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Legalizing Abortion

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The abortion issue is multi-faceted and both sides of the issue provide credible, thought-provoking arguments. Only the individual can disseminate the information and make their own decision based on what they believe to be right but everyone should know both sides on equal terms so as to make the decision that is right for them. This paper presents the ‘right-to-life’ opinion regarding the abortion issue then follows with the ‘pro-choice’ argument from an ethical, moral and legal aspect. The arguments for and against are significant in a social context yet inconsequential because they will not decide whether or not abortions remain safe and lawful. The conclusion explains why legal abortions should remain the law of the land. Pro-Life The right to choose is the foundation upon which this country was built. Those who are pro-abortion trumpet this slogan while proclaiming a woman’s ‘God given right’ to make her own choices without government interference. There is little freedom of choice for women who are experiencing an unwanted pregnancy. The women themselves usually wish to bring their baby to full term. Other powerful influences in her life such as husbands/boyfriends, parents and friends are generally the forces that exact pressures on her to terminate the pregnancy. Eight out of 10 women surveyed after abortion said they would have given birth if they’d had support and encouragement from family and friends (Reardon, 2002). It’s the abortion that, in many cases, is unwanted by the woman, not the baby. Most often, the father of the child, not wishing to accept responsibility, may beg or even threaten a woman until she agrees to the abortion. In 95 percent of all cases the male partner played a central role in the decision (Zimmerman, 1977). This and other studies have illustrated clearly that most women decide against their own conscience. Legal abortion enables fathers to force their will on mothers. Some women resort to abortion in desperation because they fear continued abuse. That fear is substantiated as women who refuse to abort have been subjected to serious abuses which have escalated to murder if the women still persists in her refusal. Murder is the leading cause of death for pregnant women and for what other motive could there be? Sixty-four percent of women surveyed report being pressured by others into unwanted abortions (Reardon, 1992). Immediately following an abortion, the one(s) coercing the decision are relieved and seldom, if ever, give the inconvenient issue another thought. Women, on the other hand, suffer long afterwards, racked by overwhelming guilt and agonizing over their irreversible decision. This pain may last a lifetime as they are never able to forgive themselves (Elliot Institute, n.d.). Another myth espoused as fact is that the aborted fetus is no more than a cluster of cells, a bit of tissue unable to even feel pain. A developing embryo has a unique set of fingerprints as well as different genetic patterns than its mother. It is a human being unto itself. If one defines death as the stoppage of a heartbeat and murder as the forceful and intentional stopping of a heart then abortion is surely murder. If the existence of a heartbeat legally defined life, then almost all abortions would be illegal as the heart is formed by the 18th day in the womb. A British medical journal reported that when a pin is stuck into an eight-week-old fetus,