Essay, Research Paper: Abortion And Society


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Since the Darwinian Revolution of the 19th century our society has turned upside
down. Everything under the sun had become questionable, the origin of life, how
we came to be, where are we headed and what to do in the here all became
questions in life. But one of the greatest impacts of this new age thinking is
its effect on our Old World values. Western societies values, morals and ethics
became debatable, with some people striving for change and others clinging for
stability. Battle lines had been drawn and the Liberals and Conservatives were
ready to duke it out on a number of issues. One of these debates centers on a
woman’s right to have and abortion. According to the Webster’s dictionary
and abortion is defined as a miscarry, something misshapen or unnatural. An
abortion is a procedure in which an embryo or fetus is prohibited from
developing by artificial means. One could argue that this is next to murder. How
can we as a society sanction the murdering of developing babies? Also it can
equally be stated that abortion is unnatural and a health hazard to women who
have undergone the procedure. Whatever the case, abortion should be outlawed
because it is immoral and mothers should face the responsibilities of their
actions. Many arguments can be used in order to put an end to abortion or at
least in order to establish dialogue. One of the oldest arguments against
abortion is the religious standpoint. Western society (Canada & U.S.A.) is
historically a Judeo-Christian culture with Judeo-Christian values. Although in
recent times we have become an increasingly pluristic society the Old World
thinking is still at the heart of our social relations and laws. The Bible says
“Thou shalt not kill” thus prohibiting people from harming others or
themselves. Abortion and its advocates violate this law. They seek to change one
of the most fundamental values of our society. Pro-choice under this stance is
equated with murder and “playing God”. One may raise the question, how can a
minority inflict its views of the majority? According to Francis X. Meenan, this
is a false assumption. He goes on to claim that those who favor abortion on
demand are the real minority (Bender & Leone, 97). He also claims that the
issue of abortion is a moral debate and cannot be settled by numbers. So even if
pro-choice advocates outnumbered pro-life advocates, this would prove or settle
nothing (Bender & Leone, 97). This stance claims that we should focus more
on moral principals and eradicate the practice of abortion in our society. The
Biblical understanding of life isn’t the only religious argument that opposes
abortion and its practice. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many other world faiths
have a similar stance on the topic at hand. Hinduism claims that the soul enters
the embryo at the time of conception and abortion should hence be outlawed
except in the case of rape or incest. Buddhism takes a similar stance and claims
abortion is “murdering”, yet also states that each case should be
individually analyzed. Islam considers abortion as a moral crime and sees life
(its start finish) as the jurisdiction of God. Islamic law states that abortion
is illegal except in those situations in which the woman’s life is in
jeopardy. The question that arises after examining these numerous perspectives
is how can these practices which violate or threaten our fundamental beliefs be
tolerated? The critics of the ant-abortion perspective, “pro-choice”, have
arguments of their own. First and foremost they argue that biblical law and its
perspectives are codes of life for believers and in a pluralistic society this
view shouldn’t be a reference or a deciding factor. One could imagine how it
would be to have another foreign view imposed on us so why would anyone impose
their views on others or the society at large? Other pro-choice arguments have
went to claim that abortion isn’t immoral because morality is subjective hence
people decide on their own what is moral or immoral. According to Daniel C.
Maguire, even religious people can disagree on abortion. One ground for going
against religion as an argument against abortion is the fact that the Church is
dominated by male influence (bender & Leone, 101). Maguire wants to know how
and why men have the authority to dictate what women decide to do with their
bodies (Bender & Leone, 101). Is it “life” they seek to protect or is it
the female “sexuality” they wish to control? The Catholic Code of Canon
excommunicates one for aborting a fertilized egg, but not for killing a baby
after birth. This hypocrisy thus discredits the religious argument against
abortion. The counter-criticism, which in turn disproves of abortion claims that
advocates of pro-choice are imposing their values on the greater population and
not the other way around. In my opinion this is a good counter-strike because
too often pro-choice individuals claim that the other side is being closed
minded and yet seem to neglect their own errors. The second argument, which
opposes abortion, states that abortion shouldn’t be a woman’s personal
choice. Women only play one role in having a baby. There is a man’s role
involved and there is a new life, which under the banner of abortion would be
extinguished. A pro-abortionist denies humanity to the fetus at all, a stance
that shows a lack of moral character (Wennberg, 57). This perspective states
that the growing fetus is an autonomous life form that has its own rights
regardless and separate of the woman. I would argue that females who have
undergone an abortion have infringed on the life of another human being in order
to satisfy their own needs. Other arguments opposing abortion state that if we
keep abortion legal it will become a choice ethic or a new form of birth control
(Wennberg, 9). Life will be a privilege only for a chosen few, the value of
human life will be cheapened with people only having babies when it is
convenient. Critics of this argument claim abortion should be a woman’s
personal choice. They state that true woman’s liberation is intertwined with
the right to bear children or the decision to abort their unborn child at will (Saarni,
104). Further claims have stated that the pro-choice argument is embedded in a
larger issue which the dominant male-oriented society wants to avoid, that being
feminism (Wennberg, 68). This statement regards abortion as a social issue which
opens the doors for women’s liberation and gives them power to make decisions
in their own life. As one could imagine this isn’t a view that would be
favored by male society. Other criticism claims that women who are opposed to
abortion do so because they value human well being and those politicians who
seek to outlaw abortion come in the name of “family values” (Saarni, 115).
Thus pro-choice isn’t seen as a stance, which is concerned, about the well
being of people. In a quest to establish a woman’s choice the government is
viewed as a powerful entity. Perhaps the issue of choice should be left to the
individual instead of the state (Wennberg, 82). In my opinion the right to bear
children or not shouldn’t be just a woman’s decision. Why must women’s
liberation be related to her independent choice and not with a socially
intellectual choice where all parties find a middle ground? The statement that
the abortion argument is a part of a larger sphere, which includes feminism and
that the powers that be are trying to put an end to this, is based on
speculation. If this were true why is it that women have gained power all across
the board in all walks of life only to be oppressed in this issue. As for the
women who seek the well being for life they naturally side up with the pro-life
perspective. To claim that politicians with their own personal agendas are
manipulating these women is saying that these women value life alongside their
male counter parts and that is the reasoning why many strive towards pro-life.
The argument that legal abortion harms public health is yet another reason to
re-evaluate the case of abortion. The fact is that abortion is a complicated
procedure that can harm a woman’s body, disabling from bearing children.
Complications include hemorrhaging and laceration of the cesuix (Richardson,
36). Other studies done by Stallworthy, Moolga, Oker and Walsh have reported the
complications that occurred during 1,182 legal abortions. While their where no
deaths, 9.5% of the patients required blood transfusions, 4.2% had cervical
lacerations and 1.2% of the patients uteri were perforated. Post-abortion
infection occurred in 27% of these women. Other complications in pregnancy and
with abortions state that there is a correlation between pre-mature birth and a
woman’s exposure to abortion (Richardson, 42). This perhaps has to do with the
fact that the cervix could be damaged after the use of instruments to perform
abortion (Richardson, 42). In my opinion the facts speak for themselves.
Abortion decreases public health and is a dangerous procedure. Other arguments
for abortion stem from claims that abortion actually guards public safety by
providing an outlet for young women who would have otherwise had a “back
alley” abortion (Richardson, 57). Advocates of this argument would most likely
state that since the legalization of abortion an account of accurate records has
been kept thus catering to health concerns. Other statements claim that since
1973 the number of women, percentage wise, who are using safer methods has
increased (Richardson, 51). In my personal opinion these arguments simply state
how legalized abortion has reduce the black market. It doesn’t attempt to
debate on the ethics of the matter, or doesn’t mention the risk factor
associated with abortion. I’m sure military force monitoring our cities could
reduce crime, yet is this a solution which server the best interest? To argue
that society is better off with legalized abortion because it reduces the black
market isn’t a very good solution. It is a decision that is poor, unethical,
and most of all a tremendous health hazard. Another argument, which is often
cited as a justification for abortion, is one’s economic concerns. Many women
who get pregnant but are poor are the first to get an abortion. It seems like
that the struggles of modern life create an obstacle for those women in which a
child becomes a burden (Saarni, 17). Is this what our society has come to? Is
this the condition of our mothers? It seems like more and more women are
redirected towards abortion as a solution to their problems (Saarni, 19). Human
life now comes with a price tag, it is no longer regarded as sacred but is seen
as a disposable entity when “the going gets tough”. Society no longer values
life and is willing to, or demanding that women, especially poor or black women
control the number of babies they have or the government will control it for
them (Saarni, 24). The critics take the other stance and claim that economics is
one of the most important reasons we should keep legal abortions. Legal
abortions provides an avenue for underprivileged women who cannot support
another child in this world (Saarni, 29). They claim that abortion is in the
best interest for the mother, child and the taxpayers (Saarni, 29). They also
claim that abortion services are an equalizer which maintain low birth rates
amongst today’s women (Saarni, 30). This means that women us abortion as a
method of birth control, which enables them to remain independent, carry out a
career, and live a free-spirited life. I personally believe that economics
isn’t a good reason to abort a life. If one can’t afford to bring a life
into this world then take all necessary precautions to make sure you won’t get
pregnant. I don’t think abortion is in the best interest of anyone but the
selfish mother who has willingly destroyed the life of an unborn baby. Finally,
it’s a shame if modern women feel that abortion is some sort of birth control.
It is unfortunate that life isn’t valued like it once was and that
independence and financial gain gave become the new objectives in life. It is
perhaps this mentality to equate abortion with birth control and thus female
liberation that is the most dangerous to traditional family values. What does
this say about us as a society when we begin to murder our own and then claim
that we are modern and civilized? In conclusion, abortion has many ominous
consequences and show how the very moral fiber of our society is disintegrating.
It is a moral crime, a crime to the unborn child, a crime to society as a whole
and therefor should be outlawed.

Bibliography1. Abortion Opposing Viewpoints, David L. Bender & Bruno Leone,
Greenhaven Press 1986. 2. Life in the Balance: Exploring the Abortion
Controversy, Robert N. Wennberg, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1985. 3. : Abortion controversy 4. Abortion: Risk Vs. Benefit, Aaron
Saarni, Oxford University Press 1990. 5. The Crime of Abortion, Erick
Richardson, Prentice-Hall Inc. 1989. 6. Compton’s Encyclopedia (CD Rom) 7. Naral homepage 8. Abortion Perspectives.
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