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Abortion And Society Essay, Research Paper

Since the Darwinian Revolution of the 19th century our society has turned upside

down. Everything under the sun had become questionable, the origin of life, how

we came to be, where are we headed and what to do in the here all became

questions in life. But one of the greatest impacts of this new age thinking is

its effect on our Old World values. Western societies values, morals and ethics

became debatable, with some people striving for change and others clinging for

stability. Battle lines had been drawn and the Liberals and Conservatives were

ready to duke it out on a number of issues. One of these debates centers on a

woman?s right to have and abortion. According to the Webster?s dictionary

and abortion is defined as a miscarry, something misshapen or unnatural. An

abortion is a procedure in which an embryo or fetus is prohibited from

developing by artificial means. One could argue that this is next to murder. How

can we as a society sanction the murdering of developing babies? Also it can

equally be stated that abortion is unnatural and a health hazard to women who

have undergone the procedure. Whatever the case, abortion should be outlawed

because it is immoral and mothers should face the responsibilities of their

actions. Many arguments can be used in order to put an end to abortion or at

least in order to establish dialogue. One of the oldest arguments against

abortion is the religious standpoint. Western society (Canada & U.S.A.) is

historically a Judeo-Christian culture with Judeo-Christian values. Although in

recent times we have become an increasingly pluristic society the Old World

thinking is still at the heart of our social relations and laws. The Bible says

?Thou shalt not kill? thus prohibiting people from harming others or

themselves. Abortion and its advocates violate this law. They seek to change one

of the most fundamental values of our society. Pro-choice under this stance is

equated with murder and ?playing God?. One may raise the question, how can a

minority inflict its views of the majority? According to Francis X. Meenan, this

is a false assumption. He goes on to claim that those who favor abortion on

demand are the real minority (Bender & Leone, 97). He also claims that the

issue of abortion is a moral debate and cannot be settled by numbers. So even if

pro-choice advocates outnumbered pro-life advocates, this would prove or settle

nothing (Bender & Leone, 97). This stance claims that we should focus more

on moral principals and eradicate the practice of abortion in our society. The

Biblical understanding of life isn?t the only religious argument that opposes

abortion and its practice. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many other world faiths

have a similar stance on the topic at hand. Hinduism claims that the soul enters

the embryo at the time of conception and abortion should hence be outlawed

except in the case of rape or incest. Buddhism takes a similar stance and claims

abortion is ?murdering?, yet also states that each case should be

individually analyzed. Islam considers abortion as a moral crime and sees life

(its start finish) as the jurisdiction of God. Islamic law states that abortion

is illegal except in those situations in which the woman?s life is in

jeopardy. The question that arises after examining these numerous perspectives

is how can these practices which violate or threaten our fundamental beliefs be

tolerated? The critics of the ant-abortion perspective, ?pro-choice?, have

arguments of their own. First and foremost they argue that biblical law and its

perspectives are codes of life for believers and in a pluralistic society this

view shouldn?t be a reference or a deciding factor. One could imagine how it

would be to have another foreign view imposed on us so why would anyone impose

their views on others or the society at large? Other pro-choice arguments have

went to claim that abortion isn?t immoral because morality is subjective hence

people decide on their own what is moral or immoral. According to Daniel C.

Maguire, even religious people can disagree on abortion. One ground for going

against religion as an argument against abortion is the fact that the Church is

dominated by male influence (bender & Leone, 101). Maguire wants to know how

and why men have the authority to dictate what women decide to do with their

bodies (Bender & Leone, 101). Is it ?life? they seek to protect or is it

the female ?sexuality? they wish to control? The Catholic Code of Canon

excommunicates one for aborting a fertilized egg, but not for killing a baby

after birth. This hypocrisy thus discredits the religious argument against

abortion. The counter-criticism, which in turn disproves of abortion claims that

advocates of pro-choice are imposing their values on the greater population and

not the other way around. In my opinion this is a good counter-strike because

too often pro-choice individuals claim that the other side is being closed

minded and yet seem to neglect their own errors. The second argument, which

opposes abortion, states that abortion shouldn?t be a woman?s personal

choice. Women only play one role in having a baby. There is a man?s role

involved and there is a new life, which under the banner of abortion would be

extinguished. A pro-abortionist denies humanity to the fetus at all, a stance

that shows a lack of moral character (Wennberg, 57). This perspective states

that the growing fetus is an autonomous life form that has its own rights

regardless and separate of the woman. I would argue that females who have

undergone an abortion have infringed on the life of another human being in order

to satisfy their own needs. Other arguments opposing abortion state that if we

keep abortion legal it will become a choice ethic or a new form of birth control

(Wennberg, 9). Life will be a privilege only for a chosen few, the value of

human life will be cheapened with people only having babies when it is

convenient. Critics of this argument claim abortion should be a woman?s

personal choice. They state that true woman?s liberation is intertwined with

the right to bear children or the decision to abort their unborn child at will (Saarni,

104). Further claims have stated that the pro-choice argument is embedded in a

larger issue which the dominant male-oriented society wants to avoid, that being

feminism (Wennberg, 68). This statement regards abortion as a social issue which

opens the doors for women?s liberation and gives them power to make decisions

in their own life. As one could imagine this isn?t a view that would be

favored by male society. Other criticism claims that women who are opposed to

abortion do so because they value human well being and those politicians who

seek to outlaw abortion come in the name of ?family values? (Saarni, 115).

Thus pro-choice isn?t seen as a stance, which is concerned, about the well

being of people. In a quest to establish a woman?s choice the government is

viewed as a powerful entity. Perhaps the issue of choice should be left to the

individual instead of the state (Wennberg, 82). In my opinion the right to bear

children or not shouldn?t be just a woman?s decision. Why must women?s

liberation be related to her independent choice and not with a socially

intellectual choice where all parties find a middle ground? The statement that

the abortion argument is a part of a larger sphere, which includes feminism and

that the powers that be are trying to put an end to this, is based on

speculation. If this were true why is it that women have gained power all across

the board in all walks of life only to be oppressed in this issue. As for the

women who seek the well being for life they naturally side up with the pro-life

perspective. To claim that politicians with their own personal agendas are

manipulating these women is saying that these women value life alongside their

male counter parts and that is the reasoning why many strive towards pro-life.

The argument that legal abortion harms public health is yet another reason to

re-evaluate the case of abortion. The fact is that abortion is a complicated

procedure that can harm a woman?s body, disabling from bearing children.

Complications include hemorrhaging and laceration of the cesuix (Richardson,

36). Other studies done by Stallworthy, Moolga, Oker and Walsh have reported the

complications that occurred during 1,182 legal abortions. While their where no

deaths, 9.5% of the patients required blood transfusions, 4.2% had cervical

lacerations and 1.2% of the patients uteri were perforated. Post-abortion

infection occurred in 27% of these women. Other complications in pregnancy and

with abortions state that there is a correlation between pre-mature birth and a

woman?s exposure to abortion (Richardson, 42). This perhaps has to do with the

fact that the cervix could be damaged after the use of instruments to perform

abortion (Richardson, 42). In my opinion the facts speak for themselves.

Abortion decreases public health and is a dangerous procedure. Other arguments

for abortion stem from claims that abortion actually guards public safety by

providing an outlet for young women who would have otherwise had a ?back

alley? abortion (Richardson, 57). Advocates of this argument would most likely

state that since the legalization of abortion an account of accurate records has

been kept thus catering to health concerns. Other statements claim that since

1973 the number of women, percentage wise, who are using safer methods has

increased (Richardson, 51). In my personal opinion these arguments simply state

how legalized abortion has reduce the black market. It doesn?t attempt to

debate on the ethics of the matter, or doesn?t mention the risk factor

associated with abortion. I?m sure military force monitoring our cities could

reduce crime, yet is this a solution which server the best interest? To argue

that society is better off with legalized abortion because it reduces the black

market isn?t a very good solution. It is a decision that is poor, unethical,

and most of all a tremendous health hazard. Another argument, which is often

cited as a justification for abortion, is one?s economic concerns. Many women

who get pregnant but are poor are the first to get an abortion. It seems like

that the struggles of modern life create an obstacle for those women in which a

child becomes a burden (Saarni, 17). Is this what our society has come to? Is

this the condition of our mothers? It seems like more and more women are

redirected towards abortion as a solution to their problems (Saarni, 19). Human

life now comes with a price tag, it is no longer regarded as sacred but is seen

as a disposable entity when ?the going gets tough?. Society no longer values

life and is willing to, or demanding that women, especially poor or black women

control the number of babies they have or the government will control it for

them (Saarni, 24). The critics take the other stance and claim that economics is

one of the most important reasons we should keep legal abortions. Legal

abortions provides an avenue for underprivileged women who cannot support

another child in this world (Saarni, 29). They claim that abortion is in the

best interest for the mother, child and the taxpayers (Saarni, 29). They also

claim that abortion services are an equalizer which maintain low birth rates

amongst today?s women (Saarni, 30). This means that women us abortion as a

method of birth control, which enables them to remain independent, carry out a

career, and live a free-spirited life. I personally believe that economics

isn?t a good reason to abort a life. If one can?t afford to bring a life

into this world then take all necessary precautions to make sure you won?t get

pregnant. I don?t think abortion is in the best interest of anyone but the

selfish mother who has willingly destroyed the life of an unborn baby. Finally,

it?s a shame if modern women feel that abortion is some sort of birth control.

It is unfortunate that life isn?t valued like it once was and that

independence and financial gain gave become the new objectives in life. It is

perhaps this mentality to equate abortion with birth control and thus female

liberation that is the most dangerous to traditional family values. What does

this say about us as a society when we begin to murder our own and then claim

that we are modern and civilized? In conclusion, abortion has many ominous

consequences and show how the very moral fiber of our society is disintegrating.

It is a moral crime, a crime to the unborn child, a crime to society as a whole

and therefor should be outlawed.

1. Abortion Opposing Viewpoints, David L. Bender & Bruno Leone,

Greenhaven Press 1986. 2. Life in the Balance: Exploring the Abortion

Controversy, Robert N. Wennberg, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1985. 3.

www.topicsearch.com : Abortion controversy 4. Abortion: Risk Vs. Benefit, Aaron

Saarni, Oxford University Press 1990. 5. The Crime of Abortion, Erick

Richardson, Prentice-Hall Inc. 1989. 6. Compton?s Encyclopedia (CD Rom) 7.

www.naral.org Naral homepage 8. potterschool.com/abortion Abortion Perspectives.

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