CriticalReview On the Abortion Debate in America
CriticalReview on the Abortion Debate in America
Inthe proceeding public debate regarding the legalization of abortionin America, citizens have taken up hard lines to either support oroppose the legality of procuring an abortion. The debate cuts acrossdifferent social and political strata making it a modern day dilemma.As a supporter of pro-choice, it is important to review and evaluatethe variety of points taken by both pro-choice and pro-lifeproponents in a bid to assess whether their arguments present enoughfacts to change one’s beliefs and stand on the abortion issues. Theessay seeks to critically review the arguments informing bothproponents and opponents towards their stand on the debate.
Asa pro-choice supporter, the main argument that informs this choiceincludes the woman’s right to choose to procure an abortion withoutinterference from the government. In some cases, women may becomepregnant as a result of rape, incest or in the case where such womenfeel that they do not want the particular pregnancy[CITATION Abo16 l 1033 ].Government regulation toban abortion will undermine these women’s needs such as emotionaltrauma and to this extent undermining their free will. Consequently,outlawing abortion does not necessarily change the resolve of apregnant woman’s choice to abort rather it presents difficultiesin terms of finding an option to safely procure an abortion.Additionally, we find that government policies continue shiftingdepending on the position taken by political parties in power. Suchshifts are clear evidence that the issues of abortion lie squarely inthe hands of women and the shift in policy against pro-choice womenonly creates impediments and room for unsafe conditions to procure anabortion. Secondly, it is evident that religious institutions have asignificant influence towards banning abortion with respect to amoral stand point[CITATION Abo16 l 1033 ].However,the question remains, whether citizens should be forced to ascribe tothe religious definition of morality. This therefore gives room forproponents of pro-choice to argue that the rights of the fetus areintertwined with those of a pregnant woman’s beliefs regardingabortion.
Althoughit is clear that supporters of abortion present a valid case on whyit is important to legalize abortion, evaluating the opposingrhetoric allows one to review the issues critically. Opponents ofabortion contend that a fetus’ right to life should also be putinto account. In the same way a woman’s rights are upheld accordingto the constitution, so should the right of the fetus be consideredby banning abortion. In the context, it is evident that due toincreased medical technology, it is possible to detect the life of afetus even before birth. To this extent, a woman may be perceived toonly incubate a live human being and therefore does not hold explicitrights over the fetus. In doing so, the woman infringes the rightprovided for the ‘potential’ human being within her body. Ittherefore follows that institutions such as government reserve aright to determine the fate of the pregnancy within reason.
Recentmedical advancements also provide a variety of options that wouldhelp prevent inception of a pregnancy. In the early times, it wasfound that family planning was one of the necessitating factors thatmade abortion acceptable[CITATION Abo16 l 1033 ].However, due to technological developments, abortionis not necessary as women can prevent pregnancies through birthcontrol methods. In consideration of the fact that there may becouples who would be willing to take an unwanted child as they can’thave one of their own, abortion cannot be perceived as the bestoption. Additionally, the government also considers and permitsabortion in certain extreme circumstances, such as when the life of awoman is in danger or in the case of pregnancy due to rape orincest[CITATION Abo16 l 1033 ].Withsuch conditions put in place proponents feel that there should not beany more room to encourage abortion.
Onemay be biased to support one side of the abortion debate over theother without considering the facts that inform them. One of thebiases that are likely to be considered in support for pro-life isthe religious factor. In many religions, life is considered sacred.Therefore, consideration of abortion is viewed as a sin and the ideacannot be tolerated on a moral stand point. On the other hand, as apro-choice supporter, one is likely to be biased about the assumptionthat only a woman having the pregnancy has the only right to choosewhat to do with the fetus inside her body.
Inreference to my own social background, having an abortion is mainly achoice made by the pregnant person. Families tend to counsel thebearer of the pregnancy on what to do. Some members of the family maynot support the idea, but, ultimately the choice remains to be madeby the woman bearing the pregnancy. Although one may be stigmatizedby some members of the society, their opinions should not matter inthe making a personal decision such as procuring an abortion. It ispossible that having being exposed to a more liberal society, it mayhave influenced my support of a pro-choice position on the abortiondebate.
Havingreviewed both sides of the abortion debate, one is inclined toperceive why there are such hard lines between proponents andopponents. On one hand, it is within the rights of the government toguard every life equally. Therefore, with scientific evidencesuggesting that at a certain stage of the pregnancy, the life of thefetus can be proven, the government can act to protect the potentiallife within the mother. Additionally, women who may not want childrenhave alternative ways of preventing unwanted pregnancies. However,banning abortion entirely disregards the liberty rights of a person’sfreedom of choice. It is my belief that no one has a higher privilegeto dictate what choice one should make other than the individualfaced with the circumstances including the issue of choosing whetheror not to abort.
Pros&cons.org. (2016, March 16). Abortion. Retrieved from pros&cons.org: http://abortion.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=006514