Abortion: A Controversial Debate
Abortion has remained a controversial subject not only in the United States but also in across the globe. The topic has two sides, the pro-life and pro-choice, whereby the pro-life do not believe in abortion as an option while the pro-choice believe that all women have the right to choose whether to go through with a pregnancy or not. Abortion is a procedure where women decide to end a pregnancy before maturity. Women choose to have abortions due to various reasons and this has sparked a lot of controversies thus making abortion an ongoing conflict around the world.\u00a0 Despite there being a number of facts or rather reasons that back up both sides of the debate since it is an opinionated controversy, abortion should be made legal because women have a right to choose whether to keep a pregnancy or get rid of it. Women should be given a chance to make a choice on whether to have an abortion or not and no one should have a say in her decision because it is their fundamental right.
Body Autonomy: A Key Argument
Abortion should be made legal because the process is done on women\u2019s bodies and they are the ones who make this decision. Women should be left to decide what they want to do with their bodies including having an abortion because they have a right to do whatever they want with their bodies and this is called body autonomy (Chesney-Lind and Hadi 75). If another woman does not want to support an abortion in her own life then it is okay. However, her decision or rather choice should not hinder another woman to decide what she wants for herself. Pro-lifers should not make a woman\u2019s body a center for legal debates because just like when one is in a situation, he\/she has to find the safest solution that solves the problem if women find abortion as a safe option, let them have it. When a woman decides to have an abortion, she is not forcing other people to do it. She is doing it herself and on her body and the right to bodily autonomy should not be stripped from pregnant women.
Safe and Legal Access to Abortion
Women should be allowed to have abortions as long as it is their personal choice because whether this choice is made for them or not, women would still seek abortion either legally or illegally and this might be unsafe for them. According to Sedgh et al., many women who choose abortion over giving birth do it for financial reasons (225). When a woman decides that she does not want to keep a pregnancy, she should not be denied this chance by the people who are against abortion because at the end of the day, they will not take care of the child after it has been born when the mother is not in a position to raise the child. Why would a woman bring a child to the world when she knows that she cannot take good care of her maybe due to lack of finances or terminal illnesses? Therefore, as long as a woman has made a choice to procure an abortion, let her choice be respected whereby she is allowed to have it legally because it is better to provide the woman with legal and safe ways of having an abortion other than letting her risk her life while trying to have it secretly and illegally. Legal abortions will always protect women\u2019s health and life.
The Importance of Women's Choice
Having a baby is a lifelong decision that requires planning, preparation, and financial stability. Why should a baby be allowed to come to this world unwanted by forcing the mother to carry the pregnancy to term while she is opting for an abortion? Freed notes that, most pregnancies from teenagers, unmarried women, and most poor women are unintended (890). Therefore, if a majority of these women is denied the right to make a choice whether to keep the pregnancy or have an abortion, it will lead to the birth of several unwanted children. Opponents argue that these women consented to unprotected sex and should face the consequences of their action by having the child. However, no one has a right to force a woman to keep a pregnancy because she agreed to participate in sexual activity. Pro-lifers should not take away another person\u2019s right (a woman\u2019s right) while trying to fight for the rights of the other (the fetus) (Freed 1011). It is true that a woman has the potential to carry a pregnancy to term and bring a child to the world but when she makes a decision of not keeping the pregnancy, her rights\/decisions should be protected because having a baby needs planning, preparation, and financial stability and maybe she has not done this. Moreover, it will help the reduction of the number of unwanted babies being born and later on do not receive good care from the mother because she was forced to keep the baby.
The Personhood of the Fetus
The pro-life movement argues that abortion is taking a life and thus it will remain to be murder and murder should be illegal. The pro-lifers measure life from the time of conception and they maintain that disrupting a pregnancy before its maturity is wrong because a fetus has the potential to become a human being if given a chance to grow into a baby, for this reason, it has human rights too. According to the pro-life believers, life is sacred, and abortion is a pre-eminent threat to human life and dignity and so they advocate for laws that make abortion an illegal process (McBride and Keys 20). However, we should note that a fetus\u00a0 is not scientifically or legally a person\/human being as claimed by pro-lifers and so there is no way procuring an abortion could be equated to taking a life or rather denying the fetus a right to live because it is not yet a person nor is it alive (Smolin 699). People get the right to life and pursuit of happiness after being born. Therefore, a fetus cannot have the right to life until it is born and so this should not be used as a reason to stop women from procuring an abortion when they have the right to make the choice.
The Right to Privacy
Every woman has a right to privacy and this includes the right to have an abortion or not without other people judging or interfering with her decision. Pro-lifers argue that the fetuses have a right to life and this is more fundamental compared to women\u2019s rights to privacy. However, we should note that this is just a fetus and not yet, a human being, therefore the right to life does not apply here. The decision to procure an abortion should be solely a woman\u2019s decision and choice as Cadet notes that \u201cwomen are the ones who carry the pregnancy, the burden was usually on them to prevent a pregnancy from happening or from reaching its term, \u201d hence their right to privacy should be protected (5). A decision to procure an abortion is an agreement between a woman and her doctor; this should remain private and not criticized by those against abortion.
The Health and Well-being of Women
While it is true that abortion can put the life of the woman at risk, and thus does not uphold the pro-life concept of preserving life, forcing a woman to have an unwanted child is not a solution to the problem. In fact, forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term would lead to physical and emotional harm to the woman (Medoff 155). Abortion should be made a choice because when these women make a decision to procure an abortion, they have their valid reasons. Every woman has a fundamental right to procure an abortion because they have a right to make a choice when to have a child and when they do not want to have a child. Medoff notes that the\u201d pro-life supporters to protect the life of the fetus ends at birth and that thereafter they ignore the health and well-being of infants and children\u201d (158). It is not the place of the government and pro-life movements to make choices for these women with legislation that violate their rights because, at the end of everything, they will not help in raising the child.
In conclusion, abortion has remained one of the heaviest topics discussed around the world. It has always been a controversial subject with some people supporting it while others opposing the process. In fact, its legality is a staple topic in the modern world with the pro-choice insisting that it is the woman\u2019s right to choose whether to keep a pregnancy or not while the pro-life arguing that abortion should not be allowed because it is a murder of the unborn child. The pro-life believe that a fetus is a person from its time of conception and so it has a right to life just like other humans. On the other hand, the pro-choice believe that no life exists after conception and every woman should have a right to choose whether to keep a pregnancy or have it terminated through abortion. Therefore, despite receiving resistance from all corners, abortion should be made legal to allow women to make a choice whether to keep a pregnancy or not. Women should be allowed to make decisions on whether to continue with a pregnancy or terminate it and the state should not make this decision for women since it is their legal right.
Cadet, Jean Amost. "Is There Anything Wrong With the Slogan “My Body My Choice” When It Comes to Abortion?" (2018): 1-14.
Chesney-Lind, Meda, and Hadi Syeda Tonima. "Patriarchy, Abortion, and the Criminal System: Policing Female Bodies." Women " Criminal Justice 27.1 (2017): 73-88.
Freed, Alice F. "Pro‐choice and Pro‐life." The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality (2015): 861-1042.
McBride, Dorothy E., and Keys Jennifer L. Abortion in the United States: A reference handbook. ABC-CLIO, 2018.
Medoff, Marshall. "Pro-choice Versus Pro-life: The Relationship between State Abortion Policy and Child Well-being in the United States." Health Care for Women International 37.2 (2016): 158-169.
Sedgh, Gilda, et al. "Adolescent Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion Rates across Countries: Levels and Recent Trends." Journal of Adolescent Health 56.2 (2015): 223-230.
Smolin, David M. "Aborting Reason and Equality: A Religious Pro-Life Critique of Roe, Casey, and Abortion Rights Rhetoric." UC Irvine L. Rev. 8 (2018): 673-708.