Abortion A Womans Basic Right



Abortion: A Woman’s Basic Right

During the past quarter century abortion has joined race and war as one of the most debatable subjects of controversy in the United States. It discusses human interaction where ethics, emotions and law come together. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that forces many individuals to create an emotional and violent atmosphere. There are many points of view toward abortion, but the only two fine distinctions are "pro-choice" and "pro-life."1 A pro-choicer would feel that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mother and the state has no right to interfere(Kelly 12). A pro-lifer would hold that from the moment of conception the embryo or fetus is alive(Vaughn 22). This life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it and that abortion is tantamount to murder(“Pro-Life Death” 7).
In the United States about 1.6 million pregnancies end in abortion.2 Women with incomes under $11,000 are over three times more likely to abort than those with incomes above twenty-five thousand.3 Unmarried women are four to five times more likely to abort than married women and the abortion rate has doubled for eighteen-and-nineteen-year-olds.4 Recently the U.S. rate dropped six percent overall, but the rate of abortion among girls younger than fifteen jumped eighteen percent.5 The rate among minority teens climbed from 186 per 1,000 to 189 per 1,000.6
The most popular procedure involved in abortions is the vacuum aspiration that is done during the first trimester, three months or less since the woman has become pregnant(Saletan 59). A tube is simply inserted through the cervix and the contents of the uterus are vacuumed out(Lerner 283). The most commonly-used type of second trimester abortion is called dilation and evacuation.7 Since the fetus has bones, bulk and can move, second trimester is not so simple(Lerner 284). When as much of the fetus and placenta are vacuumed out that can be, then tweezers are used to remove larger parts.8 After this, or the beginning of the fifth month, abortion is serious and actually is induced as childbirth(Hull 24). That is, the mother is given substances that puts her into labor and delivers the fetus as she would a full-term baby(Hull 24). About forty percent of Americans believe that abortion should remain legal, but forty percent believe it should be banned except when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother or is the result of rape or incest. Also fifteen percent believe it should be illegal in all cases.9 Abortion is a women\'s own right and choice. In 1973 the Roe v. Wade decision proved this by recognizing abortion as a fundamental constitutional right and made it legal in all states(Bethell 18). The law now permits abortion at the request of the women without any restrictions in the first trimester and with some restrictions in the second trimester to protect the women\'s health(Verhovek 1). Because of this decision almost every third child conceived in America is killed by abortion, over one and a half million children a year.10 Many countries have followed our decision on the abortion issue, and some of these include Canada, England, and France(“Abortion Foes” 567). Other countries still believe abortion should be illegal. They include Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand(“Abortion Foes” 567).
The National Abortion Right Act League argues that without legal abortion women would be denied their constitutional right of privacy and liberty(Bowermaster 32). The women\'s right to her own body subordinates those of the fetus, and the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade argued that the women\'s right to privacy overruled the fetus\'s right to life.11 If abortion were illegal, it would force poor women to bear and rear children they cannot afford to have. There would be a number of unsafe abortions in back alleys. It would also force women to give up their dreams to stay home to rear children. Worst of all, it would condemn victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their rapists. Abortion is necessary for women to have control over their own bodies and lives(Upton 218). One activist said,
‘If I had not had that abortion my life would have been a disaster I would not have made it to medical school. I was married at that point