Abortion is the removal of a fetus before it can be able to survive alone when outside the uterus. The terms pro-choice and pro-life boil down to whether a person thinks if abortion should be acceptable or if it should be banned (Roberts et al. 1879). However, there is more to the debate, and in this essay, we will discuss the central arguments.
The Pro-Life Subject Spectrum
A person who is pro-life or pro-abortion holds the belief that the government should do everything in its power to preserve human life regardless of viability, quality-of-life intent, and intent issues. A complete pro-life code, for example, that which is not allowed by the Roman Catholic Church forbids: abortion, the death penalty, war (only in a few circumstances is it prohibited), assisted suicide and euthanasia, the death penalty.
The Pro-Choice Subject Spectrum
A person who is pro-life believes that people have complete control over what they choose to do with their reproductive system as long as they do not interfere with the autonomy of other people. Pro-choice movements emphasize that the following should be legal: abortion, abstinence and celibacy, childbirth, and use of emergency contraception.
There are a lot of points that come up when there is a debate on abortion. In this essay, we will focus on both sides that are those support that both the pro-life or pro-choice movement and their views regarding abortion.
a. When abortions should take place.
Pro-choice movements argue that most abortions argue that most of the abortions that are carried out are done in the first trimester. It is when the fetus is attached to the mother by the umbilical cord and placenta. It means that the fetus health depends fully on the mother and the two cannot be regarded as separate because the fetus cannot survive outside the mother’s womb hence it is one of the reasons why they are for abortions. Supporters of the pro-life movement argue that abortion is the same as murder because it involves taking a human life. It is a defiance of the sanctity placed on human life.
b. Concept of personhood
The above concept is different from that of human life. The pro-choice side argues that human life starts at conception. However, fertilized eggs that are used during in vitro fertilization are human lives, and those that are not implanted get thrown away. Pro-choice supporters pose the question that if throwing the eggs that are not implanted is murder then how can one term abortion as being murder? Pro-lifers, however, dispute this by implying that a civilized society cannot allow one human to harm or intentionally take away the life of another woman without consequences. Therefore, abortion should not be in anyway different.
c. Adoption as an alternative
Pro-lifers argue that adoption is a good alternative as compared to abortion and the same result is accomplished. More than 1.5 million families in America are in need of children to adopt so there is nothing as an unwanted child. The notion of adoption as an alternative to abortion does not sit well with the pro-choice movement. It is because they view that it is the woman’s right to decide whether or not she will give up her child for adoption. There are statistics which prove that most women do not prefer giving up their babies: for black women unmarried it is two percent while for white unmarried women it is three percent (Smith 131).
d. Safety of abortions
Abortion can make one have complications later on in life according to the pro-life side. Chances of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies double in addition to the likelihood of having a pelvic inflammatory disease. The pro-choice side disputes this by stating facts gathered from statistics which show that majority of women (88%) have abortions in their first trimester. Also, they state the fact that medical abortions carry a risk of less than 0.5% of complications and this does not affect the ability of women to get pregnant and give birth neither does it affect their health.
e. Cases of incest and rape.
In cases of incest or rape, if a woman seeks medical care, she will be attended to and will not get pregnant. The pro-life supporters view abortion as a punishment to the unborn child who is not guilty of any crime. It is the perpetrator who should instead be punished. It, however, does not sit down well with pro-choice supporters. They argue that forcing a woman who got pregnant by either rape or incest to keep the child would make the victim suffer more psychological harm. In most cases, a woman is usually not aware that she is pregnant or is afraid of telling anyone what she went through thus the morning after pill will not work in these circumstances.
f. Use of abortion as a method of contraception
The pro-choice movement argues that abortion is not normally used as a contraception method. Some women who fall pregnant even though they use various types of contraception. Only a slight number of women that opt to have abortions do not use any birth control, and it is usually mostly because of carelessness than access to abortion. The pro-life side argues that abortion should not in any way be used as a form of contraception.
g. Reproductive choice
Pro-choice activists support that a woman’s choice over what to do with her body is a civil right. Taking away her reproductive choice is a violation of her rights. It is not right for the government to force a woman to carry a pregnancy what if it forces her to undergo sterilization or use contraception. Women who emphasize the need to be in full control over their bodies should also take a step of preventing unwanted pregnancies by using contraception responsibly, and if it is not possible, they should abstain completely.
h. Funding abortion
Taxpayers’ money should be used to give poor women a chance to get medical services the same as rich women and abortion is one of the medical services. Allocating funds to abortion is the same as funding a Middle Eastern war. For those who do not support abortion, they can express outrage by voting according to pro-choice movements. According to pro-life movements majority of Americans that pay taxes do not support abortion hence it is wrong to use taxpayers’ money to carry out abortions.
Teenagers who are mothers have limited opportunities later in life according to pro-choice movements. They have a higher probability of leaving school, inaccessibility to prenatal care, relying on public assistance to bring up their child, suffer from health problems or even get divorced (Herd et al. 426). Many teenagers who choose to get abortions are often young women or minors who do not have enough life experience to comprehend the consequences of their actions fully.
Herd, Pamela, et al. "The implications of unintended pregnancies for mental health in later life." American journal of public health 106.3 (2016): 421-429.
Roberts, Sarah CM, et al. "A 21st-Century Public Health Approach to Abortion." American journal of public health 107.12 (2017): 1878-1882.
Smith, Andrea. "Beyond pro-choice versus pro-life: Women of color and reproductive justice." NWSA journal 17.1 (2005): 119-140.