Abortion misc1




Abstract

Abortion, the ending of pregnancy, has been a very controversial topic for decades. Is abortion moral or immoral? People all over the world have different opinions. There are different ways that abortion can be performed: surgically or medicinally. The 1973 Supreme Court decision known as Roe vs. Wade marked an important turning point in abortion. This decision made it legal to have abortions. Different states have various laws on abortion. Abortion continues to be debated worldwide.
Abortion Controversy
Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy. It is the removal of a fetus from the uterus before the fetus is mature enough to live on its own. Abortion has been around for decades. Each year, more than 50% of all pregnancies among young woman are unintended. Half of the unintended pregnancies will end in abortion, which is 1.5 million each year. There are no specifications on who will have an abortion. Women who have abortions come from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. Calculating abortion rates, older teenagers and young adults have the highest abortion rates. Young women between the ages of 11 and 19 account for about 21% of all abortions; women 20 to 24 account for another 34 %; and about 22% of abortions are brought about by women who are 30 or older. Over half of all abortions are obtained within the first eight weeks (Women who…, 1995).
Is abortion moral or immoral? People who favor abortion most invoke the “right to choose” of woman who conceived the child. The people who oppose abortion focus on the “right to life” of the fetus. John Paul II, the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, contends that abortion is a particularly heinous crime because it kills an innocent human being who has yet to be born. He feels that every human being has a sacred and inviolable right to life. New York Archbishop John J. O’Connor linked abortion with the Nazi Holocaust. He stated “Now Hitler tried to solve a problem, the Jewish question. So kill them, shove them in the ovens, burn them. Well, we claim that unborn babies are a problem, so kill them. To me it really precisely the same” (Roleff, 1997, p.. 33).
There are two ways to obtain an abortion: surgically and medicinally. A medical abortion is brought about by taking medications that will end pregnancy; it’s done without entering the uterus. There are two well known medications that will end pregnancy: Methotrexate and Mifepristone also known as the RU 486 Pill. An alternative to this method is surgical abortion. This ends the pregnancy by emptying the uterus (or womb) with special instruments (What is medical abortion, 1995).
Methotrexate has been used in the United States since 1953, which is when it was approved by the FDA to treat certain kinds of cancer. The FDA did not intend for this drug to be used to end pregnancies. There are some clinicians prescribing Methotrexate for early abortion. This drug is given to pregnant women in the form of an injection, or shot. Methotrexate stops embryonic or fetal cells from dividing. The pregnancy stops once these cells can no longer divide (What is medical abortion, 1995). This procedure involves three visits to the doctor for complete process and the woman will abort the baby at home ( How abortions…, 1998).
Another medication that might be used is Mifepristone, also known as RU 486. It is a newer medication that was developed and tested specifically as an abortion-inducing agent. RU 486 was invented in 1980 by Dr. Etienne-Emile Baulieu. It is the first of a new generation of birth control drugs called “antiprogestins,” which is considered to be a breakthrough in birth control technology. RU 486 works by binding to the progesterone receptors in a women’s uterus and blocking the progesterone. The lining of the woman’s body breaks down and sheds (like normal period) without progesterone. RU 486 also opens up the cervix and leads to contractions that help dislodge and expel the embryo. This procedure will only work during the first 9 weeks of pregnancy, or up to 63 days of last menstrual cycle. Apparently, the women’s own progesterone level is too high to be affected by the drug if it’s done later. It is administered through several clinic