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A Comparison of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Abortion


The topic of abortion has been a controversial subject for many years. The people for or against it have split into two groups, pro- life and pro-choice. The main topic of discussion about this is when does life begin and when is it appropriate for abortion to be done, if it is appropriate or okay at any time at all. There has been many facts and reasons for why or why not abortion should be done. These will be found in the following paper.

Keywords: pro life, pro choice, abortion.

Pro Life vs Pro Choice: When does life begin?

The debate over whether or not abortion should be a legal option continues to divide many Americans, even after the US Supreme Court’s ruling declaring that abortion is a “fundamental right” for women nationwide. People that agree with this, referred to as pro-choice, believe that abortion is a right that should not be limited by the government or any religious authority. They also say that pregnant women with unwanted pregnancies will succumb to unsafe illegal abortions if there is no legal option available to them (Should Abortion, 2013). People against this identifying themselves as pro-life, saying that ‘personhood’ begins at conception, thus meaning abortion is the immoral killing of an innocent human being. It is also said by “pro-lifers” that abortion inflicts suffering on the unborn child, and also that it isn’t fair to allow abortion when couples who cannot biologically conceive are waiting to adopt (Head, 2013).

It has been said in many articles that abortion is wrong, and all of them give ideally the same reasons as said before. One article in particular however shows the change of a person from pro-choice, to pro-life. It tells the story of a pro-choice medical student that after his experience of witnessing an abortion quickly changed his opinion on the matter.

Terzo’s witness of the abortion was following (2013):

When I entered the operating room, it felt like any other I had ever been in. On the table in front of me, I saw a woman, legs up as if delivering a child although she was asleep. Next to her was a tray of instruments for the abortion and a vacuum machine for suctioning the fetal tissues from the uterus. The doctors put on their gowns and masks and the procedure began. The cervix was held open with a crude metal instrument and a large transparent tube was stuck inside of the woman. Within a matter of seconds, the machine’s motor was engaged and blood, tissue, and tiny organs were pulled out of their environment into a filter. A minute later, the vacuum choked to a halt. The tube was removed, and stuck to the end was a small body and a head attached haphazardly to it, what was formed of the neck snapped. The ribs had formed with a thin skin covering them, the eyes had formed, and the inner organs had begun to function. The tiny heart of the fetus, obviously a little boy, had just stopped — forever. The vacuum filter was opened, and the tiny arms and legs that had been torn off of the fetus were accounted for. The fingers and toes had the beginnings of their nails on them. The doctors, proud of their work, reassembled the body to show me. Tears welled up in my eyes as they removed the baby boy from the table and shoved his body into a container for disposal.

He goes on saying that most people who are pro-choice as he was before, are only pro choice because they do not know what is happening in that operating room, and if they did they would most certainly become pro-life, if not in it’s entirety, then simply in the abortion aspect of it.

There is another article that give insight into the argument of “when does life really begin?” It was said that even pro choice philosophers agree that life begins at fertilization. According to Wilcox (2013), “They grow through cellular reproduction and division, they metabolize food for energy, and they respond to stimuli. In fact, the only thing the unborn need to survive are adequate nutrition, a proper environment, and an absence of fatal threats. That’s all any of us need. There is no point in human development at which the developing entity goes from non-life to living”. The artcle continues to state that since life does begin at fertilization that abortion is the immoral killing of human beings and should not be legal.

My reaction to this simply, why does it affect them? Whether it is their moral belief, philosophical belief, or scientific belief, the actions of others outside their immediate group or family will most likely not affect them. To me it almost as if they are trying to push their moral belief on someone and persuade everyone to believe what they believe, this cannot always happen. Who gives someone the right to tell someone whether or not they can legally decide to bring a life into the world, the government? Why is the government revisiting an issue that was seemingly resolved before in another case? Is this an attempt to even further control the population?

I am asking these questions because it is literally impossible to have everyone be happy, even in a compromise, both parties is not totally getting what they wanted. So, in my opinion, I think that the lawfulness of abortion should be left alone. It has been working fine, and although everyone is not happy, it is too controversial of a subject that should not be touched again.

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