Should Abortion Be Banned (Except in Special Circumstances Like Saving the Mother's Life)?
Overview/BackgroundNo social issue in America since slavery has ever been so divisive as that of abortion. No issue brings out so much passion and hatred of the other side. Any court decisions related to abortion regularly bring protestors from both sides. Polls show Americans are split almost evenly on the issue. Every presidential election brings out the pro-life side on the right and the pro-choice side on the left. Abortion often makes it into the debate on other issues. For example, funding of Planned Parenthood has been discussed in reining in the out-of-control federal budget. Another example is Obamacare, where final passage was held up by a few senators who didn't like the abortion language of the bill. Which side is right? Are there any shades of gray in this dispute?
- Abortion is a form of murder and demeans the value of human life. When a pregnant women feels a kick in her belly, she doesn't say "Oh, the fetus kicked" or "Oh, the mass of cells that hasn't become a person kicked", she says "The baby kicked." Yes, after conception you have a real human being waiting to enter the world. Why should taking someone's life when they're in the womb be any different than taking their life when they're a baby in the crib? Pro-choice advocates claim this isn't a real baby only to justify their wrong acts in their own minds. Even if you don't believe abortion is murder, it still demeans the value of human life, since women can so callously stomp out a living being simply because they're inconvenienced.
- Other birth control is readily available; thus, abortion shouldn't be a form of birth control. There are dozens of birth control methods that can keep you from becoming pregnant, including the 100 percent effective one: abstinence. Maybe if abortion wasn't available, people wouldn't be so careless in the first place.
- The societal contributions of a potentially valuable human being are wiped out. What would the world be like if the mothers of Abe Lincoln, George Washington, or Thomas Edison had had an abortion? Just maybe a woman has become pregnant despite all birth control attempts because the child is destined to do something great.
- Women who have abortions often suffer major psychological damage from the experience along with, in some cases, the father of the child. Many women who have abortion in their younger years end up living the rest of their lives in perpetual guilt. Even if that women doesn't consider it murder at the time, that may change as she matures. Even Jane Roe (not her real name), the original woman behind the famous court decision, has completely changed her mind on abortion. She filed a petition to have the decision overturned to help relieve the guilt of hundreds of thousands of needless deaths she blames on herself. Also, let's not forget that there are two parents of every aborted child. The father may feel just as guilty. The father may even want the child, but he has no choice if the mother chooses abortion.
- The advances of genetic testing may prompt more abortions (to avoid having the non-ideal child). All of us who have or want kids imagine them growing up to be doctors, senators, sports stars, or whatever. But what would you do if you knew the child would have Down's Syndrome? What would you do if you knew the child would have an intelligence level lower than that required to enter public school? What if the child had a strong risk of schizophrenia? Would you still have the child or would you want an abortion? As genetic knowledge continues to grow, we are able to determine more and more about what a child will be like as an adult. Legalized abortion could turn babies into science experiments.
- There are many couples who spend years on waiting lists trying to adopt a child. The number of couples out there who cannot have a child of their own for physical reasons are too numerous to count. The waiting list for adopting babies can be 5-10 years or more. Young women in their teens are right to be concerned that they're not ready to effectively raise a child. However, if that is the case, there are plenty of wonderful people out there who are. Not only would you be bringing a valuable life into the world, you'd also be making the dream of a childless couple come true.
- The abortion decision is often made by minors or young adults, who don't have the maturity and life experiences to make good decisions. There's a good reason why we don't allow people to drink alcohol, smoke, or drive until they're a certain age. It's because they haven't matured enough to make good, sound decisions. We've all made bad decisions in our younger years that provide us with life experience to make sounder judgment in the future. The one skill that seems to take the longest time to develop is the ability to consider the feelings and needs of someone besides ourselves. Why should such a life or death decision as abortion be made by a person who probably hasn't developed that capacity?
- People have the right not to see their tax dollars go to something they find immoral. Abortion is a medical procedure that must be performed by a doctor. The government contributes to many health care institutions such as Healthcare for the Homeless, Planned Parenthood, free clinics, etc. All of us who pay taxes have the right to prevent that money from going to something we consider murder. The Obamacare bill passed in 2009 almost guarantees that taxpayers will be paying for abortion when the law takes effect.
- Abortion eliminates legal rights of the unborn child. The documents of our founding fathers state that we are all entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. By legalizing abortion, we take those rights away from a future American citizen. Just because the babies can't speak for themselves doesn't mean they have no rights. If a 1-month old is murdered, it that really different than abortion as far as protecting an American's life? If a person shoots and kills a pregnant woman, shouldn't the punishment be more severe? If you legalize abortion, it would tell the courts there is no difference.
- Abortion exposes women to various health risks and the danger of losing fertility. Abortion exposes woman to a number of
- Government gets to control a woman's body. By making abortion illegal, you're introducing a slippery slope that gives government control over a woman's body. You're taking away a personal freedom. Who knows what other controls the government may legislate in the future. Will it have the power to force sterilization? Will it have the power to make motherhood mandatory? Will it next take away the right to use other birth control methods such as The Pill?
- "Back alley" abortions would increase if it were made illegal, leading to increased risk of young women dying or becoming sterile. Regardless of what laws are in place, there will always be young women out there who want to have an abortion. They may not want to face the wrath of their parents, the embarrassment at school, or the lifetime responsibility of motherhood. If we criminalize abortion, many woman will simply look for other ways to get rid of the child. They could starve themselves or seek unlicensed "back alley" abortions. So instead of getting an abortion in a controlled environment where there is one last chance for counseling on options, women may subject themselves to a potentially dangerous situation. These type of methods often lead to sterility or other harm, even death.
- It's arguably better for society to have babies aborted than have them be brought up poor and neglected, where not only will the child suffer but society when that child develops a higher attraction to crime, welfare, etc. This is probably a controversial point but it has to be said. Without legalized abortion, a lot more women will become parents whether or not they want to be and whether or not they're ready to be. Raising a child properly is a full-time labor intensive process. The children who are neglected or abused are usually the ones that grow up to be drug addicts, lifelong government aid recipients, and criminals. Do we want to subject the child to such misery? Do we want to saddle society with the added burden? Some people say, "What if Abe Lincoln's mom had an abortion?". You could also ask, "What if Adolf Hitler's or Osama bin Laden's mom had an abortion?"
- One brief mistake can take away a woman's childhood and trap her for life. We all make mistakes in our life, especially when we are young. The pressure to have sex at an early age is fierce in today's society. Even a girl who lives a good, responsible life can have one slip up. But that one slip-up can take away all her life plans and trap her. She may have planned to go to medical school, train for the Olympics, travel the world, or just have fun while she's still young. All this can be thrown down the drain with one brief mistake. We shouldn't penalize someone for life.
- Giving up a child for adoption can be just as emotionally damaging as having an abortion. Women develop an emotional bond with a child when they carry it through the full term and go through the experience of delivery. Giving up that child for adoption might be the only reasonable option for a young girl too immature or poor to raise a kid. However, the women now has to live with a feeling of abandoning their child for the rest of her life. Why do you think so many adoptive parents seek out their kids when they're grown? There's no doubt that some women suffer psychological damage from having an abortion; however, the damage done from giving a child up for adoption is much worse.
- Carrying and delivering a baby can be painful & dangerous to the mother, and a number of complications can develop. Any woman who has ever been pregnant will tell you that is not always very pleasant. Weight gain, edema, back pain, morning sickness, and constipation are among the common complaints. After delivery, postpartum depression & psychosis, stretch marks, varicose veins, and other problems sometimes follow the woman. And of course, during delivery, a number of complications can develop that could cause permanent harm or kill the mother.
- Abortion is not murder because it is performed before a fetus has developed into a human person. A fetus doesn't become a real human being until it is physically delivered from a mother's womb. If you define a fetus as a human, are you going to go back and say a sperm or egg is a human? Should we ban birth control altogether then since we'd be killing a "human"?
Related LinksReader Comments
Feminists for Life of America
SoYouWanna.com Abortion Analysis
Why Abortion? The Myth of Choice for Women Who Are Poor.
The Scientific Basis for a Prolife Position
Abortion: Let's Apply More Reason and Less Emotion to the Debate
Choice Matters: Legal Abortion Arguments Pro & Con
Written by: Joe Messerli
Page Last Updated: 01/07/2012