Should abortion be legal?

Though the question of the debate has too many implications and may be interpreted in many ways, the author’s stand in this debate is a clear affirmation for the question, which entails supporting the legitimization of induced abortions. The author posits that abortion should be legalized and supported by legislation and the government because abortion is first and foremost a medical procedure and conducted to protect the health of women, be it the physiological circumstances she will undergo during a pregnancy or the state of her mental health because of the rigors of pregnancy.

Abortions have been conducted in much earlier times, mostly to protect the health of the mother carrying the baby. The fetus might be detrimental to the mother’s health and be the cause of her demise if carried to full term. Also, the emotional strain of carrying a baby may be too much for an unprepared mother especially in circumstances of unplanned pregnancies, which may lead to complications during the birth and pregnancy. The author also posits that women have the right to make decisions concerning their own body and physical well-being based on their perceptions, thoughts and feelings.

Part of the implications of this right to self-determination is the right of women to undergo ligation, plastic surgery and take vitamins, as it is their choice on what to do with matters concerning their own body. Having an abortion is the same as opting to undergo any of the previously-mentioned practices, with women having the final and only relevant decision for undergoing such a procedure. The author also posits that prohibiting abortion and deeming it illegal implies that the state wishes to perpetuate patriarchy, and prohibits from women having control over their bodies, sexuality and decisions.

This would reinforce the notion that patriarchy is deeply-rooted in social structure and continues to impede on the rights of women and their perceived competency when it comes to making objective determinations and decisions. Legitimizing abortion takes into consideration the possible circumstances of conception as well. This would entail considering those pregnancies which occurred because of rape, abuse, deceit and poor sexual health information that are also other sensitive political issues as well.

Pregnancies occurring because of violent circumstances such as rape and abuse may add more psychological trauma for the woman-survivor of the ordeal and cause further damage to her psyche and capacity to raise a child if she would carry the pregnancy to term and take care of the baby after it is born. Though there are many cases and stories that show how women overcome the trauma of rape and abuse and come to love a child born from such violent and traumatizing an experience, resilience is more an exception than the rule, as rape violates a woman on all levels of her rights and existence.

The author also posits that the fetus or the unborn child may also become a valid circumstance for abortion. Especially in cases where the fetus is found to suffer in the future from debilitating mental illnesses and developmental disorders that promise a difficult and unsuccessful life, abortion may be a way to ensure that future suffering and hardship may be curtailed for the mother as well as the child. It is not uncommon that genetic testing shows many fetal defects that cannot be corrected and would deem the child a non-functioning member of society and a burden to the family.

Thus abortion may be a decision made to prevent future suffering and hardship. The question also begs the details of legalization and to what extent should abortion be legitimized or should specific limitations be in place even if abortion is no longer considered a crime. The author repeats the position that abortion is first and foremost a medical procedure that takes into consideration the health of a woman. Abortions induced after the 2nd trimester should be regulated to some extent by the law, as abortions during this stage of the pregnancy pose serious health risks for the woman in question.

Also, the fetus is no longer considered a fetus but a baby in medical practice, and the rights of a child are also put into consideration. II. Anti-thesis The state should not in any circumstance sanction or legitimize the practice of induced abortion because of the moral implications and the rights of the unborn child, which are upheld first and foremost in the United Nation’s Human Rights. The author takes a pro-life stand on this matter and seeks to protect the sanctity of human life at whatever stage at all costs, physical, social and economic.

Legal rulings such as Roe vs. Wade (Supreme Court Decisions, 2006) show that refusing to criminalize abortion takes away the label of ‘murder’ from abortion that ought to be congruent. This anti-thesis posits that aborting a fetus is just the same as killing a child because of inconvenience and without remorse. Abortion may be termed ‘feticide’, which posits that the death of a fetus is a real death (Kearl, 2003).

This position also entails the question of ‘the moment of personhood’ or as the Catholic Church would say, ‘the moment of ensoulment’ which wishes to answer when a human being comes into life and should be given the rights and privileges that all other human beings should enjoy, especially the first right, the right to life. This moment has been widely accepted as the moment of conception when the sperm has fertilized the egg and the process of cell division and growth has begun (Martin, 2007).

This would entail that the fetus has to enjoy all the rights afforded to every human being and that killing it through abortion is a form of violation of the right to life. Also, the burden of this question must be put forth not only with the state and the woman who is pregnant, but with medical practitioners as well, who took an oath to protect all human life and must therefore protect the life of an unborn child especially if it is ‘viable’ (Supreme Court Decisions, 2006). The term ‘viable’ in this discussion means that the fetus, however aborted by the woman may be still be saved and given the right to life.

The law should also sanction medical practitioners who allow abortion procedures and even promote their practice through it, underscoring the supply of the service as one of the reasons for the demand. Missouri also passed laws which posit the same stand that life begins at conception and therefore fetuses must be protected just as much as walking, living, breathing individuals existing outside the womb (Supreme Court Decisions, 2006). This state prohibited public employees from availing of the procedure of abortion and even counseling for those women who were deciding on whether to have an abortion or not (Supreme Court Decisions, 2006).

Biblical passages highlight the sanctity of the fetus as possible in receiving blessings and gifts from God, which was the case of John, wherein he was frequently referred to while still being in his mother’s womb, but destined to pave the way for a central figure in history and religion, Jesus Christ (Matthew). Religion, which seeks to protect and promote all things moral and just, posits how the fetus in considered by God as a human with the destiny to do His work. Thus abortion is immoral and violates the will of God, and legitimizing this would undermine the teachings and foundations of laws that are already currently in place.

Also, Greek pagans, who were not monotheistic and believed in many gods and goddesses, also posited that a fetus is to be considered a human being in the stages of early development (Noonan, 1970). On a medical standpoint, abortion also poses health risks to the woman involved as many abortions often end in maternal death due to complications. Abortion is the leading cause of maternal death and is more often the case than maternal death due to pregnancy (Adamek, 2004).

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