Life, Death, and the Political Issues Surrounding Essay

This essay has a total of 2695 words and 15 pages.

Life, Death, and the Political Issues Surrounding Abortion

Life, Death, and the Political

issues surrounding Abortion

Few issues have embodied such controversy as abortion has. The various people involved in
the abortion debate not only have strong beliefs, but each group has a self appeal that
clearly reflects what they believe to be the essential issues. The abortion supporters see
individual choice as central to the debate: If a woman cannot choose to terminate an
unwanted pregnancy, a condition which affects her body and possibly her entire life, then
she has lost one of her most basic human rights. These issues of abortion believe that
while a fetus is a potential life, its life cannot be placed on the same level with that
of a woman. On the other side, the anti-abortionist argue that the fetus is human and
therefore given the same human rights as the mother. They believe that when a society
legalizes abortion, it is sanctioning murder.

It is my personal opinion that abortion must remain legal if we are to uphold the
Constitution and respect women as equal individuals. A great number of people agree that
the single most important effect of legalization has been the substitution of safe, legal
procedures for abortions that formerly were obtained illegally. This substitution quickly
led to a dramatic decline in the number of women who died or suffered serious, sometimes
permanent, injury. Another equally important result of legalization concerns is equity;
before abortion was legal, it was poor women, minority women, and very young women who
suffered most. Life, Death and the Political issues surrounding Abortion are what they had
to deal with.

In today's advanced societies, technology has simplified the abortion procedure to a few
basic safe methods. However, technology, has also enhanced one's knowledge of the fetus.
Through ultrasound, fetal therapy, and amniocentesis the complex life before birth is
revealed. It is this potential human life that is at the heart of debate.

Scientists identify the first moment of human life to begin the instant a sperm cell
unites with an egg cell. The billions of cells that collectively make up a human being are
body cells. Unless manipulated, these body cells are and remain what they appear to be:
skin, hair, bone, muscle, and so. Each has some type of function in life and performs that
function until it dies. Other rare cells, know as germ cells, have the power to transform
themselves into every other kind of human cell. It is only in combination that the male
and female sex cells create a fetus. The uniting is complete within twelve hours, at which
time the egg is fertilized and becomes known as a "zygote," containing the full set of 46
chromosomes required to create a new human life. It is at that point that life begins and
should be respected with the same laws that apply to us all. Whether we are dependent on a
womb or not conception creates life and makes that life one of a kind.

Abortion supporters say to be a person, there must be evidence of a personality for life
to begin. Animals contain biological characteristics, but that does not qualify them as a
person. It takes more than ten day after the fertilization for the fetus to become
anything more than a hollow ball of cells. During the first week, the hollow ball just
floats and is not even attached to the uterine wall. Not until the beginning of the fourth
wee does a heart begin to beat, and by the end of the fifth week evidence of the cerebral
hemispheres form. The possession of 46 chromosomes does not make a cell a person, because
most of the cells of your body contain these chromosomes. If possession of these cells
make some thing a person, then it would seem that possession of a different number would
make something else. A personality is formed when a baby has entered the world. It acts
and reacts to situation and forms its opinions in that manner. It is only then that we can
consider it a unique person with a unique personality.

Pro-life supporters argue that the taking of a human life is immoral no matter what the
circumstances or which tir-mester it is done in. The argument over abortion has avoided
the real issue facing today's woman, her need to grow beyond stereotypes. Whenever an
individual or group realizes it has been treated unjustly, the first reaction is anger,
but often the anger is firs expressed as aggression. People outgrowing oppression have so
much built up inside, so many memories of powerlessness, and so little knowledge of how to
make themselves be heard. Violence towards others usually end up as the result. American
men and women are among the most fair minded, but have slowly begun to feel that 4,000
abortions a day is enough. The abortion mentality has encouraged women to think of
themselves as victims. Much emphasis is placed on pregnancy as a result of rape, even
though the statistics show only about .1% of all rapes actually resulting in conception.
That means that a large majority of pregnancies that resulted in abortion were the result
of free choice. The assumption is that a woman does not have control over her own body
until after a male partner is finished with it. Why is that? Where is their sense of
pride? Maybe they're just looking at responsibilities as well as rights, and choosing
instead of reacting.

Pro-choice supporters argue that abortion should be viewed as not be immoral, and
sometimes a necessary choice a woman must make in order to be in charge of her life.
Considering pregnancy from a woman's point of view, it can be very dangerous to carry a
baby for nine months with accompanying symptoms such as nausea, skin discoloration,
extreme bloating, swelling, insomnia, hair loss, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, indigestion,
and irreversible weight gain. Equal rights is an issue that the women's movement has
fought for, for many years, and denying women the right to free choice would demolish
everything they have fought for including the respect they have gained as individuals.

From a religious perspective the church's judgement on abortion is neither male nor
female. It's social. It places the rights of the child in the womb into the hands of the
law which sees individual rights as inalienable. The relationship between morality and
law, as between church and society, is very complex. The historical source of the
religious teaching about abortion was by the Christian community. It was taught that
abortion is incompatible with the fundamental Christian norm of love, a norm which forbids
the taking of life. The position of many churches can be summed up as follows: (1) God
alone is the lord of life. (2) Human beings do not have the right to take the lives of
other human beings. (3) Human life begins at the moment of conception. (4) Abortion, at
whatever the stage of development of fetus, us the taking of innocent life. (5) Abortion
is just down right wrong. By the fifth century, while the protests against abortion
continued without diminishing. Distinctions were then being drawn between abortion and
homicide. Both were seen as grave sins, but not necessarily exactly the same sin or to be
subject to the same penalty. A distinction between the formed and unformed fetus quickly
developed a strong tradition against using the distinction to differentiate homicide and

There is thought that abortion can be justified in several situations which would seem
necessary. Birth defects, although rare, sometimes occur and must be dealt with in a
personal manner. If a woman knows she is going to give birth to a mentally retarded baby,
she is faced with the option of aborting it. If she is not prepared to give the child the
attention and love it needs or if she cannot afford to treat the babies problems, abortion
would be the logical answer.

Controversially, the beliefs favoring abortion deny a fetus its human life. Particularly
during its embryonic stage of development, and therefore feel that termination of fetal
life does not constitute homicide. Furthermore, other beliefs justify termination of fetal
life by asserting that the woman has the ultimate right to control her own body; that no
individual has any right to force a woman to carry a pregnancy that she does not want.
Parents have the moral responsibility and constitutional obligation to bring into this
world only children who are wanted, loved and provided for, so that they can realize their
human potential. Children have basic human and constitutional rights, which include, the
assurance of "life, and the pursuit of happiness.

If abortion were to become impossible again in this country, the lives of the vast
majority of American women would worsen drastically. Many would be forced to spend decades
living a life that they did not want to live. For all women sexual activity, even within
marriage, would become a hateful risk. The entire revolution in sex roles is built on low,
controlled fertility. Without abortion women could not be in the labor force in increasing
numbers, and having independent careers. It is low fertility that makes day care
economically controlled for many families. For that reason it is certainly possible that
Congress can and will make abortion a crime. However, there's so much at stake for women
making little change that they will give up abortions. If they have to get them illegally,
they will.

In decisions handed down on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Texas
and Georgia abortion laws unconstitutional. The Texas case, Roe v. Wade, concerned a
statue which restricted legal abortions to those deemed necessary to save the woman's
Continues for 8 more pages >>