The Abortion Debate

A number of views regarding the legality and moral value of abortion exist and there is much controversy in religious, social and ethnic terms. The abortion debate is not a new one and it exists since a very long time and there are opponents as well as proponents of this method in the United States with each one of them providing convincing arguments in favor of their stand. Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Abortion may not only serve the purpose of family planning, contraception or means of controlling population growth, but also a means of saving the life of a mother whose health is at risk. There are three main methods used for the purpose of abortion which include methods in which surgical instruments are introduced through the cervix into the uterus for the purpose of killing the child or the methods in which the fetus is killed by administration of drugs and after the death of fetus, labor is induced which results in expulsion of the dead fetus and lastly the methods in which surgical intervention is used to cut open the uterus by abdominal surgery and finally fetus is removed (Willke, 1985). The debate for the abortion of fetuses initiated in the United States basically towards the second half of the twentieth century and a final decision with regard to this was taken in the year 1973 by the Supreme Court which legalized abortions in the country during the legal case of Roe v Wade. There are many reasons provided by the proponents of abortion to term it not only legal as well as ethical. The first and foremost argument provided is that every human being is born with the right to choose for himself what he considers correct for himself. This right is granted to all human beings in the constitution of the United States. Hence, it is argued that since every human being has the right to opt for what he wants, abortion is legalized for women because this decision is their personal right. They argue that preventing them and restraining them from abortions is actually snatching their constitutional rights of enjoying their free will. They also argue that women are living beings capable of taking their decisions. On the other hand, the fetus is not living and hence it is a part of the female body. Therefore it is their choice to opt for abortion and it cannot be questioned. The next argument provided by the proponents is that despite of the fact that abortion may be considered illegal, women would still opt for it. This is proved with regard of the evidence that is given of the countries where abortion is illegal. It is seen that even in these countries abortion is practiced. It is also a fact that the women in these countries opt for other means which are not safe because of the fact that these abortions are not conducted under medical practitioners. This leads to the loss of many precious lives which could otherwise be avoided (Head). On the other hand, the opponents of abortion also have their views to present. They argue that at the moment that an embryo is implanted in the uterus, it has a life and a soul. They argue that the embryo if left has the capability of developing into a human being and hence to abort this fetus is a murder. They also argue that the fetus has developed a DNA sequence at the instant that it formed which upholds the fact that it living and