The morality of abortion is a contentious reproductive and health issue that is hotly debated (Manian 1336). The majority of the debates center on issues such as social concerns for life, religious orientation, and the pursuit of justice, among other things. From a government and theological standpoint, there are significant differences in how human life is defined. Theologians believe that life begins at conception, quickening, or birth, for example. The concept of the immortal soul and the sanctity of life run counter to scientific approaches as well as secular government policies that primarily focus on the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Pro-life movements argue that there is need to preserve human life which is a core government obligation without concern for the quality, intent, or viability of such a cause. In their view, the fetus is a life (Smith 121). It is on this basis that this write-up will critically examine the pro-life arguments on abortion in the current society.
The central argument for pro-life camps is pegged on the need to criminalize abortion on the basis of justice, the sanctity of life, and relevant health policies. According to the Research Institute (PRI n.p), aspects of forced abortion continue to plague the United States and other nations; most of which go unnoticed. Following an incident in Aware Woman Center in Florida where Jane Row II suffered significant health complications resulting from Dr. Williams negligence, several cases have since been reported. Abortion is an injustice to the unborn child as well as the mother regardless of the circumstance. In this case, pro-lifers main goal is to protect life and ensure that justice prevails. Pro-abortion camps reportedly abuse the womens rights and other statutes in their quest to terminate the pregnancy. For instance, the reply that Rosa Acuna received when she asked the abortionist whether she was carrying a baby that is Dont be stupid! Its just a blob of tissue (PRI n.p), is a disregard for the life of the unborn. It implies that the abortionist has the right to take out the life of the fetus since they are not considered significant. The perception that the unborn is just a blob of tissue is considerably immoral. Moreover, it is an act that should be punishable by law. It is at this point that pro-lifers prompt the government of their need to protect the life of humanity including the unborn children.
Additionally, several cases of attempted or actualized abortions that are reported to the Supreme Court reflect the abuse of women (PRI n.p). The Population Research Institute noted myriads of physical assaults on pregnant women who are coerced by their husbands to terminate their pregnancy. Dr. Stephen forcibly stabled a woman he had impregnated with a hypodermic needle, an abortion-causing drug after physically assaulting her in the hospital parking lot. Similarly, Alabama security guards beat female juvenile detainees to abort after forcing them to provide sex. Most of the cases pointed to other forms of abuse and life-threatening actions such as hiring gangs to beat up those who try to resist abortion as well as job termination among others. In all these cases, abortion subject pregnant women into dehumanizing acts which are not acceptable. Most of the incidences remain unreported due to further security issues as well as fear of laws protecting the perpetrators. The effects of the stated instances and other unreported cases among women involve both psychological and physical outcomes. Victims of abortion especially in forced situations face significant health complications and are vulnerable to diseases. The issue of Jane Roe II represents several cases when victims of abortion suffer as a result of the procedure. Moreover, physical assaults and rape that is also widely reported among pro-abortion is also a principal cause of life-threatening diseases. Based on these views, abortion has not promoted justice for women in any sense (PRI n.p). Instead, most of the occurrences of abuse and injustice to women occur due to the government failed to protect the life of an unborn child and pregnant women through its policies.
Pro-lifers are also concerned with the sanctity of life as an important virtue that a person should uphold. In their view, life begins at conception which is both the first step of pregnancy and personhood. Religious views support this argument notably the Roman Catholic Church which claims that conception is an essential part of human being. It implies that the processes resulting in the birth of a child are sacred. Therefore, no one including the woman carrying the pregnancy has the right to terminate the fetus. According to Jacobson (n.p), Gingrich has converted to Catholicism pointing out that unborn life is precious no matter how conceived. His arguments form part of the widely advocated issue of the sanctity of human life. The desire to criminalized abortion on these grounds stems from the fact that every action that is immorally intended to destroy another life is a serious offense under the law. It calls for the government to protect the unborn children by formulating and implementing policies against abortion. Further reasoning on the immortality of soul revels that the act of terminating a pregnancy has no significant difference with killing a breathing person. It implies that the offenders should face murder or involuntary manslaughter charges.
Pro-lifers also consider the various forms of contraception as having similar intent as abortion. In this case, there is a need for moral commitment to life in its earliest stages. The scientific approaches to the concept of abortion lack emotional and social attachments that are advanced in these arguments. Smith (122) contends that criminalization of terminating a pregnancy is advocated as the primary policy response among the pro-lifers. In as much as it may have achieved minimal outcomes in preventing abortion, it indicates the government willingness to uphold the dignity of the unborn child and the integrity of life. Moreover, it promotes the access to justice among women who face assault due to confidence that would stem from pro-abortion or pro-choice camps. As a result, those who are subjected to dehumanizing acts such as beating, threats, and health risks resulting from the pursuit of abortion stand a better chance to access justice and compensation. The prevalent perception among pro-lifers is that pregnancy termination is based on the choice to end the fetus life without consideration of its right as every other human being to life. Therefore, instituting policies and laws against such actions is consistent with other regulations that are intended to uphold the value of life (Head n.p). It is on these grounds that pro-lifers consider abortionists as the equivalent of murderers. As a result, they should be subjected to similar punishments according to the law.
The stated arguments overlook critical aspects of the subject of abortion. Firstly, there is little concern over the rights of women who resort to abortion due to health benefits. Singson (n.p) noted the Obama administration consideration of reproductive health as including abortion. In the subcommittee, Clinton pointed out that We happen to think that family planning is an integral part of womens health and reproductive health includes access to abortion that I believe should be safe, legal, and rare (Singson n.p).” It reflects that termination of pregnancy is a medical issue that is mainly intended to enhance the effectiveness of healthcare for women. As a result, legal restrictions on abortion will compromise the standards of reproductive healthcare services to women for which it is part (Manian 1335). Additionally, the pro-choice and anti-abortion limits view the concept of conception as mostly separate from pregnancy. It implies that methods employed to prevent fertilization cannot be considered as part of abortion. Moreover, the government should have control over the womens right to control their bodies in the pretext of protecting the fetus. However, both lines of thought converge on the concern for life with main differences on the appropriate methodology or approach.
From an intellectual point of view, pro-life advocates for the integrity of both the pregnant women as well as the unborn child. The concerns are considerably impartial as in the case of pro-choice and pro-abortion camps. Most of the contradictory aspect value human life an approach that is advanced by the opponents. The obligation to protect the rights of women and children is expressly captured in the pro-life arguments concerning its sacredness and sanctity.
Head, Tom. Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life. ThoughtCo, 2017. https://www.thoughtco.com/pro-life-vs-pro-choice-721108. Accessed on November 19, 2017.
Jacobson Jodi. Life begins at conception. Thats not the points. Rewire, 2012. https://rewire.news/article/2012/11/04/life-begins-at-conception-thats-not-point-0/. Accessed on November 19, 2017.
Manian, Maya. “The consequences of abortion restrictions for women’s healthcare.” Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 71 (2014): 1317.
PRI. Forced abortions in America: Case before Supreme Court. Population Research Institute, 2014. https://www.pop.org/forced-abortions-in-america-case-before-supreme-court-2/. Accessed on November 19, 2017.
Smith, Andrea. “Beyond pro-choice versus pro-life: Women of color and reproductive justice.” NWSA journal 17.1 (2005): 119-140.