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Abortion has been a controversial topic for decades. On one side, the pro-lifers believe that abortion is equivalent to the murder of a baby and, therefore, a violation of the right to life of the baby. On the opposing side, the pro-choicers believe a woman, as a human being, has the right to privacy and happiness; her choice is hers alone and should not have to be justified, but respected. While both sides have their pros and cons, many people continue to believe abortions should be considered the murdering of a baby, a woman has the right to decide what she wants to do with her own body without the opinions and judgements of others because her body is hers.
Throughout history, pro-choice supporters have been seen as evil, whether from a religious or ethical standpoint. Orin Carmon writes, “Women who have abortions have been so demonized that storytelling helps make that essential empathic leap that so many people are missing.” The ethicality of an abortion is always questioned. Many people believe that by having an abortion, the mother is simply killing her baby. Abortion is not about killing a child, rather, about the “… idea of ‘choice’ — that a woman has a right to choose what she does with her body…” (“Abortion”). In regards to the woman’s health while having an abortion, in today’s society, when an abortion is performed professionally, women risk little of their health. Unlike earlier times, when women’s health often was put in danger due to the unsanitary and unprofessional environment of their abortion. Another important issue concerning abortion, are the financial issues. Many people can not afford to raise children, especially the poorer or homeless with no jobs or low paying jobs. Instead of putting another burden on these people and bringing a baby into a life of abandonment because the parent can not care of him or her, an abortion could be seen as the best choice.
Contrastingly, for years pro-lifers have seen abortion as a type of murder or a way for the woman to take away the freedom and right to life of an unborn fetus. Pro-life supporters think of abortions as “mass slaughters” (Napolitano) and by being “pro-choice,” one should be labeled “anti-life” (“Abortion”). Pro-lifers believe that the society will start to suffer because of the loss of generations due to the “slaughtering” of fetuses. They see pro-choice supporters as the type of people that prefer life over death, and as the main cause of the absence of population growth (Napolitano). Pro-life supporters argue for the rights of the fetus because they believe that, even if the woman is raped, the fetus is not at fault for the mistakes of a man, or the woman and has the exact same rights as the “parents.” The view that an abortion is equivalent to murder comes from the belief that the life of a child begins at conception. Andrew Napolitano writes, “Only the Nazis would execute a child for the crimes of his or her father.”
While pro-lifers base most of their argument on the fact that the fetus is a living human being; scientifically, the fetus will not be considered a living being until twenty-eight weeks of gestation, when the brain starts to form. Pro-lifers also consider human life to start at the time of conception, a theory merely based on a theological theory rather than a scientific theory. Pro-life supporters also argue for the “right to life”; however, according to John Swomley, there should be a distinction between a virtue and a right. The woman should not be obligated to save the fetus as a man is not obligated to save a drowning person; he makes his own decision and volunteers to save the drowning person. People, or women in this case, should not be forced “…to give up her life or health or family security to save the life of a fetus that is threatening her well-being. At the very least she is entitled to self-defense” (Swomley).
Pro-lifers continue to believe that a human should be a human whether inside the woman or out. However, the reason an unborn child would not be considered a living human is because of the fetus’ inability to live by itself outside of the mother’s uterus. The fetus is supplied with nutrition by the mother’s umbilical cord, where the fetus receives food it can not receive by itself, and therefore, becomes the definition of a parasite rather than a human being.
While many of the view points are from religious views, one of the other factors of abortion comes from financial viewpoint. Many women do not have the financial requirements to have an abortion, much less raise a child. Abortion should be accessible to both rich and poor, where every woman has the right to be educated and given equal access to abortions. Women not only in the United States, but around the world, “…restrictive abortion laws and inadequate public health services have a much greater impact on the lives of poor women than on wealthy women” (“Abortion”).
When religious points of views are disregarded, abortion is ethical in the way that abortion allows a woman to take care of her own body, maker her own decisions since she also has rights, and, in some cases, rid herself of something endangering her life. Because a fetus, or even an embryo, is not considered a human, unless viewed from a theological stance, “slaughter” and “murder” are words that should never be associated with abortion. In conclusion, women and their choice of abortion should be respected as well as seen as the right of the woman to her privacy and her own body.
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