One of the world’s most polarising debates revolves around the moral, religious and legal status of Abortion. There are two distinct views on the subject. The pro-life movement emphasises the right for the embryo/fetus to be born, while the pro-choice movement emphasises the woman’s right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. This is a highly-sensitive debate, which has been fervently debated for many, many years. In this article, we take a look at both sides of the argument.
First of all – a quick overview. An abortion is the term given to describe the situation where a pregnancy is deliberately ended – therefore killing the fetus. While some people sit on the fence with the argument, most people have a clear opinion on the topic. Questions over morality, religious beliefs and the law are central to the abortion debate. Unlike Euthanasia, there is no way of getting the opinion of the person involved. Below, both sides of the argument are presented.
PRO-LIFE: ABORTION SHOULD NOT HAPPEN
- If life begins at conception, then there is no way abortion and murder can be separated as different acts. A human life is being taken.
- Abortion goes against the Sanctity of Life. All life is important, even if we are discussing a weeks-old fetus.
- An abortion can cause complications in later life for the mother. The risk of an ectopic pregnancy doubles, for instance.
- Contraception is very advanced, abortion should never be used as a contraceptive technique.
- An abortion in western countries is normally provided for free, paid for by taxpayers, e.g. the NHS in the United Kingdom. Yet many people will have inadvertently paid toward an abortion despite not believing in them. Is this fair?
- An abortion isn’t a risk free procedure, with a minority of procedures resulting in infections, or damage to the womb.
- Many who have an abortion will regret it forever more. They are often young and naive.
- Moreover, this can cause unnecessary psychological pain and stress to the mother, and their family.
- Many people suggest that rape or incest are grounds for abortion. But in this case, is it really fair to punish the unborn child? They didn’t commit a crime.
- If a women wants to have complete control of her body, then sexual abstinence could be advised. This way, abortion would become impossible.
- Many propose that adoption accomplishes the same result without causing death. Many people who cannot have children rely on adoption to have children, and therefore can give the child a happy upbringing.
PRO-CHOICE: IT SHOULD BE THE MOTHER’S CHOICE
- During pregnancy, the fetus is hugely dependent on the mother. As the majority of abortions are undertaken within the first trimester, it could be argued the fetus isn’t a separate entity to the mother, as it couldn’t exist outside the womb. Does that mean it can really be considered to be a ‘life’?
- When someone doesn’t want to give birth, it is possible the child, once born, might be neglected. This could cause big problems for their development, and lead to a host of mental health problems.
- Abortion is a largely safe procedure, and means less safe, ‘backstreet’ abortions are avoided. Only around 1 in 200 abortions result in complications, and an abortion doesn’t affect future pregnancies.
- Teenagers or other vulnerable people who become mothers will often have poor prospects for the future. It can then be asked what sort of life will the child have?
- Being a victim of rape or incest can be a highly-traumatic experience. By needing to have a child, it is possible they will be constantly reminded of their trauma.
- If a child is going to be born with a serious ailment or disability, how much of a happy life will they be able to lead?
- In some cases, the life of the mother can be at risk in pregnancy, is it not right to protect her from death?
- The civil rights of the mother is important. Once you take away their right to control production, what will be decided next? It could become a slippery slope.
- Abortion also reduces the welfare costs to taxpayers. There are less people for Governments to care for.
- When abortion is outlawed, it is common for people to ‘find a way’ to terminate the pregnancy. Yet whatever this method is can involve damaging the mother. At least if it legal, then a woman can go through the proper channels.
- Contraception isn’t always successful – pregnancies can still occur.
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The debate on Abortion will forever be polarising. Few topic generate such an emotional response, and many have a set opinion. It can be suggested that until you find yourself in the position where you are considering an abortion, that it is only then you can make an informed choice. This article has provided a general overview of the two sides of the argument. Viewers are encouraged to make up their own mind as to which side of the argument they believe to be correct.