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Abortion: Pro-Choice Or Pro-Life Essay, Research Paper

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Kimberly Daniels

Ms. Clara Wright

English IV

21 January 2000

Abortion: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life

Controlling Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explain the pro-choice and pro-life controversy of receiving an abortion.

I. Introduction

A. Definition of abortion.

II. Thesis statement

A. Pro-choice

B. Pro-Life

III. The views

A. The moral viewpoint

B. The murder viewpoint

C. The restriction viewpoint

D. The parental consent viewpoint

E. The rape justification viewpoint

F. The safe viewpoint

IV. Conclusion

A. First Amendment

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Abortion: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life

“ But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to desperation which impelled her to the crime [abortion]” (Susan B. Anthony, 1869). In the Scott, Foresman Advanced Dictionary, Thorndike and Barnhart defined abortion as the removal of a developing embryo or fetus from the uterus to terminate a pregnancy before birth resulting in death of the fetus (3).

The abortion issue has become one of the world’s most controversial problems of today. This issue is divided into two sides, pro-life and pro-choice. They focus on different aspects of receiving an abortion. At one end we have the pro-choice advocate—those who focus on women’s right. The pro-choice supporters have reason to believe the fetus is only a potential human being. It has no right whatsoever, because the right belongs to the woman carrying the fetus, and it is she who decides on the length of time of the pregnancy. On the other end we have the pro-life —those who oppose abortion and focus on the fetus rights. They believe the fetus is a human being and has just as much legal right as the parents.

The Bible states that everybody was created in the image of God. Therefore, taking the life of an innocent child is like killing the image of God. In the Bible, God said that thou shall not murder. Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus has defined murder as the unlawful and intentional killing of a human being (133).

Is abortion moral or immoral? According to pro-life supporters, the unborn child is entrusted to the protection and care of the mother carrying it and yet the majority of the

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time it is the mother herself who makes the choice of whether or not the child should be aborted. The decision to abort the child may have come from problems dealing with the health of the mother or standard or living for the family. However, these excuses never justify the intentional killing of an innocent person.

Many people claim that an embryo is not considered human life. Supporters believe that human life starts at the fertilization of the ovum. Human life is sacred at every moment of existence.

In the opinion of pro-choicer advocate, birth is not always the right choice, because it may be “socially disfunctional, morally irresponsible, or even cruel.” (Abortion, 24) Many women who knew that life would only bring pain for their children choose to have an abortion. They feel that it would be better if the child wasn’t born at all.

Even though it kills human life, abortion is in fact, the moral choice to make when would be mothers are as certain that their present circumstances do not enable them to raise a would-be child responsibly. Contrary to popular accusations it is not the decision to abort, but the decision to have a child that is treated with the insufficient gravity in our society (Quinn, Abortion, 25).

To many pro-life advocates, abortion is a form of holocaust. They have compared abortion to the Nazi’s termination of the Jews. The number of aborted babies is staggering: 4,000 on a daily basis, over 1.6million annually, and over 30 million in the 20 years after the United States Supreme court gave it proabortion decision in 1973. On a

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yearly basis from 50 to 60 million abortions have been performed worldwide. The Nazi’s killed at least six million Jews.

The Nazi’s killed the Jews and, instead of burying them they put them in crematory ovens and huge ditches. Burning in hospital furnaces or city incinerators exposes of many of the aborted babies. Pro-life groups prefer that the bodies be disposed with dignity, a Christian burial.

Pro-choicest Don Sloan believes that an embryo is not a baby because it can only exist inside a woman’s uterus. Some people think of abortion as a self-defense rather than a murder because the woman is defending her health, her way of life, and her piece of mind against something that is not wanted. Sloan, like other pro-choice supporters, believe that everyone have a right and a say-so in the abortion issue.

School officials are not allowed to hand out aspirin to children without the permission of the parents, so why should they be able to have an abortion without consent? To pro-lifers, parents should be involved in abortion decision-making for teens because legally, they are responsible.

The idea of notifying parents in advance when any of discussion goes on with regard to their children health and welfare and that includes abortion. As long as the parents are responsible for their sexuality laws are written to stipulate what is right and wrong. And when it comes to a law that affects parental rights, I think there is a responsibility to come out on the side of the parents (Gow, Abortion, 96).

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Parental notification is one of these troubling topics that confound many. Many states such as Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, and Kansas require parental notification before a minor is required to obtain an abortion. States were parental consent is required include Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.

Pro-choicers feel that these laws are unconstitutional and they are a violation of the pregnant child. They feel that this could harm the girls’ health and may drive the teen to have an illegal abortion to avoid telling their parents. Legislators who disagree with abortion believe that the parental-consent laws will scare teens into abstinence. However, in states with these laws, sexual intercourse rates don’t decrease, but their health risks, however, increases. Young people are frightened by these laws only when they have become impregnated and need help desperately.

There is evidence that teenagers who do no involve their parents [in deciding about abortion] believe that involving their parents would not be their own best interests or try to protect their parents (Abortion, 98).

V. Many people believe that rape justifies abortion. To them, pregnancies resulting from rape are bothersome and involuntary, and should be approached by providing suitable counseling. On the other hand, the pro-life advocates feel that rape doesn’t justify abortion.

Opponents of abortion rights walk a fine line when they condone any abortion. Based on their own definition, they are guilty of being accessories to “murder” in certain circumstances by accepting rape and incest exceptions (Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, 135).

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It is not moral to hate a person because of the way they were conceived. Rape is a violent act received by a woman. That makes her an innocent victim. Abortion, no matter the reason, is a violent act received by an unborn child from the woman carrying it. What does this makes the unborn child?

With an average of 1.5 million abortions performed every year since its legalization in 1973, abortion is the most common surgical procedure for women. Most medical professionals agree that the earlier an abortion is performed, the safer it is for the woman. The pro-life advocates have shown studies that women who have had abortions have a 50 percent increased risk for breast cancer. This increased revealed by the studies means that women face a higher risk of dying from the effects of an abortion than of dying in childbirth. The first trimester of a normal pregnancy is marked by a surge of hormones from the mother’s ovaries, which makes her breast grow. The high estrogen levels of early pregnancy interact with hormones of late pregnancy and produces breast milk. If the pregnancy is terminated artificially, the growth-stimulating effects of the estrogen surge help primitive and abnormal cells to grow in possible cancers.

However, the pro-choice supporters have found that many medical studies have shown that a woman’s reproductive history affects her risk of breast cancer. The risks associated with abortion are insignificant compared with other well-documented breast cancer risks, such as alcohol consumption and weight. Furthermore, studies on the link between breast cancer and abortion have reached contradictory conclusions.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that everyone has the freedom of speech, or of press; therefore, different people should have different

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opinions. There are many questions people should consider about the issue of abortion. They are as follows: Is this process immoral; Should rights be restricted; Can abortion be justified; and is this a safe process.


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Shalit, Wendy. “Whose Choice?” National Review. (1998): Vol. 50 Issue 9, 28. CD-ROM. Ebsco. May 1998.

Thorndike, EL, and Barnhart, Clarence, eds. (abortion). Scott, Foresman Advanced Dictionary. Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Co., 1997.

“Abortion Perspectives”. 2000. http://pottersshcool.com/abortion/txtintroduction.html (14 Jan. 2000)

“Abortion Perspectives”. 2000. http://pottersshcool.com/abortion/txtbible.html. (14 Jan.2000)

Landoll, Inc. (murder). Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus. Ashland: Landoll, Inc., 1997.

Roleff, Tamara, ed. Abortion: Opposing viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997

“Abortion.” Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99. CD- ROM. Redman: Microsoft Corp., 1998

Cozic, Charles and Petriskin, Johnathan, eds. The Abortion Controversy. San Diego Greenhaven Press, 1995.

Summer, L.W. Abortion and Moral Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981

Carey, Mary A. “ Testimony by Parents Gives an Emotional Edge to Hearing on Abortion Bills”. CI Weekly. (1998): Vol. 56 Issue 21, 1394. CD-ROM. Ebsco. May 1998.

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