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The issue of abortion is one of the most controversial issues discussed in our nation today. In 1996, roughly 1.37 million abortions took place (Guttmacher 1). It remains so controversial due to all the different viewpoints that are argued and discussed among people in our society. The 1973 decision of the Roe vs. Wade case, concerning abortion, had a huge impact among people s beliefs. Many individuals consider themselves pro-life and are completely against abortion. But, on the other side, there are just as many pro-choice persons who fully support the action, as well. A number of reasons explain why they believe abortions should remain legal for all women. These reasons include unwanted pregnancies, the belief that it is morally acceptable, cases of rape, false abortion myths, and future child complications.
One major reason why many believe abortion should remain legalized is because often times the pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, forty-nine percent of pregnancies among American women are unintended and half of these are terminated by abortion (1). Couples who didn t plan on having a baby usually are not financially ready to support a child. There is also a greater possibility where the child will not be cared and loved for as much as a baby who was desired is. Sadly enough, some believe this could lead to neglect or abuse. So taking that into consideration, pro-choicers feel that under conditions such as these, choosing to give birth may be socially dysfunctional, morally irresponsible or even cruel (Roleff 23).
Another justification for why people argue to keep abortion legal is that for some religions it is morally acceptable and not considered murder. A major debate over abortion revolves around whether the fetus is, in fact, a person in the legal sense. Abortion doctors argue that the embryo or fetus is not a separate human life because it is not able to live outside the woman s body (Roleff 40). Some feel killing the baby is not murder . There are people who try to make the case that abortion is a kind of self-defense: The woman is defending her health, her piece of mind, her way of life against an unwanted intruder (Roleff 44).
Pro-choice activists also strongly argue that in cases of rape, it is fully understandable when a woman chooses to abort the child. Each year, about 14,000 women have abortions following rape or incest (Guttmacher 2). People for and against abortion both agree that when a woman gets raped she should have complete freedom for her decision on whether or not to abort the child. Considering situations such as these, many women agree that abortion would be the best solution for them. They wouldn t want to possibly raise a child with someone they don t even know or love.
Many myths about side effects of abortions are false. These untrue myths are also a reason why people feel abortion should still be legalized. One example is the myth that abortions make you sterile. This myth is left over from the old days when abortions were illegal and unclean, where inappropriate instruments such as coat hangers were used by untrained practitioners (Runkle 32). There also have been very few studies that have suggested a link between abortions causing breast cancer. Therefore, knowing that the majority of the myths are false, people still support abortions.
One final reason why individuals want abortions to continue being legal is for cases when the mother knows that their baby will have birth defects or complications when the child is born. For example, during pregnancy the parents could find out that their child would have Down s Syndrome after undergoing an amniocentesis test. According to one couple s situation, they felt that the energy and time it would take to raise a handicapped child would have adversely affected their careers and relationship with their other child (Roleff 116). Some feel for that type of reason abortion is a good decision rather than having to deal with the future complications.
In conclusion, many people would like to see abortions remain legal in our world for reasons such as unwanted pregnancies, cases of rape or incest, false myths, child complications, and that it is morally acceptable. Women also feel they have the right to do whatever they want to their bodies. And lastly, with an estimated 43% of women having at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old, pro-choice activists strongly agree abortion is a really good option to have.
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