Abortion Debate Rages
April 29, 2016
The 1973 Supreme Court case of Roe vs. Wade established that abortion was legal across the United States, but the debate continues to divide the country. Two Daily Chomp reporters (and friends) express their opinions on this controversial matter and show how it is possible to disagree without demonizing the other side.
What does Pro-life really mean? By definition, Pro-life is defined as a new human life being entitled to the same legal protections as any other. In recent debates, abortion has been the topic of discussion. Should abortion be legal? According to popular opinion, 67% of people believe abortion is murder and the other 33% believe that it should be your choice.
Though abortion should be a personal choice, many believe that God is against it. They believe this because of God’s Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt not murder,” is number five. In the book of Jeremiah, God said that life begins at conception, not birth. If you have an abortion, you are taking away an innocent life. You are preventing it from living the life it could’ve had. The unborn baby, even though it is just a cell, has a unique genetic code just like everyone else. This genetic code, making the baby human, is not changed when it is born. A living human being begins to exist at the moment of conception.
Many will argue when an unborn baby becomes a person, but if life begins at conception that means the fetus is a human being. The baby’s development in the womb shows obvious signs of human life. At 22 days, the baby’s heart begins to circulate blood. The heartbeat can be detected on an ultrasound. At 5-6 weeks, the baby’s limbs begins to grow. Lips, mouth, and fingernails are also beginning to develop while brain waves are detectable.
In the United States, an abortion is legal up until 24 weeks. A pregnancy is considered full-term from week 37 up to week 42, but babies born at 24 weeks have survived. At 24 weeks, the baby’s brain is rapidly developing. Tastebuds have fully developed, while footprints and fingerprints are continuing to form. While killing a well-developed human being is a good reason to make abortions illegal, it is not the only one.
There are many reasons to be against abortion, some of them even dealing with the safety and health of the mother. Since 1973, 347 women have died from receiving the procedure. For most women, there is a 65% higher chance of becoming clinically depressed. This has even lead to increased suicide rates after abortion. The health risks of abortions can include problems that affect later, wanted pregnancies. You can risk having preterm births and handicapped newborns.
While a women may have control over her body if abortions stay legal, she has another person to make decisions for. When she is having an abortion she is taking away the opportunity for another person to grow and live. I believe abortions should be illegal, because, as even Dr. Seuss knows, “a person is a person no matter how small.”
Margaret Sanger, an American birth control activist, famously said, “No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.” Pro-choice is defined as favoring legalized abortion as an option for an unwanted pregnancy. A woman should have a right to make her own choices about what she wants to do with her own body. Abortion seems to be a controversial topic among people, partly because of the common misconceptions they have about what it means to be pro-choice.
Abortion is not murder. The procedure almost always takes place when the baby isn’t even fully developed yet, during the first 12 weeks, when the fetus is 5.4 cm long. You can have an abortion up to 24 weeks after pregnancy in 41 US states, in which they ban late terminated pregnancies.
Personally, I think that an abortion should be done before the end of the first 8 weeks because this is when a fetus first develops a heartbeat. Although, I guess it is more of a religious thing than anything else. Some believe that the fetus qualifies as a person at different times during conception than other people. Some simply believe a child is not living until it is born. However, this is something science will never be able to prove.
Making abortion illegal won’t make it go away. Modern-day abortion procedures are made to be safe and healthy for pregnant women. Just like before the procedure was made, if it is outlawed, women might use other methods that could be very harmful towards their bodies, even leading to death in many cases.
In the 1950s to 1960s the deaths from illegal abortions could range up to 1.2 million women annually. Methods they used such as coat hangers or abusing pills caused them to not be completely successful, ending with more damage caused to themselves. So if abortion is made illegal, this just might happen again.
People won’t stop doing things because a law says so. They will just think of more creative and deadly ways to do it. We might as well have a procedure that is efficient and leaves women healthy and without any internal problems.
People who believe in Pro-choice aren’t anti-family. For me, the definition of a good family is a strong relationship between the parent(s) and their children, however many they have. With legal abortion, families can decide the number of children they can afford to take care of financially.
Therefore, Pro-choice supports both the birth of a child and creating a family that supports each other. Women who bear children without the appropriate resources needed won’t be able to give the child the life they need in order for them to grow up in a healthy environment.