One of the most controversial topics over the years, and still today, is abortion. Is abortion murder or not? When does a fetus become a human? There are no answers to these questions. Everyone individual has their own beliefs on whether or not abortion is justifiable. Abortions have been performed throughout many of centuries. Recently, there has been a number of court cases that has changed the legality of abortions, especially in the United States, for example Roe v. Wade. Even religions have changed their views on abortions over the course of the years. In the abortions wars there are two parties, pro-life and pro-choice. Pro-life believes that abortion is murder and is completely immoral. Pro-choice, however, believes that it is the mother’s choice if she wishes to terminate the pregnancy or not. There are countless ways to perform an abortion. Some are obviously much safer. Even then there are some serious side effects that may happen during or after an abortion, both physical and psychological. This essay is just skimming the top of the abortion issue. Hopefully it will give you a general idea of how complicated this topic is.

Before there was a legal system, as we know it, abortions were decided just by your religious beliefs. Judaism believed that the life of someone already born is more important then that of the unborn. Therefore is the mother’s welfare is at risk an abortion is permitted. However it is not acceptable to terminate a pregnancy for any other reason. In Islamic beliefs a woman has the right to have an abortion, until the soul enters the fetus, between 40 to 120 days after conception. Buddhists believe that abortion is justifiable. They say that the fate of the unborn child is not to come into the world at this time. The Bible says in Num 5:27“God mandates ‘trial by ordeal’ for women accused by their husbands of adultery. The priest is instructed to make a potion, the accused is ordered to drink it, and if she miscarries, she is considered guilty.”(Abortion in history) Early Catholics didn’t believe that the soul entered the fetus until later, 40 days for boys and 90 days for girls. Only in 1869 did the Catholic Church declare that the soul entered the fetus at conception, therefore rendering abortion murder.

Until the second half of the nineteenth century, the English Common Law was that abortions were permitted until the quickening, that is until the baby started moving. After that, with the new advances in the medicine field we came to understand more what happens to a woman’s body during pregnancy and abortions. The abortion laws were made to protect the women from uncertified abortionists.

There is one remarkable legal battle that changed the American abortion laws to what they are now, Roe v. Wade. It took place in 1973 in Texas. Roe, Norma McCorvey, was an anonymous plaintiff against the State. The ruling, abortion is legal. It gives the mother the right of whether or not to terminated her pregnancy. However, that does not give the woman the right to terminate her pregnancy for any reason during all nine months. “The court said that the woman may have an abortion until fetal viability, the time at which it first becomes realistically possible for a fetus to live outside the woman’s body. At that point the state’s interest outweighs the woman’s right.” (Roe v. Wade) There are obvious exceptions to that law if the mother’s health is at risk. And just as a passing comment, Roe has now changed sides. She was an active abortion activist for close to 20 years. Now she is just as involved in the opposing side. She has converted to Christianity and has been baptized. She is a leader for the anti-abortionists.

The methods of abortion are divided into early abortions and later abortions. The newest addition, just approved by the FDA, is the RU-486 pill. Also known as mifepristone or the abortion pill. It may be used from the fifth week until the seventh. It is a chemical that interferes with the function of the placenta, which in turn starves the fetus. The fetus is then expelled using misoprostol. The abortion takes place over a few days. The woman may bleed for about 9 days,