Abortion

This essay has a total of 1737 words and 9 pages.

abortion



ABORTION CONTROVERSY

Abortion refers to termination of pregnancy with the consent of the mother. Therefore even
when the mother herself is demanding abortion, pro-lifers maintain that termination must
not be allowed because it violates basic rights of the unborn child. Pro-choice quarter on
the other hand, advocates a mother's right to health and feels that an unwanted child
would only lead to numerous economic, social and emotional problems for the woman. The
paper therefore addresses both sides of the issue and also briefly mentions that the role
of the Supreme Court in this area.


‘ABORTION'


INTRODUCTION AND CONFLICT
Abortion is one of the most critical issues on each American administration's agenda. This
is because while every politician would love to avoid the issue altogether, public wants
to know exactly what the government's stand on this particular issue is so that they would
be able to judge it better. This is quite strange how stance on abortion has become an
important criterion for judging a government and it can either turn people in favor of it
or completely against it depending on how government interprets its own stand. From this
it is evident that people attach great degree of significance to this issue because it
somehow is related to their sense of morality and tolerance. Let us understand what
exactly abortion is and what is the significance of Court in this particular area of
conflict.


Abortion refers to termination of pregnancy at any stage and people are divided on this
issue because the pro-abortion quarter thinks right to termination is connected with
women's basic rights while the pro-life quarter maintains that we must also think of the
child that is growing in the womb. Jerry Z. Muller (1995) writes:

"In contemporary American political debate, usually treated as conflicts between rival
interpretations of individual rights. Those who favor abortion most often invoke the
"right to choose" of the woman who has conceived the fetus. Those who oppose abortion
focus on the "right to life" of the fetus." (Muller, 1997: 27-28)

There is little that one quarter can do to convince the other that its stance is more
appropriate because they both have valid arguments in favor of their views on the subject.
But it pays to enlighten ourselves regarding both sides of the issue because if we have an
open mind, deeper knowledge of the subject might help us at reaching a more a more
objective balanced conclusion.


PRO-LIFE STANCE

This quarter maintains that every child whether born or unborn has a right to life and
health; therefore it is absolutely immoral for her mother to deny him this right
especially when the child has not even entered the world. In other words, this section
feels that if a mother has the right to life and if she could terminate the pregnancy
because of her health, how she could be allowed to deny her unborn child his right to
life. It is extremely important to understand that there is nothing wrong with the views
of this quarter because though it may appear to be based on religious beliefs; this view
is actually developed on the lines of civil rights. There are certain people in this
section that would probably be atheists and still against abortion, this is because they
feel that termination of pregnancy is another name for murder. They have adopted several
ways of making their presence felt. Not only do they repeatedly participate in rallies and
demonstration, but also some extremists among this group would actually target
anti-abortions clinics and there have been several cases of arson and violence. David
Whitman (1998) writes about anti-abortion violence that has peaked during the last few
years:


"While most types of antiabortion violence have ebbed over the years, disruptive tactics
like picketing, hate mail, and bomb threats reached record highs in 1997. The most common
tactic, by far, is picketing--NAF reported more than 7,500 incidents of picketing during
1997. Clinics in 21 of 43 states surveyed by NAF last year reported weekly or daily
protests."


PRO-CHOICE ARGUMENTS:

The pro-choice movement on the other hand advocates rights of the mother. It maintains
that a child in the womb is not a fully developed person and therefore his rights are not
as important as that of the mother and similarly it is her life and health, which must be
kept in mind, when decision regarding pregnancy is being made. (Gordon, 1995) Logically
speaking, this group appears to have more valid and reasonable arguments in favor of its
stance in the subject but there are certain extremes, which are to be avoided by this
group. This is because it is the extreme views, which have turned pro-lifers against
pro-choice group. The extreme involves not considering the unborn child a human being even
in the final stage of pregnancy. It is true that a child cannot be called a person in
prenatal stage, but still he is a fully developed human being when pregnancy has reached
the end of its term. Therefore to support abortion at this stage is absolutely wrong
because it would be the same thing as killing a human being.

Continues for 5 more pages >>