at least one pregnancy, and millions more Americans of both sexes have helped them, as partners, parents, health-care workers, counselors, and friends. The debate of abortion causes powerful feelings that at times causes violence. In the 1990s laws passed to require abortion protestors to conduct activities outside clinics in what were called buffer zones. (Americana, 4) One extreme Pro-Life movement is known as The Army of God. The organization believes in violence against abortion providers. In 1994, The National Abortion Federation announced it had attained a copy of When Life Hurts, We can Help The Army of God. The manual details 99 Covert Ways to Stop Abortion, included were arson, bombing, use of chemicals, and methods of vandalism. (The Abortion Rights Activist, 1) In 1998 a Justice Department task force was assembled to help prevent violence against those who provide health care services, especially reproductive-health care. The task force was called The National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care Providers. This task force was formed to answer to violence that had occurred across the nation months before. Its job was to coordinate with local investigations and look for links between attacks in different parts of the country. It also established a national database that would identify facilities that could be at risk, provide protective services, and help train enforcement officials to handle clinic violence. (Rovner, 1688)
When trying to find a neutral zone between Pro-life and Pro-Choice it is hard to find a moral decision. Either the Pro-Life supporters will want abortion defined in the constitution, as defining human life beginning at the moment of conception and abortion as murder. On the other hand the Pro-Choice supporters would want Congress to pass a Freedom of Choice Act that would remove all state restrictions on abortion. Both of the supporters believe in their moral views and an end to the dilemma may never be made. (Henslin, 13)

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Abortion

Abortion Shane Woolf Per. B1 9-15-01 “Abortion” What is a human? A human by definition is a biological being that belongs to the species Homo sapiens that is unique from every other being. Now the question that many people are asking is: “Is a baby that is unborn a human?” Many believe that it is, including me. For one, it has 46 human chromosomes. Another thing is that it is ALIVE, meaning it is growing, developing, maturing, and replacing its own dying cells.

However, many people don’t feel that an unborn baby is a human; they do not feel like it is alive. It is every bit alive. I am Pro-Life, and abortions are morally wrong. There are many people that are Pro-Choice, however, and they base their opinions on that the fetus is not actually alive, just a mass of tissue. They also feel that every child should be a wanted child, and if the mother does not want to have the child, the baby will be unwanted, and an unwanted child will more than likely be abused. They also feel that if abortions are illegal, a woman that gets raped and becomes pregnant will not be able to get help and will be forced to have the child as a remembrance of that horrible situation for the rest of their life.

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If we outlaw abortions, then back-alley abortion clinics will open again is also a popular belief among Pro-Choice people. The Pro-Choice people bring up some very good points, but the killing of an innocent human being is unforgivable. It is wrong, and should never be done under any circumstance. Rape should be punished, but a child conceived in this manner should not be killed. Outside abortion clinics are also morally wrong, and should not be open. A constitutional amendment should be passed that gives equal rights to all living human beings, even those that are yet unborn.

A woman who does not want her child, should put the child up for adoption, not have an abortion and not even give the child a chance to live. Adoptions are good things, abortions are not. Abortions do not give children the chance to live. We are killing the child even before the child has a chance to do anything. I mean, if you have an abortion, you could be killing the next Albert Einstein, or even the next Michael Jordan.

Give the child the chance to live. The court case Roe v. Wade in 1973 was one of the most important and demoralizing decision that the Supreme Court has ever made. In this decision, they stated that it was alright for people to have an abortion. It stated that abortions could be done within the first 3 months. It also stated that abortions could be done up until birth if one registered doctor thought it would be best for the mother’s health.

This decision was wrong, and we should go back and fight it again. Abortions are wrong, there is just no other way of putting it. If killing a person that is already born yet alive is wrong, then why is killing an unborn baby that is alive not wrong? It is, and this feeling is shared with many people all around the world. You are killing the child without it getting a chance at life. If you don’t want the baby, go through with the pregnancy, and then give it up for adoption, at least this way, you are giving it a chance to live.

You never know whom you could be killing when you have an abortion. 594 Words Speech and Communications.

Abortion

Abortion Abortion has always been (and I reckon it will continue to be for quite some time) a very controversial issue not only due to the difficult comparison of rights (does the mother’s rights outweigh the child’s or vice-versa?) but also because of the many different instances in which the issue of abortion might come up. For instance, one couple who simply wants to plan their family, and be ready for it, is obviously different and less shocking a case as a raped fifteen-year old. Regarding abortion, pro-life and pro-choice are the two sides trying to impose their own points of view, but while one is extremely strict and makes a completely solid statement without taking each case in particular (pro-life), the other (pro-choice) acknowledges the implications of abortion and while not encouraging it in any way, it implies a certain flexibility depending on each case. I, personally, am a pro-choice person, but not taking it to the extreme. I believe a woman should have the right to choose when to have a baby but I agree with creating limitations to this right. The reasons are simple and numerous, health being the most important one, for if abortion would be deemed illegal and immoral, not only would women turn to unsanitary secretive abortions (or even desperate self-induced ones) but the psychological pain and scars would also be considerably more unbearable (I say more because they are already quite unbearable and extremely stressful).

Another reason is a biological one it is the woman who carries the baby for nine months, and until the baby is out in the open, being a separate person, until the moment of birth, the baby is simply a part of the womans body. I choose to view childbirth as the moment when the child becomes the human, because it is the most valid turning point in its life -when it starts to live on its own. I consider the pro-choice point of view as being the most rational. However, I also agree that the time period of six months after conception is more than enough for the making of a decision. I support fully the six-month time condition, again mainly because of the health issues involved (abortion after six months is a risk to the mother).

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I also acknowledge the gruesome methods abortion implies, but I dont consider them a reason strong enough to ban abortion. I would wish there could be some sort of application process involved with abortion, but given the fact each and every case is different and also that such laws would have to be extremely detailed and confusing in order to relate to all cases on an individual plane. So I support abortion for all women as long as it is done within the first six months. And I state this because I dont believe the child is a person by the end of the six months, nor a human life. Until that point, it is a life, but it is a combination of cells inside a body as well.

Its size of only several inches adds to my inability of considering it human strictly because it lacks all the functions a human life form has, from consciousness to breathing and from feelings to personality. My point of view has a personal history behind it and even though I am not in the position of claiming a strict perspective of the subject, I realize I may be subjective. My mother described to me how she had to go through around three abortions because of my fathers drinking problems. Most of the fetuses had vital physical problems such as a deformed (contorted) body or a missing organ. My mother chose to abort them and it was a physically as well as psychologically painful process.

The worse thing is that she blamed herself for it, while all the time it was my fathers irresponsible drinking that caused the malformations. I dont even want to imagine what would have happened had she been forced to carry those fetuses to term, and I am also extremely glad she didnt (I wouldnt be around if she had). All in all, I dont consider pro-life a valid, modern, twenty-first century attitude because it overlooks everything related to the social aspects of our civilization, taking away the womans right to control her own life and her own body. If a mother is forced to carry a child to term against her will, that child would be hated and a constant reminder of what if? thus sealing the babys as well as the mothers fates in a sadistic way. Society is not allowed to dictate a persons feelings or life. It can create vast limits in which the individual is allowed to modify their lives but even so, the individual is in control.

Abortion

For every three pregnant women in America, one of them will
choose to have an abortion (Dudley). Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy
before birth. There two types of abortionist groups; one of the groups is
Pro-Choice, meaning; they believe women should have the freedom and right
to determine whether or not to have an abortion. The other group is Pro-
Life, a group that includes many members that has religious roots and
considers abortion an unjustifiable sin. The Pro-Life group believes
abortion is immoral and considers it to be murder. The Pro-Life group was
founded in June 1973 (Terkel 96, 97). Birth control, abortion procedures
and emotional factors are important when deciding to have an abortion.

There are many types of birth control, although some methods of birth
control help to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. D.E.S., known as the
morning after pill, is one type of birth control that forces the fertilized
egg to be expelled from the body before the egg is implanted in the uterus;
this form of birth control is usually chosen by rape victims (Terkel 44).

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I.U.D., also known as intrauterine device, is a device that prevents the
egg from implanting in the uterus, although this method is not used very
often in abortions (“Abortion” 14). The most popular form would most likely
be RU-486. This type of birth control was founded by a French biochemist,
Dr. Etienne-Emile Beaulieu. RU-486 works by blocking the fertilized egg
from attaching to the uterine wall. Therefore, the lining breaks off as in
a normal menstrual cycle and expels the egg (“Abortion” 14).

Induced abortion occurs when the fetus has attached to the uterus and
has already developed a placenta. The placenta is the protective sac from
which all nourishment is received. This form of abortion takes place when
the fetus is forced out of the womb. Using a variety of chemical, herbal,
mechanical, or surgical methods can cause induced abortions and these
methods can often be fatal (“Abortion” 13). In the past, women would drink
toxic potions that would bring on nausea and diarrhea, in an attempt to
cause an abortion. Women would also endure physical abortion attempts, such
as having someone stomp on their abdomen to induce abortion (Ross 62).

Currently abortions are performed in the first twelve weeks of
pregnancy. When a pregnancy progresses into the second trimester, the
abortion is done by inducing premature labor and causes the women to
deliver the fetus and placenta; this procedure is called medical induction
or instillation. During the instillation, a chemical such as saline
solution is injected into a woman’s womb, causing her to go into premature
labor. This labor can last for hours, even days, and is often a very
stressful and excruciating process. One of the most distressing drawbacks
of performing an instillation is the possibility of having the fetus born
alive. When a fetus is born alive, all measures are taken to save its life.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a state may legally require another
physician, typically a pediatrician, to be present during late abortions in
case of a live birth (Terkel 52, 53). About 80 percent of late abortions
are performed by inducing premature labor (“Abortion” 14). Another method
after the second trimester is done by having the fetus and placenta
surgically removed.

Instrumental evacuation is used for more than 90% of abortions.

Instrumental evacuation is known as vacuum aspiration, a procedure that was
developed in recent decades. These procedures start out by having the
cervix numbered, and then gently stretched or dilated, using dilators,
special rods that are formed from seaweed. After the cervix has been
dilated, a small tube with an opening is placed into the uterus. The vacuum
machine creates suction to empty the uterus and complete the abortion. Some
women experience intense pain and cramping (Terkel 50, 51). Dilation and
evacuation (D;E) is similar to vacuum aspiration. After the first
trimester, the fetus is too large to pass through the tube of the vacuum
and must be dismembered by using instruments. This process can be so
stressful that many professionals express hesitation towards these types’
of abortions. This procedure can be done on an outpatient basis and can be
done in a span of half an hour or even less (“Abortion” 13).

There are many risks when it comes to abortion. The most frequent
complications of abortion include infection, blood clots, excessive
bleeding, tears in the cervix, perforation of the uterine wall, and in
other abortions, amniotic fluid embolism. This happens when the amniotic
fluid enters the bloodstream and goes to the heart, which can often be
fatal (Dudley). Post abortion syndrome (PAS) is a depression that is a
direct result of having an abortion. There is much controversy over the
impact of an abortion on women’s emotional health. Depression can surface
immediately after abortion, or years later. A woman may become depressed,
angry, guilty, have overwhelming feelings of anxiety, feel as though they
have lost something, have death scenes in nightmares, or even contemplate
suicide. Even men involved in an abortion experience depression. Also when
it comes to future pregnancies there are a higher risk of having the
fertilized egg implant in your Fallopian tube instead of the uterus (Terkel
53).

Most people believe a child is not alive until it is born, but this
is not so. During the seventh week of pregnancy, a fetus can move its
hands, fingers, and has eye lenses and skull bones. In the eighth week, the
hands, face features, and feet are defined; the miniature brain has
developed and is unmistakably human. By the eighteenth week the child is
about five and one half inches long with a mouth, eyes, and sex organs. At
this point the fetus can also breathe, but cannot yet live outside the
womb. This proves that life begins at conception, and with a fetus so well
developed even at the very beginning, it is certain that the child does
experience pain when it is killed in the womb (“Abortion” 15). “In Los
Angeles a container, almost the size of a boxcar, was discovered by workers
who went to repossess it, and could not lift it to dispose of the contents.

They had to unload it, and what they found made them sick. The container
had 17,000 mutilated and dismembered infants stored in it, all 20 weeks to
27 weeks in development”; they were the results of abortion (Terkel 26,
27).

As one can see, the entire abortion procedure is often not an easy
one. The decision to have an abortion is frequently overwhelming to both
the possible mother and father. The abortion conflict has been very much
alive for many years, and will continue to do so, but regardless those who
are expecting must decide for themselves whether abortion is the right
decision for them or not. Making the decision to have an abortion is one
that must be thought out carefully and cautiously.


Work Cited
“Abortion.” The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999.

Dudley, Susan. “Abortion.” 2000. 09 Dec. 2003.

http://www.prochoice.org/Facts/Factsheets/FSI.htm.

Ross, Michael W. “Sex in America. “Psychology Today February 2002: 56-58+60-
62.

Terkel, Susan Neiburg. Abortion Facing The Issues. New York: An Impact
Book, 1988.

Abortion

The topic of abortion is one of the most controversial of our times. It has
caused countless deaths and several violent confrontations between the two
separate parties of opinion. The fight between pro-life and pro-choice
supporters has been long and brutal. This is because, despite what several
people may believe, abortion is neither right nor wrong. It is a matter of
personal opinion. In this way, each side can say with certainty that the other
is wrong. Therefore the question remains; should abortion be legal? Though some
may disagree on this point, the fact is that legalized abortion is the only
option that will protect the lives of American citizens. One only needs to look
into American history to see the results of prohibiting abortions to women. The
violence which occurs today because the of pro-choice/pro-life conflicts is
minimal in comparison to the thousands of hopeless women who turned to the
illegal abortions –either self-inflicted or preformed by the backroom
“professionals”– which resulted in infection, massive blood loss, and
death. It is better now that they have a place to go where abortions can be
performed cleanly and with minimal risk. Legalization of abortion is the only
choice no matter what side one takes in the debate. Women will try to do what
they think is necessary to live as they wish, no matter what the risk. In order
to live as she chooses a woman may give up her freedom, her morals, her beliefs,
her family, or even her life. Abortion has been around for thousands of years in
every inhabited corner of the globe. It has always been accepted as a means to
prevent the suffering of both woman and potential child. It has been practiced
widely in every society for many reasons including famine, war, poverty,
overpopulation, or simply because a woman felt she was not ready for a child
(Whitney 40). No one ever questioned a woman’s right to this procedure. After
all, who but God had the right to judge what a woman did with her own body? This
thought process lasted till the 1800’s. During this era of change people began
to turn their attention in a new direction, the fetus. They began to protest
abortion as cruel, inhumane, and murderous. Filled with a new sense of purpose
and the glory of a fresh, righteous cause to uphold this new morality swept the
countryside enveloping everyone in its wake. Abortionists who were once revered
and depended upon were now scorned and threatened. Though abortions still
happened with regularity, they were kept silent and seen as a matter of shame.

“Over the next hundred years, public sentiment for the fetus continued to
rise until the inevitable happened in America during the early 40’s; Abortion
was made illegal.” (Cohen 17). There was much back patting and
congratulations among the pro-life supporters. And why not? They had succeeded
in saving the lives of the hundreds of innocent babies who would have been
senselessly slaughtered for the convenience of selfish, ignorant, and
irresponsible women. Because of this new law, women would settle down and raise
families or give these beautiful children over into the hands of the hundreds of
loving couples who were just waiting for a baby to call their own. It seemed
that the perfect law had just been passed. Or had it? It has been proven time
and time again throughout history that the human spirit will not allow
prohibition. Something inside us feels the need to strike out at that which
restrains us and holds us from the life we want. Just as prohibition of alcohol
made a black market for liquor (a virtual underworld was immediately erected to
fulfill the new need for abortions). Government, through regulation, had once
again created a need that would be fulfilled by the lawless. Most doctors,
fearing incarceration, refused to treat the women who so desperately wanted
abortions. Women, seeing no other solution to their problems, were often
desperate enough to turn to these “Back Room” clinics. These clinics
were located in poverty-ridden sections of the city and their conditions were
deplorable. The places themselves were layered in filth and disease.

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Inexperienced butchers using dirty and crude equipment treated the girls. As if
these backroom clinics were not bad enough, there was an even more appalling
decision a woman might face. If a she were unable to pay the exorbitant price
for the illegal surgery, she would often perform the act herself. “Knitting
needles, coat hangers, antiseptic douches and poisons were used most often”
(Welton 123). “Emergency rooms primarily in the more urban areas were
reporting higher numbers of intractable bleeding to the point of death. Pelvic
inflammatory disease and other forms of life threatening sepsis were on the
rise. Self induced poisoning was another complication.” (Boyer, 98).


Partial abortions were also commonplace. One thing most people do not think
about is the fetus. If, as some say, life and the sense of self begins at
conception, how many atrocities have been caused by the incompetence shown
during this time? Some may wonder what drove these women to such extremes just
to have and abortion. Why didn’t they just have the baby? The answer lies in our
most basic human instinct: to survive as best we can. These women want to live
their lives as they choose, not as it is chosen that they live it. Being forced
to bear a child could mean having to support and give up dreams of a better
life. Also they might be pressured into a “shotgun wedding” to save
their reputations. In the book Back Rooms, by Ellen Messer, a woman named Liz,
explains her reasons for receiving an abortion. “People have said to me,
How can you be in favor of abortion? If you’d had one, you wouldn’t have
these beautiful children.’ But I would have had them. It just would have been
later when I was better prepared to care for them. And maybe they would have a
nicer man for their father. I would have been more prepared and all our lives
would have been so much easier. Even though I love my children dearly, I regret
that I did not have an abortion when I was given the option. I should never have
let others influence my decision.” (29) For other women, being forced to
bear a child would mean placing it into the system. It is commonly thought that
every orphan is just temporary. That there is a family out there just waiting
for it with open arms. The truth of the matter is that many families did not
want children unless they were white and healthy. Most of the others were either
shifted through the system until they were 18 or sent to live with foster
families who were sometimes uncaring or even abusive (187). Women were aware of
these realities and many refused to bring a child into the world and have it
live in such a manner. Also was the fact that many women wanted to hide their
present state from families or employers. They knew that they could be disowned
or fired for their “shameful state”. They were desperate to keep their
secrets, so desperate in fact that they were willing to risk their lives. This
was a risk they should not have had to take. In the book Abortion: A Positive
Decision, Mrs. Lunneborg states that “The desire not to have a child is by
far the best reason for an abortion. There are enough unwanted children in the
world already.” (18) And so these women risked, and often lost, their lives
in these illegal abortions. If they were caught afterwards, they were charged
with murder. But is abortion murder? Abortion is defined as “The induced
termination of a pregnancy before it is capable of survival as an
individual” (Frohock 186). Considering this definition, at the time of most
abortions, the fetus is not an individual. The definition is far too simplistic.


One needs to take into consideration the developmental stages of the fetal life
span. Most abortions occur soon after the confirmation of pregnancy, (usually
prior to 12 weeks gestation.) The first twelve weeks is known as the first
trimester or the embryonic phase. At this time the fetus is about 3-3.5 inches
long having a weight of 15-20 grams. The neurological system is primitive at
best, demonstrating only vague swimming motions (Rosenblatt 37). The second
trimester heralds a time of rapid growth. At about 20 months the mother usually
first perceives fetal movement. At 24 weeks the brain resembles that of a mature
person. The fetal weight is about 650 grams. (39) The third trimester is from 24
weeks to birth (approximately 40 weeks.). At 26 weeks the nervous system begins
to regulate some body processes. (40) “When making the conscious decision
to terminate the life of the fetus one must take into account the development of
the fetus. One approach might be that of assessing the neurological development.


It is only logical that the more complex the neurological system the more likely
you are to induce pain or end a sense of self if in fact that sense exists prior
to birth” (Frohock 28). In many ways it is similar to the decision to pull
the plug on a comatose person. Here, one must decide whether or not to withdraw
that which the person needs to survive. Yet the decision to terminate is not
considered murder but an act of the deepest humanity, an opinion that contrasts
greatly to the shame and animosity faced by an aborted mother during the time of
the mass anti-abortion sentiment. How long would women suffer this mental
anguish? (Haddok 132) Based on this information, presented in the Roe vs. Wade
case, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman was allowed by the Constitution’s
14th Amendment to receive an abortion before the first trimester. It now
appeared that the pro-choice advocates had won the political tug-o-war at last.


However, violence continues between the two groups as the animosity and
resentment has grown to new heights. Now, more than ever, research articles are
coming out about a woman’s right to privacy vs. a fetus’s right to life. The law
may have been passed, but the war goes on. It is difficult to gain valid and
subjective information on the topic of abortion. This is because much of the
research has been colored by the personal beliefs of the group or individual
that collects it. There may not be an intentional or even conscious effort to
skew the facts in this manner but it happens none the less. A person writing a
paper on the tragic effect of abortion on society’s moral values may tend to
twist the real statistics slightly to better serve his or her purpose. Another
doing a paper on the same topic may use the previous one as a reference point
and exaggerate the information even more. One can see how, very soon, the
“facts” are no longer recognizable as truth. Another metamorphosis may
occur in the way the original research is collected. In order to prove a certain
point, a researcher may choose to collect information in a very select genres of
people instead of wide and random test groups taken from many diverse areas. A
pro-choice researcher may poll a feminist rally while a pro-lifer may choose a
Catholic organization. Thus the information becomes so varied and conflicting
that the objective data gets lost in the muddle. It is a case of ignoring the
whole truth and focusing on the part of it which best suits a specific person
and their ideals. Unfortunately, because of this lapse, many Americans are
confused as to the reality of the situation and tend to avoid it as we have a
tendency to do with subjects we do not understand. Others simply grab the
information they like best and sling it at their opponents in the matter. The
other side looks at this information and sees that it contrasts with their own.


Thus they dismiss it as lies. It is a vicious circle and it has caused many
deaths and injuries on both sides from riots, bombings, and fights. Carrie, a
San Diego nurse in an abortion clinic, tells us what it was like when the
building was bombed by pro-life supporters. “At the initial explosion, I
was knocked to the floor. A wave of heat burst through the room followed closely
by the fire. Burning papers fell from my desk and caught on the leg of my
scrubs. The pain was unbelievable! I now know what hell must be like. I began to
crawl to the door when I heard a cry behind me. One of the young patients was
running down the hall with her gown on fire. I grabbed her and made her roll.


Then we got out… I suffered second and third degree burns on my legs and arms
and my lungs were filled with smoke and had to be flushed out. Still, I am lucky
to even be alive. Two of my best friends died in that bombing and several of my
co-workers. I can not help but think now, that it is a bitter irony that the
people who claim they are trying to save lives are killing people to accomplish
it.” (Interview with Carrie) According to Jannet Lennelborg, “We must
find an uncommon ground on this issue.”(18). It is clear that these two
groups will never join in their ways of thinking. There is too much passion and
conflict involved in the debate. What we must do is find a compromise and
“agree to disagree” (18). If, just for a moment, we could just stop
the finger pointing and name calling, and just listen to what our so-called
opponents have to say, we may find that both sides have their points. Only then
can we stop the hatred and violence that has so ripped America in the last few
decades. In conclusion, my research leads me to believe that, while abortion
must be legal, a woman should also be provided with all the correct information
she needs to make a responsible and rational decision. I believe that this is
the only solution we can have which will conclude this “private war”
once and for all. The misinformation and violence surrounding this issue has
turned human against human for far too long. Most of the negativity regarding
the issue of abortion comes from the religious rights who believe that the right
to the life of the fetus supercedes all else. Unfortunately there will always be
a disparity between logic and religion.


Bibliography
Boyer, Mark. Abortion: The Straight Facts. Boston: Houghton Mifflan, 1992. Cohen,
Marshall. The Rights and Wrongs of Abortion. New Jersey: Princeton Press, 1978.

Frohock, Fred. Abortion. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1989. Haddock, Martha.


Abortion Today. New York: Doubleday, 1992. Interview- Interview with a former
San Diego abortion clinic nurse who was present when it was bombed in 1985. Lunneborg,
Patricia. Abortion: A Positive Decision. New York: Bergin & Garvey, 1992.

Messer, Ellen. Back Rooms. New York: St. Martin’s press, 1989. Rosenblatt,
Rodger. Life Itself. New York: Random House, 1993. Welton, K.B. Abortion…Is
Not A Sin. California: Pandit Press, 1989. 191-95. Whitney, Catherine. Whose
Life? New York: William Morrow and Co., 1992

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