Auguments about Abortion
Abortion is one of the most controversial issues around, and is an issue that will never be
agreed upon. By bringing morals into the question of whether it should be legal to have
abortions, this issue has been elevated to a higher level. By some people, it is no longer
looked at as a question of choice but as a question of morality, and these concepts have led
to a full-blown debate over something that really should not be questioned.
Every women in America has the right to decide what to do with their bodies. No
government or group of people should feel that they have the right to dictate to a person
what path their lives should take. People who say that they are "pro-life" are in effect no
more than "anti-choice". These pro-lifers want to put the life and future of a women into
the hands of the government. Abortion, and the choice a women may make, is a very
private thing and should not be open to debate. The question of morality should not even
come into play when considering abortion, because in this case the question is not of
morality but of choice and constitutionality.
The ninth amendment states "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." This in turn, is
guaranteeing a women the right to have an abortion. Pro-choice people say that abortion is
the killing of a child, but pro-choice people do not consider the fetus a child. A
philosopher, Mary Anne Warren, proposed that consciousness, reasoning, self-motivated
activity, and self awareness are factors that determine 'person-hood'.
But, a misconception that held is that people who are pro-choice are actually pro-
abortion. Many people that support the right of a women to decide what to do with her
own body may be personally against abortions. But, that does not mean that they think the
government should be able to pass laws governing what females do with their bodies. Pro-
choice people simply believe that it is the right of a women to assess her situation and
decide if a baby would be either beneficial or deleterious to her present life.
People that are against abortions do not take many things into consideration. One
thing they do not consider is how the life of a teenager may be ruined if they are not given
the option of abortion. Another thing not considered is the serious family strife that will
result if a baby is forced to be born. Pro-lifers are adamant about their beliefs and think
that they have an answer to every situation. Pregnant? Try adoption. Pregnant? They
will help you support the baby. What ever the women's situation may be, pro-lifers will not
change their stand.
Many people that are pro-life suggest adoption as a viable alternative to abortion.
But, in reality, this is not a good answer. The fact is is that the majority of people looking
to adopt are middle class white couples. Another fact is is that most of the babies given up
for adoption (or that are aborted) are of a mixed race. And, the truth is, is that most of the
adopters do not want these type of children. This is a sad fact, but is true. Why else
would adopting couples be placed on a waiting list for a few years when there are so many
other kinds of babies out there. Would these pro-lifers rather see these children grow up as
wards of the state, living a life of sorrow and misery?
Pro-lifers are fighting for laws that will make abortion illegal. Do they really think
that this will stop abortions? The only thing a law against abortions will accomplish will be
to drive pregnant women to seek help in dark alleys and unsafe situations, resulting not
only in the termination of the pregnancy, but perhaps their own lives as well. In the 1940's
when abortion was illegal, there were still many cases of women seeking help elsewhere.
The only difference though, is that these women usually ended up dead because of
hemorrhaging or infection. If a woman wants an abortion, illegal or legal, nothing will stop
her. Why would pro-lifers, who supposedly put so much value in life, want to endanger
the live of another person?
It is true that if a law is passed against abortion, it may serve to prevent some
abortions. A women may not have enough money for an alley-way abortion and would
then have to carry their pregnancy to term. The results of this could be disastrous. First of
all, the mother would be depressed, probably would not get prenatal care, may drink, do
drugs, or any other thing she could do to perhaps harm the life of the baby. And, when the
baby finally is born, the mother may hate the baby, knowing that it has ruined her chance
of ever accomplishing her goals in life. If these 'women forced into motherhood' do
happen to keep their child, there is a good chance of child abuse and neglect. These
unwanted children, raised by the state or unloving parents, would then give birth to another
generation of unwanted children. Also, in some desperate situations, new mothers may
have the idea that since they could not have an abortion they will kill their baby right after
birth, perhaps with the idea that they would get away with it and be able to start their life
afresh. When all of these situations are considered by an open-minded person, abortion
seems the better of them.
Radical pro-lifers fight for the lives of children and then go and destroy the lives of
abortion doctors. Does this mean that they place more value on the live of a bundle of
cells and tissues than they do on a human being? Contradictions such as these lead many
pro-choice people to believe that pro-lifers are close-minded, immovable, radicals.
Pro-lifers may say to all of these arguments that any of these situations would be
preferable to abortion. The important thing, they believe, is that these children will be
living. They say that when a women goes to get an abortion the fetus is given no choice.
But, in effect, what they really are saying is that the power of choice should be taken away
from the mothers, giving the unborn child an opportunity to be brought into a loveless,
lonely, and uncaring world.