Argumentative Essay on Abortion
The debate surrounding legalization of abortion continues to elicit mixed reactions. Some countries have gone ahead to legalize it while others are adamant to follow suit. Both the proponents and opponents of the debate on abortion have their own reasons. Certain societies have taken a liberal approach to the debate leaving it open for interpretation. Advocates for abortion are commonly termed pro-choice while those against it are known to be pro-life. In other words, those supporting legalization of abortion are for choice; meaning they hold the idea that the expectant mother should be allowed the privilege of making a choice between carrying the pregnancy to full term or not. Similarly, pro-life advocates are for life and they argue against abortion citing it as murder that denies the unborn a chance at life. The essay that follows will give a brief discussion of the debate raging between the pro-choice and pro-life factions and take a stand at the tail end of the paper.
Abortion is formally defined as the expulsion of a foetus or an embryo that is unable of surviving on its own. Stotland gives a more conservative definition of the term abortion as being the surgical or medical procedure performed to terminate or end a pregnancy. (2) The nature of the abortion process depends on the stage of the pregnancy; early pregnancies can be terminated using a pill while late pregnancies need a surgical procedure to remove the foetus from the womb of the would-be mother.
Parties advocating for abortion argue that women have the exclusive right of determining what happens in their bodies. This right extends to the decision regarding the carrying or termination of a pregnancy. Pro-choice advocates rely on the precedent set in the case of Roe vs Wade of 1973 where the court ruled that the right to privacy extends to encompass an expectant woman’s decision as to whether keep or terminate a pregnancy (Roe v. Wade, 1973). Aside from it being the prerogative of the mother, the pro-choice advocates also argue that abortion is justified in instances where the mother’s life is at stake or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Regardless of the reason for abortion, the right to choose remains as the bedrock upon which the pro-choice movement is founded.
The second side of the debate comprises the pro-life advocates. According to this group, there is no justification for abortion. This advocacy for life argues that abortion is akin to murder of the unborn child. Additionally, these proponents argue on the safety of the procedure; abortion is a risk procedure that might expose a woman to untold dangers. Some of the dangers of abortion include sterility or barrenness and in some instances, death might occur (Alcorn 76). Pro-life advocates have come up with options that can be taken by women who are unwilling to keep the children they bear. They advocate for adoption in place of abortion (Alcorn 96). They encourage mothers to carry the pregnancy to full term and then put the babies up for adoption. This they consider as a better alternative to blatant murder of the unborn.
As seen from the two sides of the debate, both the pro-choice and pro-life factions have their own reasons for taking their stand. Personally, I support the pro-life stand because I believe in the sanctity of human life. Children emanating from unfortunate occurrences of rape and incest should not be aborted instead they should be put up on adoption.
Alcorn, Randy. Why Pro-Life?Hendrickson Publishers, 2012. Print.
Roe, Jane, and Henry Wade. Roe V. Wade (1973). Frederick, Md: University Publications of America, 1990. Print.
Stotland, Nada L. Abortion: Facts and Feelings : a Handbook for Women and the People Who Care About Them. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1998. Print.
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