Abortion. That is one hot button subject that I typically avoid discussing because it is so polarizing. I can see how legal abortions are something that are probably necessary in a developed society that does not want women going to back alley butchers and getting abortions that lead to sepsis and death. However, I still cannot bring myself to morally approve of the way abortion is used as birth control in modern days. So pull on your big kid panties and jump in with your two cents if you want to. However, be warned, both sides of the debate will most likely hate my opinions on the subject.
The ArgumA fetus ent – Pro Choice
A woman has a right to decide what happens to her body, she should not be forced to carry through a pregnancy all the way to term, deliver a baby, and then have to decide whether or not to keep said baby or give it up to some unfortunate couple unable to conceive. A woman should be able to choose whether or not to keep a pregnancy, no matter how far along said pregnancy might be at the time the woman in question decides to terminate.
Because a fetus grows inside a woman’s body it is the woman’s decision whether that life will be ended or not. I can understand the logic behind this argument when you break it down to bare bones.
The Argument – Pro Life
A fetus is a living thing that, if given the chance, will develop into a living, breathing, thinking human being, therefore that fetus has the right to retain the life it has been given. A fetus can dream, feel pain, hiccup and stretch its limbs in the womb, very early on for some of those things. Doesn’t that make a fetus a human being with the same rights that its mother has?
Just because a fetus grows inside a woman’s body doesn’t mean that it has no right to live based on its incubation period. I can also understand where this side is coming from when it comes right down to it.
The Moral Middle Ground
The problem with the abortion arguments is that both sides are right and both sides are wrong. The Pro-Choice side wants everyone to simply accept abortion as a perfectly fine thing. They have no problem with women waiting until even the third trimester to terminate their pregnancy because it is “their body, their choice”.
On the other hand, the Pro-Life side is eager to overturn all laws that support legal abortions. In their eyes the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception and should be protected as a living baby.
The two sides are extreme, each in their own way, but where is the middle ground? Pro Choice People: Can we not agree that a fetus that is less than three months away from being born is probably closer to a baby than some parasite you can just get sucked out of your body? Pro-Life People: Can we not agree that women who have a need should have access to a save and legal way to terminate a pregnancy when they have no other option?
There is definitely a gray area here that people never want to address, you are either for or against and there is no other option in this debate. That is a problem.
History of Abortion
The thing this side must understand is that abortion is NOT a new thing. The proceess of terminating unwanted pregnancies has been around for centuries, albeit not always the safe procedures that we know of today. When a woman had an unwanted pregnancy 200 years ago she had to drink a concoction of herbal tea that would cause a miscarriage.
It was certainly not something the family of the unfortunate woman would celebrate, but it was not illegal for her to rid herself of a pregnancy that should not have happened for whatever reason. Perhaps she was raped and did not want the stigma of raising her rapist’s child (which to force a woman to do that would be the height of just plain wrong).
Maybe the woman was married but, thanks to generations of interbreeding among cousins could not safely deliver a baby and so the husband and wife elect to terminate. Who knows really, there are many reasons a person would terminate a pregnancy and none of them are really my business when it comes right down to it.
What some people might not be aware of is that abortion was perfectly legal until the 1880s when the newly formed American Medical Association (AMA) decided to lash out against the competition and become the only ones allowed to practice any kind of medical procedures. Women went to midwives and apothecaries for pregnancy termination and this caused competition for patients and fees among medical practitioners. And behold, abortion prohibition was born (pun intended).
From 1880 to 1973 hundreds of thousands of women were permanently injured or killed by seeking out illegal abortions. A hundred years of back alley procedures finally led to abortion being legalized (again) in the U.S. in 1973. It is a matter of public health in the same family as sex education and birth control availability.
Yes, there is usually a but involved in a debate such as this. The problem lies in the complete acceptance of abortion as a form of birth control. Instead of taking the pill, using a condom, getting a shot, implanting an IUD or any other number of way to prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring, many women instead simply allow themselves to get pregnant repeatedly, only to terminate for convenience.
THAT is murder. Abortion is not meant to be abused in that way, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others. In this modern age there is no excuse for the rampant killing of fetuses that occurs daily. We have other options, as women in charge of our own bodies, than just letting ourselves get knocked up and then heading over to the Planned Parenthood for a termination.
Am I saying that abortion should be, once again, prohibited? No, not at all. But I do think that a more in depth screening process should be done on patients that have received one or more abortons already. Perhaps some education is needed, some kind of intervention to give the women who abuse this procedure a better option.
Receiving abortions as a form a birth control is not healthy for the woman making that decision either. Multiple miscarriages or abortions can lead to an inability to conceive in the future. Abortion has also lead women down the dark path of depression because they received the procedure without being fully aware of the consequences, both mental and physical.
So instead of arguing back and forth, maybe the two sides should stop being such cry babies and just find a common ground, because they are BOTH wrong.