Abortion is a highly discussed topic in our country today, from many believing it is right and many believing it is wrong. In this paper, I will attempt to refute the claim that abortion is not wrong and should be permissible in any given circumstance. Abortion can either be spontaneous or induced. When it occurs spontaneously, it is known as a miscarriage. But, when it is induced, steps are taken to purposely terminate a pregnancy. Induced abortion is what has caused a major issue in our world since it is the deliberate termination before the fetus even has the chance to fully develop.
Those in support of abortion, typically labeled as “pro-choice,” will say that abortion should be acceptable because of a woman’s right to choose. The argument is usually made up by saying it is the woman’s body, so she has the right to choose what to do with it, even if that choice is abortion. However, there are limits as to what you can and should be able to do with your body. You should not use your body to kill someone. Just because you have the power to make a choice, does not mean what you chose to do is right. The argument that a woman can do what she wants with her body ignores the fact there is now a baby growing inside her. A baby with its own body, rights to its body. This unborn child has equal amount of rights to its body as anyone else. Even if the fetus isn’t capable of living independently, it is still alive, so abortion is still killing a living thing. “Terminating a pregnancy is different than killing because without the mother, the fetus would not exist. So, the mother does not make the fetus any worse off.” (paper one, line 28) But the fetus already exists, and it is already a separate life, even if it couldn’t survive on its own.
In Don Marquis’ piece, “Why Abortion is Immoral,” he argues that abortion is wrong because it is the act of killing a being with a right to life and killing someone with a right to life is morally wrong due to the fact that it denies him or her a valuable future worth having. In abortion, you take away the fetus’s future. So, whether the fetus is a person or not, abortion is still wrong. Marquis points out that death is a bad thing because it deprives individuals of experiences, enjoyments, etc. that make up one’s future. Pre-mature deaths are deaths that happen before a person reaches an expected age and many of these deaths are considered to be preventable. While abortion is not the same as a premature death, abortion prevents the fetus of future experiences, activities, etc. in the same exact way a premature death deprives the individual of their future experiences. Therefore, abortion is just as bad as a pre-mature death.
Those who are pro-choice argue that the fetus is not yet a human life. But this can be scientifically proven to be wrong. According to ehd.org, “Prenatal Form and Function,” the unborn fetus develops a heartbeat only three weeks and one day after fertilization. By four weeks, the heart typically beats between 105 and 121 times per minute. At three weeks, the gestational age, the embryo is at the beginning of development. By this time, it is developing a brain, spinal cord, heart and gastrointestinal tract. As soon as conception takes place, once the sperm penetrates the egg, this is already the basis for a new being. The unborn child already has its own unique DNA. So, the claim that it is not yet a human life is incorrect.
Another argument brought to light is women becoming pregnant due to rape and incest. “Going through an assault such as rape is difficult enough for a woman to cope with but forcing the victim to carry a physical reminder full term causes even more stress and can often lead to mental health issues.” (paper one, lines 37-39). Abortion does not punish the individual who committed this act against the woman, instead, abortion punishes the unborn child who did not commit this crime. When, in reality, the offender is the one who should be punished. Of course, experiencing something as intense as rape will cause physical and mental stress on the victim, often leaving the victim wishing for the memory to disappear. However, abortion does not rid the memory and long-lasting effect rape has on a person. In an article by illinoisrighttolife, “what about abortion in case of rape, or to save the mother’s life?” it is mentioned that many women counseled who had become pregnant as a result of rape and had abortions, stated that their abortions did not provide a solution to their pain, but rather exacerbated it.
The Pro-Life and Pro-Choice debate will always exist. Abortion is a moral issue that will not be solved because there will always be people with differences in beliefs. Both sides have good points that take in to account the rights of the mother as well as the rights of the unborn child, even if it is not yet fully independent. I still believe that my initial pro-choice position is best, simply because I am a firm believer in a woman having every right to her body. I further explained this in my first paper. However, I am not going to say that someone who is pro-life is wrong either. It is all a matter of opinion and I happen to feel strongly on the pro-choice matter. Until every woman learns to use contraceptives, whether that be through the use of condoms, birth control or even abstinence, until there is no more rape, incest, and every child in the adoption system is guaranteed a home; there will always be pregnancies that are unwanted, and a woman will take the steps she feels necessary to not have a child.